The Cheapest Trucks to Own May Surprise You

Every year Vincentric takes a look at ownership costs for cars, trucks, and SUVs. The company factors in the true costs of owning a truck, like insurance costs, miles per gallon, maintenance costs and more to determine the cheapest vehicles to own. This year, it ranked the Jeep Gladiator and Ford F-150 as the best buys for certified pre-owned for the second year, or CPO, trucks. What makes these two winners?

How does Vincentric determine the best value?

The best value midsize trucks include the Jeep Gladiator
A 2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon | Jeep

Vincentric says it measures the cost of ownership of a vehicle by factoring in fuel, insurance, opportunity cost, repairs, fees and taxes. It ranks car, truck and SUV models and determines which has the lowest cost in their segment. This year’s 2023 Best CPO Value Awards are Vincentric’s 10th annual awards.

The company measures to the model level but not the trim level. That means that some, such as the Chevy Silverado, may get dinged for having thirsty, expensive, off-road versions like the ZR2 or Ram with the TRX truck.

The 2023 Jeep Gladiator is the cheapest small or mid-size truck to own

The Jeep Gladiator takes home the award in the small/mid-size pickup category. Its operating costs are 5.9% lower than expected, and it outpaced six competitors. It’s a bit of a shock considering the Ford Maverick can get about 40 MPG in town. But, the Jeep is a basic truck, not a hybrid like the Maverick, which means that its basic running could be lower. Because it’s basic, you even spec it with a fun manual transmission.

“Real” truck fans tend to pass on the Gladiator, but it does truck stuff as well as any truck, and the top comes off. It can tow an amazing 7,650 pounds, and up to 1,700 pounds of payload. It’s based on a Jeep Wrangler, so it handles and drives like a Wrangler, which is to say not that great on the road, but amazing on the trails.  It has smallish 5.0-foot bed, and its V6 makes 285 horsepower, though a Diesel Gladiator is available. The Gladiator

The Ford F-150 is the cheapest full-sized truck to own

Promo photo of a dark gray Ford F-150 powerboost hybrid truck driving down a country road, a fence visible in the background.
2023 Ford F-150 PowerBoost | Ford Motor Company
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The Ford F-150 takes the full-sized truck award for having the lowest operating costs in its class. Ford has also equipped many new F-150s with EcoBoost engines, which are turbocharged six-cylinders that make as much power as the old V8s, and those contributing to the F-150 getting the best fuel economy in its class. The F-150 also has the lowest operating costs and the lowest insurance premium.

For 2023, the Ford F-150 starts at $33,695. But, the truck seems to have more options than ever before, from the new hybrid-powered version to the useful Pro Power Onboard which adds household current to the bed. This year, the special versions of the F-150 earned a lot of attention, from the new F-150 Lighting to the impressive 700-horsepower Raptor R. But at its core, the F-150 is North America’s go-to truck for work and play.