Pickup trucks are popular like never before. The customers are taking advantage of the truck’s versatility, so you can use them for many purposes. People are buying pickup trucks for work duties, towing stuff, or casual city rides. Moreover, you can find a lot of off-road variants and much more. And while some of the models are luxurious, the most affordable pickups are still the most popular buying options. Still, you can’t find a lot of trucks with an affordable starting price.
Therefore, we are providing a list of the best trucks that you can get for $30,000 or less. The list includes smaller pickups and numerous mid-size variants. The full-size truck segment is slightly more expensive, unfortunately. The electrification is coming, so most the EVs will surely cost above $30k in the future.
2023 Ford Maverick
The 2023 Ford Maverick is a tiny pickup truck in its second year after a successful debut. The small pickup market, which was thought to be dead just a few years ago, has seen a rebound in recent years. The Maverick has adequate utility, good fuel efficiency, and a large number of optional amenities at a far cheaper cost than Ford’s major trucks. When it comes to towing, payload, and off-road capacity, it’s not the most capable truck, but Ford has other options if you need more.
We don’t foresee any substantial upgrades for 2023. Still, it is a pickup that offers a standard hybrid powertrain. The price that starts at around $20,000 makes Maverick one of the most affordable pickups. Furthermore, the high-performance Maverick ST model should arrive next year as well. Generally, you won’t find much better models than this one at the moment.
2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz
Changes for the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz will most likely revolve around new exterior colors and a slight reshuffling of available extras and option packages. The base engine will remain a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 191 hp, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This unit comes with a standard FWD and optional AWD system. This is the most cost-effective option, both in terms of price and fuel economy. With this entry-level powerplant, you can expect to get 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.
From what we know, the 2023 Santa Cruz will have a starting price of around $23,000. This makes the Santa Cruz pickup very affordable. The SEL trim level will cost $27,000 and the SEL Premium up to $36,000. The Limited trim level will cost around $40,000 and it will add lots of luxury. As we said, Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick will directly rival each other in the compact pickup segment.
2023 Nissan Frontier
After a complete redesign, the 2023 Nissan Frontier enters another model year looking fresh and new. For more than a decade, Frontier has been one of the most reliable trucks. The 2023 Frontier mid-size pickup has so much to offer. That includes a very modern design with a bolder approach, and up-to-date cabin with numerous high-tech features, and much more. Under the hood, the Frontier model will once again offer a 3.8-liter V6 engine.
This gasoline powertrain is capable of producing 310 horsepower. That is one of the most potent engines in the mid-size pickup truck segment. There will be four trim levels. The base S version with a king cab setup starts at $28,000. On the other hand, the range-topping Pro-4X will cost around $40,000. Overall, we think the Frontier model is an all-around player, with no flaws at all.
2023 Toyota Tacoma
The new 2023 Toyota Tacoma gets a much-needed facelift, as it tries to keep its sales lead over competitors like the Nissan Frontier and GMC Canyon. Toyota’s TNGA-F architecture underpins the 2023 Tacoma, as well as the entirely redesigned Tundra full-size truck. Even the three-row Sequoia SUV has the same platform. Two new engine options are expected, as well as a quicker automatic transmission, a fully remodeled cabin, and a significantly improved suspension. The Tacoma pickup is one of the best-selling models in the US. However, the competitors introduced some important upgrades, while Tacoma didn’t.
Now, significant changes are on the way. The new engine lineup will include a standard turbo-four and optional V6 engines. Moreover, a hybrid variant is on the way as well. However, engine specs are not available yet. Thanks to such dramatic upgrades, the new Tacoma will cost more than the outgoing model. Still, Toyota will keep the price under $30,000. New Tacoma will cost $29,000, with the range-topping TRD Pro trim level starting at around $47,500.
2023 Ford Ranger
The forthcoming 2023 Ford Ranger is a completely new model that claims to be a significant improvement over the previous one. With competitors such as the Chevy Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, and Nissan Frontier, the Ranger needed an update to be competitive. Keep in mind that, while the previous Ranger has only been available in the United States since 2019, it has been available in other parts of the world since 2011. Now, the mid-size Ranger comes in numerous trim levels, appearance packages, and special editions.
The styling is as fresh as it can be, and even the interior is very modern. A 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine comes as standard, producing 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission is available as standard. The high-performance Raptor model comes with a 3.0-liter V6 and it generates 392 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. Yes, the Ranger Raptor will cost around $45,000. However, the base Ford Ranger has a price of $28,000, which sounds unreal.
2023 Chevrolet Colorado
The 2023 Chevrolet Colorado is a mid-size pickup truck that offers versatility and customizability, as well as its high towing capacity and off-road ZR2 trim. Nonetheless, we anticipate that the new Colorado will undergo major changes. For a start, we don’t expect Chevrolet to tinker with the new Colorado’s overall design and dimensions. In case you didn’t know, the Colorado model has a class-leading towing capacity. The new model will be even better, but the price will not rise dramatically.
On the other hand, the new Colorado will have two powertrain choices, which could be a downgrade. Still, the performances will remain great. The most important upgrades will happen inside the cabin, and Colorado will provide more standard features. The price of the base trim level starts at $27,000. If you want the rock-crawling ZR2 variant, you’ll have to pay almost $45,000.
2023 GMC Canyon
The 2023 GMC Canyon is said to be getting a major facelift to help it compete with mid-size pickup truck rivals. This should include a completely redesigned cabin with a wider range of tech features, as well as extra standard and optional safety systems. Furthermore, Canyon will get an electrified variant in the following years. While the outgoing GMC Canyon was pleasant to drive and capable of hauling, there was no escaping the fact that the last overhaul happened seven years ago.
The mid-size Canyon will offer a base turbo-four engine, with a V6 gasoline engine available as an option. The price is not official yet. However, the Canyon will surely cost below $30k once again. Most likely, this pickup truck will start at $28,000. The new AT4X trim level will slot just below the range-topping Denali version. The price of the Denali trim will start at $43,000, while the off-road AT4X will cost $40,000.