A great pickup truck is powerful, maneuverable, with plenty of cargo space, and a sturdy structural design. For most purposes, you also want a pickup that doesn’t cost so much that a few scuffs and bumps will break your heart. These factors combined often inspire buyers to look for a reliable used pickup rather than worrying about finding one new off the dealership lot.
Of course, not all pickups were created equal. Some pickups were designed to last for decades, performing both utility and personal transportation tasks and handing off reliably from owner to owner, and it’s these models that you want to focus your used-pickup buying plans on.
One of the best places to look for reliable information on long-serving vehicles is Kelly Blue Book. KBB collects ratings and reviews for vehicles of every make and model so you not only have the specs but also people’s personal accounts of how each vehicle performed for them.
So without further ado, let’s dive into the top 5 great used pickup trucks for under $5,000 according to KBB.
2001 Toyota Tacoma
Awarded for excellent ratings and performance, the 2001 Toyota Tacoma is KBB’s number-one pick for used pickup trucks under $5,000. It’s primary selling points include the fact that it is compact and incredibly reliable.
The 2001 Tacoma can off-road with confidence or become your in-town cargo solution. 2001 was also the first year of practical crew cabs, the cab design with four full-sized doors to transport friends and family as well as flatbed cargo.
2000 Toyota Tundra
Another 4-door pickup from Toyota is the 2000 Tundra. This was actually the very first year that Tundras were available and these trucks have been a hit since. A 2000 Toyota Tundra is incredibly reliable, considering it has lasted while in use for nearly 20 years.
he reviews are glowing for 2000 Tundras and those that aren’t for sale used have been used continuously for many years with no complaints about performance or durability. These trucks are also notoriously comfortable inside.
2005 Ford Ranger
Ford rangers are so popular and reliable that even though it was off the market for eight years, you still see them everywhere. While the latest Ford Ranger (available again as of 2019) will set you back $25,000, a gently used 2000 Ford Ranger can easily cost less than $5,000.
These highly reliable vehicles are not just functional but are also compact, which makes city driving and parking so much easier.
2004 Ford F-150
F-150s rose to dominance over the pickup truck world and, in fact, are the best selling vehicle in the U.S., hands-down. But you don’t have to buy a new one with all the bells & whistles when your real goal is to off-road or haul.
The 2004 model has some great reviews on KBB, reporting that it holds up incredibly well and those 2004 Ford F-150s bought back in 2004 are still humming along with now major repair concerns.
2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The Silverado is almost as well-known and popular as the F-150. The 2004 Chevrolet Silverado model came out with a wide variety of truck bed and cab selections so finding one used can lead to an interesting variety of options, all under $5,000 for a highly reliable used pickup. These pickups need just a touch of maintenance every now and then but are still going strong.
When you’re in the market for a pickup truck, you don’t need a shiny new one. What you need is a great deal on a truck that will do the job and be comfortable for passengers at the same time. All five of these used pickups can be found for under $5,000 and have fantastic reviews on KBB.