Affordability Report Reveals Best Pickup Trucks for the Money

These days, automakers are making trucks more comfortable and affordable than ever before. This new Affordability Report for 2023 lists some of the best pickup trucks for the money, with options from Ford and Hyundai. It is worth noting that the best pickup truck for one person’s needs may not be the best for another, especially regarding towing. A compact truck like the ones below might not have enough power, but there might be a towing package to increase capability.

The Ford Maverick XL is one of the best pickup trucks for the money.

Regarding the 2023 Cars.com Affordability Report, it will be no surprise that the 2023 Ford Maverick XL was the top pick. Starting at only $24,340 for this year, the Maverick XL comes packed with features and thoughtful additions. All-wheel drive is standard, and with 37 mpg combined, the annual fuel cost is only around $1,550. Ford says it gets 42 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

Ford’s Co-Pilot360 Package gives the Maverick a Lane Keeping System, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, and Automatic High-Beam Headlamps for $625. The three years, or 36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, and five years or 60,000 miles powertrain warranty isn’t bad either. Hybrid components get eight years or 100,000 miles of warranty only adds to the value. Overall, the Maverick is pretty customizable to most buyers’ needs while maintaining a reasonable cost. Ford knows a thing or two about making the best pickup trucks for the money, and the Maverick is certainly one of those.

Hyundai’s Santa Cruz SE is one of the best pickup trucks for the money.

For those not interested in options by Ford, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz SE compact truck has a lot going for it. Hyundai says the SE gets 23 mpg combined, which is 22 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Cars.com estimates the annual fuel cost is around $2,500. Hyundai’s warranty is five years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper and 10 years/100,000 miles on the powertrain.

This compact truck comes with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is an available option (it also comes on the higher trims). Either the standard 2.5L four-cylinder with 191 hp or the turbo 2.5L with 281 hp power the Santa Cruz. Some standard safety systems include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian and cyclist detection, and lane keep assist.

Don’t overlook the Ford Ranger XL

The best pickup trucks for the money include this red Ford Ranger XL
A 2023 Ford Ranger XL | Ford
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While the 2023 Ford Ranger XL jumps to $32,745, it is also larger and more capable. The Ranger gets 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, which works out to 23 mpg combined. Cars.com estimates the annual fuel cost is around $2,500. Ford has two available add-ons that might make the Ranger even better.

The STX Appearance Package adds 17″ tires, an STX Box Decal, and Halogen Fog Lamps for $1,095. The Ford Co-Pilot360 Package adds more safety features and upgrades. Adding the Trailer Tow Package increases the towing capacity and adds a four-pin/seven-pin wiring harness. Even without the additional packages, the Ford Ranger XL is still one of the best pickup trucks for the money.

Either way, these are the best trucks for the money in 2023. Most midsize trucks on the market for this year come with bigger price tags, but these compact options have plenty to offer. The Ranger isn’t new to the market by any means, but it does fit into many budgets.