Many truck buyers are looking for midsize trucks trucks perfectly balance efficiency, capacity and operating costs. If you’re considering buying a used truck, here are three midsize models, and specific model years, to consider.
2005-2020 Nissan Frontier
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Nissan Frontier midsize pickup trucks are easily one of the best values on the used truck market. The automaker built the second-generation Frontier from 2005 to 2020. As a result, Nissan had plenty of time to correct any problem areas, and for 2017, the Titan earned an incredible 85/100 predicted reliability score from JD Power. But know that its interior features and technology lagged a bit behind its contemporaries.
Like its competitor, the Tacoma, you can get a Frontier with an I4 or a V6. This I4 may have been the only real weak point of the Frontier. According to US News, the entry-level engine produced a measly 152 horsepower, but its mileage was almost as bad as the V6. Therefore, most Frontier buyers are looking for the 261-horsepower V6.
Read how Nissan doubled Frontier sales.
2003-2012 GMC Cannon/Chevrolet Colorado
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General Motors built the first generation GMC Canyon/Chevy Colorado between 2003 and 2012. The company’s strategy to compete with the Toyota Tacoma was to offer the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado midsize trucks in every conceivable configuration, with every possible transmission. Do you want a standard cab, short bed, with an I4? You could order it. Need a four-door midsize pickup with a 300-horsepower V8? You could buy that too.
The reviewers in engine trend concluded that you can’t go wrong with any of the first generation Canyon/Colorado transmissions. Some promise better fuel economy while others offer more grunt, but all are reliable. These trucks are known for interior build quality that doesn’t stand the test of time very well, so you may be chasing electric gremlins or charred plastics. But the 2003-2012 GMC Canyon/Chevrolet Colorado doesn’t hold its value as well as a Tacoma. As a result, you can get a lot of truck for your money.
Find out which midsize truck has a solid front axle.
Toyota Tacoma 2017
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When many people think of midsize trucks, they think of the Toyota Tacoma. This is evident in Tacomas’ high resale values of any configuration command on the used market. Only certain versions of the Jeep Wrangler hold their value better than Toyota Tacomas. If you’re looking to buy a Tacoma, the bad news is that you’re unlikely to find a cheap one. The good news is that you will probably be able to recover most of your investment. For this reason, many buyers opt for a new Tacoma.
So how reliable is the famous Tacoma? JD Power gave the 2017 truck a predicted reliability score of 79/100. That’s not as high as you’d expect, so what’s all the fuss about? First of all, even the Tacoma’s V6 engine doesn’t make enough power to really push its transmission or axles. Second, many of these trucks mostly travel miles of highway and thus last hundreds of thousands of them. An advantage to the Tacoma is how capable it is if you choose to take it off-road. Keep in mind that 2017 was the first year of the TRD Pro version that came with a factory lift, skid plates, and a performance exhaust system.
Read about the current drop in Toyota Tacoma sales or check out some of the best used midsize trucks in the video below:
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