The Best Used Compact Trucks Under $20,000 According to U.S. News

In the market for a budget-friendly used compact truck? If you are, you’ll be pleased to know that U.S. News has the inside track on the best used compact trucks under $20,000. Let’s talk about which affordable used compact trucks the organization chose to include in its list.

The Nissan Frontier is one of the best used compact trucks

If you’re on the hunt for an affordable used compact truck, you can’t go wrong with the Nissan Frontier. In fact, according to U.S. News, the 2009 Nissan Frontier is the best used compact truck under $20,000. U.S. News gave the 2009 model a 9.0 overall score, adding that reviewers praised the used Nissan Frontier for its “refined ride and great off-road capability, as well as its smooth powertrains.”

The 2009 Nissan Frontier wasn’t the only model year to make U.S. News’ list of the best used compact trucks under $20,000 either. As a matter of fact, the 2015 and 2013 Nissan Frontier also made the cut. While U.S. News awarded the 2015 model with an 8.5 overall score, it gave the 2013 Nissan Frontier an 8.4 overall score. U.S. News lauded both used trucks for offering a powerful V6 engine. 

The Honda Ridgeline is a used compact truck under $20,000

A silver 2012 Honda Ridgeline Sport in the wilderness, the Ridgeline is one of the most affordable used compact trucks
2012 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

The Honda Ridgeline is an affordable compact truck too. In fact, U.S. News tapped the 2010 Honda Ridgeline as the second-best used compact truck under $20,000. The organization gave the used Honda Ridgeline an 8.9 overall score. According to U.S. News reviewers, the 2010 Ridgeline offers up an exceptionally comfortable ride for a pickup truck. Its standard V6 engine provides more than enough power for most situations too.

The 2012 Honda Ridgeline also landed a spot on U.S. News’ list of the best used compact trucks under $20,000. U.S. News gave the 2010 model an 8.8 overall score. Most reviewers praised the used Honda Ridgeline for its “comfortable, car-like ride and relatively nimble handling.” Perhaps the only downside to the 2010 Honda Ridgeline is that it can only tow up to 5,000 pounds. Meaning, it can’t tow quite as much as most other compact trucks.

While U.S. News gave the 2011 Honda Ridgeline slightly lower ratings, it did include it among its picks for the best used compact trucks under $20,000. Similar to the 2010 and 2012 models, reviewers found that the 2011 Ridgeline boasts a “more refined ride than most other trucks.” Unfortunately, some reviewers weren’t impressed with the used Honda Ridgeline’s interior. “Some reviewers complained about the abundance of cheap plastics in the Ridgeline’s cabin, but others gave the truck high marks for offering ample storage space for smaller items,” U.S. News explained.

The Chevy Colorado is an affordable used compact truck

Perhaps the Chevy Colorado is more your style. The good news is that U.S. News tapped the 2016 Chevy Colorado as one of the best used compact trucks under $20,000. The organization gave the 2016 model an 8.7 overall score, adding that it was the winner of its 2016 Best Compact Truck for the Money award when the truck was new.

That’s not all the used Chevy Colorado has going for it either. According to U.S. News, the 2016 Chevy Colorado is an affordable used compact truck that offers “no shortage of utility.” In fact, the 2016 model offers several engine options, along with a max towing capacity of 7,700 pounds when properly equipped. And when it comes to its interior? This used compact truck offers plenty of space to get comfortable. 

The 2013 Toyota Tacoma is one of the best used compact trucks under $20,000

A navy 2013 Toyota Tacoma in the wilderness, the 2013 Toyota Tacoma is one of the best used compact trucks under $20,000
2013 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

Now, let’s talk about the 2013 Toyota Tacoma. According to U.S. News, the 2013 Toyota Tacoma is one of the best used compact trucks under $20,000. The organization gave it an 8.7 overall score, adding that it earned such a high score based on its “credible on- and off-road capabilities, spacious front row, almost-perfect reliability, and good ownership costs.”

Those aren’t the only reasons to consider this affordable used compact truck either. In fact, U.S. News also praised the used Toyota Tacoma for its reasonably smooth ride and comfortable seats. It also called out the truck’s towing capabilities, which best many of its rivals. As a matter of fact, when properly equipped, the 2013 Tacoma can tow a maximum of 6,500 pounds.

Choosing the best used compact truck is going to take a test drive

Shopping for an affordable used compact truck doesn’t need to be an overwhelming experience. In fact, U.S. News’ list of the best used compact trucks under $20,000 makes for an excellent place to start. As for determining which used truck is the best fit for your needs? We recommend getting behind the wheel for a test drive.

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