Smart Buy

Can't Afford A Cool New Pickup Truck? Here Are Some Awesome Alternatives

You don't need to make six figures to buy a cool truck.

Many buyers are turning away from luxury sedans to buy well-optioned pickup trucks. The phrase "rides like a truck" doesn't seem to exist anymore. Why spend $80,000 on something relatively roomy like a BMW 5 Series, when the same amount of money can buy an F-150 Raptor with more space and a similar level of luxury? Unfortunately awesome trucks like the Raptor are very expensive and can even cost over $100,000. Don't worry because we've chosen five cheaper, but still awesome used alternatives
Dodge Ram SRT-10 A new F-150 Raptor is an absurdly fast truck thanks to its 450 horsepower twin-turbo V6. That power may be massive, but it isn't as much as the first truck on our list, the Dodge Ram SRT-10. Before Dodge went on a rampage, stuffing Hellcat engines into everything, it made the crazy decision to put the V10 engine from a Viper into a truck. The Ram SRT-10 produced 500 hp and could hit 60 mph in 4.9 seconds in regular cab configuration or 5.3 seconds in quad cab configuration. It was not only as quick as a new Raptor, the SRT-10 was even available with a six-speed manual transmission and can now be purchased for less than $25,000.
Ford SVT Lighting Before Dodge had the crazy idea to put a Viper engine in a Ram, Ford had the idea of supercharging the F-150. The second generation SVT Lighting was built from 1999 to 2004. The truck used a 5.4-liter Triton V8 with an Eaton supercharger for a total of 360 hp, which was later upped to 380 hp in 2001. In its day, the Lightning was the quickest truck on the road with a 0-60 time of just 5.2 seconds. Ford also improved the handling with lower springs and Bilstein shocks. As with the Ram, used Lightnings can now be found for well under $25,000.
GMC Syclone Neither of the previous trucks on this list could have been as successful if it wasn't for the amazing GMC Syclone. This truck was built for just one year, 1991, but GM single-handedly created one of the most legendary pickup trucks of all time. When it was new, the Syclone was so quick (0-60 in 4.6 seconds), it was actually compared to a Ferrari and a Corvette. The 4.3-liter turbocharged V6 sent 280 hp to all four wheels through a four-speed automatic. The Syclone is starting to reach collector status, but good ones can still be purchased for under $30,000.
Toyota Tacoma X-Runner It may not have the comfort and off-road ability of a new Raptor, or the speed of the other trucks on this list, but the Toyota Tacoma X-Runner is still a very intriguing option. The Toyota is by far the cheapest option on the list with high mileage examples starting at around $10,000. The Tacoma's 4.0-liter produced 236 hp going out to RWD through a six-speed manual transmission. It may not be the fastest or the most comfortable truck on the list, but the X-Runner was very sporty and will run until the end of time.
Holdon Ute So far, the options on this list have been pretty unique, but we wanted our final choice to take things to the next level. A new Raptor may be cool, but there are tons of them roaming the streets, never being used for their intended purpose. If all owners are going to do is drive these trucks on the street, why not get something more unique like a Holden Ute? GM never sold these in the US, but a company in Colorado called Left Hand Utes brings them over from Australia and makes them road legal in the US. Unfortunately, one of the supercharged LSA models will cost around $80,000, but a 2003 to 2006 Ute with an LS1 or LS2 V8 can be purchased starting at just $30,000.

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