5 Best Midsize Trucks for the Money Start Under $35,000

Pick-ups are very expensive cars these days. Full-size examples now start north of $40,000, and four-wheel-drive capability costs even more. Furthermore, it is inappropriate to use them if the owners live in urban built-up areas where parking is at a premium. Fortunately, the midsize truck segment has expanded in recent years, giving potential buyers a smaller, utilitarian option.

It recently compiled a list of the best value midsize trucks. Although top-of-the-line trim levels with all the bells and whistles may cost near the MSRP of a full-size truck, many start under $30,000.

. The XL SuperCrew is the first of three trim levels, and the 191-horsepower engine delivers 40 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. A 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-four engine will lower fuel economy but add an impressive amount of performance. All-wheel drive is only available on top trim levels, but every Maverick is easy to drive and maneuver in tight spaces. On top of that, the 4.5-foot bed will hold 4 by 8 sheets of drywall and plywood, and the tow is rated at 2,000 at the base, which jumps to 4,000 with the optional tow package.

#2: Hyundai Santa Cruz

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Night | Hyundai

Based on the Hyundai Tucson crossover, a 281-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. While its 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway aren’t the best, the Santa Cruz is very quick. Furthermore, it has a useful canopy bed with lockable storage compartment underneath. Maximum towing capacity is 1,650 pounds on the base SE starting at $25,700, the lowest of the five trim levels. However, when equipped with all-wheel drive and optional trailer brakes, the Santa Cruz can tow 5,000 pounds.

No. 3: Nissan Frontier

Midsize truck
2023 Nissan Frontier | April

Although more expensive at $30,485, the Nissan Frontier offers updated styling, upgraded technology, and safety improvements. The 4-seater comes in 4 trim levels, in both King and Crew cab configurations, with five or six foot beds. A 3.8-liter V6 making 310 horsepower with a nine-speed automatic will power the rear wheels, and all-wheel drive is optional. Fuel efficiency is 17 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, which is slightly more in the rear-wheel-drive-only variants. The Frontier’s at 6,720 pounds is better than the unibody Maverick and Santa Cruz. However, it falls short of traditional chassis-mounted midsize trucks.

#4: Ford Ranger

Midsize truck
2022 Ford Ranger Tremor Lariot | stronghold

Sitting between the Maverick and the F-150, the Ford Ranger stands out for its great value, muscular strength and fun driving experience. However, the ride is a tad on the firm side. Potential buyers can get in on the Ranger’s 270-hp, turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder for just under $30,000. But the all-wheel drive version of the three lowest trim levels is even more. Still, 20 mpg city and 24 mpg highway isn’t bad for such an off-road-ready truck. Base Rangers have a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, but properly equipped, they can tow 7,500 pounds.

No. 5: Chevrolet Colorado

Midsize truck
2023 Chevrolet Colorado LT | Chevrolet

The Colorado seats four and comes in four levels, with a five-foot-two-inch or six-foot-two-inch box. The turbocharged 2.7-liter in-line will deliver 237 horsepower, as well as 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. However, it will deliver 310 horsepower and the midsize truck division’s best 430 pound-feet of torque. While the base WT comes in at just over $30,000, the top two of the four trim levels are in the mid-to-upper $40,000 range. While the base engine in the WT and LT grades only manages 3,500 pounds of towing power, the Z71 and Trail Boss packages push that to 7,700 pounds. That’s more than any example in the midsize pickup truck segment. However, that number drops to 6000 lb. for the off-road ZR2.

Which is the highest rated of the best value midsize trucks?

Due to its great popularity and lack of competitors, it is a mid-size truck, although it is technically a mini. It offers a wide variety of trim levels, from its economy base model to the heavy-tech Lariat. For those seeking practicality in confined spaces, there’s little that can beat the Maverick.

On the other hand, if space and size aren’t a concern, the Ford Ranger is worth noting. It offers a wide range of trim levels, cab configurations, powerful engines, and impressive off-road performance. The Ranger’s 10-speed automatic transmission is also perfectly tuned, providing excellent response and better fuel economy than many competitors.

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