Trucks.com took a look at which midsize pickup truck had the most towing capacity and discovered that the Chevrolet Colorado with a diesel turbocharged engine is at the top of the class.
When looking at the specifications for each pickup, Trucks.com ranked them by how well they met the requirements for hauling a typical midsize camper trailer, which weighs about 5,200 pounds. Would-be towers, however, need to remember to add another 1,500 for water and gear. The bottom line? Unless you are going to stick to motorcycles and small watercraft, look for a truck that can tow around 7,000 pounds because that’s more than enough for most uses. Trucks.com selected each truck for the top engine choice for towing.
Here’s a rundown on the towing capability of the five midsize trucks.
The Colorado, when equipped with the 2.8-liter, 4-cylinder Duramax turbodiesel engine, has a maximum towing capacity of towing capacity of 7,700 pound when in a two-wheel-drive configuration. That’s more than enough for most uses. And that’s more than double the base Colorado with a gasoline engine. That punches in at just 3,500 pounds. By the way, the Duramax has decent power, producing 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The Colorado’s sibling, the GMC Canyon, has the same 7,700-pound towing capacity in the same diesel engine configuration. To get that much towing, you will have to purchase the crew cab only Colorado and the trailering package, which brings the starting price to $37,810 including the delivery fee. The GMC Canyon logs in at $40,900.
The Ford Ranger comes in second in towing capacity. Equipped with the automaker’s 2.3-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder gas engine, the pickup has a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 pounds. While that’s a touch smaller than its Chevy Colorado, it is still hefty for a midsize truck and will handle a broad range of towing needs. The starting price of a Ranger configured for maximum towing is $27,405.
The Toyota Tacoma has a single engine choice for all its models. With its 3.5-liter gas V6 engine, the Tacoma two-wheel-drive configuration can tow up to 6,800 pounds. While that is less than the Chevrolet and Ford pickups and it still provides substantial towing capability. But once you get below 7,000 pounds it is important to carefully calculate the weight to make you don’t exceed the truck’s limit because of the weight of water, supplies and gear that go into a midsize trailer. The Tacoma’s engine generates 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. The starting price of a Tacoma is $28,660.
With a standard 3.8-liter V6 gas engine, the Nissan Frontier has a maximum towing capacity of 6,720 pounds. But to get that, buyers need to select the two-wheel-drive king SV cab model and the utility package. That comes to $30,015 including the destination fee. Because the Frontier has an engine that produces 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, other less expensive configurations come close. The Frontier Crew Cab SV 4×4 Long Wheelbase model has the lowest capacity of all trims at 6,250 pounds – still plenty for the vast majority of customers.
The Honda Ridgeline has a low maximum towing capacity of 5000 pounds compared to other midsized trucks. That’s enough to tow a small trailer or outdoor equipment but those wanting to haul a larger trailer should pick a different truck. The truck is powered by a big 3.5-liter V6 gas engine that produces 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The starting price of the Honda Ridgeline is $36,490.