GM Goes Big on Midsize Trucks

Gary S. Vasilash

When GM’s midsized pickups—the 2015 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon—roll out in U.S. markets this fall from the Wentzville, Missouri, assembly plant, they will be the biggest thing in the midsize category. The category consists of those two and the Toyota Tacoma and the Nissan Frontier. While that isn’t a massive segment by any means, it also isn’t something that is trivial.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 2015 Chevy Colorado


Last year, according to Autodata, Toyota sold 159,485 Tacomas. By contrast, it sold 112,732 of its full-size Tundra.

Over at Nissan, the number for the Frontier was 62,837. Its full-size pickup, the Titan, had deliveries of just 15,691. Nissan delivered more of its all-electric LEAF: 22,610.

Anyway, back to the midsize trucks.

Looked at from the perspective of length, the GM vehicles will range from 208.2 in. to 224.5 in. The spread for the Tacoma goes from 190.4 in. to 221.3 in. And the Frontier’s length is 205.5 in. to 219.4 in. Clearly, “midsize” is relative.

2015 GMC Canyon All Terrain SLE Extended Cab Short Bed Rear Three Quarter in Cyber Grey - in studio

GMC Colorado

The GM trucks lead in horsepower, too. There will be two engine’s offered, a 2.5-liter I4 that produces 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque.

Over at the Toyota store, there are also two engines. There is a 2.7-liter I4 that produces 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque, and a 4.0-liter V6 that produces 236 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque.

Nissan offers one engine for the Frontier, a 4.0-liter V6 that produces 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque.

Bigger and more powerful, that’s for sure. Better? We’ll see.  (But from what we’ve seen and learned, they carefully benchmarked the competition, so odds are in their favor.)

But clearly the GM engineers are betting their approach will gain significant traction in a segment that it has slipped in during the past several years.