Over the past several years, pickups have gotten more and more expensive. From the popularity of upscale luxury trim levels to the new wave of hopped up, off-road models, simple, affordable new pickups tend to get lost in the fray. But despite special upmarket trim levels getting all of the hype, less expensive, value-oriented models are still out there. Here we’ll go over several new pickup models and trim levels that may not offer all of the latest features, but offer great bang-for-your-buck.
2019 Nissan Frontier
With a starting price of just $20,135, an entry-level, extended-cab, 2-wheel drive (2WD) Nissan Frontier is the cheapest new pickup truck on sale today. That said, the Frontier is also currently the oldest vehicle you can buy new in the United States, having last been fully redesigned way back in 2005. For just over 20 grand, you’ll get a simple, brand-new pickup with a full manufacturer’s warranty with three years or 36,000 miles of basic coverage and 5 years or 60,000 miles of powertrain coverage, not to mention a 6-foot bed and proven reliability. With a new Frontier, you don’t have to cross your fingers that it’s been maintained properly over the years like you do a used truck. That said, the Frontier is sorely lacking with regard to modern safety technology and receives overall mediocre scores in crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), indicative of its advancing age. Still, the Frontier is a viable option for anyone looking for a new truck on a budget, and even upper trim levels still undercut the competition by about $5,000 in most cases. Just don’t expect much in the way of modern amenities. Find a Nissan Frontier for sale
2019 Toyota Tacoma SR5
The Tacoma is a great value when it comes to safety. Thanks to Toyota making its suite of active safety features — which it refers to as Toyota Safety Sense — standard across the board, even on base SR or SR5 trims, the Tacoma offers modern tech like pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, radar cruise control and automatic high beams — all features that serve to reduce fatigue and help mitigate incidents. Additionally, the Tacoma is a resale king, meaning that while a new example may cost a little more than a comparably equipped Nissan Frontier or Chevrolet Colorado, you can rest assured that it won’t depreciate quite as quickly as either of those trucks, allowing you to recuperate more of your initial investment when it comes time to sell down the road. Find a Toyota Tacoma for sale
2020 Jeep Gladiator Sport and Sport S
With classic styling, a modern interior and great configurability, the new Jeep Gladiator is one of the most exciting new vehicles to hit the market in years. Even a base-model Gladiator Sport, which comes in at $35,040 with roll-up windows, manual door locks and a manual transmission, will be one of the coolest trucks on the road, especially when you put the top down and take the doors off. The Sport S can be had for around $3,000 more and offers power windows, mirrors and locks along with 17-in wheels and a few other amenities. While they don’t offer the locking differentials and beefed-up suspension of the off-road oriented Rubicon model, Gladiators in these lower trims still boast legitimate capability when the pavement ends. Throw on a set of all-terrain tires and you can have yourself a brand-new, seriously cool-looking, adventure-ready convertible truck for a little over $35,000. Find a Jeep Gladiator for sale
2019 Ford Ranger XL
Out of all of the midsize trucks on sale today, the Ford Ranger offers arguably the best powertrain, and it comes standard even on the entry-level XL model, which carries a starting price of $25,495. This makes it one of the more affordable new pickups on sale today. Under the hood is a 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder putting out 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. This comes paired exclusively with a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission. This combo gives the Ranger smooth acceleration and allows it to cruise comfortably on the highway, even when towing — something that can’t be said for a comparably equipped Toyota Tacoma, which is arguably the Ranger’s main competitor.
Ford also packages the Ranger differently than the competition. Instead of offering specific trim levels for curb appeal and off-road capability, Ford offers packages that are available on any of the Ranger’s three trim levels. This means that if you want an affordable Ranger with off-road features like a locking rear differential, Ford has you covered, allowing you to spec a basic Ranger XL with the FX4 Off-Road package, getting you a brand-new off-road-ready truck with an automatic transmission for around $34,000 — three grand less than the cheapest Tacoma TRD Off-Road. Alternatively, if it’s style that you’re after, you can spec a basic Ranger XL with the $1,000 STX appearance package which will enhance the road presence of your truck without requiring you to spend on a fancier trim level. Altogether, the Ranger gives buyers great choice, allowing you to get the truck you want without having to spend money on features and options that you don’t want. Find a Ford Ranger for sale
2019 Ford F-150 Lariat
While the high-end Raptor, King Ranch and Limited models tend to get most of the attention from car journalists, the Ford F-150’s Lariat trim likely offers buyers the most value. With prices starting at just over $43,000 for an extended cab model and $46,000 for the crew cab, the Lariat can be had with Ford’s strong 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 engine which puts out a healthy 325 hp and an even more impressive 400 lb-ft of torque. The turbo V6 is paired with the same 10-speed automatic found in the Raptor, Ranger and in a variety of other Ford and General Motors products. The Lariat also comes with niceties like a leather interior, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, a chrome grille and alloy wheels. There are also a variety of reasonably priced options packages, from the $905 FX4 Off-Road package, to the $1,295 max trailer tow package, to the $1,195 tech package, which gets you a helpful 360-degree camera, active park assist and lane-keeping assist. Altogether, if you want an affordable truck with some creature comforts, the F-150 Lariat is a great option. Find a Ford F-150 for sale
2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
The Ram 1500 is new for 2019, and reviewers love it for its stately exterior and upscale interior, with many calling it the nicest, most comfortable interior in the segment. Given how polished it is, buyers used to shopping Ford and GM are wise to take a look at the new Ram, as it’s a seriously impressive truck. While the basic, work truck-grade Tradesman model — which starts at around $34,000 — is the cheapest new Ram 1500 you can buy, we like the Laramie trim, which comes in at right around $40,000 but still offers upscale touches like heated and ventilated leather seats, a 7-in gauge cluster screen and an 8.4-in center infotainment screen that can be upgraded to a massive 12-in display, either of which offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Keep in mind that adding 4-wheel drive (4WD) does add another $3,500 to this figure, but such is life when shopping for a new full-size truck. Find a Ram 1500 for sale
2019 Chevrolet Silverado Custom
The Chevrolet Silverado is new for 2019 and offers aggressive exterior styling and a somewhat updated interior. Buyers looking for the most value in a new Silverado should look to the 4WD double cab Custom trim with the standard-length 6-and-a-half foot bed. The Silverado Custom, which is positioned above the basic WT — or "work truck" — trim, adds amenities like a 7-in touch screen infotainment system, 20-in wheels and LED taillights. Additionally, it wears stylish exterior trim, with a body-colored "Chevrolet" wordmark grille. Adding the optional V8 engine, which puts out 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, adds only an additional $1,395 to the price for a good overall value. On top of this, Chevrolet dealers commonly offer huge incentives on these trucks, making it easy to score a great deal. Find a Chevrolet Silverado for sale