Trucks are no longer considered vehicles made only for blue-collar workers. These days, all kinds of people are driving them, from soccer moms to college kids and millionaires. However, a brand new truck can be expensive. We're talking in the region of $50,000 if the monstrous 450 hp Ford F-150 Raptor is on top of the wish list. By all means, it's an amazing truck, capable of handling whatever most people throw at it, it's just that it might be outside the budget for most people.
Fortunately, there are other options out there – cheaper options – especially if we consider buying a used truck instead of a brand new one. There are some real bargains to be had, and trucks that cost a lot of money just a few years ago can be found relatively cheap nowadays. Here are some of the sickest trucks you can buy for less than $10k.
25 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning
The Ford F-150 SVT Lightning is a legendary limited edition truck. The first generation, sold from 1990 to 1995, was extremely well-executed. The basic idea was to make a muscle truck similar to the Chevrolet 454 SS.
However, Ford did it with more care and better engineering and fitted a lighter and smaller – but equally powerful – engine. While never a bestseller, it paved the way for the second-generation Lightning, which was insanely fast.
24 Lincoln Blackwood
Lincoln's pickup truck was nothing more than a ridiculously expensive and less practical F-150. Strangely, they decided to cover the bed and use a split tailgate.
Also, the truck only had a 1,200-pound payload. That's probably why it lasted only one year with 3,356 trucks sold. The reason you'd want one is purely due to its rarity, as chances are, these things will rise in value in years to come.
23 Ford Ranger
Ford finally brought back the Ranger to the States, but those who can't afford a brand new one should definitely look into older models.
Models from the mid-2000s fits our budget and can serve most of your trucking needs with little compromise. There are two engines available: a 2.3L four-cylinder and a 3.0L V6. Of course, the V6 is more powerful, but sacrifices some fuel economy.
22 Toyota Tundra SR5
Despite almost being the grandfather in the Tundra lineage, the 2003 SR5 is one of the most powerful trucks you can find in its price range. It has a 4.7L V8 engine that delivers 245 hp and 315 lb-ft of torque. This is coupled to an automatic transmission with four-speed and all-wheel drive. Its massive torque allows it to haul huge loads. As with all things, there is a downside – the fuel economy is appalling.
21 Ford F-150
Those who don't mind buying a more than 10-year-old truck should easily be able to get their hands on an F-150 that's under budget. For a truck that old, it's still an advanced and powerful truck – even the base 4.2 liter V6 model produces more than 200 hp. Plus, let's be honest, it looks pretty good even for today’s standards.
20 Dodge Dakota
The 2010 Dodge Dakota is a very capable and decent pickup truck. Starting with its engine, the 3.7 liter V6 produces 210 horses. Sure, it's no Hellcat or Demon, but still good for a pickup.
The truck is available either as crew or extended cabin with four trims to choose from. One thing, though – don’t buy one with a lot of miles on it, as repairs get more expensive with age and mileage.
19 GMC Canyon
We totally agree that the older GMC Canyon isn't exactly what anyone would call a good-looking truck. That could be part of the reason why it costs less than $10,000 today. However, as a work truck, it's a pretty solid choice.
The engine options are a four-cylinder, a five-cylinder, and an eight-cylinder, producing from 183 horses in the four-cylinder, all the way up to 300 wild, galloping stallions in the 5.3L V8.
18 Toyota Tundra
If you can't live with the looks of a 2011 GMC Canyon, the Toyota Tundra is a great option. It's a major improvement in the looks department, yet very similar to the GMC in other aspects, as the Tundra is a powerful, high-utility, high-capability, and highly comfortable truck.
It was the first full-size truck to ever win the IIHS Top Safety Pick Award. Plus, its warranty is valid for 150,000 miles or ten years.
17 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
The 2008 Ford Explorer has rather modest cargo space. That's because this truck is mainly built for comfort with some utility you'd expect from a pickup truck of its size.
Under the hood, there's a V8 engine with 292 horsepower. This engine is coupled to a six-speed automatic, and together, they give you a pathetic but still truck-like fuel economy of 13 mpg for city and 19 mpg for the highway.
16 Chevy El Camino
The El Camino is the reverse mullet of the car world – party at the front, business at the rear.
While the really old ones will set you back tens of thousands, an example from the late 70s to mid-80s can be had well below our $10,000 budget. There are some early cars available for that kind of cash, but they're in desperate need of restoration.
15 Dodge Ram 2500
Those looking for a real workhorse should look no further. The 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 has a reputation of being one of the most durable and powerful pickup trucks on the market. Forget about the gasoline version – the diesel versions are the ones to go for, especially the 6.7L with 350 horses and 650 lb-ft of torque.
14 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The Silverado 1500 looks good, has adequate power, great reliability, and tremendous towing capacity. In fact, it was so good, trucks were flying off the dealership showrooms faster than they could order them. That's good news because it means the used pickup truck market is flooded with them, making it easy to score a great deal!
