Your Guide to Finding the Best Midsize Truck for 2021

If you aren’t sure which option is the best midsize truck for 2021, then you’re in the right place. We have a guide of the best midsize pickup truck options to buy for 2021 model years. We’ve listed every truck available with why it might be the best option to suit your individual needs. Quickly find the best work truck or best option for off-roading. The trucks are listed in order by price.

The best midsize trucks of 2021 guide

Sure, the best midsize truck options are more petite than full-size trucks. But this works to their advantage. The smaller packages make them easier to maneuver, but they still have plenty of power and capability. Plus, they start at lower prices than larger trucks. 

Midsize options are great as work trucks, adventure vehicles, daily drivers, and more. You can use them to carry kayaks, haul campers, pull trailers, go off-roading, and more. A few options tow over 7,000 lbs, making them close to more extensive options. All it takes is finding the option that checks all of your boxes.

The segment is growing increasingly competitive as midsize pickup trucks offer sportier reflexes, plenty of cargo space, decent fuel economies, and more. We’ve listed the best options according to price.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline is the best for comfort

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline in sand
2021 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

MRSP: $36,490 

Trim Levels: Sport, RTL, RTL-E, Black Edition. 

Powertrain Option(s): The 2021 Honda Ridgeline comes with a stout 3.5-liter V6 engine. It provides 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. 

Fuel Economy: the 2021 Ridgeline gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city and up to 24 mpg on the highway. 

Towing Capacity: When properly equipped, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline can tow up to 5,000 lbs. 

Why is the Honda Ridgeline best? The Ridgeline is the best daily driver. It features a smoother ride quality with sportier handling and the best-in-class interior. The Ridgeline is great for those who value comfort. It can still carry a massive payload too.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline is the most expensive option on our list of the best midsize trucks for 2021. It has an MSRP of $36,490. It tends to rank highly on other lists because of its smooth ride and comfortable interior. 

The Honda Ridgeline has a unibody frame instead of a traditional body-on-frame build. This improves the ride quality and provides sportier handling. However, it limits the off-roading potential. 

Don’t mistake the Ridgeline for a weak truck. It can still tow enough and go off-roading to complete a variety of recreational tasks. For 2021 the Ridgeline gained a more confident look and the Honda Performance Development (HPD) package. It includes squared-off fender guards, graphics, and bronze-colored wheels. 

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator is the best off-roading truck

A red 2021 Jeep Gladiator on the road
2021 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

MRSP: $34,960 

Trim Levels: Sport, Sport S, Willys, 80th Anniversary, Overland, High Altitude, Rubicon, Mojave

Powertrain Option(s): The base engine in the 2021 Jeep Gladiator is a 3.6-liter V6 option with 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.

  • The 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine provides 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque.

Fuel Economy: The 2021 Gladiator gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and up to 28 mpg on the highway. 

Towing Capacity: When properly equipped, the Jeep Gladiator can tow up to 7,650 lbs. 

What makes the Jeep Gladiator Best? The Gladiator currently serves as the best off-road truck you can buy. While it may have a stiff ride compared to rivals, it’s the best equipped for adventuring. Plus, it’s currently the only convertible truck.

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator has an MSRP of $34,960 and is one of the newest options on the best midsize trucks of the 2021 comparison list. It just made its debut in 2019. However, it already dethroned the Toyota Tacoma as the best off-roading truck. 

The Gladiator serves as the only convertible truck you can buy. It’s similar to the Jeep Wrangler but has a five-foot cargo bed in place of the traditional cargo area. The Gladiator offers more appeal for road trips and Overlanding because it’s easy to customize to get the most range out of your rig. 

It may not have a ride that’s as smooth as rivals, but it’s a fair compromise for unmatched capability. Also, the 2021 Gladiator has a diesel engine like the GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado. 

The 2021 Nissan Frontier has the best standard power

The 2021 Nissan Frontier on a white background
2021 Nissan Frontier | Nissan

MRSP: $27,190 

Trim Levels: S, SV, PRO-X, PRO-4X 

Powertrain Option(s): The Nissan Frontier comes with a 3.8-liter V6 engine with 310 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. 

Fuel Economy: The 2021 Frontier gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city and up to 24 mpg on the highway. 

Towing Capacity: When properly equipped, the 2021 Nissan Frontier can tow up to 6,720 lbs.

How is the Nissan Frontier the best truck? The Frontier includes the best-in-class 3.8-liter V6 engine. This means you don’t have to pay more to upgrade for more horsepower. The truck bed also has plenty of tie-downs. It serves as a pretty efficient and price-friendly work truck.

The Nissan Frontier used to be one of the cheapest trucks you could buy. But the 2021 Nissan Frontier changes things with an MSRP of $27,190. The exterior didn’t change much, and the interior may feel a little aged due to the use of plastics. 

Because the Frontier feels ancient, it doesn’t rank well against the competition. But it did gain a new robust V6 engine in 2020. It helps to provide a peppy acceleration but doesn’t improve the fuel economy by much. 

Also, the Pro-4X trim serves as the most capable off-roading trim. If you want a Frontier that doesn’t feel as old, we recommend skipping ahead to the 2022 model. It has the same V6 engine with plenty of body and tech upgrades. 

The 2021 GMC Canyon is the most luxurious diesel option

The 2021 GMC Canyon driving down the road
2021 GMC Canyon | GMC

MRSP: $26,800

Trim Levels: Elevation Standard, Elevation, AT4, Denali 

Powertrain Option(s): The base engine in the GMC Canyon is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder option with 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. 

