Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A grey 2016 GMC Canyon is driving down a tree-lined road.

The Used Truck Market Is Hotter Than Ever

If you’re looking for used trucks for sale, you have more options than ever to fill your garage with a reliable vehicle. Whether you need something powerful or affordable, something small or large, the consumer is truly spoiled for choice. To better get an understanding of what truck might be appropriate for your situation, let’s review the various companies and the pros and cons of their different offerings.

The major players in today’s truck market are Ford, GMC, Ram, and Toyota. As of the writing of this article, GMC currently stands atop the throne of the “most affordable” option. Ford is a close competitor when it comes to price, and Ford is often known for their vast customization options. Toyota comes in somewhere in the middle of the road, offering a nice mix of price, features, and value. Finally, Ram is the most expensive brand of trucks out of our selection. We will need to dive a little deeper to see if Ram provides enough value to offset the large price tag. Whatever truck ends up being the right vehicle for you, it is important to review all of your options, so that you can have the peace of mind knowing that you made the right choice for years to come.

First Truck? Maybe The GMC Is For You.

Since GMC currently has the cheapest car on the market, it only makes sense to start with their model, the Canyon. With an advertised price of $21,500, you can save a couple of thousand dollars over Fords offering. With such an affordable price tag, surely there has to be a catch, right? Taking a quick look at the details of the base model trim level, you realize the GMC has managed to include a lot of the features you’d come to expect in a base model truck. While you won’t get things like a remote starter or heated seats, you do get luxuries such as a backup camera and power-adjustable seats. It is overall up to the consumer if a bare-bones Canyon has enough comforts to make it worth the investment. But at such a small price tag, you can afford to put up with fewer features to save a few dollars.

With only a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine, you’ll have plenty of power to through whatever you need in the truck bed. Seeing as this is only a 2.5L engine you won’t get the best towing capability, but it can tow a max of 3,500 lbs, which isn’t bad.  You have the option to get a four-wheel-drive option if your environment calls for it. For somebody that needs some light utility or just likes the feeling of cruising around in a truck, the GMC Canyon is a great used truck to consider.

Only Want What You Need? Go Ford.

A white 2019 Ford Ranger is in the mud.

While there is a slightly more expensive barrier to entry if you want to drive a Ford, you open yourself up to a few more options. The Ranger is Fords offering in the entry-level truck market, and you can expect a wide variety of flavors thanks to Fords vast customization options. The Ford base model, (which subjectively looks better than the GMC offering) despite having a smaller engine, produces 70 more horsepower than the Canyon at 200 horsepower. Your ride will also be smoother thanks to a ten-speed transmission instead of GMC’s six-speed. If you’re planning on throwing some heavier equipment in the bed or have a job site that is far away, spend a little bit extra on the Ford.

Ford’s value over the GMC doesn’t just stop at the physical abilities of the truck. When it comes to the Ford Ranger, you get all of the basics.  But you also have the option to add most of the accessories individually rather than needing to upgrade to a whole different package. On the used car market, this means that you could find Ford Rangers with an entire variety of different options. Need a truck with a backup cam, auxiliary port, running boards, and keyless entry? There is a good chance that there is a Ford on the market that has everything you need with nothing you don’t. Chances that you’re not the first person who wants a specific series of options on your truck. Because the model was just released for the 2019 year, if you want to buy used, you’re looking at 2012 at the newest, which may be a downside for many buyers. Take the time to see what’s out there and get a dealership to help you if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Can Toyota Also Make A Good Truck?

Toyota’s entry into the entry-level truck market is known as the Toyota Tacoma. You can get behind the wheel of the Tacoma for not much more than $26,000. When you pay the price, you get access to a reliable 2.7L engine capable of producing 159 horsepower. It is unusual that Toyota decided to go with a larger engine that produces less horsepower than the competition. At least, unlike GMC’s offering, you have the option to include optional towing accessories. Like the Ford, Toyota also has a lot of variety when it comes to customizing your Tacoma. That means that you should be able to find the perfect truck for you if you scout the used car market long enough.

The Tacoma is your sort of “middle of the road” truck that does everything well, but it doesn’t have one particular function that it excels at most. At least not on paper. Toyota has a reputation for being a reliable and easy to fix brand of vehicles, so that is an important point to consider. If you have a strong brand loyalty to Toyota, no one except yourself can tell you that a Tacoma is the right pickup truck for you.

A blue 2016 Toyota Tacoma, popular among used trucks for sale, is off-road in a field.

Is Ram Atop The Throne?

The last competitor to review today is the Ram 1500 pick up truck. Seeing as Ram doesn’t have an entry-level truck at this time, we’re going to look at the truck used for everyday needs. To start, the base model Ram 1500 comes with an impressive 3.6L, V6 engine that produces 305 horsepower. When it comes to raw power, Ram is playing chess while everyone is playing checkers. Other benefits include an eight-speed transmission and seating for six. While the Ram does cost quite a bit more, you do get a lot of truck for your money. If raw power and an attractive design are vital to you or your business, the Ram 1500 is the truck to look at. If you need your truck for its power or use it to bring the kids to football practice, don’t second the Ram 1500.

No Reason To Hesitate

Once again, just to reiterate, in today’s day and age, there are plenty of great trucks to choose from. Hopefully, this article has given you a better idea of which vehicle can provide you with the best value. Regardless of what choice you make, the important thing is that you purchase a truck so that you can start utilizing it. Don’t ride the bench saying, “I wish I had a truck” or “a truck would help me out right now.” The sooner you purchase your pickup, the sooner you can be a family hero.