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Automakers like to brag about the low MSRP of their full-size pickup trucks. But if you read the fine print, you’ll find this is for a truck with a base engine, often a regular cab, and a 2WD powertrain. In many parts of the country, 4WD is a necessity. The cheapest full-size pickup truck available in 2023 is the Ram 1500 Classic, and it’s the only one available for less than $40k. Both Ford and GM offer a regular-cab work truck with 4WD for just over $40k. Here’s how the three stack up.

You can get a 4WD, fourth-generation Ram truck for $39,750

Render of a mint green Ram 1500 "Classic" pickup truck in front of a white background.
Ram 1500 “Classic” | Stellantis

What the heck is a Ram 1500 “Classic?” When Ram redesigned its half-ton truck for a fifth generation in 2019, it did away with the two-door “regular” cab option. It also upgraded the interior, driving up the MSRP of the truck. The automaker knew fleet owners and budget-minded drivers would want an alternative, so it has continued manufacturing its fourth-generation pickup truck and badging it as the Ram 1500 Classic.

A 2023 Ram 1500 Classic comes with the same rear coil spring suspension and the same 3.6-liter V6 or 5.7-liter HEMI V8 as the fifth-generation truck. Its interior is not as highly rated, and it doesn’t offer the eTorque mild hybrid system. But with a $30,695 MSRP, you may not mind.

Ram advertises a 2023 1500 Classic with 4WD with a $37,855 MSRP. This amount is for a two-door truck with an eight-foot bed and 305-horsepower V6. Remember, Ram also has a $1,8950 destination charge. That 4WD Ram Classic will total at least $39,750 plus any dealer fees, registration, and insurance.

The 2023 Ford F-150 XL with 4WD will be $40,605

Silver entry-level F-150 XL with the "rattler" package parked on a rock pile for a promo photo.
2023 Ford F-150 XL “Rattler” | Ford Motor Company

Ford clung to a $29,990 MSRP for its entry-level F-150 XL for a long time. With global supply chain issues, the automaker finally needed to bump that total, so the 2023 Ford F-150 XL currently starts at $34,585.

That seems a bit steeper than the Ram Classic. But remember that this is the total for a current generation F-150. The F-150 XL beats the Ram 1500 Classic in technology, safety, and comfort. I mean, this year’s F-150 XL even comes with electric windows standard. Luxurious!

Upgrading your F-150 XL to a 4WD must require you to get some other options packages because the cheapest 4WD F-150 XL has an MSRP of $39,600. Like the Ram Classic, this F-150 is still a regular cab with a naturally-aspirated V6.

Ford’s destination charge and other fees come to $1,895; the automaker admits that you can expect to pay a $40,605 total for the above truck. Obviously, this may depend on your location and dealer.

The 2023 Chevrolet Silverado WT 4×4 will set you back $42,795

The 2023 Chevy Silverado driving on a country road
2023 Chevy Silverado | Chevrolet

The cheapest full-size 2023 truck from General Motors is its Silverado Work Truck (WT). GMC does offer the Sierra 1500 “Pro,” but this “Professional Grade” GM badge will run you at least $800 more than its cousin wearing a bowtie.

GM’s commercial division advertises the regular-cab 2023 Silverado WT’s MSRP at $38,195. But if you want to add 4WD, you’ll be looking at at least $40,245. On Chevrolet’s “build a truck” site, it calculates your total after the destination charge and other fees. According to Chevrolet, that two-door, 4WD Silverado will run you at least $43,645. Note that Chevrolet truck prices are regional, so check to see if GM offers your state a discount.

There you have it, the three cheapest options for a full-size, 4WD pickup truck. The fifth-generation Ram 1500, Nissan Titan, and Toyota Tundra are available with 4WD. But all of these pickup trucks only come with four-door cabs. This makes even their entry-level totals thousands higher than the three trucks listed above.

Next, find out the cheapest 2023 pickup truck with a V8 or watch the Ram 1500 Classic reviewed in the video below: