LAKE LEELANAU, Mich. — Five years ago the midsize truck segment was a one-horse race. The Toyota Tacoma reigned supreme, thanks to a sterling reputation for reliability, great residuals and a fiercely loyal fanbase. Then in 2014, the second-generation Chevrolet Colorado burst onto the scene, injecting life into the stagnant segment and racking up nearly half a million sales through 2018. This led to the reintroduction of the Ford Ranger in 2019 and the new Wrangler-based Jeep Gladiator, that brand's first truck in nearly 30 years.
Although we've driven them all extensively, it was time to see which of these midsize trucks is really the best. We gathered them for a few days in the forests of northern Michigan. Six of us — four editors and a pair of video producers — were on hand to rate the trucks and document the whole affair. The goal? To determine the strongest one overall, using our bespoke scoring formula to see how each truck measured up in critical areas. These trucks have a tougher task than their full-size brethren. They need to pack comfort and utility into a stylish form, while providing value relative to the Silverado, Ford F-150 and Ram 1500.
Toyota Australia knows it has room at the top of its HiLux line for an even musclier pack than what it offers right now with its latest take on a TRD-badged model.
The company is no stranger to performance-tweaked HiLux packages, however, having dabbled in that segment nearly 10 years ago with the supercharged 225kW TRD HiLux 4000S.
Not long after Ford confirmed it is working on a potent Ranger Raptor, Toyota Australia has suggested that it may follow Ford’s lead with a more hardcore version of the Hilux.
In Australia, the Hilux is available in a host of sporty forms, including TRD guise, but speaking with Car Advice, the brand’s local sales and marketing boss Sean Hanley, said these models may not adequately match the Ranger Raptor.