Here's How Much Pickup Truck You Can Get for $50,000

It really depends on how much capability you need.

2022 Ford F-150Ford

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Buying a full-size pickup truck can be a complicated business. There are myriad combinations of cab and bed sizes, drivetrains, and engine options to take into consideration. And with top trims starting at $80,000 or more, trucks are mighty spendy. Many of us don’t have those kinds of deep pockets, so here’s what to expect if you’ve got $50,000 burning a hole in your wallet.

For the most part, you’ll be able to get a crew cab with a standard or short bed for $50,000. Your money can go further if you’re willing to live with a regular or double cab, but having that full-size back seat is pretty convenient.

Two wheel, or not two wheel?

There is one big (and costly) choice to make: Do you want four-wheel drive or features? For example, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 can be had in LT trim, the fourth out of eight trims, in two-wheel drive. However, adding four-wheel drive kicks the price over the $50,000 limit, so you’ll have to go down a trim to Custom Trail Boss, and you won’t be able to add many options.

Assuming you want a super crew cab and a short box, $50,000 will only buy you a two-wheel-drive XLT. If you want four-wheel drive, you’ll have to drop down to the base XL truck. You’ll be in a similar situation when looking at Ram, Toyota, GMC, and Ford.

What’s under the hood?

As for standard engines at this price, Toyota offers up plenty of power with the iForce 389-hp twin-turbo 3.4L V6 with 479 lb.-ft. of torque. The turbocharged 2.7L four-cylinder in the Chevrolet and GMC trucks can’t match it, and neither can the 3.3L V6 engine in the Ford F-150. You can upgrade the powerplant in all of those trucks, but you’ll have to go with a lower trim, as the added expense puts you over the limit.

Ford offers a hybrid powertrain that is attainable if you make some sacrifices. You can get a Ford F-150 XL four-wheel-drive super crew with a short bed, the hybrid engine, and the 2.4 kW on-board generator for a smidge over $50,000 including destination. With 430 ponies and 570 lb.-ft. of torque, plus better fuel economy than the non-hybrid version, this looks like the combination to get.

Toyota also offers a hybrid, but it doesn’t kick in until the Limited trim and puts you a few thousand dollars over the limit.

What tech will you get for $50,000?

At this price point, most trucks will have a seven- or eight-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but you’ll get a 14-inch screen in the Toyota Tundra Limited as standard fare. Again, this trim fits our price point as long as we nix four-wheel drive. Toyota also includes the most standard advanced driver’s aids such as full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and mitigation, blind-spot monitoring, lane-tracing assist, rear-cross-traffic alert, and road sign assist. The others have similar features but may not include blind-spot monitoring or adaptive cruise control.

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Emme Hall
Emme Hall loves small convertibles and gets out to the canyons in her 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata whenever she can. You can also find her in the dirt in her lifted (yes, that's right) 2001 Mazda Miata, or racing air-cooled Volkswagens in races like the Baja 1000. She's taken first place twice in the Rebelle Rally — once driving a Jeep Wrangler and then a Rolls-Royce Cullinan the second time. She was also the first driver to take an electric vehicle to the Rebelle Rally when campaigning the Rivian R1T to a top-five finish