Pickup trucks are the backbone of the American auto industry, aren’t they? The pickup has always had a modest, yet reliable following, and has seen a recent surge in sales in the U.S., even with the rest of the industry slipping.
Pickup trucks are what gets passed down from generation to generation, what we see in commercials that tow other trucks out of mud during a crazy rainstorm, and totally bleed red, white, and blue. Plus, with sales figures for new trucks continually on the rise, you’re bound to see a number of used trucks up for sale these days and in those to come.
We’ve done a little digging for you to pick out some best used trucks, highlighting everything from towing capacity to cost effectiveness to overall reliability. Here’s a look at some of the best used trucks you can get your hands on right now.
Dodge sneakily stopped making pickups a few year ago and its parent company just started making Ram as a brand instead of a model. But even though it stopped making model like the Dakota, it’s still worth taking a look at for overall dependability.
The Dakota has (or is it “had” because they don’t make these anymore?) a robust towing capacity and an overall drivetrain that rivaled full-size pickups. And with an optional V8, this little sucker can tow up to about 8,000 pounds. This is one of the best used trucks for those who want to use it for work or for play, as it can handle taking a camper up to the mountains for a weekend.
We get it: all hail the king, right? But Ford’s all-around amazing pickup has been the bastion of the category for however many years Denis Leary tells us in the commercials.
The F-150, especially the model years 2005-2014, is still one of the best used trucks you can buy. With a few different model options to choose from, the F-150 has always hit high notes for its strong drivetrain, towing capacity (about 11,000 pounds), and overall dependability.
When Honda came out with this mostly pickup-quasi-SUV, a lot of people dismissed it. The car company couldn’t even keep the Passport going, but if you value reliability and dependability, and you’re not a huge fan of Ford, then the Ridgeline is basically bombproof.
Since it comes with a unibody structural design and composite cargo bed, it does give up some of the more traditional pinnings of a pickup truck. But what makes it one of the best used trucks is its overall driver-friendly approach. It has a roomy interior and cargo space, a super smooth ride, and some of the best handling you can get behind the wheel. JD Power also noted its overall safety as a plus. You may not be able to tow a lot in this thing, but hey, at least you’ll be alive and well.
If the Tacoma is the cool rebel nephew who goes off-roading on weekends and has a bunch of National Parks stickers on his Nalgene, then the Tundra is the stoic uncle who was as adventurous when it was younger. This analogy works, trust us. The Tundra is a rough and ready pickup truck that has stood the test of time, topping just about every truck listing for years on end.
Toyota may be a Japanese company, but the Tundra is so effortlessly American, especially since it opened a truck plant in Texas, a.k.a. pickup truck country. The Tundra, no matter its iteration, is a workhorse of a pickup.
Its strong horsepower and engine options mixed in with its praiseworthy towing capacity have made it a dependable worksite truck and one of the best used trucks to invest in.
Like its identical twin/cousin the Chevy Silverado, which means you can have a twofer for this one, the Sierra is always a solid choice when thumbing through the best used trucks that are available. It comes in barebones work truck options or even the downright decadent and luxurious Denali model.
The gas/electric hybrid model is still able to provide torque and overall engine power, while saving a good amount on gas. It’s the Sierra’s breadth of appeal to numerous drivers that makes it an attractive option.
This post was originally published on September 26, 2019.
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