Best Trucks of 2020 Under $25k

Pickups are not traditionally cheap vehicles, but there are several trucks under $25,000 on the market for the discerning buyer. But just because you’re not willing to break the bank does not mean that you shouldn’t get what you need. Even if there are not a plethora of options to choose from, we still make sure you give you all the information. Our reviews cover all the bases: looks, comfort, handling, and output figures from the various powertrains.

Each model has been scored according to our strict criteria and compared against its key rivals to help you choose the best truck under $25,000. 

What Kind of Truck Can I Buy Under $25,000?

Just because you are not spoiled for choice, that does not mean you should settle for a machine that cannot do the job. None of these offerings boast particularly impressive fuel economy, but even cheaper vehicles need to meet certain requirements.

  • Performance - Affordable does not have to mean disappointing. You won’t find an engine with less than 200 horsepower under the hood of these machines, meaning that some light duty towing is definitely an option.
  • Rugged looks - Half the joy of owning a pickup is intimidating curb appeal. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and these automobiles will certainly appeal to those with a taste for strength, durability, and rugged off-road capabilities.
  • Dependable - Looking the part and having the power is not enough. Genuine 4x4 ability is a must in today’s workhorses.

Best New Trucks Under $25,000

Only a few brands compete in this rather niche price bracket. At the top of the list is the Ford Ranger. While it may be a relatively compact pickup, it does not lack attitude. The only powertrain available is a turbocharged four-cylinder with 270 hp and 310 lb-ft, but it is still enough to pull 7,500 pounds. The interior can be specced to near-luxury levels, but if you want to stay below $25k, you’ll have to settle for the basic interior. It may not be luxurious, but it will not disappoint.

The Chevrolet Colorado is another contender, but it offers a bit more variety when it comes to powertrains. If you need a bit more kick than a four-cylinder engine provides, then there is a V6 gas engine or a reliable turbo-diesel option. In its most capable configuration, the Chevy tows up to 7,700 lbs. However, where the Ford seats up to four passengers, the Colorado maxes out at two. They get plenty of space, though.

What to Consider Before Buying

While these capable machines are certainly hard workers, they are not for everyone. It is important to determine you exact needs before making a purchase.

Pros

  • High towing capability
  • Commanding view of the road
  • Imposing curb appeal

Cons

  • Not ideal daily drivers
  • No conventional trunk space
  • Poor fuel economy

FAQs about affordable pickups

What is the best truck under $25k?

There are only three models on our list in this segment, but the Ford Ranger scores top marks. The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon tie for second place.

What is the cheapest truck?

In 2020, you’ll unlikely find a more affordable light-duty pickup on sale than the Chevy Colorado at just $21,300 for a new purchase. However, if you’re willing to look back a bit, at used models from 2019 or 2018, you could probably find a less expensive worker. You could even put the money you’ll save this way towards aiming a bit higher in terms of capabilities.
BuzzScore
Design
Performance
MPG
Interior
Infotainment
Reliability
Safety
Value
#1
2020 Ford Ranger
8.8
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#2
2020 Chevrolet Colorado
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
8
Safety
9
Value
#3
2020 GMC Canyon
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
8
Safety
9
Value