Take a look at these versatile trucks.
The versatility of pickup trucks has evolved from primarily farm and job site workhorses to trucks that can handle just about every situation. There is nothing quite like the combination of vast cargo space, equally lavish passenger space, and rugged capabilities that a pickup truck can offer.
And the good news for you is that getting the storage space and off-road ability you need doesn't mean breaking the bank. We've compiled this helpful list of the 10 best pickup trucks with average prices under $25,000 for 2020 shoppers, based on CarMax sales data from June 1, 2019, through November 30, 2019.1 Be aware that upper trim configurations and select model years may bring the prices of some of these vehicles over $25,000.
The 2013 Toyota Tacoma is a great choice if you're looking for a midsize truck. The Tacoma focuses on a variety of options, features, and trim levels, aiming to offer you everything bigger pickups provide but in a slightly smaller package.
The 2013 Tacoma features:
- Choice of two engines: a 2.7L four-cylinder engine producing 159 hp or a 4.0L V6 engine producing 236 hp.
- Choice of two drive trains: rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
- Choice of two transmissions: a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic.
- Three different cab styles: Regular Cab, Access Cab, and Double Cab.
- Air conditioning, a four-speaker sound system, Bluetooth® connectivity, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, and traction control/stability control, all standard.
There's nothing midsize about the big Chevrolet Silverado. Part of Chevrolet's pickup-truck range since 1999, the Silverado is a comfortable, spacious, and powerful truck with a great selection of engines and impressive hauling power.
The 2013 Silverado boasts:
- Four engine choices: a 4.3L V6 producing 195 hp, a 4.8L V8 producing 302 hp, a 5.3L V8 outputting 315 hp, or a 6.2L V8 packing 403 hp.
- Four trim levels: Work Truck, LS, LT, and LTZ.
- Estimated max towing capacity of 10,700 lbs. with the 4.3L engine and the Extended Cab with the available MAX Trailering pack when properly equipped.3
- A 6.5-foot bed as standard on regular and extended cab models with an eight-foot bed optional and a five-foot eight-inch bed on crew cab models.
The F-Series of Ford pickup trucks offers all-around versatility, no matter your needs. The F150 is a head-turner because it combines utility with maneuverability. And the 2012 model is just as popular with CarMax customers, thanks to features like:
- A strong selection of engines, including two V6 powerplants—one turbocharged—and two V8 options.
- An estimated towing capacity of 11,300 lbs. with either the 6.2L V8 or the 3.5L turbocharged V6 engines when properly equipped.3
- Three cab styles: Regular Cab, SuperCab, and SuperCrew.
- Nine trim levels covering different requirements, including the luxury-orientated Lariat and the ultra-off-road SVT Raptor trims.
Right up there with the Silverado and F150 in recognizable names among pickups is the Dodge Ram. Since its introduction in 1981, the Ram has been popular due to its aggressive, eye-catching styling and the power it packs to tackle whatever lies ahead. The 2013 Ram 1500 gives you:
- Three engine choices: a new-for-2013 3.6L V6 engine generating 305 hp, a 4.7L V8 producing 310 hp, and a 5.7L V8 good for 395 hp.
- Six-speed automatic transmission on all engines, as well as an optional eight-speed automatic transmission on models equipped with the 5.7L V8.
- Features like automatic headlights, air conditioning, cruise control, a six-speaker sound system, and a 40/20/40-split-folding bench seat as standard.
- Six separate trim levels, including three Laramie-based trims at the top of the range.
Like the Toyota Tacoma, the Nissan Frontier is more at home in the midsize pickup truck segment. But that doesn't mean you should sleep on the Frontier just because it's a little bit smaller than the others on this list. The 2018–2019 Frontier is a midsize truck that offers:
- Two engines: a 2.5L four-cylinder engine outputting 152 hp and a 4.0L six-cylinder engine producing 261 hp.
- Five separate trim levels, including the top-of-the-range SL trim and the off-road-focused Pro-4X.
- An estimated maximum towing capacity of 6,720 lbs. when properly equipped (2019 Frontier King Cab SV V6 models with two-wheel drive).3
- Standard equipment across all 2018–2019 trims includes a rearview camera, air conditioning, cruise control, and Siri® Eyes Free voice commands.
Speaking of the Tacoma, Toyota's midsize pickup truck makes its second appearance on our list. Two years on from the 2013 model previously featured, the 2015 Tacoma builds on the popular formula with:
- Choice of either a 2.7L four-cylinder engine producing 159 hp or a 4.0L V6 engine producing 236 hp.
- Impressive gas mileage: an EPA-estimated 22 mpg combined and 25 mpg on the highway for 2015 models when equipped with the 2.7L four-cylinder engine, two-wheel drive, and five-speed manual transmission.2
- Ease of driving: the midsize package allows the Tacoma to handle city driving comfortably and, in any four-wheel-drive off-road spec, various terrains and weather conditions are no problem either.
Additionally, standard tech features include:
- Limited-slip differential
- Air conditioning
- Bluetooth connectivity
- 6.1-inch Entune™ touchscreen display
The 2018–2019 Nissan Frontier has already been featured on our list but adding a few years of age doesn't mean you are missing out; attributes like a comfortable ride and impressive off-road capabilities remain universal across the Frontier's history.
For the 2016 and 2017 model years, you get:
- Choice of crew cab and extended (King Cab) body styles.
- Choice of two engines: a 2.5L four-cylinder engine outputting 152 hp and a 4.0L six-cylinder engine producing 261 hp.
- Standard features like air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, and a four-speaker audio system.
- Selection of five trim levels, including the all-terrain focused Pro-4X.
If you're after a slightly smaller Silverado, the Chevrolet Colorado is our most popular midsize truck—and with good reason. It offers you a comfortable ride and all the versatility of a full-size truck in a package that allows it to fit on your local city streets and in parking lots.
Additionally, one of the three engines available for the Colorado is a turbocharged 2.8L diesel powerplant that manages to be both powerful and economical: 369 lb-ft of torque and an estimated 7,700 lbs. towing capacity (with four-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission when properly equipped).3 Plus it returns an EPA-estimated 28 mpg on the highway when in four-wheel drive configuration with the six-speed automatic transmission equipped.2
That's not all the 2016 Colorado has to offer, though. Standard features include:
- Automatic headlights
- Air conditioning
- Four-way power driver seat with manual recline
- A rearview camera
- A six-speaker sound system with a 4.2-inch touchscreen
The 2012 F150 has already appeared on our list and its 2013 follow-up is even more popular among CarMax buyers. For the most part, the 2013 F150 carries over the features that made the 2012 model such a hit while adding a few extra touches including:
- Updated styling
- Limited trim replacing the Harley-Davidson trim level
- Hill descent control (mid-level XLT trim upwards)
- MyFord Touch infotainment system (Lariat trim upwards)
- Xenon headlamps (Platinum trim upwards)
These new features, combined with the excellent selection of engines, trim options, and specifications carried over from 2012, make this a very desirable truck.
The 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 offers brains and brawn. You have the choice of three cab styles: the Regular Cab, the Quad Cab which seats six, or the Crew Cab with increased rear-seat legroom. And then there's the selection of standard features that include:
- Air conditioning
- Automatic headlights
- Locking rear tailgate
- Cruise control
- Six-speaker sound system
While the 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 is our best seller, all of the trucks on this list are a great place to start your search.
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1 Based on prices on carmax.com from July 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features, and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.
2 Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
3Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
Unless otherwise noted, information relating to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.