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10 Best Used Pickup Trucks Under $25,000 for 2020

10 Best Used Pickup Trucks Under $25,000 for 2020

2016 Ford F-150

New pickup trucks have gotten crazy expensive. The days when a small pickup cost about as much as little economy car are long gone, and the prices of full-size trucks now rival most luxury sedans. But used pickups, both big and small, can still be bought quite cheaply. There are millions of them out there, even less than five years old, and they represent a heck of a value. They’re a great way to purchase the truck you need for work or crave for play. 

If you’re armed with a maximum budget of just $25,000, there are many trucks to choose from, both two-wheel drive models and 4x4s, Chevys, Fords, Rams, Toyotas, and others ready to move on to their next owner. Here are our picks of the 10 best used pickup trucks for less than $25,000 for 2020, listed in alphabetical order.

2016 Ford F-150

2015-2018 Chevy Silverado 1500

Chevy sold the third-generation of its full-size Silverado from 2014 to 2019 and gave the pickup an extensive facelift in 2016, which included new headlights and other changes. Like most pickups, it was available in several body styles, and bed sizes, with the four-door crew cab being one of the most popular. For many buyers, crew cabs offer the best balance between interior space and hauling capacity.

A 4.3-liter V6 came standard, but we recommend the available V8s. They still get good gas mileage and offer considerably more muscle. In 2014, the Silverado was named the North American Truck of Year, and in 2015, Chevy combined its largest V8, a 6.2-liter, with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s a wonderful combination of power, refinement, and efficiency. Off-road enthusiasts should check out the Z-71 models, which have a more rugged suspension.

2016 Ford F-150

2015-2019 Chevrolet Colorado

Chevy abandoned the mid-size pickup market for a few years, but it brought the Colorado name back on an all-new truck in 2015. It’s the same Colorado that Chevy still sells today, and it’s a comfortable truck with a surprising amount of interior space. It was available in three configurations: extended and crew cabs with a 6.2-foot long bed and a crew cab with a 5.2-foot bed. A 200-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine was standard, and it’s not very powerful. Instead, hold out for a truck with the 3.6-liter V6, which is stout with over 300 hp. A turbodiesel 2.8-liter became available a few years ago. It doesn’t provide the acceleration of the V6, but it does get better mileage.

A six-speed manual transmission was available with the four-cylinder, but most buyers chose the automatic. Four-wheel drive was optional. Off-road enthusiasts should check out the Z-71 models, which have a more rugged suspension. In 2017, the ZR2 Colorado was introduced. It’s even more off-road capable, but can be expensive with prices over $30,000.

2016 Ford F-150

2015-2018 Ford F-150

These were controversial trucks when they debuted five years ago. The thirteenth generation of Ford’s F-150 was the first with an aluminum body and bed to save weight and the first with turbocharged engines. It was also the first pickup with adaptive cruise control. Buyers weren’t sure what to make of the new technology, but they quickly made peace with it. The F-150 kept its crown as the best selling full-size pickup in America. It has been the class sales leader since the 1970s. 

Like the Chevrolet Silverado, the F-150 was offered in a wide range of cab styles, bed lengths, and trim levels. Crew cabs are popular, and in 2018, it was the only truck awarded a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. Many engines were available, including two twin-turbo V6s, which are both excellent. The 2.7-liter is powerful enough for most buyers. Off-roaders surely want an SVT Raptor, which was reintroduced in 2017, but they cost considerably more than $25,000.

2016 Ford F-150

2016-2018 GMC Sierra

Chevy abandoned the mid-size pickup market for a few years, but it brought the Colorado name back on an all-new truck in 2015. It’s the same Colorado that Chevy still sells today, and it’s a comfortable truck with a surprising amount of interior space. It was available in three configurations: extended and crew cabs with a 6.2-foot long bed and a crew cab with a 5.2-foot bed. A 200-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine was standard, and it’s not very powerful. Instead, hold out for a truck with the 3.6-liter V6, which is stout with over 300 hp. A turbodiesel 2.8-liter became available a few years ago. It doesn’t provide the acceleration of the V6, but it does get better mileage.

A six-speed manual transmission was available with the four-cylinder, but most buyers chose the automatic. Four-wheel drive was optional. Off-road enthusiasts should check out the Z-71 models, which have a more rugged suspension. In 2017, the ZR2 Colorado was introduced. It’s even more off-road capable, but can be expensive with prices over $30,000.

2016 Ford F-150

2017-2018 Honda Ridgeline

For light-duty hauling and everyday comfort, it’s hard to beat the Honda Ridgeline. It’s the only truck on the market without a full ladder-type frame and solid rear axle. Instead, it shares its platform and fully independent suspension with the Honda Pilot SUV, and the two feel very similar on the road. The two vehicles also share Honda’s smooth and powerful 280-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine and all-wheel drive system, which is standard on the pickup. 

