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  7. The Best Midsize Trucks for Towing in 2023

The Best Midsize Trucks for Towing in 2023

Want a Midsize Pickup That Can Still Pull a Trailer? These are Your Best Options

Image Caption: Photo Credit: Toyota

There is a reason why midsize pickup trucks have become so popular with drivers in recent years. Smaller and more fuel-efficient than their full-size cousins, these models offer plenty of versatility and cargo capacity. They also provide good performance both on and off-road and have plenty of interior space, along with the latest driving technology.

Most of these models come with efficient and powerful engines that provide plenty of horsepower and torque while still maintaining decent gas mileage. In some cases, these trucks have surprisingly good towing capacities, making them an excellent choice for RVers looking to pull a lightweight travel trailer.

Updated: This article has been updated on 6/27/23 with the latest specs for the new Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma.

best midsize trucks for towing

Photo Credit: Chevy

If you’re in the market for a midsize pickup and unsure of which model to go with, here are the best options to consider. In most cases, you’ll need to add a tow package to the vehicle, but most of these trucks are highly capable straight from the dealer’s lot. Of course, driving dynamics, comfort, and options will vary, so find the one that most closely aligns with your needs and preferences.

The Best Midsize Trucks for Towing in 2023

best midsize trucks for towing

Photo Credit: GMC

Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon
Max Towing Capacity: 7,700 lbs.

The Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon models fall under the same heading because, for the most part, they are virtually identical. Both get a redesign for 2023, with most trims utilizing a 2.7L turbo-charged high-output engine paired with an eight-speed transmission. This configuration improves towing capacity to an impressive 7,700 lbs., up from 7,000 lbs. from the previous generation.

Other updates include improved ground clearance, a more rugged suspension, and a four-wheel drive system that offers better traction. The cockpit has been upgraded with new technology that allows owners to tune driving dynamics and optimize performance when towing. An optional camera system makes it easier to see around the vehicle, too, offering views in front and even under the truck.

Starting MSRP: $29,200

best midsize trucks for towing

Photo Credit: Jeep

Jeep Gladiator
Max Towing Capacity: 7,700 lbs.

The Jeep Gladiator extends the rugged, off-road capabilities of the Wrangler by adding a truck bed and a longer wheelbase. This makes it a more versatile all-around vehicle without sacrificing Jeep’s legendary proficiency on the trail. The truck comes with a standard 3.6L VG engine and a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. Higher-trim models offer an optional 3.0L V6 turbo diesel motor with extra features, like a supplemental heater, a dual-battery system, and 442 lb.-ft. of torque.

The 2023 edition of the Gladiator can tow up to 7,700 lbs. and has a maximum payload of 1,710 lbs. Jeep’s $1,895 Max Tow Package further enhances those capabilities by adding a heavy-duty alternator, all-terrain tires, a locking differential, and a Class IV receiver hitch. Buyers also get heavy-duty front and rear axles, daytime running lights, and an external camera specifically designed to line up with a trailer hitch.

Starting MSRP: $38,775

2024 Ford Ranger towing

Photo Credit: Ford

Ford Ranger
Max Towing Capacity: 7,500 lbs.

The Ford Ranger’s 7,500 lb. towing capacity sits slightly behind its competitors from Chevy, GMC, and Jeep, but the vehicle offers a lower starting price and better gas mileage. The truck’s 2.3L EcoBoost engine cranks out 270 HP and 310 lb.-ft. of torque while maintaining 21 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. It also comes in SuperCrew and SuperCab designs, with two- or four-wheel drive options.

Ford ships the Ranger with an integrated trailer hitch receiver, making it one of the few models that is ready to tow straight from the factory. The company does offer a $495 tow package that includes a 4-pin/7-pin wiring harness and a Class IV hitch receiver. All-in-all, this is a very capable truck at an affordable price.

New for 2024 is the Ranger Raptor, which upgrades performance dramatically. This model comes with a 3.0-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo engine that provides 405 HP and 430 lb.-ft. of torque. That translates to a faster top speed and better accleration, but this truck is more tuned for off-road performance rather than towing. As a result, the Raptor edition has a two rating of 5,510 pounds.

Starting MSRP: $32,565

2024 Toyota Tacoma towing

Photo Credit: Toyota

Toyota Tacoma
Max Towing Capacity: 6,800 lbs.

One of the most popular midsize trucks ever produced, the Toyota Tacoma has won legions of fans with its reliability, comfort, and highly capable performance. In 2024, the truck gets a significant upgrade with an all-new exterior design, better technology, and improved safety features. That includes Toyota’s Safety Sense 3.0, which is standard on all models, giving drivers adaptive cruise control, collision alerts, and lane-keep assist.

The latest version of the Tacoma comes with a standard i-Force turbo-charged 2.4L, four-cylinder engine that puts out the same 278 HP as the outgoing model but has a much improved 317 lb.-ft. of torque. The optional i-Force MAX hybrid-engine takes those numbers to 326 HP and 465 lb.-ft. of torque. The standard motor gives the truck a towing capacity of 6,500 pounds, while the hybrid model drops to 6,000 pounds.

For those looking to go off-road, Toyota has introduced the Tacoma Trailhunter to its line-up. This model features an enhanced suspension and tuning, bigger shocks, off-road-specific tires, and other upgrades. This model—which is available with a 5- or 6-foot bed—is designed for the ground up for overlanding. It comes with the i-Force MAX hybrid engine and improved compatibility with third-party Tacoma accessories. In other words, it should perform exceptionally well when wandering off the pavement.

Starting MSRP: $29,000

best midsize trucks for towing

Photo Credit: Nissan

Nissan Frontier
Max Towing Capacity: 6,690 lbs.

The Nissan Frontier got a much-needed makeover in 2022, bringing more power and capabilities along  with it. The current-generation Frontier has a 3.8L V6 engine that puts out 310 HP and 281 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s enough to give it a towing capacity of up to 6,690 lbs. depending on the model and configuration. Options include King Cab, and Crew Cab trims with either 4×2 or 4×4 drivetrains.

Nissan offers a $505 factory-installed tow package that includes a Class IV hitch receiver and a 4-pin/7-pin electrical harness. It also comes with a tow-haul mode that helps the transmission to operate more efficiently when pulling a large load. Buyers can also elect to have a Class I-IV hitch ball installed prior to delivery without upgrading to the tow package.

Starting MSRP: $29,370

best midsize trucks for towing

Photo Credit: Vivian

Rivian R1T
Max Towing Capacity: 11,000 lbs.

The only electric pickup truck to make our list, the Rivian R1T offers some eye-popping numbers. Capable of towing up to 11,000 lbs. and going from 0-60 MPH in just three seconds, the R1T is in a class all its own when it comes to performance. This vehicle is filled with thoughtful design choices and innovative tech, giving it unparalleled off-road performance in this class. And with a range of up to 400 miles on a single charge, you can drive all day without stopping at a charging station.

The one caveat about recommending an electric tow vehicle is that pulling an RV can quickly eat into the range of the truck. While that is true of gas-powered models, too, towing seems to have a more significant impact on EV range compared to gas mileage. Still, the Rivian is a compelling option, offering a far smoother and quieter ride than the competition. It also doesn’t produce any harmful fumes and comes with a lot of nice touches that push it into the luxury segement of thismarket. All of these things make it the best option for drivers who have to tow a trailer but still want to go light on the environment.

Starting MSRP: $73,000

There you have it. The best midsize pickups for towing that are currently available. Keep in mind, most of these models are relatively new to the market, so don’t expect significant upgrades to occur for another two or three years. That means if you’re looking to buy a new truck, there is no better time than the present.

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