Which Used Pickup Truck Should You Buy?

This singular question could lead to weeks of anguish and research as you try and figure out which used pickup truck meets your needs? When selecting a vehicle, you’ve got a big decision to make with many factors to consider. When that vehicle is a truck, some added items come to the mix that you might not face with other types of vehicles.

Are you shopping for a truck based on your budget?

If you have a budget in mind and don’t want to go over that price, you’ll want to put a few models on your list.

Used Midsize Trucks Under $20,000

  • 2009 Nissan Frontier
  • 2010 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2012 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2013 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2011 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2010 Dodge Dakota
  • 2015 Nissan Frontier
  • 2013 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2013 Nissan Frontier
  • 2010 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2009 Honda Ridgeline

Used Full-Size Trucks Under $25,000

  • 2013 Ram 1500
  • 2010 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2011 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2012 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2009 Ford F-150
  • 2009 Toyota Tundra
  • 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

What do these lists tell us about used pickup trucks?

2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is one of the top-rated used pickup trucks you can drive
2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 | Chevrolet

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These two lists, provided by U.S. News and World Report, help us know what trucks should fit into the desired budget. You can see a few names show up on these lists several times. The Honda Ridgeline from the first generation was a useful midsize truck, but does it have the capabilities you need? The Chevrolet Silverado 150 takes up nearly half of the full-size list, but is it the right model for you?

You’ll want to ask these questions when looking for a used truck to drive.

Do you have a specific model year in mind?

If you know that you want to go back a few years and find the pickup that offers you the right combination of features, strength, and price, you’ll want to see the top models from the specific model years you’re considering. Let’s consider the same two categories and reach back five years to the 2017 versions. For that year, we find the top-rated trucks are:

Midsize Trucks

  • Honda Ridgeline
  • GMC Canyon
  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • Nissan Frontier

Full-Size Trucks

  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • Ford F-150
  • Ram 1500
  • Nissan Titan
  • GMC Sierra 1500
  • Toyota Tundra

These two lists are in order from US News, allowing you to see how these trucks are ranked in each category. If this is the model year you choose, narrowing your search to the top three models in the category might help you figure out which truck you want to drive.

Not all trucks are the same?

The 2017 Honda Ridgeline is highly rated but is it the right used truck for you?
2017 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

Your list of used pickups could shrink quickly if you need specific qualities in your vehicle. If you need the best towing capacity in the class, you’ll look specifically at the tow rating. Just because the Honda Ridgeline is highly-rated doesn’t mean it has the capabilities you desire. In fact, the 2017 version of this truck has a maximum tow rating of 5,000 pounds compared to 6,500 pounds for the Nissan Frontier, the lowest-rated midsize truck.

How should you approach shopping for a used pickup?

You’ll find tons of advice online regarding the steps to take and what you should do to find the right vehicle to meet your needs. Auto Evolution offers a simplified five-step suggestion to get your shopping journey started. These steps are:

  • Set a budget
  • Know what truck you want to drive
  • Check out a few models
  • Review the history of the truck
  • Take mileage into account

If you find a truck that meets all these criteria, take it for a professional inspection before making an offer to buy. When the used pickup passes all these barriers, you’ll have a truck that gives you the driving experience you desire while offering you desired features and convenience.

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