U.S. News Couldn’t Choose the Best Used Compact Pickup Truck, So It Chose 3

The Honda Ridgeline, Toyota Tacoma, and Nissan Frontier showed up on the U.S. News list of the best used compact pickup trucks more than any other model. This list was the 42 best used compact pickup trucks. The list has multiple repeated nameplates but rates each year model accordingly. 

Sales stickers on a cars at dealership, highlighting negotiating tips to save money at a car dealer
Cars parked at a car dealership | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Honda Ridgeline is one of the best compact pickup trucks, period

U.S. News made multiple lists for the best compact trucks within certain price parameters. The most comprehensive of these lists is the “30 best compact pickup trucks $20k and up.” Of the 30 slots on this list, the Honda Ridgeline got five of the slots. 

The Honda Ridgeline is a funny truck. It looks a little off compared to its competition. But really, when you dig into the Ridgeline, you’ll see a strange, low-powered, civilized pickup truck that feels as much like a sedan as it does a pickup truck. Therein lies its genius. 

Given the different models years represented here, the same major through lines exists across the years. Without a doubt, the Honda Ridgeline’s superpower is being a pickup truck that drives and feels like an SUV or even a car. The all-four independent suspension keeps everything balanced and supple. This hurts in on off-road capability and towing, but it makes the Honda one of the finest driving pickups on the road. 

How much does a used Honda Ridgeline cost? 

The 2022 Honda Ridgeline Sport with HPD Package unibody pickup truck with a white paint color parked in a mountain desert
2022 Honda Ridgeline Sport with HPD Package | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Since we are talking about multiple eras of Ridgelines, it’s tough to say specifically what each model had going on spec-wise. U.S. News picked five different years as the best used Honda Rdielines; 2010, 2012, 2011, 2013, and 2009. These are in order of ranking on the list.

Within this year’s range, you can expect to see Ridgeline’s anywhere from $11k-$22k. This is a wide range, but it’s also a wide range of trucks. But getting one of the best used pickup trucks on the market, even for $20k, is hard to turn down. 

The Toyota Tacoma was well-represented as well 

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma is a mid-size truck that has serious capability.
2022 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

RELATED: This Radical 2017 Toyota Tacoma Overland Rig Is Way Cooler Than a New Tacoma

Various used Toyota Tacoma models made it on the list of best used compact pickup trucks, six times to be exact. The best used Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks came from 2013, 2012, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2011. Even though this list spans five years, the Toyota Tacoma hardly changed. 

This is one of the biggest strengths and weaknesses for the Tacoma. The lack of change for so long made them unbelievably reliable. They were also familiar to buyers. For the most part, in America, we got the V6 Tacomas, but there were also plenty of the inline-four models. Both were plenty strong and as tough as an old boot. 

The Tacoma has continued to keep the faith over the years. Even though the new 2022 model is a massive shift for the nameplate, the company still seems dedicated to building the tough little truck we all love. 

How much does a used Toyota Tacoma cost? 

Unfortunately, our current used pickup truck market has shot through the roof with the ongoing chip shortage and production cuts from COVID lockdowns. As a result, a truck with decent mileage in this year range should cost somewhere between $12k-$25k on average. 

Don’t sleep on the Nissan Frontier

The 2022 Nissan Frontier is a 4WD mid-size truck with serious capability.
2022 Nissan Frontier | Nissan

The Nissan Frontier is like the Honda Ridgeline, in a way. It’s similar in that seeing it on this list is probably surprising to some. The Frontier shows up six times as well, 2009, 2015, 2011, 2010, 2016, and  2012. 

The 2009 Nissan Frontier also landed in the number one spot for the best used compact pickup truck. U.S. News picked the Frontier for being a simple, reliable, and tough pickup truck that excelled on-road and off. 

It feels like USN wanted to give the top spot to the Tacoma since it has as many models on the list, but the Nissan won out. It’s not because it has better engine options (it doesn’t), a nicer cabin, or a better ride. However, it is a good deal cheaper than the other options. In 2022, this aspect is gaining value daily. 

How much does a used Nissan Frontier cost? 

The Frontier is still one of the more affordable compact pickup trucks, with a starting price of $28,340 for a new one. However, the used models are coming in closer to around the $15k mark on average. In many cases, like the 2009 Nissan Frontier that sits in the top spot, the average price range tops at $13k. 

Despite the strangeness of our time, most folks can get behind a $13k truck, especially when you consider that it’s USN’s top choice for the best used compact pickup truck.

RELATED: Here Are the Most Underrated New Pickup Truck, Car, and SUV You Should Buy in 2022