Nissan Frontier

If you don’t need a big truck, the Nissan Frontier can be a good option. It typically doesn’t retain nearly as much value as the Toyota Tacoma, and comes with plenty of features. Not only can you get an extended or crew cab, different trims provide all kinds of niceties, as well as functional equipment.


Beware of Frontiers made before 2009, especially if they have four-wheel drive. Owners have logged quite a few complaints about the drive system. These model years for the truck might be too big of a headache to make any savings worthwhile.

A 2008 Nissan Frontier can be had for around $8,000, depending on the configuration and miles. Used 2016 Nissan Frontier trucks start around $29,000.

Ford F-150

Given the sheer number of F-150 models on the road – it has been the best selling truck for decades – you can find some good deals, and probably the best used truck for your needs. A whole range of prices, configurations and even F-150 engines are available. There are plenty of reasons why so many people choose the F-150.

One of the better years out there, especially if you’re on a tight budget, is the 2008 F-150. The only real drawback is that you have your choice between a gas-guzzling V8 and underpowered options.

However that model year has only been subject to a single recall, and that was for models converted for liquid propane. Other model years from that generation are still fine choices if you can’t track down a 2008 in good shape.

You’ve got a whole lot of options when it comes to how much you want to pay for a used Ford F-150. If you want a 2016 Shelby Edition (because you do), expect to pay around 100 grand. If you want something more reasonable, expect to pay around $45,000 and up for a 2016 lower trim model. No King Ranch, no Lariat. Decent 2008 models start around $10,000 and rise.

Honda Ridgeline

Sure, this isn’t a “real” truck. It rides on a unibody platform, can’t tow or haul that much, and certainly lacks the rugged looks you get with other choices.


But because of its unique qualities, the Honda Ridgeline can be the best used truck for a unique subset of pickup shoppers. If you value smooth handling and comfort, and you don’t need to pull an earth mover on a trailer, this could work.

Consumer Reports as well as J.D. Power and Associates have praised the Honda Ridgeline for its reliability. That means more trouble-free ownership if you don’t need something hardcore.

Expect to pay around $8,000 or more for a Ridgeline that’s about 10 years old. For model year 2014 and up, you’re going to be paying over $28,000.

View on One Page