Compact/Midsize Trucks With Highest Towing Capacity [2023 Edition]
Michael Collado is a car buying expert and has been a professional automotive writer since 2009. He’s written about dealership sales, vehicle reviews and comparisons, and service and maintenance for over 100 national automotive dealerships. Previously, Collado was a copywriter at the ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day where he worked on brand campaigns for Nissan, ABC Television, Sony PlayStation, and Energizer. His recognition in the ad industry includes awards from Communication Arts and The Clios.
Collado has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Marketing.
Discover which Midsize Tuck is Ideal for Your Towing Needs
Midsize trucks offer a balance of capability and maneuverability, making them a popular choice for drivers who need a vehicle for both work and play.
We've taken a closer look at the towing capabilities of all nine midsize trucks currently available in the North American market.
It should be noted that midsized trucks can also be categorized as compact trucks. Since the term midsized truck is more often used, we will refer to this class of vehicles as midsized trucks more often throughout the article.
Looking for more models? Check out our full list of trucks with the highest towing capacity >>
Table of Contents
- What to Consider When Shopping for a Midsize Truck with Good Towing Capability
- Midsize Trucks by Towing Capacity
- Top Midsize Trucks for Towing
- Best Car Deals by Category
What to Consider When Shopping for a Midsize Truck with Good Towing Capability
When shopping for a truck with good towing capability, there are several key factors to consider:
- Engine Power: A powerful engine is essential for towing heavy loads. Look for a truck with an engine that has ample horsepower and torque, as this will provide the necessary pulling power for your towing needs.
- Transmission: A transmission with a lower gear ratio will provide better towing power and performance. Look for a truck with a transmission that's designed for towing, such as a heavy-duty automatic or manual transmission.
- Towing Package: Many midsize or compact trucks come with an optional towing package that includes features like a hitch receiver, wiring harness, trailer brake controller, and upgraded cooling systems. Be sure to consider a truck with a factory-installed towing package, as it will make towing safer and easier.
- Suspension: A truck with a heavy-duty suspension system is better equipped to handle the weight of a trailer. Look for a truck with a suspension that's designed for towing, such as a rear air suspension or a heavy-duty leaf spring suspension.
- Payload Capacity: The truck's payload capacity refers to the amount of weight it can carry in the bed or cab. Make sure to consider the payload capacity of the truck, as this will affect how much weight you can safely tow.
- Wheelbase: A longer wheelbase can provide greater stability when towing. However, a longer wheelbase can also make the truck harder to maneuver in tight spaces. Consider the trade-offs between stability and maneuverability when selecting a truck with good towing capability.
- Trailer Weight: Finally, it's important to consider the weight of the trailer you plan to tow. Be sure to choose a truck with a towing capacity that's sufficient for the weight of your trailer, plus any additional cargo or passengers you plan to carry.
Midsize Trucks by Towing Capacity
|Max Towing Capacity
|Unique Towing Feature
|Hyundai Santa Cruz
Top Midsize Trucks for Towing
1. Chevy Colorado
The Chevy Colorado offers a maximum towing capacity of up to 7,700 pounds when properly equipped with the available diesel engine. It also features an available trailering package with a trailer brake controller, hitch receiver, and seven-pin connector. Other available features that can aid in towing include a locking rear differential and an exhaust brake.
2. GMC Canyon
The GMC Canyon provides a maximum towing capacity of up to 7,700 pounds when properly equipped with the available diesel engine. It also features an available trailering package with a trailer brake controller, hitch receiver, and seven-pin connector. Other available features that can aid in towing include a locking rear differential and an exhaust brake.
3. Toyota Tacoma
The Toyota Tacoma has long been a favorite among midsize truck enthusiasts, and for good reason. This truck offers impressive towing capacity, with a maximum rating of 6,800 pounds. It's important to note that this rating applies to the V6 engine with the tow package. If you opt for the base four-cylinder engine, towing capacity drops to 3,500 pounds. Additionally, the Tacoma comes with a range of towing features, including a Class IV towing hitch receiver, trailer sway control, and an available integrated backup camera with a hitch view.
4. Jeep Gladiator
The Jeep Gladiator is a unique midsize truck that combines off-road capability with towing power. The Gladiator can tow up to 7,650 pounds when equipped with the available Max Tow package and the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine. This package also includes a Class IV trailer hitch, an upgraded cooling system, and a 4.10 rear axle ratio. With its rugged build and off-road prowess, the Gladiator is a great choice for drivers who need to tow and explore remote areas.
5. Nissan Frontier
The Nissan Frontier is a solid midsize truck with a reputation for durability and reliability. It's also capable of towing up to 6,720 pounds when equipped with the available V6 engine and the tow package. The Frontier's tow package includes a Class IV tow hitch receiver, trailer sway control, and a transmission oil cooler. It's worth noting that the Frontier is due for a redesign, with an all-new model set to debut in the coming year. However, the current model is still a capable and affordable option for drivers in need of midsize towing power.
6. Ford Ranger
The Ford Ranger has an available towing capacity of up to 7,500 pounds when properly equipped. It features a standard turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine and a ten-speed automatic transmission. The Ranger also comes standard with trailer sway control and is available with a range of towing accessories, such as trailer brake controllers and towing mirrors.
7. Honda Ridgeline
The Honda Ridgeline can give you a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, which can provide additional traction and stability when towing. The Ridgeline also features a built-in trailer hitch, trailer sway control, and an available integrated trailer brake controller.
8. Hyundai Santa Cruz
The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a new compact pickup truck that offers a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. It is available with either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, both of which are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Santa Cruz also features a standard trailer hitch receiver and available trailer sway control.
9. Ford Maverick
The Ford Maverick is a new compact pickup truck that offers a maximum towing capacity of 4,000 pounds when properly equipped. It is available with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 250 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. The Maverick also features a standard trailer hitch receiver and a range of available towing accessories, such as trailer brake controllers and towing mirrors.