13 Chevy Avalanche
The 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche not only looks great, but it's also one of the most versatile pickup trucks you can find at this price range. You can increase the size of the bed by simply folding down the rear walls. The midgate also allows for multiple configurations, meaning you can get almost anything to fit inside that bed. Under the hood, there's a 320 horsepower 5.3-liter V8 producing. It even returns reasonable mpg.
12 Nissan Titan
The mid-2000s Nissan Titan is a seriously powerful truck for less than $10k, and as a bonus, it has plenty of cabin space up front. There's a monstrous 5.6-liter V8 under the hood, good for a whopping 305 hp, coupled to either an automatic or a manual transmission with the option of selecting between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive.
Unfortunately, the powerplant means fuel economy suffers – average mpg is only 15.
11 Nissan Frontier
Those who liked the Nissan Titan might enjoy the Frontier, too. The Frontier has two engine options – a 2.5L four-cylinder with 152 hp, which is quite underwhelming, and the big daddy: a 4.0L V6 that cranks out 261 horses. The V6 Frontier has a maximum towing capacity of 6,500 pounds, making it much more capable of towing and carrying huge loads, and it’s easier to overtake other vehicles at highway speeds.
10 Ford F-150
Here's another F-150 that doesn’t require you to drain your bank account in order to own it. The 2008 Ford F-150 was the last of the 13th generation F-150, and for $10,000 in your bank account, you can get a used 2008 Ford F-150 in XL trim. It might not be the most exciting truck out there, but its 4.2L V6 produces 202 horses with 260 lb-ft of torque, which is adequate for most needs.
9 GMC Sierra 1500
This truck is the same as the Silverado 1500. They share the same platform, and there are just a few design changes that have been made to warrant the different badges.
The GMC Sierra also has satellite radio, air conditioning, a CD player, and vinyl seats for the base model, just like the Chevy it copies. The Sierra's 4.3L V6 engine delivers 195 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.
8 Ford F-350 XL
This car looks hardcore, and it's tough enough to back up its looks. In fact, despite being over a decade old, the 2006 Ford F-350XL is one of the toughest pickup trucks Ford has ever built. It came with a regular V8 diesel or a massive V10 – both with enough pulling power to tow away the Grand Canyon.
7 Mitsubishi Raider LS
The Raider is highly reliable and rugged and can carry heavy loads for hundreds of miles. Under the hood, there's a 210 hp 3.6L V6 that's far from the most powerful unit, yet it still manages to pull heavy cargo like it's nothing.
The engine is connected to a four-speed automatic; however, if you manage to find the extended-cab version, you'll get a six-speed manual.
6 RAM Dakota
Formally known as the Dodge Dakota, the 2011 Ram Dakota is one of the best and the last pickup trucks ever produced for that lineup. Under the hood, we find either a 3.7L V6 engine that produces 210 hp, or a 4.7L V8 that bursts 302 hp and 329 lb-ft of torque for those who want more grunt.
5 Ford Ranger
Another Ranger, though in this case, it's the second-last Ford Ranger the automaker made before deciding to leave the American market and sell the Ranger elsewhere.
The 2011 Ford Ranger has an EPA-rated 22 mpg for city and 27 mpg for the highway. Despite its impressive fuel economy, the 2011 Ford Ranger offers impeccable toughness and reliability. Under the hood, we find a slightly underpowered 143 hp 2.3L 4-cylinder engine, or the more aggressive 207 hp 4.0L V6.
4 Chevy Colorado
The Chevy Colorado is yet another highly reliable truck that, surprisingly, you can find for less than ten grand.
The cargo bed is capable of carrying huge loads, and there are three engines available: the base 2.9L four-cylinder pumps out 185 hp; there's a 3.7L five-cylinder that produces an impressive 242 horses; last but not least, there's the heavy-duty 5.3L V8 engine, making 300 ponies. The inline-four and -five-cylinder engines average 25 mpg.
3 Mitsubishi L200
The Mitsubishi L200 has been one of the bestselling trucks in the market for close to ten years. There are a couple of reasons for that.
First, the truck was only a couple of thousands above the $10k mark brand new – a used one will be cheaper. Second, there aren't many trucks in this price range with appealing looks on both the inside and out. Under the hood, there's 185 hp a 2.5L diesel.
2 Nissan Navara
The Navara might not be American, but it certainly looks great. However, it's a truck and not a luxury sedan trying to compete on the grounds of pretty looks.
The base model offers an inline-four engine with 184 bhp – not the most powerful engine – but it does pull a lot considering this particular Navara has one of the largest loading bays in the segment. It also does 31 mpg combined.
1 Ford F-150
Finally, the last F-150, this time a 2010 model. The 2010 Ford F-150 is the only truck in this segment that screams payload! Its massive V8 engines deliver tons of power and torque.
There are three engine options to choose from, ranging from 248 hp and 294 ft-lb of torque, all the way to 320 hp and 390 ft-lb of torque. This lets the F-150 tow a maximum of 11,300 lbs and its payload is also an impressive 3,030 pounds.
Sources: Car and Driver, Top Gear, Autotrader, Jalopnik, Auto Cars, Motor Junkie