I am Buying an SUV and a Truck for $80K Cash: Chevy, Honda, or Toyota? (Ask TFLtruck)

2017 pickup truck tail lights tacoma canyon f-150 ford ridgeline super duty sierra
Which midsize truck to buy? Chevy, Honda or Toyota?

We recently received the following question from David D.

I’m in the position of purchasing two vehicles in the next week of so. Cash purchase with a maximum combined budget for both vehicles of $80k. My trade-in vehicles are a 2016 (pre-facelift) Ford Escape SE and a 2014 Ford Fiesta 1.6 SE.

I’m looking at the following: a three-row SUV and a midsize pickup truck. I’m considering purchasing both vehicles from the same manufacturer and have narrowed it down to the following :

  • Toyota Tacoma Limited and Highlander Limited AWD
  • Honda Ridgeline RTL-E and Pilot Elite AWD
  • Chevrolet Colorado LT 4WD and 2018 Chevy Traverse Premier AWD
  • GMC Canyon SLT 4WD and Acadia Denali AWD


1. Is it worth sticking with the same manufacturer for both vehicles and using the dual purchase as a bargaining tool?

2. The three-row SUV is my wife’s vehicle. Shuttling the kids and family around and carrying antiques from time to time. Would a minivan be a better option? (Sienna AWD?)

3. Is there anything in particular you’d recommend we avoid?

4. I don’t think I need a full size truck. I don’t tow. I only carry household and garden items and the odd motorcycle from time to time. Is there one truck that stands out particularly?

Ultimately, is it just a matter of doing 8 test drives and deciding what we like?

Here is our midsize pickup truck mega-mashup!

There are so many good questions here, I am not sure how to start.

Since it does not sound like you tow or go off-road much, I would immediately narrow down the search to Chevy and Honda. The Colorado and the Ridgeline are comfortable daily drivers. The Tacoma is more off-road focused among this group. I am rooting out the GMC Acadia because the new Acadia is now much smaller than before.

All of the other three-row crossovers you listed are great and fairly roomy, with the Chevy Traverse being the largest. There is just one big caveat.  We have not yet tested the all-new 2018 Chevy Traverse, so we cannot comment on its driving ability and features.

What do you guys think? What suggestions do you have for David?

Here is our take on the new Honda Pilot and the Toyota Highlander.