Winner: Toyota Tacoma
Runner-Up: Nissan Frontier

There are no new trucks in this category -- there's no Amarok or world-market Ranger, and the new Colorado won't be here for a while (we hope it gets to America by 2013). But Toyota continues to refine its Tacoma line, with new options like the T|X and T|X Pro. Plus, it still has the most bed, engine, transmission, and cab choices. The Toyota also has the best towing capacity, but for power and towing and payload capacity, the Frontier is a close second.


Compact/Midsize Pickup, 4WD ext cab
Vehicle Chevy Colorado/ GMC Canyon Honda Ridgeline Nissan Frontier King Cab Toyota Tacoma Access Cab
Base price $23,840/$25,245 $30,060 $25,145 $24,310
Wheelbase 126.0 in 122.0 in 125.9 in 127.4 in
Base engine 2.9L DOHC I-4 3.5L SOHC V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6 2.7L DOHC I-4
Opt engines 3.7L I-5 $1000, 5.3L V-8 $7750 None None 4.0L V-6 $1555
Power, SAE 185 hp (242, 300) 250 hp 261 hp 159 hp (236)
Torque, SAE 190 lb-ft (242, 320) 247 lb-ft 281 lb-ft 180 lb-ft (266)
Tires 235/75R16 245/65R17 265/70R16 245/75R16
Fuel cap 19.6 gal 22.0 gal 21.1 gal 21.1 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 17-18/23-24 mpg (16/21, 14/19) 15/21 mpg 14-15/19-20 mpg 18/20-21 mpg (15-16/19-21)
Seating cap 5 5 4 4
Curb weight 3878 lb 4504 lb 4235 lb 4000 lb
GVWR 5300 lb 6050 lb 5690 lb 5350 lb
Payload 1379 lb 1546 lb 1355 lb 1400 lb
Max towing cap 6000 lb 5000 lb 6300 lb 6500 lb