The Mid Sized pick up can be summed up as a middle child, not the big brawny full sized truck nor the small entry level truck either. And with the plethora of SUVs on the market today where does a mid sized truck fit in?
Right in the middle of the SUV & truck market, the all new Chevrolet Colorado & GMC Canyon bring utility, bold styling and strength to quickly dying segment.
I was a truck shopper at the end of this summer and early fall (I eventually chose a mid sized SUV), but I really wanted a truck, problem was there wasn’t one that I could live with every day. The full sized trucks that have been pushed on us for the last decade (with very little alternatives in size), are extremely capable vehicles with every option imaginable. But if you are not a contractor or farmer (and don’t have a lot of parking space), it may not be the best daily driver out there.
In mid sized trucks there have been the venerable Toyota Tacoma and the soon to be extinct Honda Ridgeline. I took a long, hard look at the Ridgeline, a well thought out truck, its a Honda no doubt and its priced like one too. I guess the thing is its awkward looking and is more SUV with a bed than a full blooded pick up truck. And didn’t have the power (and towing capacity), that a lot of truck shoppers look for.
You also have the aging Nissan Frontier but its more small truck and there aren’t many of those either, the Ford Ranger has been gone a couple of years and thee just isn’t anything else out there. If you want power, room and some choices its big truck or crossover or small SUV.
Some critics are calling the new from the ground up Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, new variations of the outgoing Ridgeliner. Now I got a good look at the new GM mid sized trucks at this year’s Chicago Auto Show and no disrespect to Honda, but these trucks aren’t Ridgeliners. And they sure aren’t the inept previous generation of these trucks.
What midsized truck owners want is the full capability of a truck with less size and some fuel economy. They want to be able to drive their trucks everyday, handle truck like work yet not have a second mortgage to the gas station.
My late father (a long time full sized truck owner), called the full sized trucks “a grown man’s truck” and upon my first look at the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado at the Chicago Auto Show (pictured), I thought it was at first a full sized truck. That’s the first goal of GM, to make you think this is one of the big boys. Next is that it can work and play like the big boys and have their options.
And options it has. This past week was the Los Angeles Auto Show and the GM mid sized trucks got a lot of publicity, especially with the new option of a diesel engine. trust me nothing pulls its weight (literally), like a diesel truck. GM is saying the 2.8 Duramax truck will produce 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. That’s a lot of pull, a lot of pull.
The biggest thing that the mid sized truck market was missing was (outside of quantity), was variety and quantity. You can get the 2.5 liter four cylinder engine making 200 horsepower or for full power the 3.6 liter engine (found in the mid sized SUV’s, Chervolet Traverse, GMC Acadia & Buick Enclave), which puts out 305 horsepower. And you can cgo all the way up to a Z71 off road suspension package and tow up to 7,000 pounds. There’s the option for a five and half foot bed or full six foot bed.
GM calls these trucks “lifestyle vehicles”, I know its a truck right? But GM now has all the options to outfit it, bike rack, water sports accessories and bed option roght at the dealership that can be ordered at the time of purchase of the truck.
I remember over 30 years ago when my late dad was into off roading he had to find aftermarket manufacturers and installers to do that for him and try not to void the warranty so having so many options and upgrades available right away is great.
Speaking of upgrades this truck matches the connectivity and options of the fullsized truck but also has the interior more suitable for a nice SUV. They even have gone to have a floor shifter (no longer a column), for the truck and its just a more civilized place to drive and ride in. That’s huge to bring comfort into it.
So there you have it, new trucks and GM recharging a segment that could really use it, now lets see if people buy into it.
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