Trucks & SUVs

Best Used Pickup Trucks to Buy Under $5,000 According to Kelley Blue Book List Is Missing Some

Kelley Blue Book is one of the most trusted sources buyers go to when researching a vehicle purchase. If you are looking for the best used pickup trucks to buy under $5,000, the Kelley Blue Book list of the 10 best may be a good starting place. However, we’ve condensed the list so you can see all the best used trucks at a glance. Hopefully, this list will help you find your next good used pickup truck for a nice low bargain price under $5k.

Chevy Silverado pickup trucks displayed for sale at a dealership.
Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks are displayed for sale | Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The top 10 used pickups under $5,000

First, we’ll give a run down and list all 10 trucks. Then, we’ll go into a bit more detail about the top 5. So what are the 10 best cheap used pickup trucks?

a red crew cab Nissan Frontier from the 2004 model year with a dirt bike in the back is a perfect example of one of the best used pickup trucks to buy
2004 Nissan Frontier | Nissan

RELATED: Best Used Cars to Buy Under $5,000 According to Consumer Reports

In the 10th spot on the Kelley Blue Book (KBB) list is the 2004 Nissan Frontier. Then KBB list the 2007 Chevrolet Colorado in 9th and the 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 in the 8th spot. The 2003 GMC Sierra is number 7 and the 2003 GMC Sierra 2500 HD is in 6th place. The top 5 are listed in KBB as follows, with the best used truck to buy under $5,000 listed last.

The 2004 Chevy Silverado 1500

KBB writes that the Chevrolet pickup truck lineup isn’t as “flashy” as some of the others, but these trucks fly under the radar and get the job done. There is a lot of variety in terms of configurations for these older Chevrolet pickups. Whichever combination of bed length, cab size, and engine you need is probably out there somewhere.

a 2004 Chevy Silverado like this navy blue one is a good used pickup truck
2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 | Chevrolet

That’s one reason why this is one of the best used pickup trucks to buy under $5,000. However, know that for under $5k you’ll most likely find yourself in a 4.3 liter V6 variation with a regular cab and a long bed. In many ways it’s the ideal work truck.

The 2004 Ford F-150

In our 4th spot, we find the Ford F-150 from the 2004 model year. It’s definitely no secret that Ford F-150 pickup trucks are some of the best used trucks out there. For decades now, the famed F-150 has dominated US sales charts.

Ford Motor Company showed off the all new 2004 F-150 pickup during a press conference at the North America International Auto Show
A 2004 Ford F-150 | Bryan Mitchell/Getty Images

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KBB speaks to the reliability of the F-150 and the company’s slogan “Built Ford Tough.” According to Kelley Blue Book, a 2004 model year F-150 is a good used truck to buy under $5,000. It’ll boast the body style that was a little more square than the more modern generation, and come equipped with a 4.6 or 5.4 V8 engine.

The 2004 Ford Ranger

Yes, the all-new generation of the Ford Ranger is modern and, quite frankly, pretty stylish. However, it’ll easily cost you over $30 grand when all is said and done. One of the best used pickup trucks to buy under $5,000 is the Ford Ranger from the 2004 model year.

A line of used Ford pickup trucks at a dealership.
Ford Ranger | George Waldman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

KBB reports that the old school Rangers are still seen rolling around frequently, despite being out of production for 8 years. This durable used pickup truck is what KBB calls “the tough compact runabout truck.” You’ll find one for under $5k with either a 4- or 6-cylinder engine. It’s a versatile truck that is even great in the city, and parts are easy to source because very few mechanical changes were made during the life span of this compact pickup truck.

2000 Toyota Tundra

It’s no surprise to see a Toyota Tundra pickup truck #2 on this list. However, to find one in the target price range you’ll have to back about 20 years. It’s not a myth that Toyota trucks retain their value. The 2000 model year Toyota Tundra is one of the best used pickup trucks to buy under $5,000, according to KBB. It’s a good truck. And it’s a loved one.

The 2000 Tundra is bit smaller than the same vintage Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge Ram, according to KBB. However, that first generation of the Toyota Tundra is super reliable and capable for its size. The tow capacity is over 7,000 pounds. This used truck has a “tough truck nature, rock-solid V6 and V8 engines, and comfortable ride.”

2001 Toyota Tacoma

According to the Kelley Blue Book list, the 2001 Toyota Tacoma is the best used pickup truck to buy under $5,000. This is a good used truck with a history of reliability and loyal fans. It’s also maneuverable in a variety of environments––including off-road.

2001 Toyota Tacoma like this red one parked near the shore is the best used pickup truck to buy
2001 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

It’s a compact pickup truck with almost zero downsides. If you just want a truck that can go somewhere when you want it to, a used Toyota Tacoma is a prime example. 2001 was the first year we saw it offered with a crew cab configuration. The engine choices included both a 2.7 liter 4-cylinder and a 3.4 liter V6.

Missing a few contenders

While this is a great list, there are a few more used trucks that are worth including. The Dodge Dakota for example. This was Dodge’s compact pickup before it left the scene. It was a pickup truck that stood up to the like of the Ford Ranger and the Toyota Tacoma. You can find them pretty easily around the model year 2002. In fact, here’s one listed with just 108,705 miles for just under $5k.

a press photo of a Dodge Dakota pickup truck against a white backdrop
Dodge Dakota | Dodge, Ram Trucks

Additionally, there’s the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. This little truck was offered for a short time, but it is a pretty cool little truck. It’s another great used pickup truck to buy under $5,000. It was discontinued, but that doesn’t mean you don’t see them around. Here’s one for under $5,000 on Pickup Trucks.com.

a black Ford Explorer sport trac in a press photo from 2001
2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac | Ford