Buy/Drive/Burn: 2018 Midsize Four-door Trucks

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
buy drive burn 2018 midsize four door trucks

Today’s Buy/Drive/Burn trio was generated by an interesting conversation last week over in TTAC’s Slack room. The recent resurgence in midsize truck offerings has presented buyers with much more choice than just a handful of years ago. Should buyers pursue surety in resale value, comfort, and the newest design? Is it possible not to buy too much truck?

Maybe burning some trucks to the ground will help us answer these questions.

All three trucks today are in four-door and short box configuration, as it’s by far the most popular build combination across the board. If this combination is an emotional trigger for you, stop reading now. Target price today is $35,000.

Honda Ridgeline

Honda updated its aged Ridgeline model with a new second generation for the 2017 model year. Gone was the dorky Element-like styling as the model donned a Pilot-inspired appearance. Today’s budget nets you a mid-trim Ridgeline Sport AWD at $35,170. Honda’s ubiquitous 3.5-liter V6 powers all Ridgeline models, providing 280 horsepower to all four wheels. A six-speed auto puts the power down, and owners can tow 5,000 pounds.

Chevrolet Colorado

Chevrolet’s Colorado is also in its second generation. In 2015 General Motors resurrected the Colorado nameplate, which had been in limbo since production of the Isuzu-designed first generation came to an end in 2012. Today’s model is the $34,000 short box LT, with a 3.6-liter gasoline engine and four-wheel drive. The selectable system is more flexible than the all-wheel drive Ridgeline, and can send all 308 horsepower to the rear wheels at the owner’s request. The setup in the Colorado allows for a best-in-trio towing capacity of 7,000 pounds.

Toyota Tacoma

With a longer lineage than the other two contenders, the Tacoma’s third generation has been with us since the 2016 model year. Each Tacoma generation typically runs for about a decade, so this one’s still in infancy. Writing a $34,340 check to your Toyota dealer grants access to an SR5 4WD model with a short box and Toyota’s common 3.5-liter V6 (Access Cab model shown above). 278 horsepower is at the low end in our grouping today, but towing capacity is a respectable 6,400 pounds.

Same price, roughly the same size, pretty different appeal. Which one gets the Burn?

[Images: GM, Honda, Toyota]

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2 of 71 comments
  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Jun 22, 2018

    OK so here's my take... Buy the Colorado (although I'd pick a GMC Canyon SLE - dealer has a leftover 2017 crew cab, short bed, 4x4 with tow package). They don't depreciate quite as insanely as you guys think. My father-in-law had a 1st gen (tin-can crap) and after around 200,000 miles he got into a fender bender. Insurance company totaled it out and gave him $6500 for it. Honest to god I thought it was worth $3500. I also like the size, right about where the 1989 GM pickups were. Drive the Ridgeline because we all know it's a more comfortable daily driver for the 90% of the time you're not doing "truck" stuff. Burn the Tacoma symbolically in front of Toyota's US headquarters. Burn it because the company is just running on reputation at this point.

  • Ilkhan Ilkhan on Jun 24, 2018

    Buy the Tacoma, drive the colorado (if I had to), and burn the not-a-truck. I would have bought a Taco if it had more balls. Ended up with a 3.5EB F-150. Because HP should never start with a 2.

  • Tassos BTW I thought this silly thing was always called the "Wienermobile".
  • Tassos I have a first cousin with same first and last name as my own, 17 years my junior even tho he is the son of my father's older brother, who has a summer home in the same country I do, and has bought a local A3 5-door hatch kinds thing, quite old by now.Last year he told me the thing broke down and he had to do major major repairs, replace the whole engine and other stuff, and had to rent a car for two weeks in a touristy location, and amazingly he paid more for the rental ( Euro1,500, or $1,650-$1,700) than for all the repairs, which of course were not done at the dealer (I doubt there was a dealer there anyway)
  • Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing by leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
  • Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.
  • Inside Looking Out I did not notice, did they mention climate change? How they are going to fight climate change, racism and gender discrimination. I mean collective Big 3.