Every Midsize Truck Is Almost the Same, According to JD Power’s Rankings

If you’re searching for your next midsize truck to purchase, it’s a challenging decision. Many automakers offer excellent models that get the job done in more ways than one. In addition, each one has its advantages over the competition. For some experts, like J.D. Power, every midsize truck is almost the same. So close, in fact, that only three points separate the top and bottom of the lineup. What’s so different about the best and worst midsize trucks?

J.D. Power ranked 4 models as the best midsize truck

The best diesel trucks for towing include the Chevy Colorado
The 2022 Chevrolet Colorado truck | Chevrolet

The first sign that all midsize trucks are almost the same is that J.D. Power couldn’t name just one best overall model. Instead, the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier, and Jeep Gladiator all share the same score. JDP uses a ranking system out of 100 based on what owners like and dislike, using VIN-certified vehicle owners only. The four of these models each received a score of 83 out of 100, placing them ahead of the rest of the midsize truck class.

In addition, we noticed that most people like a few things about these trucks. For example, the Colorado, Ranger, and Frontier are all highlighted by the power of the vehicle’s engine. Nearly every midsize truck uses a four-cylinder base engine with an optional V6 available.

Next, maneuvering and steering these vehicles is easy for owners. For pickup owners, handling trucks in certain traffic situations can be a nuisance. Even navigating parking lots can be challenging for some drivers, so it’s nice that these models don’t suffer from that issue.

2 models tied for the worst midsize truck

The best new midsize trucks include this Honda Ridgeline
The 2022 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

Just like the best overall models, the worst of the group of pickups can’t be pinpointed on just a single model. Instead, JDP offers the same score for the last place Honda Ridgeline and Hyundai Santa Cruz. However, they’re only a few points shy of being the best models in their class. With an overall rating of 80 out of 100, the Ridgeline and Santa Cruz fall short. What did owners say is wrong with these models that make them worse than rivals?

For the Honda pickup, owners don’t like the experience of using voice assistant in the vehicle. Next, the braking performance could be much better. This is essential for truck buyers, who can struggle to drive a larger vehicle for the first time. Owners say the Ridgeline’s stopping power and smoothness are poor. Finally, the owners say they don’t like how the pickup makes them feel when it starts up. We’re not sure if this means the engine sound is bad or if it doesn’t sound like it turns over cleanly, but JDP deducts points for it.

Next, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is one of the newest models on the scene. As a result, it struggles to win over some buyers who might be scared of purchasing a brand-new model. Owners who already purchased it have a few issues, including headlight effectiveness, below-average ratings for the engine’s sound, and below-average ratings for the audio system.

Mid-tier midsize trucks

For the rest of the segment, every model is a mid-tier model. This includes the Toyota Tacoma, GMC Canyon, and Ford Maverick. We found it curious that the GMC Canyon ranked lower than the Chevy Colorado, given they’re almost identical trucks. Although these are average-ranking models, they’re just a point away from the top and two from the bottom, 82 out of 100.

One thing that stands out is most customers don’t like the power of the vehicle’s engine for the Tacoma. Given that this is the most popular midsize truck, it’s losing to some rivals because of a low-powered engine. Alternatively, owners seem to enjoy the engine power of the GMC Canyon. However, simple things like getting in and out of the front seats are more challenging with the Canyon than with other models.

Lastly, the new Ford Maverick is becoming more and more popular. As a result, owners love its incredible fuel economy, in-vehicle storage, and ease of getting in and out. However, the audio system is subpar, the engine sounds terrible, and outside noises leak into the cabin often.

J.D. Power’s rankings show every midsize truck is almost the same

In conclusion, every midsize truck is almost the same. At this point, every model in this class has so many similarities they’ve started to blur together. There’s almost always an off-road package or trim, a more powerful optional engine, and similar features and tech. The new Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick are slightly smaller than the rest of the segment. In addition, owners say that models like the Chevy Colorado and Ford Ranger have a reportedly powerful-feeling engine.

Which of these midsize truck models do you think stands out above the rest? Is the entire class of vehicles starting to blend together?

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