Is the Pickup Truck With the Lowest 2023 MSRP Actually the Cheapest To Buy?
The total cost of new pickup trucks can be confusing: Each automaker advertises a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) that they want dealers to charge for their new trucks. But some automakers charge customers an additional location fee or service fee. And some dealerships jack up the total even further. The Ram 1500 “Classic” and Ford F-150 XL have the lowest MSRPs right now, but you may be able to get your hands on a Chevy Silverado for less than you’d think. Here’s the scoop.
How much does a full-size half-ton truck cost?
For years, every automaker offered a stripped-down half-ton truck for less than $30k. But starting in 2023, every current model starts in the mid $30ks. If you need four doors, you’ll pay more. And if you also want a V8 or 4WD, you can expect to pay over $40k.
Truck costs are in flux. Back in 2022, you had your choice of several full-size pickup trucks with entry-level MSRPs below $30k. But global supply chain issues have forced automakers to bump truck totals by hundreds or thousands of dollars.
What’s even more confusing is that every truck manufacturer is adjusting its MSRPs quarterly. Luckily, Edmunds.com keeps tabs on advertised MSRPs. Even more helpful, the website sleuths out the invoice price that the dealerships paid the manufacturer for your new truck.
The dealer’s invoice total is helpful because your salesperson will name an amount for that truck, and a savvy potential owner will make a lower counteroffer. Keep in mind that some dealerships will have to include a high location fee or service charge that they owe the manufacturer (here’s looking at you, Ram and Toyota). So they won’t be able to cut you too much of a deal.
For this reason, Edmunds also published an amount it suggests you pay for each entry-level new truck. Interestingly, Edmunds’ suggested total for the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT is lower than the Ford F-150 XL.
Which full-size pickup truck is actually the cheapest?
Ram is advertising a $31,445 MSRP for its 1500 “Classic.” Ford lists a $36,380 MSRP for its current F-150 XL, while a Chevy Silverado 1500 WT should come in at $37,395. But Edmunds thinks you can knock the Chevy down to $36,383 while the F-150 will hold at $36,832.
It’s difficult to say which new pickup will be the cheapest just because negotiating a total is part of getting a new truck. But if you look at what your local dealership paid for a new truck, you can see that a two-door 2023 F-150 XL cost them $34,824 while a Chevy Silverado 1500 Work Truck (WT) came in at $36,007.
That said, Ford dealerships must pay some steep destination fees, because Edmunds thinks you can pay less out the door for the Silverado. Remember, these are the totals for two-door “regular cab” trucks. If you want four doors, you will end up in the ballpark of the Toyota Tundra or the latest Ram 1500–just under $40k.
If you are researching multiple brands, your best bet is to visit a few local dealerships and ask for the best they can offer for a pickup truck. Someone may have a local incentive Edmunds hasn’t listed while someone else may insist on upcharging.
Is the Ram 1500 “Classic” a modern truck?
Ram’s 1500 “Classic” is a freshly-built example of the brand’s last generation of truck. This allows Ram to offer a cheap alternative to its latest four-door-only half-ton for fleet owners.
If you don’t mind a truck without Ram’s latest interior or mild-hybrid system, it can’t hurt to visit a dealer and ask what it would cost to get a Ram Classic. For some reason, Edmunds still insists $29,421 would be a fair amount for a stripped-down 2022 Ram 1500 Classic, though the dealerships will have to pay $30,349. Perhaps this is because these trucks are often sold as part of fleets, and bulk owners enjoy a discount.
Check out the MSRP, invoice, and Edmunds’ suggested amount for the cheapest trim of each full-size half-ton pickup truck in the table below. The first four entries list total for two-door pickup trucks, while the final three are unavailable with two doors. Finally, Edmunds has yet to publish data on the 2023 Rams, so the 2022s are included in the table.
|Configuration||Manufacturer’s Advertised MSRP||Invoice Amount Dealer Paid||Edmunds’ Suggested Total|
|Ford F-150 XL||Regular cab (2-door)||$36,380||$34,824||$36,832|
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT||Regular cab (2-door)||$37,395||$36,007||$36,383|
|GMC Sierra 1500 Pro||Regular cab (2-door)||$38,195||$36,775||$38,950|
|2022 Ram 1500 “Classic” Tradesman (2022)||Regular Cab (2-door)||$31,445||$30,349||$29,421|
|2022 Ram 1500 Tradesman||Quad cab (small 4-door)||$38,295||$36,835||$38,056|
|Toyota Tundra SR||Double cab (small 4-door)||$39,090||$36,293||$39,449|
|Nissan Titan S||King Cab (rear suicide doors)||$41,495||Unknown||$40,510|
Next, learn why many truck fans ignore pickup truck MSRPs or hear more about how pickup truck costs have increased this year in the video below: