Highly Optioned, Mid-Sized Off-Roader Sales are Soaring in America

Automakers are responding to the public demand for loaded, off-road-ready trucks, and it’s paying off.

byElizabeth Puckett|
Highly Optioned, Mid-Sized Off-Roader Sales are Soaring in America

Sales of mid-size trucks with a high-optioned off-road focus are driving the market. Pickups like the Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma are selling like crazy, and the new Jeep Gladiator pickup signals to more growth in the segment. 

Fresh off the heels of the Jeep Gladiator's L.A. Auto Show reveal, data from the analysts at Edmunds shows that cars are not doing so well, but trucks are hot, specifically in the growing mid-size market—with higher trim levels and off-road-ready models coming out even further ahead. 

Leading the performance trim levels is the Chevy Colorado Z71, accounting for 30.1 percent of sales. Not too far behind is the Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road, with a 24.7 percent share.

Trucks and SUVs have edged out the passenger car in popularity, with the "average" truck buyer changing dramatically. While the Ford F-150 is still the number one selling vehicle, as it has been for a long time, mid-size models are creeping up on the larger counterparts. Expanding every year over the last four years, the mid-size truck market seems to be doing particularly well with models that feature factory lift kits, skid plates, meaty tires, and off-road gearing. With more models entering the market, sales are likely to keep rising in the segment. 

"So it is really fertile ground, and if you think of how much those transaction prices are, there is so much gravy on that," said Jeremy Acevedo, manager of data strategy for Edmunds. "They are just making a fortune on those suspensions kits."

h/t: CNBC