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Sep 16

Buy The Best Cheap Truck

2013 Toyota Tacoma

2013 Toyota Tacoma

Costs

  • Average price paid is $18,003 to $28,262
  • MSRP is $17,625 to $28,185
  • Invoice is 16,688 to $26,111
  • 21mpg in the city, 26mpg on the highway

Pros/Cons

  • + Double Cab model has a spacious back seat
  • + Excellent off-road performance
  • + Comfortable front seats and headrests
  • – Spongy feeling brake pedal
  • – Access Cab model’s foldable back seat is cramped

 

General Scores (Out of 10)

  • Overall score – 8.4
  • Critic Rating – 9.1
  • Performance – 7.8
  • Interior – 7.5
  • Safety – 8.1
  • Reliability – 7

 

The 2013 Toyota Tacoma is powered by a standard four-cylinder engine or an optional V6, and while the base engine provides adequate acceleration, test drivers agree that V6 models have more than enough power for most situations. The base model has a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic transmission. V6-powered Tacomas get a six-speed manual or an optional five-speed automatic. Test drivers agree that the five-speed automatic offers quick, seamless shifts, and that the six-speed manual shifts smoothly. The EPA reports that the 2013 Toyota Tacoma gets up to 21/25 mpg city/highway, which is fairly good for the class. Some test drivers say that while the Tacoma isn’t the most agile vehicle they’ve driven, it still rides and handles well for a pickup truck. However, one critic complains that the brake pedal’s mushy feel isn’t reassuring if you need to stop the Tacoma quickly.

 

 
2013 Honda Ridgeline

2013 Honda Ridgeline

Cost

  • Average price paid is $20,070 to $36,643
  • MSRP is $29,450 to $37,380
  • Invoice is $26,936 to $34,169
  • 15mpg in the city, 21mpg on the highway

Pros/Cons

  • +Works like a truck, rides like a car
  • +Practical interior cargo space
  • +More standard features than many other trucks
  • +Standard all-wheel drive
  • –Lots of cheap interior plastic
  • –Low towing capacity for its class

 

General Scores (Out of 10)

  • Overall score – 8.4
  • Critic Rating – 8.5
  • Performance – 7.6
  • Interior – 7.1
  • Safety – 9.7
  • Reliability – 8

 

Test drivers say the 2013 Honda Ridgeline delivers adequate performance with its standard V6 engine, five-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. While reviewers can’t agree whether or not the powertrain is up to the task of meeting the 5,000-pound towing capacity without feeling strained, nearly all test drivers agree that the Ridgeline offers one of the most refined rides in the segment, thanks to its unibody construction. This isn’t to say that the Ridgeline is totally without truck-like handling characteristics. Critics say the steering is sometimes too light and that it tends to bounce over road imperfections, but it drives more comfortably than most competitors. Some critics are somewhat disappointed, however, that the mildly-powered Ridgeline doesn’t either have a little more power or better fuel economy. The Ridgeline also has above-average safety and reliability scores for the class.


 

2013 Nissan Frontier

2013 Nissan Frontier

Cost

  • Average price paid is $18,528 to $33,681
  • MSRP is $17,990 to $33,790
  • Invoice is $17,063 to $31, 300
  • 16mpg in the city, 22mpg on the highway

Pros/Cons

  • +Comfortable ride; good suspension
  • +Simple audio and climate controls
  • –Low-end interior materials
  • –Limited back seat space

General Scores (Out of 10)

  • Overall score – 8.2
  • Critic Rating – 8.4
  • Performance – 8.3
  • Interior – 6.6
  • Safety – 9.3
  • Reliability – 7

 

The 2013 Nissan Frontier comes standard with a four-cylinder engine, though few reviewers have actually tested a model with this engine. More have reviewed Frontier models equipped with the optionalV6, and reviewers like this engine for its ample power and torque. A manual transmission is standard with either engine, and an automatic, which reviewers praise for its power delivery, is optional. The Frontier achieves an EPA-estimated 19/23 mpg city/highway, which is just a bit less than the fuel economy of one of its primary rivals, the Toyota Tacoma. Reviewers are pleased with the Frontier’s generally comfortable ride and easy maneuverability.

 

2013 Mazda B2300

2013 Mazda B300

Cost

  • Average price paid is $9,256 to $11,106
  • MSRP is $16,060
  • Invoice is $15,230
  • 21mpg in the city, 26mpg on the highway

Pros/Cons

  • +Excellent performance, on road or off-road
  • +Good visibility from raised driving position
  • –Stiff ride due to double wishbone suspension
  • –Plain interior

General Scores (Out of 10)

  • Overall score – 7
  • Critic Rating – 7
  • Performance – 8
  • Interior – 6
  • Safety – 7
  • Reliability – 8

 

The B2300 comes in a regular-cab with a 6-ft bed. It is rear-wheel drive and has a three person front bench seat. Its front suspension consists of double-wishbones with coil springs and a stabilizer bar which all rides on 15-inch wheels. Power is delivered using a 143-hp 2.3-liter four-cylinder that is mated to a five-speed manual transmission or optional five-speed automatic. Safety features include dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes and a tire pressure monitor system.

 

2013 Ford Ranger

2013 Ford Ranger

Cost

  • Average price paid is $10,011 to $11936
  • MSRP is $17,820 to $25,800
  • Invoice is $16,855
  • 22mpg in the city, 27mpg on the highway

Pros/Cons

  • +Revised suspension allows for a smoother ride
  • +Excellent transmission
  • –Stiff brake pedals
  • –Vinyl floors are slippery when wet

General Scores (Out of 10)

  • Overall score – 8
  • Critic Rating – 8
  • Performance – 8
  • Interior – 7
  • Safety – 9
  • Reliability –8

 

Available as a 4×2 Regular cab or 4×2 and 4×4 Supercab the Ranger is offered in three trims: XL, XLT, and Sport. A 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine generates 143 horsepower and a 4.0-liter V6 engine produces 207 horsepower. Available transmissions include a standard five-speed manual or an optional five-speed automatic. The supercab is available as a two-door or four-door with jump seats. A trailer hitch and safety features such as four-wheel anti-lock brakes and dual-stage front airbags are standard equipment. New for 2010 all Rangers include Roll Stability Control with AdvanceTrac, and Side Seat airbags. The 2-door SuperCab now includes jump seats in standard equipment.

Sources: (US News, AOL)

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