Autoblog Midsize Truck Comparison | Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, Jeep Gladiator

Autoblog Midsize Truck Comparison | Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, Jeep Gladiator

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.

Next-gen Toyota Tacoma And Tundra To Be Built On Shared Truck Platform

Next-gen Toyota Tacoma and Tundra to be built on shared truck platform

Toyota plans to use a new truck platform to underpin the next-generation Tundra and Tacoma, according to a report from Automotive News. Unnamed sources within Toyota revealed the news, saying the platform is known internally as "F1" and will be used in those pickups on a global scale.

Of course, the Tundra is a full-size pickup, while the Tacoma is midsize. This means that Toyota's truck platform needs to have a degree of modularity, similar to the company's TNGA platform that underpins both large and small cars. Toyota sources report that the shared platform is nearing completion, and we can expect to see a truck built on it as soon as the 2021 model year. If that's true, it's almost certain we'd see the platform hit the Tundra first. That truck's roots trace all the way back to 2007, and the truck is really feeling its age against the modern domestic pickups. We've also seen spy shots of a Tundra mule running around, trying hard to conceal what's underneath.

2020 Toyota Tacoma Sports Lots Of New Tech Features At Chicago Auto Show

2020 Toyota Tacoma sports lots of new tech features at Chicago Auto Show

Toyota just showed off what amounts to a mid-cycle refresh for the midsize Tacoma pickup at the Chicago Auto Show. Having been thoroughly redesigned for the 2016 model year, the 2020 Tacoma enjoys slightly different styling up front and a bevy of tech/comfort improvements. Nearly every trim level of the 2020 Tacoma will be getting a new grille and set of wheels. It's a minor change, but perhaps they're working off the old mantra, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The Tacoma has been the top seller in the segment for 14 years running.

A new infotainment system sits in the center of the dash now, with functionality for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and even Amazon Alexa. The SR trim will have a seven-inch infotainment screen, while SR5 trucks and above get the eight-inch unit. Every new Tacoma (except for manual transmission trucks) will get an upgraded JBL audio system to go along with the new screens. For your comfort, Toyota has added a power adjustable driver seat to most grades of the Tacoma — they were previously manual all around. If you opt for the TRD Sport or above, you'll get keyless entry. LED headlights come standard on the luxury-oriented Limited, while the lamps are optional on the TRD Sport trim.

2020 Toyota Tacoma Teased Ahead Of Chicago Auto Show Debut

2020 Toyota Tacoma teased ahead of Chicago Auto Show debut

Toyota on Tuesday announced it will show a new version of the Tacoma for 2020 at next month's Chicago Auto Show. The automaker released a darkened photo showing the top part of the midsize pickup truck's front end set against a mountain silhouette at dusk.

That's the extent of what Toyota is saying, and it isn't much to go on, admittedly. But it comes as the Tacoma, which was last updated for 2016, faces what figures to be stiff new competition in the midsize segment as the 2019 Ford Ranger and 2020 Jeep Gladiator try to muscle in on its turf. Toyota says that the 2020 Tacoma "storms" into the Windy City, which may or may not be some kind of clue about what's in store.

New Tacoma Is As Tough As Chuck Norris In Toyota Ad

New Tacoma Is As Tough As Chuck Norris In Toyota AdWhen the Boogeyman goes to sleep, he checks out his closet for Chuck Norris. Also, Chuck can hit 11 out of 10 targets with 9 bullets, play Russian roulette with a loaded gun and win – the list of jokes and memes is endless. According to Toyota, he is the man who can save the day, "a hero with all the right moves, and moves you've never expected".

2018 Toyota Tacoma Buyer's Guide: Get Answers To Your Truck Questions

2018 Toyota Tacoma Buyer's Guide: Get answers to your truck questions

Don't let its small(er) size fool you—the 2018 Toyota Tacoma is as tough as they come in the pickup truck world. This long-running compact truck has been a favorite of shoppers who want to take their vehicle off the beaten path. Revised for the 2016 model year, the Tacoma was given a freshened cabin and exterior, along with a choice of a four-cylinder or optional V6 engine. Tacoma shoppers can opt for rear- and four-wheel drive, and there is a choice of manual or automatic transmission with either engine.

Like the Jeep Wrangler, the Tacoma caters to a client base that demands a rugged truck that plays to a spirit of adventure. The Tacoma TRD Pro, TRD Sport and TRD Off Road trim levels come with features such as beefier shocks and suspensions, skid plates, an electronic locking differential and a Terrain Select system.

2019 Toyota Tacoma Trd Pro Gets A Snorkel

2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro gets a snorkel

The last teaser Toyota released of its updated TRD Pro line showed all three trucks, but they were way off in the distance so we couldn't see much. The teaser shown above rectifies the distance issue by zooming in on the 2019 Toyota Tacoma. Much of it is obscured by dust, but we can see at least one particularly unique addition: an intake snorkel.

For those who might not know, an intake snorkel can provide a couple of possible benefits for an off-road vehicle. They can help prevent the intake from pulling in water when driving through streams and rivers. They can also, as American Expedition Vehicles advertises with some of its snorkels, help reduce the amount of dust pulled into the intake by getting air from higher up. But regardless of the exact purpose of Toyota's snorkel, the point is that it's a useful addition for those who do a lot of off-road driving. It's also yet to be seen whether this snorkel will be standard equipment or an optional accessory.

Should You Buy A Used Toyota Tacoma?

Should You Buy a Used Toyota Tacoma?

The Tacoma has been around for some 25 years and Toyota has been in the small truck business for more than 40, so it’s no surprise the¬†Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular midsize pickups on the road. The Tacoma is at the core of a fiercely loyal and passionate enthusiast community that has many repeat owners.