Unlike cars and SUVs, buying a reliable used truck can be tricky because they’re typically used for working on a construction job site or other heavy lifting and towing duties. And if you’re shopping for a reliable truck on a strict budget, then you might think that your options are limited. But don’t worry, there is hope. Here are five reliable trucks that you can find for under $10,000.
2009-2014 Ford F-150
No truck-buying list would be complete without starting it off with the Ford F-150, more specifically the 12th generation one produced from 2009 to 2014. The F-150 has actually been around since 1977 and given it versatility, dependability, and reliability, it’s no wonder as to why it’s still America’s best-selling truck.
According to Auto Evolution, this generation of the Ford F-150 will give you a “decent-looking cabin,” a variety of engine choices, and some modern technologies. Just note that the 4.6-liter V8 engine found in the 2009-2010 models were known for having reliability issues, so it’s advisable to shop for the 2011 models and above.
These F-150 models were available with a 302-hp V6, a 365-hp EcoBoost V6, 360-hp Coyote V8 engine, all of which are far more reliable than the aforementioned 4.6-liter V8. Otherwise, you can easily find F-150s in this vintage selling for well under $10,000 nationwide.
2005-2015 Toyota Tacoma
We bet you didn’t think that you could find a Toyota Tacoma for under $10,000, did you? If so, we don’t blame you considering the market for this particular is usually through the roof, but you just need to go back a little farther and look for one between 2005 to 2015.
The second-generation Tacoma came with a 2.7-liter, four-cylinder engine or a 4.0-liter V6, and no matter which one you choose, you can bet that it will be dead-on reliable. In fact, many of the filed complaints on Car Complaints for that year range of the Tacoma are for issues with the radio and other cosmetic problems as opposed to any serious mechanical issues, so no worries there.
And if you want to keep your Tacoma purchase below $10,000, then you’ll find that many of your choices are limited to 2005 to 2009 models with a lot of miles. But again, you most likely won’t have to worry too much about that as many of them should last for years to come.
2005-2021 Nissan Frontier
The Nissan Frontier has been around for ages and it was redesigned way back in 2005. As such, Car Complaints lists the 2005 model year as the worst year to buy and many Frontier owners complained about transmission issues in the 2005 to 2008 model years, so avoid those ones, if possible.
However, with $10,000 or less, you should be able to find a Frontier with 4WD and either the 4.0-liter V6 or the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine.
2006-2014 Honda Ridgeline
While you may not think of the Honda Ridgeline as a genuine truck, since it lacks the body-on-frame construction and pure-bred ruggedness that most other trucks have, it’s still a reliable truck. If you can get over its uni-body design, you’ll be treated to an in-bed storage area, a dual-action tailgate, and a reliable 3.5-liter V6 engine that Honda still uses in its SUVs today.
For the utmost reliability, we would suggest finding a 2009 model and newer as there are far fewer complaints filed about them on Car Complaints. Additionally, you should have no issue finding a Ridgeline in this vintage for under $10,000.
2007-2021 Toyota Tundra
In case you’re in the market for a full-size truck instead, the Toyota Tundra is a solid choice. The second generation started in 2007 and is still going strong today. The Tundra comes with either a V6 or a V8 engine and is available in either rear- or all-wheel-drive.
However, to keep it under a $10,000 budget, then you may have to settle one in the 2008 to 2010 vintage with a lot of miles on the odometer. But you can rest assured that you’ll get a lot of life out of this truck provided you don’t get one in the 2007 model year, which has the most complaints.