Buying Advice

Ranked: Best used pickup trucks under $20,000

The Toyota Tacoma is generally regarded as a competent truck, both on- and off-road.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

It's not just new cars that people are after. The used car market is full of good cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans that are available at prices far lower than a brand new car.

iSeeCars, a car search engine, analyzed over 6.1 million cars from model years 2011 and newer to determine the used cars that demonstrated long-term reliability and have an average safety rating of at least 4 stars out of 5 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Shoppers with a budget of $20,000 can purchase the following reliable trucks that are less than 10 years old.

2011 Toyota Tundra

2011 Toyota Tundra

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Average Used Price: $19,064
The Toyota Tundra lineup was streamlined for 2011 and Toyota upped the power on its 4.0-liter V6 engine thanks to fresh variable valve timing. All models got trailer sway control as well. The 2011 Tundra was offered in two grades (Tundra and Tundra Limited): three cab styles (Regular, Double Cab and Crew Max): three wheelbase lengths (126.8, 145.7, and 164.6 inches, depending on model and configuration): three bed lengths (78.7, 97.6, and for CrewMax only, 66.7-inches): and with three engine choices (one V6 and two V8s).

2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

​Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Average Used Price: $19,937
The 2013 Silverado was the final year of the model's generational run before its redesign. Like the 2012 model, the 2013 truck was noted for its strong engine offerings, spacious Double and Crew cabs, and smooth ride quality. Trucks equipped with the Z71 Off-Road package come with skid plates and heavy-duty shocks.

2012 Toyota Tacoma

2012 Toyota Tacoma

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Average Used Price: $18,963
The Toyota Tacoma was refreshed for the 2012 model year. it got new front-end design, an updated interior, fresh audio system, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a USB port. Additionally, the Double Cab V6 ordered a new Display Audio System. When it was new, buyers could opt for a heavy-duty all-weather flooring.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Dodge Challenger is one of the models on the list.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Car dealers rely on the first half of each year to get rid of all the models on their lots from the previous year. By now, there were supposed to be few 2019 model year vehicles available. But, with dealerships basically shut down for most of the last two months, there are large amounts of lingering 2019s.

A new study by iSeeCars found that while the average new model has 10.8 percent of its inventory remaining from 2019, some models have more than six times that on dealer lots. Dealerships with high numbers of leftover models may be willing to offer buyers a steep discount to help make the sale.

iSeeCars analyzed its national inventory of over 1 million new cars for sale to determine which models have the most inventory from the 2019 model year available (and it's not good news for FCA).

No. 20 - Nissan Maxima (20.5%)

2019 Nissan Maxima

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

No. 19 - Honda Passport (​21.2%)

2019 Honda Passport

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Mfg. Inc.

No. 18 - Dodge Charger (​21.6%)

2019 Dodge Charger

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

No. 17 - Nissan Kicks (​22.5%)

2019 Nissan Kicks

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

No. 16 - Honda Civic Coupe (​22.7%)

2019 Honda Civic Coupe

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Mfg. Inc.

No. 15 - Mitsubishi Outlander (​22.7%)

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

No. 14 - Ford Mustang (​23.1%)

2019 Ford Mustang Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

No. 13 (tie) - Volkswagen Golf GTI (27.1%​)

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

No. 13 (tie) - Nissan Sentra (​27.1%)

2019 Nissan Sentra

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

No. 11 - Dodge Challenger (30.2%​)

2019 Dodge Challenger

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

No. 10 - Chevrolet Impala (​31.8%)

2019 Chevrolet Impala

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet


No. 9 - Alfa Romeo Giulia (​32.8%)

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

No. 8 - Volkswagen Atlas (​37.1%)

2019 Volkswagen Atlas

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

No.7 - Ram 1500 Classic (​39.4%)

2019 Ram 1500 Classic

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

No. 6 - Audi Q7 (​40.6%)

2019 Audi Q7

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

No. 5 - Ford Ranger (​41.9%)

2019 Ford Ranger Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

No. 4 - Nissan Titan (43.7%​)

2019 Nissan Titan

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

No. 3 - Dodge Journey (​45.8%)

2019 Dodge Journey

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

No. 2 - Chrysler 300 (​50.9%)

2019 Chrysler 300

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

No. 1 - Dodge Grand Caravan (​66.3%)

2019 Dodge Grand Caravan

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

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The Nissan Frontier gives a hint at what's to come with a redesigned truck.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2020 Nissan Frontier is part old part new. While it still has the same body design as the current generation model, it has the engine of the next gen. The Frontier remains a midsize truck and the smallest in Nissan's lineup.

The 2020 Frontier is powered by a 3.8-liter V6 engine that is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The engine achieves a best-in-class 310 horsepower, which is an increase of 49 horsepower over the V6 in the 2019 Frontier, and has improved fuel economy and emissions performance. There is no other engine offered in the 2020 Frontier.

2020 Nissan Frontier

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Buyers can get the 2020 Frontier in 11 different configurations:

  • Frontier S King Cab 4x2 - $26,790
  • Frontier S King Cab 4x4 - $29,680
  • Frontier S Crew Cab 4x2 - $27,900
  • Frontier S Crew Cab 4x4 - $31,290
  • Frontier SV King Cab 4x2 - $27,670
  • Frontier SV King Cab 4x4 - $30,560
  • Frontier SV Crew Cab 4x2 SWB - $28,800
  • Frontier SV Crew Cab 4x2 LWB - $31,410
  • Frontier SV Crew Cab 4x4 SWB - $31,990
  • Frontier SV Crew Cab 4x4 LWB - $32,410
  • Frontier PRO-4X Crew Cab 4x4 - $37,490 USD

Every new model is subject to a $1,095 to a destination and handling charge.

The Frontier now comes standard with push-button start, a leather shift knob, manual tilt steering, power door locks, and power windows with driver side auto-down. The interior of the model remains mostly unchanged, otherwise.

In the 2019 model, options were offered in available packages that added money to a buyer's bill are now part of the Frontier lineup and available as no-charge add-ons. The 2020 Frontier Crew Cab SV Midnight Edition includes black exterior treatments and 18-inch gloss black aluminum-alloy wheels, while the Special Edition Package features trip computer, Satin Chrome grille, body-color rear bumper and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Frontier fans can expect to see the next-generation 2021 Frontier later this year.

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