The second generation of the Ridgeline was introduced in 2017, and it’s still part of Honda’s lineup today. It offers several cool and unique features, including a dual-action tailgate that opens out as well as down, a lockable trunk within its bed, a dent-resistant bed, and an optional in-bed audio system, which makes the Honda a tailgater’s dream. Interior space is also a plus.

2016 Ford F-150

2016-2018 Nissan Titan

Nissan introduced the second-generation of its full-size Titan pickup in 2017 and it still sells the truck today. It’s built in the United States, down in Mississippi, and has always come with a standard V8 engine, a very large 5.6-liter with double overhead cams, and 390 hp. It’s a stout truck, but it has never been a big seller, so there aren’t as many out there. However, they don’t hold their value very well, which makes them a great buy on the used truck market.

Nissan offered the standard Titan and the more heavy-duty XD, which was offered with a Cummins turbodiesel V8. The standard Titan was available in a few body styles, but most are crew cabs and they’re particularly roomy. These are comfortable trucks with plenty of luxury, capability, and features. Off-roaders should find a Pro4X model, which has standard four-wheel drive and special shocks.

2016 Ford F-150

2017-2019 Nissan Frontier

Nissan’s smallest pickup hasn’t changed much in like forever. Its last full redesign was back in 2005 and its last facelift was about 10 years ago. This has hurt it in the new-truck market, but it also drives down the prices of used Frontiers, which is good news for anyone looking for a cheap nearly new truck. A handful of body styles and trims have been available, but most want a crew cab with the popular SV trim level and spunky 4.0-liter V6 engine. It makes nearly 300 hp. The base 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder gets better mileage but doesn’t pack much might. 

With some shopping, you can find used crew cab Frontier SV V6s for about $15,000. And they’re in great shape, with about 40,000 miles and many desirable options. Nissan offered two off-road packages over the years, the Pro4X, which is a 4x4, and the PreRunner, which is rear-wheel drive.

2016 Ford F-150

2015-2019 Ram 1500

Ram sold the fourth generation of its full-size pickup from 2009 until about five minutes ago. These are some of our favorite trucks. They’re timelessly attractive, spacious, powerful, and comfortable. The Ram has a unique coil-spring rear suspension, which gives it a superior ride over the trucks from Chevy, GMC, Ford, Nissan, and Toyota. Many body styles and bed sizes have been offered over the years, along with many trim levels, but as is the norm in this class, the four-door crew cab is extremely popular. 

Ram offered V6 and Hemi V8 engines. Both make good power, but the 5.7-liter Hemi is the one you want. It sounds better and offers considerably more grunt. Both engines are paired with an excellent eight-speed automatic. Ram also offered a V6 turbodiesel, which was unique in the class. In 2016, the Ram 1500 Rebel debuted, offering off-road suspension and one-inch-taller ride height, and proved to be very popular. It isn’t as off-road capable as a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, but it is far more affordable.

2016 Ford F-150

2016-2018 Toyota Tacoma

Toyota’s Tacoma is the king of the mid-size truck market. They’re tough and they hold their value. The Taco, as its called by its loyalists, was last redesigned back in 2016 and has been available with two engines, a 159-hp 2.7-liter inline four-cylinder and a far more desirable 278-hp 3.5-liter V6. Some have manual transmissions, but the six-speed automatic, which isn’t exactly state of the art, is much more popular.

Toyota has sold a ton of Tacos with two-wheel drive, but the most sought-after are the 4x4s with the suspensions created by Toyota Racing Development, or TRD. There have been several over the years, and they’re all among the most capable off-road suspensions in the class. The top dog is the TRD Pro version, which was introduced in 2017. Once again, the extended cab and crew cab body styles (Toyota call the four-door a Double Cab) are the most popular. All Tacomas are built in North America.

2016 Ford F-150

2015-2017 Toyota Tundra

Like the Nissan Titan, the Toyota Tundra is built in the United States. And like the Nissan, it has never sold as well as its rival trucks from GM, Ford, and Ram. But the Tundra has a lot to offer — including an excellent reputation for durability and reliability, which keeps the prices of used examples fairly high. Only models from 2015 to 2017 slide under our $25,000 maximum budget, and most of those are the lower SR and SR5 trim levels. Extended cab and crew cab models are available.

Also like the Nissan, recent-model Toyota Tundras come with a standard V8 engine, though in this case, you can choose between the base 4.6-liter and the more powerful (381 hp) 5.7-liter. The latter Tundras are quick and have respectable tow and payload ratings. Although the truck's last full redesign was way back in 2007, it got a heavy refresh in 2014 and has aged very well. Two-wheel drive and 4x4s are out there. TRD suspension packages are also available, including the Tundra TRDPro, which was added in 2015.