- September 23, 2019
American Drivers Increasingly Intrigued by Mid-Size Pickup Truck Class for Personal Use
Sept. 23, 2019 [CHICAGO] – The results of Cars.com’s (NYSE: CARS) 2019 Mid-Size Pickup Truck Challenge are in, and the 2019 Honda Ridgeline won top honors. With more Americans growing intrigued by mid-size trucks as an alternative to sedans and SUVs for personal use, Cars.com decided for the first time to publish a pickup truck challenge on its primary site rather than sister site PickupTrucks.com.
“Mid-sized pickup trucks are a class where brand loyalties are less ingrained than they are with full-size trucks,” said Jenni Newman, editor-in-chief of Cars.com. “We decided to pit two newcomers, the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator, against the GMC Canyon and Honda Ridgeline — two top finishers from a 2016 mid-size truck Challenge on PickupTrucks.com. The results come from intensive testing and have nothing to do with exterior styling or image — these conlusions can’t be drawn from looking at a brand name or a few photos.”
Three judges from the Cars.com editorial team individually awarded points in 19 separate categories for the competition. Because pickups are meant for work, the judges tested them both empty and with 1,000 pounds of payload. They also evaluated cargo boxes and provisions, ride, handling, fuel economy, front and backseat comfort and amenities, interior quality, safety and driver-assistance features, user interface, multimedia and connectivity, child-safety seat fitment and value. All categories combined for a possible maximum score of 600 points.
The points awarded to each vehicle resulted in the following ranking:
- 2019 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E AWD, 425 points. The verdict: Despite questions surrounding its “truckness,” the Ridgeline proved itself to be able to handle truck tasks while offering a comfortable cabin that was the most family-friendly in this test by far.
- 2019 Ford Ranger Lariat 4×4, 407 points. The verdict: The Ranger’s strength lies under the hood, where its powertrain proves that mighty things can come in small packages. However, an older interior and a tight rear seat hold the Ranger back from overall greatness.
- 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland 4×4, 382 points. The verdict: The Gladiator simultaneously has style and features no other truck can match, yet it falls behind in some of the basics at a price that bulges eyes as effectively as the truck turns heads.
- 2019 GMC Canyon 4WD Denali, 358 points. The verdict: With its stiff ride, numb brakes, unremarkable interior and dearth of advanced safety features, the Canyon felt outclassed in most respects.
All four trucks had four- or all-wheel drive, crew cabs and, in the case of the GMC, the shorter of two available cargo boxes. Sticker prices ranged from $42,965 to $55,840 (prices include the destination fee). To read more about the results, how Cars.com tested the vehicles, video of the competition, and a breakdown of the good and the bad of each pickup truck, click here.