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Top 10 Pickup Trucks Under $10,000

Art Michalik

Finding a good truck doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, we tracked down some of the toughest, most reliable, most capable used pickups around. Here’s our list for the Top 10 trucks under $10,000.

Keepin’ Truckin’

Most likely, you’re reading this because you are in the market for a budget-priced pickup truck. As you may have already discovered, there’s no shortage of available models for sale. The challenge is to search through makes, models, and years for a suitable truck while staying within a $10,000 budget.

To make that job a bit easier, here’s a list of 10 reliable used trucks you can find for under $10,000. At this price point, you’re likely to encounter more base-level models with higher mileage; however, sticking to trucks with proven reliability is the wisest way to proceed.

Our criteria for evaluation take into account reliability, utility, available features, and overall quality.

2008 Dodge Dakota

2008 Dodge Dakota ST - carsforsale.com
2008 Dodge Dakota ST - carsforsale.com

The 2008 Dodge Dakota makes our list as a rugged and respectable option. The 2008 Dakota featured a new grille design and upgraded interior versus the prior year. It came with options for six- and eight-cylinder engines, four-wheel drive, and two cab configurations.

2010 GMC Canyon

2010 GMC Canyon SLE - carsforsale.com
2010 GMC Canyon SLE - carsforsale.com

The 2010 GMC Canyon, sibling to the Chevrolet Colorado, can be found in standard cab, extended cab, and crew cab configurations. Engines included four, five and eight-cylinder choices. The lowest-priced, highest fuel economy version is the standard cab with the 2.9 L 185 horsepower four-cylinder with the five-speed manual transmission. At the other end is the 5.3 L V8 that produces 300 horsepower. In the middle is the 3.7 L 242 horsepower inline five-cylinder Atlas engine. A max towing capacity of 6,000lbs is doubly impressive considering the small stature of the Canyon.

2009 Ford Ranger

2009 Ford Ranger XLT - carsforsale.com
2009 Ford Ranger XLT - carsforsale.com

The 2009 Ford Ranger is inexpensive to purchase and operate. Current pricing comes in under the 2010 GMC Canyon. Available in everything from base two-wheel drive to highly capable off-roader, the 2009 Ford Ranger offers plenty of choices. One choice that’s not available is a crew cab, with only a standard cab and SuperCab available. The base model comes equipped with the 142 horsepower 2.3 L four-cylinder with manual transmission. Engine upgrade is the 4.0 L V6 that develops 207 horsepower. The FX4 Off Road trim adds sport seats, big tires, and skid plates, as well as a shift-on-the-fly electronic transfer case.

2009 Chevrolet Colorado

2009 Chevrolet Colorado - chevrolet.com
2009 Chevrolet Colorado - chevrolet.com

If you favor the styling of the full-size Silverado, but prefer it in a smaller package with better fuel mileage, check out the 2009 Chevy Colorado. Engine choices are the 185 horsepower four-cylinder that produces 185 horsepower, the five-cylinder 242 horsepower Atlas engine and the new for 2009 5.3 L V8 that produces 300 horsepower. Both RWD and 4WD drivetrains are available. The Colorado is available in regular, extended cab and crew cab configurations, and can seat two to six people. Chevrolet created several performance and off-road trims for the Colorado, providing a wide range of vehicle configurations.

2008 Ford F-150

2008 Ford F-150 60th Anniversary Edition - carsforsale.com
2008 Ford F-150 60th Anniversary Edition - carsforsale.com

The 2008 Ford F-150 is available with three different choices, a 4.2 L V6, a 4.6 L V8 and a 5.4 L V8 with outputs ranging from 202-300 horsepower. Purchasers can choose from three different bed lengths and three cab configurations. Ford offered six different trim levels, including King Ranch and Harley Davidson. F-150 driveline choices are RWD, AWD and 4WD. As the highest-selling truck of that year, there will be many different model versions and engine and driveline configurations available to buyers.

2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac - carsforsale.com
2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac - carsforsale.com

Not a pickup, per se, the Ford Explorer Sport Tac can best be thought of like a Ford Explorer with a small bed replacing the covered cargo area on the SUV. It combines several of the best aspects of a mid-size pickup and a mid-size SUV, though with some limitations. Its fully-boxed frame provides a rigid platform for towing. Ride quality is better than most with its four-wheel independent suspension, and the interior is an upgrade from that found in most trucks. Two engines are available: a 210 horsepower 4.0 L V6 and a 292 horsepower 4.6 L V8. Drivetrain choices are RWD and AWD.

2007 Chevrolet Avalanche

2007 Chevrolet Avalanche LS - carsforsale.com
2007 Chevrolet Avalanche LS - carsforsale.com

Another morphing of SUV with a light truck, the 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche offers seating for six and in a full-size configuration. A concept unique to GM vehicles is the “midgate,” which allows the cargo area to be increased by opening the wall between the bed and the passenger compartment. This feature increases the bed length for 63 inches to 98.2 inches, or to just over eight feet. The Avalanche is available in five trims and comes in either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. It’s available only with a four-speed automatic that features a tow/haul mode.

2009 Toyota Tundra

2009 Toyota Tundra SR5 - carsforsale.com
2009 Toyota Tundra SR5 - carsforsale.com

In 2009, the Toyota Tundra pickup was available in regular cab, Double Cab or Crew Max cab configurations. The Texas-built ’09 Tundra was the first full-size pickup to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick award. Available engines are the 4.0 L 236 horsepower V6 and the 381 horsepower 5.7 L V8, each coupled to a six-speed automatic, along with RWD and 4WD drivetrains. The Tundra offers one of the broadest range of trims and options, resulting in 50 different possible configurations.

2009 Nissan Frontier

2009 Nissan Frontier - nissannews.com
2009 Nissan Frontier - nissannews.com

The 2009 Frontier is offered only in King Cab (extended) and Crew Cab configurations. There is no standard cab available. The Frontier is available with a choice of two engines: a 2.5 L four-cylinder producing 152 horsepower or a 4.0 L V6 producing 261 horsepower. Four-cylinder models come standard with five-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic. The V6 comes equipped with either a six-speed manual transmission or the five-speed automatic; all transmission options are dependent on the trim level and configuration. Trim levels range from basic to feature-laden, including the PRO-4X off-road package.

2007 Chevrolet Silverado

2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT2 - carsforsale.com
2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT2 - carsforsale.com

You may consider it a plus or a minus; the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado is available in multiple trim levels, cab sizes, bed lengths, and even instrument panels. Some may find the choices overwhelming, while others appreciate that they can purchase a Silverado that best matches their precise needs. Riding on an all-new chassis for 2007, the Silverado is available in regular cab, extended cab and crew cab and two different bed lengths, depending on cab configuration. There are three available engines, a 195 horsepower 4.3 L V6, a 295 horsepower 4.8 L and a 5.3 L 315 horsepower all-aluminum V8 tuned for maximum pulling power.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Art Michalik
Art Michalik

Art Michalik brings a career full of experience in the automotive industry to his writing. He has guided marketing at two major tire companies, represented some of the biggest names in the automotive aftermarket at an ad agency, built the enthusiast social media presence at a major online retailer and even managed one of the most famous racing schools in the world.

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