  • You can upgrade to the 3.6-liter V6 engine for 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. 
  • With the 2.8-liter four-cylinder Duramax turbodiesel engine, you get 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. 

Fuel Economy: The 2021 Canyon gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and up to 30 mpg on the highway. 

Towing Capacity: When properly equipped, the GMC Canyon can tow up to 7,000 lbs.

What makes the GMC Caynon the best? The Canyon is the most luxurious truck option with a diesel engine. If you want diesel power while riding in style, then the Canyon provides the both of best worlds. It’s also pretty versatile and capable.

The 2021 GMC Canyon is one of the best midsize pickup trucks for 2021 to consider, with an MSRP of $26,800. The Canyon is cousins with the Chevy Colorado. They share a lot of the same components. 

Because the Canyon has struggled to establish its reputation, it gained a few upgrades in 2021 to blaze its own path. The Denali trim gained higher-quality cabin materials for a luxurious feel and a new grille that provides a similar look to the full-size GMC Sierra 1500. 

To add a little oomph, the Canyon gained the AT4 trim. It replaced the previous off-roading All Terrain trim. IT includes all-terrain tires and suspension upgrades to improve its off-roading capabilities. 

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is incredibly reliable

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition in the sand
2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition | Toyota

MRSP: $26,400

Trim Levels: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, TRD Pro, Trail Special Edition, Nightshade Special Edition. 

Powertrain Option(s): The base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder option with 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. 

  • You can upgrade to the 3.5-liter V6 engine for 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. 

Fuel economy: The Tacoma gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and up to 23 mpg on the highway. 

Towing Capacity: When properly equipped, the Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 lbs.

Why is the Toyota Tacoma the best? The Tacoma has an excellent reputation for being reliable and dependable. These trucks can last for a long time. Plus, the Tacoma has the best resale value, making it a safer investment. It’s a practical and durable option.

Next up, we have the 2021 Toyota Tacoma with an MSRP of $26,400. It could be the best midsize truck overall as it outsells all of its rivals. The Tacoma serves as a well-rounded option. It can be equipped to tackle major off-roading obstacles and serves as a comfortable daily driver. 

The Tacoma feels a little more refined than the Ford Ranger and Chevrolet Colorado with more premium interior materials. But it still has a ride that’s a little rough compared to the unibody Honda Ridgeline. 

For 2021 the Tacoma remained primarily the same. But the Trail Special Edition came out with only 7,000 units, and the Nightshade Special Edition made its debut. It includes aesthetic changes such as black badging inside and out. 

The 2021 Chevrolet Colorado has the highest towing capacity

An orange 2021 Chevy Colorado driving on a road
2021 Chevy Colorado | Chevrolet

MSRP: $25,200

Trim levels: WT, LT, Z71, ZR2. 

Powertrain option(s): The base engine in the Chevy Colorado is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder option with 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. 

  • You can upgrade to the 3.6-liter V6 engine for 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. 
  • With the 2.8-liter four-cylinder Duramax turbodiesel engine, you get 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. 

Fuel economy: The 2021 Chevy Colorado gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and up to 30 mpg on the highway. 

Towing capacity: When properly equipped, the Chevrolet Colorado can tow up to 7,700 lbs.

What makes the Chevy Colorado the best? The Colorado has the best-in-class towing capacity. It also has a relatively low price. The Colorado is a durable workhorse that won’t break the bank. It’s even well equipped for off-roading if needed.

The next best midsize truck for 2021 is the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado. The Chevy Colorado has an MSRP of $25,200. It brings a slightly revamped look to the streets and trails. The rear emblem was replaced by “Chevrolet” being embossed across the tailgate. 

Tweaks to the front-end design provide unique styling for the different trim levels. But the Chevy Colorado ZR2 trim has the most changes. It serves as the most off-road capable model with looks to match its power. It has a wider, more prominent grille. 

Other than that, the 2021 Colorado is primarily the same. It provides impressive towing and hauling capabilities. Plus, it has a diesel engine, which is a rare feature among midsize trucks. 

The 2021 Ford Ranger is the truck with the best price

The 2021 Ford Ranger off-roading
2021 Ford Ranger | Ford

MSRP: $24,820

Trim levels: XL, XLT, Lariat

Powertrain option(s): The Ford Ranger has a single-engine option with is a 2.4-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder with 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. 

Fuel economy: The Ranger gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and up to 26 mpg on the highway. 

Towing capacity: When properly equipped, the Ford Ranger can tow up to 7,500 lbs.

Why is the Ford Ranger the best? The Ranger has the cheapest MSRP. Pricing may vary based on your area and supply. Also, being the most affordable truck doesn’t mean it skimps on value. It still has one of the best towing capacities and stout off-roading capabilities.

The 2021 Ford Ranger has an MSRP of $24,820, making it the cheapest pickup truck to buy brand new. The Ford Ranger returned as a midsize truck after disappearing for a few years in 2019. It has a striking look to rival the competition. 

But it’s been selling in other markets for decades, meaning it didn’t debut as an all-new truck. As a result, some drivers don’t find it as compelling as other options that have undergone more recent redesigns. 

For 2021, the Ranger gained the Tremor Off-Road package. It includes more all-terrain capabilities with an upgraded suspension and additional ground clearance. It improves the ride and handling, but it won’t keep up with the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro or Jeep Gladiator Rubicon. 

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