Midsize pickup makers staying competitive with off-road capability, hybrid power, luxury

Dave Kunz Image
Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Popular midsize pickups have off-road capability, hybrid power, luxury
Midsize pickup trucks are the hottest ticket in town! They're known for being reliable, less expensive and more maneuverable than full-sized trucks.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A big deal in the automotive industry right now? Midsize pickups.

Ford is really throwing down the gauntlet for 2024 with not only a new Ranger, but for the first time in the US, the high-performance super-off-roader Ranger Raptor. Like Ford's other Raptor models, this one was made to perform very well, far away from pavement.

It's also the only way to get this more powerful twin-turbo V6 in a Ranger, producing just over 400 horsepower. As you might expect, the Ranger Raptor is pricey, with a base MSRP of $56,960.

Oh, there's still very much a regular 2024 Ranger. Prices for those start in the $35,000 range.

The new Ranger comes hot on the heels of Toyota's new midsize Tacoma, now available with hybrid power under the hood. It's a first for the Tacoma, as well as the midsize truck segment overall. In TRD form, the more powerful hybrid drivetrain greatly enhances its off-road performance.

Highlighting a midsize truck's off-road ability is probably a pretty good marketing move. Even people who aren't interested in going off road or even buying a four-wheel drive might be convinced that it makes the truck seem more tough and rugged. Of course, other midsize truck buyers could be looking for a bit of luxury.

New last year, GMC's midsize Canyon is available in the brand's up-level Denali trim. Arguably the most luxurious midsize pickup on the market with leather and real wood inside, to go with the touch of elegant bling on the outside, including an exclusive wheel design. It's also fully off-road capable, though you probably wouldn't want to scratch this one. Sold nearly fully-loaded, the Canyon Denali starts at $52,595.

But off-roading is what helps sell midsize trucks, even to buyers who only want two-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive flagships if you will, helping elevate the profile of these pickups facing off in an ultra-competitive segment.