The best-selling vehicle in the U.S. is a pickup truck, and it’s easy to see why. Trucks are available with four-wheel drive, have spacious cabins and can be used for a wide variety of tasks. In recent years, trucks have become much more luxurious – and much more expensive. For example, the top High Country trim of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 starts at more than $49,000. However, if you consider a used truck, you can save a significant amount of money compared with the cost of buying a new truck.
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Full-size trucks can tow or haul just about anything that you'll ever throw at them, and a wide variety of cab styles and bed lengths means there are different configurations to suit what you'll most likely be using your truck for. There are a number of good choices if you're shopping for a used truck under $25,000. The 2011 and 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2011 and 2012 GMC Sierra 1500 all perform well in our rankings. Most reviewers recommended models with the available 5.3-liter V8 when these trucks were new, which they said have ample power. With this engine, the 2011 and 2012 Silverado and Sierra 1500 use less fuel than models with the base V6 engine or larger available V8.
[See our rankings of Used Full-Size Trucks Under $25,000]
The 2011 and 2012 Ram 1500 also rank highly among full-size trucks under $25,000. Reviewers said the Ram 1500 has one of the most comfortable rides in the class, and they liked its available RamBox storage compartments built into the bedrails.
Compact trucks typically can't tow or haul quite as much as full-size trucks can, and they don't offer as much cabin space, but because they're smaller, they're usually more maneuverable and it is easier to park them in close quarters. The best used compact trucks under $20,000 are the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Nissan Frontier, 2009 Toyota Tacoma and 2009 Honda Ridgeline.
[See our rankings of Used Compact Trucks Under $20,000]
In each class, these used trucks rank highly because they have the best combination of positive reviews from professional auto critics when they were new, good safety and reliability ratings and low operating costs.
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