Pickup Trucks You Can Get for $30,000 or Less in 2023
How to get the most small or midsize pickup for your money.
Relatively inexpensive new pickup trucks can still be found, especially if you're shopping for a small or midsize truck. A number of new 2023 models clock in at or below $30,000, which makes them about half the average price of a new full-size truck.
What does that sum buy you? Though higher trim levels can easily inflate their prices, pickups such as Ford's Maverick and Ranger, the Toyota Tacoma, and Hyundai Santa Cruz all can be had for less than $30,000. Let's look at what they have in common and which have features that stand out at their price.
Expect an Adequate Powertrain and Some Modern Features
Pickups in the $30,000 range all tend to have some features in common. Expect to find four-cylinder engines that power just two wheels as well as 5- or 6-foot beds (or even smaller). There are some upsides, though. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility have made their way into even the cheapest new trucks.
Available safety features will vary, but contemporary essentials such as rearview cameras, traction control, tire pressure monitors, and a full complement of airbags are standard. Models in the $30,000-and-under range will almost always be offered as either front- or rear-wheel drive, with power to all four wheels available as an extra-cost option.
Compelling Features Offered in Small and Midsize Pickups
Some small and midsize pickups offer features you won't see in other trucks in this price range — or even above the range, in some cases. The 2023 Toyota Tacoma SR midsize truck, for instance, comes with the automaker's suites of passive and active driver-assistance features, including automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.
The 2023 Ford Maverick hangs its hat on its standard 2.5-liter hybrid engine, which is unique in its class. (A turbocharged four-cylinder is optional, and it's mandatory if you want all-wheel drive.) The 2023 Ford Ranger XL and 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz SE (a uniquely styled option for a midsize truck) come standard with four-pin trailer wiring, which no other trucks in this range have, except when it's part of an optional package.
Bang for the Buck Depends on Your Priorities
As with any new vehicle purchase, it's important to consider your needs carefully when determining which truck is best for you.
Those looking for a more straight-up work truck may find a lot to like in the Ford Ranger XL, which is about as close to classic stripped-down work truck as you'll find on the new market today. Ford's Maverick, meanwhile, offers three trims to choose from, with even the top-of-the-line Lariat barely busting the $30,000 budget.
If you need your truck to power all four wheels, be prepared to cross over the $30,000 threshold, though not necessarily by much. The Tacoma SR with all-wheel drive runs about $33,000, and the Santa Cruz SE can be had with all-wheel drive at a low enough price — around $29,000 — to justify considering a couple of options.