Getting Hitched: The Best Midsize Trucks for Towing
We all want to do big truck stuff, but we don’t all want the big truck. Midsize trucks make a lot of sense for most truck tasks, including towing. All of the midsize body-on-frame trucks you can buy easily tow more than 6,000 pounds. While that may not sound like much when truck manufacturers throw out numbers like 32,000 pounds of towing for their biggest rigs, keep in mind that even a midsized camper only weighs about 5,000 pounds and you don’t need 1,000 lb-ft of torque. From the Toyota Tacoma to the Rivian R1T, these midsize trucks can tow more stuff than you think.
Most of us think of the Toyota Tacoma as a fun play truck to take into the mud or off-roading. But Toyota’s midsize truck can tow up to 6,800 pounds, or 6,400 pounds in the Double Cab 4×4 version. The V6 Tacoma comes standard with a tow package, which includes a Class IV receiver hitch, and several other options to keep the engine and power steering running cooler. They also have an upgraded alternator, trailer sway control, and more.
The Jeep Gladiator trades on its Wrangler looks and heritage, but it’s a real pickup that can do real pickup things. The Gladiator is set up for heavy-duty off-road work, but like the Wrangler, it can be equipped with a million different packages. You can order a $695 trailer tow package for lighter-duty jobs, or the Max Tow Package, which includes the 4.10 axle ration, a Class IV hitch, and special axles and tires for a 7,650-pound tow rating.
The Max package is $1,695. The Gladiator, too, uses the backup camera with a zoom function to help you align a hitch easily. And, of course, you’ll want the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel that makes 442 lb-ft of torque. While It doesn’t tow as much as the Pentastar V6, it does help you get up to speed easier.
Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon
The 2022 Chevy Colorado can tow up to 7,70 pounds with the large V6 engine and trailering package. But the big news is that the 2023 is coming with a new design and a new engine that makes more power and more torque for towing. The Colorado is basically the same truck as the GMC Canyon, and it has a max towing capability of 7,700 pounds in the crew cab short box version with the 2.8-liter turbo diesel option.
For 2023 the newly-redesigned Colorado will tow 7700 pounds. The new truck gets a 2.7-liter turbocharged engine that Chevy says produces more horsepower and torque than the current model’s available 3.6L V-6 and 2.8L turbo-diesel engines. With the 2.7-liter Turbo High-Output engine, the truck makes 569 lb-ft of torque.
The Ford Ranger can tow up to 7,500 pounds in any version, from the SuperCrew to the SuperCab with either four-wheel drive or two-wheel drive. Its 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine makes 310 lb-ft of torque which is plenty to get a heavy load up to speed. It has an available integrated trailer hitch receiver, too. The $495 trailer tow package is available on any trim and includes a wiring harness. With the Ford you can order a blind spot monitoring system that can extend its range if you’re towing, which makes it much less stressful to change lanes with a long trailer. Its smaller size compared to an F-150 makes it a great daily driver, too.
The Nissan Frontier has a standard 310-horsepower V6 with a nine-speed automatic. That combination adds up to 6,720 pounds of towing capacity for the King Cab 4×2 version. That capacity drops to as low as 6,260 in the heavier, but way roomier, Crew Cab Long Bed 4×4 version. The Frontier does offer a monitor that helps you line up the trailer hitch just right, a sway control option for high winds, and a tow-haul mode that keeps the transmission from hunting for gears.
First, the Rivian R1T is a midsize truck. Most of us haven’t seen a Rivian in the flesh yet, so it’s hard to say how large the truck is. But it’s actually about eight inches shorter than a 2022 Chevy Colorado. It’s also electric and that brings with it a whole host of capabilities, including towing. The R1T makes a monster amount of horsepower and torque, and that means that it has a towing capacity of 11,000 pounds.
However, the R1T’s electric motor takes a lot of power. In a towing test by TFL Truck, the range dropped from 280 miles on a full charge to 135 miles.