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For used pickup trucks, finding a budget-friendly option usually means something is missing. These are some of the best used compact trucks under $20,000 from brands you trust, like Nissan, Honda, and Chevrolet. In the event history of pickup trucks, these three compact options should get you started.

The 2009 Nissan Frontier is one of the best used compact trucks under $20,000

The best used compact trucks under $20,000 include the 2009 Nissan Frontier
A 2009 Nissan Frontier truck | Nissan

Upon reviewing the 2009 Nissan Frontier, U.S. News thought it was one of the best options for used compact trucks under $20,000. Even back in 2009, the Nissan Frontier had everything truck buyers might want. Nissan offered a variety of engine choices, and the Frontier was off-road capable, thanks to four-wheel drive. Buyers could opt for the base four-cylinder or the V6, which managed to get 19 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. When properly equipped, the 2009 Frontier could tow up to 6,500 pounds.

The Frontier received mixed reviews from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). On the moderate overlap front test and the roof strength test, it received good scores. This truck also managed to be the number one pick for compact pickup trucks in 2009, making it a choice worth considering.

Don’t overlook the 2010 Honda Ridgeline as one of the best used compact trucks

Next up on the list is the 2010 Honda Ridgeline, which came first out of other compact pickup trucks that year. Owners and experts agree that the 2010 Ridgeline is a well-rounded truck that offers comfort and utility. Some might even say it is more like a car than a pickup truck.

Even in 2010, this used Honda pickup received high scores from the IIHS on most of its crashworthiness testing. That includes the moderate overlap front, side impact, and rear crash protection tests. With its lockable in-bed trunk and available heated leather seats, the 2010 Honda Ridgeline is a good buy.

Chevrolet’s 2016 Colorado is another good pick


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Coming in first for compact pickup trucks that year, the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado is pretty modern and capable. It has a maximum towing capacity of 7,700 pounds and can seat between two and five passengers. Buyers could opt for a 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine this year, bumping the horsepower from 181 hp to 305 hp.

The 2016 Chevrolet Colorado received a good rating on the moderate overlap front test, but that was all. Compared to the other options from this year, some of the competition might have better safety scores. Those options also might be out of budget, depending on the mileage.

While the best used compact trucks under $20,000 might not be a long list, these are some excellent choices to get you started. Don’t be afraid to expand your search if you aren’t finding enough pickup trucks within budget. There might be a better option outside of your immediate area.