Trucks & SUVs

Top 10 Pickups Under $20,000

If you’ve been hunting around for a new pickup there are a gang of great ones to choose from, but they’re really expensive. Truck prices have gone up along with their popularity. But, there are also some great pickups under $20,000 out there that are affordable if you’re willing to go for a used pickup instead of a new one.

Trucks.com recently looked at a range of trucks to give you a list of the top 10 great pickups under $20,000. Take a look and see if there is something just waiting for you to investigate further.

2013 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab SL 4WD

Nissan Frontier | Nissan

Price: $18,000+

The Frontier has been produced in basically the same configuration as the 2020 models since 2004. That means a 2013 looks like the current model, and really only lacks a rear-view camera. Also, if there were bugs they have been eliminated after the first couple of years production, so expect the 2013 Frontier sorted out. It’s always toward the top of all JD Power reliability lists. 

A 261 hp V6 was available, with a towing capacity of 6,100 lbs. Fuel economy figures are 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway. You can buy a lot of gas with the money you save over a new truck.

2013 Toyota Tacoma Base 4WD V6

2013 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

Price: $19,500

You’ll look like you purchased a new Tacoma with as minor as the changes have been since 2013. Besides that depreciation is less as Tacomas are both in demand and have a high resale value. Adding an aftermarket audio system that supports Apple Car Play or Android Auto will give you all of the tech of the 2020 model for a much lower price. 

2013 Honda Ridgeline Utility 4 D Sport AWD

2014 Honda Ridgeline
Honda Ridgeline | Getty Images

Price: $17,000

Sometimes the Ridgeline gets panned by enthusiasts, but in reality, it’s not a bad pickup. Its unibody architecture means it rides and handles more like a car, which is not a bad thing. A 3.5 V6 putting out 250 hp scoots the Ridgeline effortlessly. The pickup bed is a composite, so a bed liner is not necessary. It ranks high in crashworthiness, and you know Hondas are reliable as the sun setting at night. 

2014 Ford F-150 Regular Cab XLT 4WD V8

Ford Regular Cab | Ford

Price: $18,500

As a single-cab configuration, the 2014 F-150 comes in at a great price for being America’s number-one-selling vehicle. It’s still a full-size pickup with a 360 hp V8. That’s a tall bargain for under $20,000. You won’t get the aluminum body, but you’ll save weight and money with the regular cab, something a bit harder to find than in years past.

2014 Ford F-250 Super Duty SRW 4WD

F-250 Super Duty | Ford

Price: $19,000

Moving up to an F-250 gets you an upgraded truck from the F-150s with the 6.2-liter gas V8. These heavy-duty V8 Fords spin a six-speed automatic. Two-wheel-drive can be substituted for the 4WD version for better savings. In the heavy-duty truck class the government doesn’t crash test nor does it certify fuel economy.

2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 Crew Cab WT 4WD

2014 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab | GM

Price: $19,950

Right on the fuzzy edge of our price cap the 2014 Silverado saw revised styling that many find much better looking than the current Silverado. That should help keep values up if you purchase a 2014 Silverado. A 4.3-liter V6 is standard with cylinder deactivation. Economy numbers are 17 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. Towing limit is 7,100 lbs.

2012 Chevy Silverado 1500 Hybrid Crew Cab 4WD

2012 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab | GM

Price: $18,200

In 2012 GM offered hybrid versions of its trucks, but the added price couldn’t justify the increased mileage. As a used seven-year-old truck it has evened out with its non-hybrid counterparts making it a good option for budget-minded owners. The 6.0-liter Vortec V8 will give you 20 mpg for city and 23 mpg highway numbers.

2013 GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab SLE 4WD

2013 GMC | GM

Price: $18,700

The full-size Sierra is just a slightly upgraded Silverado, but the price differences tend to even-out as used vehicles. With rear seats having slightly less space than crew cabs you still have the advantage of being able to load a large brood. A 4.8-liter Vortec V8 gives you 302 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque without cylinder deactivation. Towing capacity is 5,500 lbs.

2011 Toyota Tundra SR5 4WD

2011 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

Price: $18,000

Tundras hold their value so to get under the $20,000 cap you’ll have to settle for a 2011 model if Toyota’s full-size truck is what you want. With a 5.7-liter V8 you get 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque with maximum towing capacity of 9,200 lbs. That figure tops this list.

2011 Ford Ranger Supercab 4D Sport

2011 Ford Ranger Supercab | Ford

Price: $15,200

This was the last year for the Ranger until today’s version became available. A 4.0-liter V6 gives 207 hp and 238 lb-ft of torque. This compact pickup will score 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg in highway driving. Safety ratings were on the low side, with towing capacity limited at 3,280 lbs. This is by far the least expensive of our 10 pickups.