Midsize trucks make great off-roaders. Many are powerful and capable. Their size helps them nimbly conquer trails that would defeat larger vehicles. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) ranked the best off road trucks of 2021. Lucky for us, the top three midsize 4×4 trucks are still available in 2022.
2021-2022 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
A midsize Jeep truck just makes sense. The ever-popular Jeep Wrangler boasts body-on-frame construction and a solid axle at each end. This makes it exceptionally good at flexing over obstacles on the trail.
The top-trim Jeep Gladiators are some of the best off road trucks around. At the same pricepoint you can opt for the powerful Jeep Gladiator Mojave or the steadfast Rubicon. Jeep engineered the Mojave with higher gear ratios and a rear locker for desert racing. The Rubicon is set up with two locking differentials to conquer low-speed rock crawling trails like the legendary Rubicon near Lake Tahoe. Jeep offers either trim with the Pentastar V6, new I4, or new diesel V6.
“The Mojave and Rubicon models have wider tracks…and specialized suspensions from Fox, a well-respected third-party supplier. The Rubicon underlines its off-road credentials with an electronically disconnecting front anti-roll bar for optimum axle articulation.”Colin Ryan for KBB
Find out about the new diesel-powered Jeep Gladiator.
2021-2022 Ford Ranger Tremor
The Ford Ranger with the Tremor package offers excellent off road capability without sacrificing on road performance. The package adds a lift kit, wider stance, 32-inch tires, Fox dampers, and a locking rear differential. Overall, the Tremor package improves the Ranger’s ground clearance to 10 inches.
The steering is direct and responsive, helping to make the Ranger feel more like a midsize SUV from behind the wheel, rather than a bulky truck.”Colin Ryan for KBB
See the off-road-ready custom Bronco Riptide.
2021-2022 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
Chevrolet offers a ZR2 package for its Colorado pickup truck. The resulting Chevy Colorado ZR2 is as capable as any other midsize truck. Its lifted 2 inches and its wheel track is increased. It boasts front and rear locking differentials–like the Rubicon. This truck also has aftermarket dampers, from Multimatic. The result is a great all-around off-road vehicle.
“The one time we were close to getting stuck, the ZR2 Bison’s locking diffs worked like off-road magic. Combined with the truck’s low-range 4-wheel-drive, once engaged the locking diffs made short work of the loose dirt to easily extract us.”Matt Degen for KBB
KBB also points out that buyers can option the Colorado ZR2 with a 20 mpg diesel powerplant. The resulting vehicle would make an excellent long-distance overlander.
Read up on other factory 4x4s with locking differentials.
2022 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
The newest Toyota Tundra highlights how out-dated the Tacoma has become. But the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is still a worthy off road truck package, and Toyota revamped it for the 2022 model year.
The pricey TRD Pro package upgrades the Tacoma’s suspension, adds a locking rear differential, and Fox dampers. Toyota’s proprietary crawl control software can operate the throttle, even going downhill, so the driver can focus on steering.