For years, all full-size pickup trucks started at under $30k. But the cost of building a truck has gone up and an increasing number of features have crept into even the base models. Today, the only new pickup truck you can buy for $30k is the Ford F-150 XL.
The 2022 Ford F-150 XL starts at $29,990
The Ford F-150’s base trim, the XL, starts at $29,990. For this price, you can only get a two-door, 2WD truck. But it’s also a full-size pickup with a fully modern drivetrain.
The F-150 XL’s base engine is the 3.3-liter V6. Ford pairs this engine with a ten-speed automatic transmission. Other features include auto engine start-stop technology, automatic emergency braking, an infotainment screen, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Some of the more basic features of this truck include manual door locks, manual windows, cruise control delete, cloth seats, and steel rims.
Why are other trucks more expensive than the F-150?
Many of the latest pickup trucks cost more than $30k. You can only buy the 2022 Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra, or fifth-gen Ram 1500 with a four-door cab, so they all start at a higher MSRP.
For the 2022 model year, Chevrolet has bumped its base Silverado’s price from just under $30k (in 2021) to just above $33k. If you want the GMC Sierra version, you’ll have to pay at least $800 for the upgrade.
There is one other full-size truck you can buy for $30k: the 2022 Ram 1500 Classic starts at $29,515. But the Classic is not a fifth-generation Ram 1500, it’s actually a freshly-built fourth-generation Ram 1500.
When Ram redesigned its full-size pickup truck for its fifth generation, it knew fleet truck buyers would want a cheaper option. That is why it kept offering its older truck as the Ram Classic. But the fourth-generation Ram 1500’s chassis dates back to 2009: the Ram Classic is intended for fleets and far from a competitive, new truck.
What’s the best deal at $30k?
If your budget is $30k, you can buy a Ford F-150 or less-advanced Ram Classic. You can also opt for a mid-size truck with some extra features. Finally, you could also buy a used truck.
For the same price, you can also have your pick of midsize trucks, and may even be able to spring for 4WD or an engine upgrade. But even those MSRPs are fast approaching $30k. Options include the Toyota Tacoma ($26,700), Ford Ranger ($25,500), Chevy Colorado ($25,435), and the GMC Canyon ($26,800).
Another $30k option is to buy a used truck. Consumer Reports says that a used pickup truck, even several years old, “should still have most of its useful life ahead of it.”
Read up on the differences between midsize and full-size trucks, or see a review of the Ford F-150 XL in the video below: