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In 2022, buying a truck can be a significant investment. And that is true whether you are shopping for a new full-size truck or a used mid-size truck. Despite the rising costs of trucks and the craziness of the current used market, there are still worthy mid-size trucks out there that you can find for under $20,000. With these three used pickup trucks from Honda, Nissan, and Toyota, you can get reliability, utility, and the benefits of truck ownership, all without having to break the bank.

3. 2013 Honda Ridgeline

A Honda Ridgeline mid-size truck sits on display at an auto show.
Honda Ridgeline | Todd Korol via Getty Images

Again and again, the Honda Ridgeline wins praises from critics and automotive journalists. However, that has not translated into big sales numbers for Honda. Still, we feel that this mid-size truck is one that deserves a second look, especially with its standard V6 engine and all-wheel drive.

Perhaps the main reason that the Ridgeline falls behind other mid-size trucks is the fact that it utilizes unibody construction. Traditionally, trucks have been body-on-frame which usually means the ability to handle rugged situations. That said, the Ridgeline can tow up to 5,000 pounds and does offer some unique features. Certain models offer an in-bed audio system, which is perfect for things like tailgating or camping.

Depending on what market you are in, Ridgeline models from 2013 can cost under $20,000. This makes for a solid value proposition when looking for a mid-size truck. 

2. 2016 Nissan Frontier

Much like the Honda Ridgeline, the Nissan Frontier has not really been a top-selling mid-size truck. That was, until recently with the release of the third generation of Frontier. We feel that Nissan’s mid-size truck is enough vehicle for most needs though. It has an available V6 engine and available four-wheel drive, although these two options may put a used Frontier above the $20,000.

Another benefit of the second-generation Frontier is that it did offer a manual transmission. While hand-made shifts are not for every used truck buyer, some may view this as an advantage. Especially if you are shopping for a 4×4 pickup with a standard transmission.

1. 2013 Toyota Tacoma

A Toyota Tacoma mid-size truck shows off its attractive styling in front of the water.
Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

If you are familiar with the automotive world, you likely know about the “Toyota tax.” This term refers to the fact that oftentimes, used Toyota models command a premium over other manufacturers, especially Toyota trucks. Depending on the configuration, it is possible to find a Taco truck for under $20,000.

Buying a Tacoma for under $20,000 may come with some trade-offs. You likely won’t find the same features as you would on a used Nissan Frontier at the same price, and you may have to deal with some higher mileage. At the same time, you will be getting the perceived reliability of a Toyota and you can benefit from the thriving aftermarket community that surrounds the Tacoma. All without having to pay to buy a new mid-size pickup. 

Should you buy a used mid-size truck?

If you need the capability of a mid-size truck but don’t have the funds to buy new, according to MotorTrend, buying used can be a good alternative. Today’s vehicles can certainly pack on more miles than models of the past, so even if you opt to purchase pre-owned, you can get a truck with plenty of life left in it. 

Just be sure to conduct the proper research and to arrange a test drive before you put money on the table.


Which Used Pickup Truck Should You Buy?