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Like everything else, truck prices have grown exponentially in the last few years. With a budget of $35,000, there are far fewer options. The good news is that two of the best pickup trucks of 2023 come from Ford and Ram. If there is anyone to trust with building a cheap truck, it is probably these two well-respected brands.

What are the best pickup trucks of 2023?

Selecting the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 as the best pickup trucks of 2023 would probably be a safe bet if your life depended on it. U.S. News says the base 2023 Ford F-150 XL trim has plenty to offer, starting at only $33,695. This version has a two-door XL regular cab and a 5.5-foot bed, with plenty of space for most people.

The 2023 F-150 XL trim gets a 3.3L V6 engine that offers 290 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. Ford offers seven different engine options for the 2023 F-150, all the way up to the 700 horsepower 5.2L V8 found in the Raptor R. That base engine can tow 5,000 pounds and still gets the job done.

Ford also added plenty of standard safety systems to all trim levels this year. This includes Forward collision warning, Automatic emergency braking, and Automatic high-beam headlights. The base trim also gets an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, a rearview camera, and multiple USB ports.

Ram makes one of the best pickup trucks of 2023

The Ram 1500 is another best pickup truck of 2023
A 2023 Ram 1500 Tradesman | Ram

The Ram 1500 also landed on the list of best pickup trucks of 2023 with an MSRP of only $30,695. Even though the truck has some aggressive styling on the outside, the inside is quite comfortable. For the cheapest option, the base Tradesman trim comes with the extended Quad Cab.

The Ram 1500 Tradesman has a 3.6L V6 engine with 305 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. Ram offers four engine choices in total, with the most powerful option being the 6.2L V8 with 702 horsepower that comes in the TRX. The base engine can still tow 7,690 pounds when properly equipped, too.

The lack of features is one area that holds the 2023 Ram 1500 back. You get cloth or vinyl upholstery, a small five-inch infotainment screen, and Bluetooth. Ram includes a rearview camera and some USB ports. Anything like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, or lane-departure warning is an available option. Regardless, the Ram 1500 is one of the best pickup trucks on the market.

The best affordable trucks cost under $35K

The 2023 Ford F-150 off--roading over rocks
2023 Ford F-150 | Ford

With no added options, the 2023 Ford F-150 is $35,590, with the $1,895 destination fee included. Ford estimates the monthly payment to be around $498 for the base model, which seems doable in an economy with $1,300 monthly payments.

Ram doesn’t seem to allow you to build this exact 1500 Tradesman online right now, which could mean the configuration is unavailable. The cheapest 2023 Ram 1500 Tradesman online starts at $37,905 with 4×2 and a 6’4″ Quad Cab. With nothing else added, that works out to $39,900 with the $1,995 destination fee. There might be a cheaper one available already built. Ram says this works out to around $621 a month.

There are many trucks out there this year, but these are the best pickup trucks of 2023 that can still be found pretty cheap. Adding a package for safety or towing is always advisable if there is any additional wiggle room in the budget.


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