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A popular used truck for sale, a black 2020 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition, is shown parked on a city street.

Let’s Check Out Four Fantastic Used Midsize Trucks

Midsize trucks are excellent, accessible options for anyone looking for a pickup but who doesn’t need all the extra size and muscle of a full-size model. Used trucks are terrific, convenient options for drivers who need a truck’s functionality and capability but do not want to pay the high price of a new model. Put these two things together, and you have used midsize trucks, which are (you guessed it) some of the most accessible options out there if you ever need to get some work done, enjoy yourself on your time off, and keep to a budget while you are at it.

That being said, if you start looking at used trucks for sale, even specifically midsize models, you will quickly be overwhelmed by an embarrassment of options. Trying to sort through all of that and narrow things down to a manageable level can be challenging. But fret not because I am here to help—you do not have to figure it out alone. Things become much simpler if you focus on a few models at once to get a sense of what they offer, so let’s look at four of my favorite choices when shopping for used midsize trucks.

The Honda Ridgeline

Kicking things off, we have the Honda Ridgeline, one of the most popular midsize pickups out there, which started with the 2006 model year. It is the perfect balance between a vehicle that goes back 40 or more years (looking at you, Ford F-150) and something that’s just been around a couple of years, giving you few options. You will find a couple of different generations for the Ridgeline: the first-gen model received a facelift in 2009, then another one in 2012, with a second generation that launched for the 2017 model year. That gives you a lot of great choices to consider, though I would look for one from 2017 or later, if possible, to get the most recent features on it.

A 2017 model will have a 3.5L V6 engine that delivers 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque; I know this because only one engine is available here. That makes things simple since you do not have to look for one with decent power, and Honda has come through with a solid powertrain that does not leave you wanting more. If your budget allows for it, you will do even better with a 2020 model, which received an updated nine-speed automatic transmission, and the standard Infotainment display went from a dinky 5.0-inch number to an 8.0-inch touchscreen. For something sleeker, go for one from 2021, when the Ridgeline received a facelift that gave it a bolder look.

The Nissan Frontier

Unlike many other midsize trucks out there, the Nissan Frontier goes back quite a long way—more than 20 years and into the 1990s. Its first generation, model year 1998, lasted through 2004, which is typical for a vehicle like this. On the other hand, the second generation of the Frontier kicked off in 2005 and ran through the 2021 model year, which is honestly crazy. There was an update and facelift for it in 2009, which means it ran without a redesign for 12 model years. The current third-generation Frontier launched for 2022 with some much-needed updates.

This presents you with a problem if you are looking at used Frontier models because you will probably want to go with something from 2022 or later, but then you are paying top dollar for a pre-owned truck. Your best bet is to dip into the second generation but go for the most-recent model you can find to get some decent features and options on them. The furthest back I would go is a 2018 model, with a few nice updates, like a 5.0-inch Infotainment display with Bluetooth support and cruise control as standard features. You are better off with a 2019 model, in which a 7.0-inch Infotainment display became standard, or a 2020 model, which introduced a new 3.8L V6 engine with 310 hp—the same engine you will find on new models today.

The GMC Canyon

Both parts of GM, GMC, and Chevy models have a lot in common, usually sharing a platform and basic engineering, but GMC gets more admirable features (in general). For example, the GMC Canyon is essentially the Chevy Colorado with a more sophisticated interior, making it a fantastic choice for a used midsize truck. First introduced for the 2004 model year, the Canyon is currently in its third generation; the first ran through 2012 when it took a few years off. The GMC Canyon returned with a second generation in 2015 and has been going strong ever since; this second-gen model ran through 2022 and had a facelift for 2021, so keep that in mind.

The furthest back I would go with the GMC Canyon is about 2018, which enjoys a boost to performance carried over from the previous year, along with updated available features like heated side mirrors and leather-appointed front seating. For 2019, every model received updated Infotainment software with expanded tech and safety options across more trims. On more used models, you will find things like a wireless charging pad and rear parking sensors. The facelift for 2021 makes models from that year and the one after both a great choice; an off-road focused AT4 trim also became available for 2021, which is perfect if you want a Canyon for the trail.

The Toyota Tacoma

Our most venerable option, the Toyota Tacoma, hit the scene with the 1995 model year, so it has been around and proven itself numerous times over the past almost-30-years. Its first generation ran through 2004, followed by a second one from 2005 to 2015, with a third-generation Tacoma launching for the 2016 model year. That second generation ran a bit long, but otherwise, the release cadence on Tacoma generations is about what I expect when looking at a truck—longer perhaps, but nothing like the Nissan Frontier. The third generation is as far back as I would go when looking at a used Tacoma.

If you are interested in an off-road truck, a 2017 Toyota Tacoma is an excellent choice if you find a TRD Pro model, which was not available in 2016. Several advanced safety features became standard for the 2018 model year, making it a winner in my book, including a Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, and Adaptive Cruise Control. A 2019 model is just as good; 2020 saw a facelift for this generation, including a refreshed grille, new LED headlights, and a 7.0-inch Infotainment display with an 8.0-inch screen available. Anything from then on is a great choice when looking at a used Tacoma, though the price will likely increase.

Which of These Trucks is Right for You?

It is easy to see that all four of these trucks have a lot to offer, so the right one for you comes down to what you are looking for and can easily find. I mainly focused on recent model years—as far as I’m concerned, with how much a used truck can cost, you might as well get the most from it. If you are on a tighter budget, you can undoubtedly go back further; keep in mind the years I pointed out with changes in generation or facelifts to get the most proverbial bang for your buck. With the impressive engines, advanced technology, and incredible off-road capability that these trucks have all displayed in the last five or six years, however, I would stick to these models to ensure you get a used pickup that you will enjoy driving for many years.