Remembering the Midsize Trucks You Probably Forgot
In a world of ever-expanding vehicles, midsize trucks have not been immune to the phenomenon of model bloat. Pickup trucks, in particular, have gradually increased in size, with today’s midsize trucks often rivaling old full-size trucks. Placing the latest Ford Ranger or Chevy Colorado next to an older F-150 or Silverado reveals striking size similarities. But it’s essential to reminisce about the compact and midsize trucks that faded into obscurity as larger trucks took center stage in America. Let’s take a nostalgic journey and uncover some of these overlooked gems.
Suzuki Equator 2008-2012: The Undercover Gem
The Suzuki Equator may not ring a bell for most, but it’s worth remembering. This midsize pickup truck, born from a carmaker no longer operating in the U.S., is a rebadged Nissan Frontier. Often underrated and overlooked, the Equator boasts a unique charm that’s easy to forget.
Isuzu i-Series 2005-2008: The Forgotten Successor
Even more obscure than its predecessor, the Hombre, is the Isuzu i-Series. Based on the Chevy Colorado, these midsizers, ranging from the i-280 to the i-350, may have suffered from bad timing. The “i” prefix was all the rage in the 2000s thanks to Apple’s iPod, iPhone, and iMac. Yet, the i-350 boasted an inline-five engine, making it cool in its right.
Subaru Baja 2002-2006: The Coupe-Ute Hybrid
The Subaru Baja is not your typical midsize or compact pickup truck; it’s a coupe-ute, beautifully blending the characteristics of both car and truck. This unique fusion resulted in a comfortable road experience and versatile cargo space, making it an intriguing choice for those who didn’t mind breaking the mold.
Mitsubishi Raider 2006-2009: A Rebranded Twist
The Mitsubishi Raider is a prime example of a rebadged trucks. It’s essentially a Dodge Dakota wearing Mitsubishi’s diamond badge. This reversal of rebadged Mitsus sold as Dodge vehicles hark back to the days when a Dodge Raider existed, although it was an SUV closely related to the Mitsubishi Montero/Pajero.
Hummer H3T 2009-2010: Ahead of Its Time
The Hummer H3T was undoubtedly ahead of its time. It anticipated the off-road craze to come while pushing the boundaries of what midsize truly meant. Unlike the massive Hummer H2, the H3T managed to balance reasonable size with a relatively spacious bed. Built on the same platform as the Chevy Colorado, it embodied the midsize truck spirit.
Ford Explorer Sport Trac 2001-2005: A Unique Niche
The Ford Explorer Sport Trac carved out a niche of its own in the midsize truck world. Positioned between the Ford Ranger and Ford Explorer, it offered a different take on what a truck could be. Essentially, it allowed Ford to create a four-door Ranger and sell it in the U.S. The name, reminiscent of the popular Explorer SUV, was a strategic move to complement the best-selling F-150 SuperCrew without overshadowing it.
In the world of pickup trucks, size has always been a defining factor. However, it’s essential to remember the midsize and compact trucks that dared to be different. From the Suzuki Equator to the Hummer H3T, these trucks may have faded into obscurity, but they left a lasting mark on the automotive landscape. While newer, larger trucks may dominate the market today, these forgotten midsize trucks hold a special place in the hearts of those who appreciate their uniqueness.
Remembering these midsize trucks offers a glimpse into the ever-evolving world of pickup trucks, where innovation and individuality know no bounds. As we celebrate the giants of the industry, let’s not forget the trailblazers who paved the way for a new generation of trucks.