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Affordable Trucks: What Can You Get for $30,000?

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2013 Ford F150

author photo by Doug DeMuro

If you're looking for an affordable pickup, you've come to the right place. We've listed exactly which full-size trucks you can buy with $30,000 -- right down to the trim level and engine size. Our list of affordable trucks should give you the chance to compare some of the full-size pickups you've been considering.

Chevrolet Silverado LT Regular Cab

Although Chevrolet has not yet released full pricing for the 2014 Silverado, several versions of the 2013 Silverado can be had for less than $30,000 with shipping. Our top pick is the LT Regular Cab, which is available for under $30,000 with both 6.6-feet and 8-ft bed options. The main reason is the equipment: LT models include all the comfort features you'll want, such as power windows, power locks, cruise control and keyless entry. The only drawback is the regular-length cab. While it's possible to get an extended-cab Silverado for around $30,000, the only model available is the base-level Silverado Work truck, which has few conveniences.

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Ford F-150 XLT Regular Cab

Like the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford's F-150 is available in several trims and body styles for under $30,000. The best is the XLT Regular Cab, which starts just under $30,000 with shipping. Again, it doesn't offer an extended cab, but it does include a long list of features such as cruise control, keyless entry, power door locks and power mirrors. Shoppers who want an extended-cab F-150 for less than $30,000 will have to choose the XL model, which offers none of those important conveniences.

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GMC Sierra SLE Regular Cab

The GMC Sierra SLE Regular Cab roughly mirrors the equipment levels and pricing of its Silverado LT Regular Cab mechanical twin. That means it includes important pickup features -- such as power windows, power locks, cruise control and keyless entry -- along with available 6.6-ft or 8-ft beds. Pricing starts slightly above $30,000 with shipping, but we think current incentives will be able to lower that figure until it's well within our budget. That's especially true considering the new model is starting to come out, meaning that dealers will want to clear their lots of the old version.

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Nissan Titan S

The Nissan Titan S starts just under $30,000 with shipping. Unfortunately, as the Titan S is the truck's base model, its features only go as far as manual windows, manual door locks and no keyless entry. However, the Titan S does have air conditioning and an AM/FM stereo with a CD player. The truck's other benefit is that all Titans offer either a King Cab or a Crew Cab, which means you can opt for more space than a regular cab. But if you're looking for more than a few features, we strongly suggest checking out a competitor or possibly a used Titan.

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RAM 1500 SLT Regular Cab

The RAM 1500 SLT Regular Cab is among the least expensive models here, with a base price of around $29,500 with shipping. Part of the reason is likely that the truck comes standard with a V6 instead of the V8 engines of its rivals. But the V6 is just as muscular, as it puts out more than 300 horsepower. It also achieves better gas mileage than any V8. Most importantly, the RAM SLT offers a long list of equipment, such as power windows, power locks, cruise control, keyless entry and automatic headlights.

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Toyota Tundra Double Cab V8

If you're interested in a Tundra, you should be able to find a V8-powered Double Cab model for under $30,000. In Toyota's world, Double Cab actually means extended cab, while CrewMax is the truck for those looking for four full-sized doors. Still, an extended-cab model for less than $30,000 is a rare find -- especially considering Toyota's standard 310-hp V8. And while a base-level Tundra isn't lavishly equipped, it does offer several important features, such as dual-zone climate control, remote keyless entry and cruise control.

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What it means to you: Our list of affordable trucks for $30,000 or less should help you narrow down your full-size truck choices as you consider your next pickup.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
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Affordable Trucks: What Can You Get for $30,000?