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Top 7 Certified Pre-Owned Trucks for $20,000

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2008 Chevrolet Silverado and other C/K1500

author photo by Jeffrey Archer August 2012

Although budget-minded truck shoppers may have a hard time locating a pickup that meets all of their needs, buyers who are willing to consider a certified pre-owned truck will find a much larger selection. Better yet, they'll get a recent model backed by the manufacturer's warranty without paying full price for a new one. To illustrate our point, we've listed seven of our favorite certified pre-owned pickups that each offer a long list of enticing equipment for a wallet-friendly $20,000.

2008 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT

More than 100 different certified pre-owned examples of Chevrolet's full-size 2008 Silverado pickup are currently listed on AutoTrader.com for around $20,000 or less. That's great news for truck shoppers who want a pickup with tremendous value, since the 2008 Silverado offers the pickup's latest body style for a fraction of its original cost. Plus, many of the Silverado models available in our price range are upscale LT variants, which include dual-zone automatic climate control, power seats and steering wheel audio controls. The icing on the cake is Chevrolet's certified pre-owned warranty, which provides up to 5 years of powertrain coverage and 12 months or 12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper protection.

2008 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew

Although the F-150 XLT SuperCrew started at around $30,000 when it was new in 2008, certified pre-owned examples available for under $20,000 are plentiful on AutoTrader.com. In addition to four full-size doors and convenience features like automatic headlights, cruise control, power locks, power windows and remote keyless entry, the F-150 XLT also skipped the pickup's standard V6 for a more powerful 4.6-liter V8. Certified examples also feature Ford's generous warranty, which provides 12 months or 12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and up to 7 years of powertrain protection.

2010 GMC Canyon SLE

Shoppers interested in a midsize GMC Canyon are likely to find a base-level new model within their $20,000 price range. But for buyers who would prefer some luxurious equipment, 4-wheel drive and more room, we recommend a certified pre-owned 2010 Canyon. In addition to a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and up to 5 years of powertrain coverage, a 2010 Canyon SLE features remote keyless entry, satellite radio, power locks, power windows and power mirrors. Nearly all of the pickups also feature GMC's potent 242-hp 3.7-liter 5-cylinder powerplant, which was mated to a standard automatic transmission.

2008 Honda Ridgeline RTS

Honda's car-based Ridgeline certainly isn't for everyone, but we think it warrants consideration by many truck shoppers interested in a pickup for personal use. In addition to a potent 247-hp 3.5-liter V6, the 2008 Ridgeline RTS offers an impressive list of equipment that includes an in-dash 6-disc CD changer, dual-zone automatic climate control and alloy wheels. The pickup also includes unique styling and an unusual unibody design, giving it a more car-like ride than nearly all of its rivals. Honda's certified warranty is an added perk thanks to 12 months or 12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and a 7-year or 100,000-miles of powertrain protection.

2009 Nissan Titan

While Nissan's full-size Titan starts around $30,000 and can easily creep above $40,000 with options, the muscular pickup is more affordably priced on the used market. Currently, more than 20 different certified pre-owned examples from 2008 and later are listed on AutoTrader.com for around $20,000 or less. And while we recommend a 2009 model for its combination of age, price and typical mileage, nearly any certified Titan is a good pick in our eyes. That's because the truck comes standard with Nissan's hefty 5.6-liter V8 and the automaker's certified pre-owned warranty, which provides powertrain coverage for up to seven years or 100,000 total vehicle miles.

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2011 Ram 1500 SLT

Truck shoppers who think a lightly used Ram pickup is out of their price range might be surprised to find nearly 30 certified pre-owned examples of the truck currently listed on AutoTrader.com. Better yet, nearly all offer the truck's mid-level SLT trim, which includes an impressive list of equipment like remote keyless entry, satellite radio, alloy wheels and a standard 5-speed automatic transmission. Also included is Chrysler's certified pre-owned warranty, which provides powertrain coverage for up to 7 years or 100,000 miles and 3 months or 3,000 miles of full bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage.

2007 Toyota Tundra

Toyota pickups are known for their legendary resale value and inexpensive ones can be hard to find on the used market. But despite their reputation, nearly 100 different certified pre-owned examples of Toyota's full-size Tundra pickup are currently listed on AutoTrader.com, offering 12 months of bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage and up to 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection. And while that means our recommended 2007 model has just 2 years of powertrain coverage left, we think of Toyota trucks as highly dependable - a fact that's likely supported by their strong resale values. Plus, most used Tundra models include a long list of equipment in addition to a choice of two brawny V8 engines.

What it means to you: Although nothing can beat the feeling of climbing into a brand new pickup, saving a lot of money through a certified pre-owned program comes close.

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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Top 7 Certified Pre-Owned Trucks for $20,000 - Autotrader