Consider a Nissan Frontier if You Need a Reliable Truck for Less Than $5,000

In the market for a good used truck but don’t have a lot of money to spend? You’re in luck. Autotrader has put together a list of the best used trucks you can get for under $5,000. Which trucks made the list? Why is the Nissan Frontier the favorite of the trucks on the list?

A pickup that likes to haul

At the top of the Autotrader list is the 2004 Nissan Frontier. It’s a compact pickup truck that likes to haul according to the team. With its rugged exterior look and reliability, the Frontier is the truck you want to get serious jobs done especially if you get the long-bed version. 

The team at Autotrader liked the models with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with its 143 hp output for fuel-efficiency. There are also two V6 engines offered in the 2004 Frontier. There is a normally aspirated V6 engine that gets 180 hp and a supercharged 3.3-liter V6 engine that gets 210 hp and 246 lb-ft of torque with the four-speed automatic transmission.

Other options like electronic stability control and tire pressure monitoring added to the compact truck’s great popularity.

The 2004 Nissan Frontier

The 2004 Nissan Frontier offered several trim levels and configurations. Its practicality and versatility are some of the best things about the Frontier. You can get a simple two-wheel-drive work truck with a king cab or beef it up with a supercharged crew cab with the longer bed. 

The 2004 Nissan Frontier offers two body types in the crew cab or the extended cab called a king cab. It’s available in several trims from the standard and XE models with the four-cylinder engine to the XE and SE models with the midrange V6 engine. The supercharged V6 went to the S/C and SVE models. 

You could only get the king cab and two-wheel drive for the standard truck and XE models. They offered only basic features like folding rear jump seats and front bucket seats. XE and SE models equipped with the V6 also had air conditioning, alloy wheels, and a CD stereo system with six speakers. The top-shelf S/C has the most to offer with full power accessories.

Those looking for the most power at a good price might consider the SVE model. It features the supercharged V6 and four-wheel-drive is available here. According to Edmunds, the Desert Runner models give you the look of a four-wheel drive but it is a two-wheel drive with the same chassis, stance, and ride height 

The runners-up


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In second place on the list, Autotrader has the 2003 GMC Sierra 1500. Like the Nissan Frontier, the Sierra offers a lot for the money. According to Autotrader, you won’t get a 4WD or a V8 for under $5,000. But the swankier version of the Chevy Silverado, the Sierra can haul and tow an impressive amount. It offers a lot of available features too if you want to pay for more like four-wheel steering and the top-level Denali trim.

The 2003 Dodge Dakota took third place with good reason. Ahead of its time, the 5.9 R/T could get up to 60 mph in just seven seconds. The sport version of the Dakota, the R/T is the first real midsize pickup truck according to Autotrader. While all that sounds good in a truck under $5,000 you do lose something in translation. Its payload rating is under 1,000 pounds.

You weren’t going to get a list without a Ford F-Series truck on it. In fourth place is the 2003 Ford F-150. The F-150 offers all the functionality of a full-size truck but drives like the smaller truck it is.  The 2003 models were the last model year of its generation, so there was time to work many of the flaws out. Autotrader likes the supercharged Harley-Davidson edition and the SVT Lightning version.