Pickup trucks are becoming increasingly popular, with no other vehicle offering as much towing power and torque. Whether it’s everyday use or workhorse work, pickups are here to stay, and if you need a cool one but are on a tight budget, this list is for you. The mics that have earned a spot on our list are reliable, aesthetically appealing, and reasonably affordable.
Whether you like high-performance muscle trucks, serious off-roaders, or special-edition trucks, this list has you covered. With that in mind, here are 10 cool mics that can be yours for under $30,000.
2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
While the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 doesn’t quite measure up to the Ford F-150 Raptor, that’s understandable given the Raptor is about 25% more expensive. It goes without saying that the Colorado ZR2 is aesthetically pleasing with its raw and ready look.
The Colorado ZR2 Pickup features front and rear locking differentials and multimatic shock absorbers to make your off-road adventures easier. Under the hood of the Colorado ZR2 hides a 3.6-liter V6 developing 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. This 2017 Colorado ZR2 is only $29,500.
Ram 1500 rebel 2016
If you ever get tired of living in a bustling metropolis and want to escape urban sprawl, the 2016 Ram 1500 Rebel is your best companion. With interior space measuring 125.3 cu. ft, there’s plenty of room for your backpacks, camera accessories and drinks, as you set off on your off-road adventure with four of your best friends.
The Ram 1500 Rebel gets its power from a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine that develops 410 lb-ft of peak torque and 395 hp. The air suspension lowers the Rebel at highway speeds and improves fuel efficiency. You can pick up a 2016 Ram 1500 Rebel for $22,990.
2016 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X
If you want a ready-to-go climber to help you get away from civilization for the weekend, look no further than the 2016 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X. With specially tuned shocks, automatic headlights, a eight-way driver’s seat and a 5.8-inch NissanConnect touchscreen that gives you access to voice commands and satellite radio, you don’t need to worry about upgrades before hitting the road.
The Frontier Pro-4X produces 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque from a 4.0-liter V6 that works with a 5-speed automatic transmission. Maneuvering this $29,994 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X is pretty easy compared to a full-size pickup.
2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
Nicknamed the “Taco Supreme”, the Tacoma TRD Pro is perhaps the roughest compact truck Toyota has made. Loaded with off-road features like hill start assist, 2.5-inch front/rear Bilstein shocks and 16-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tires, the 2015 Tacoma TRD Pro is a desert delight.
The Tacoma TRD Pro’s 4.0-liter V6 engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and develops 236 horsepower. The 2015 Tacoma TRD Pro has good on-road and off-road manners, and it can be yours for $26,710.
2014 Dodge Ram 1500 Mossy Oak Edition
With Ram owners loving outdoor pursuits like fishing, hunting, and camping, it’s no surprise that Dodge reintroduced the Mossy Oak Edition of the Ram 1500 in 2014 after a year-long hiatus. To complement the Mossy Oak camo, three color choices are available: Black, Black Gold, or Prairie Pearl.
The Mossy Oak Edition pickup cargo bed comes with a length of 6 feet. 4 inches, and the Mossy Oak logo is clearly displayed on the headrests and rear quarter panels. The Mossy Oak Edition full-size pickup is based on the Ram 1500 4×4 Crew Cab Outdoorsman, which offers two gasoline engine options: 3.6-liter V6 and 5.7-liter V8. Find a used 2014 Ram 1500 Mossy Oak Edition pickup for $28,995.
2013 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner
Tacoma is one of Toyota’s best-selling compact trucks in America, and to continue its market dominance, Toyota offers a limited package known as the X-Runner, which comes with a touch of luxury. Some upgrades to the 2013 X-Runner include a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls, heated SofTex-trimmed front seats and a HomeLink® universal transceiver.
The base engine of the 2013 Tacoma is a 2.7-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine that develops 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of peak torque. For more power, opt for the 4.0-liter DOHC V6 that develops 236 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of mid-range torque. This 2013 Tacoma X-Runner with a V6 and a manual transmission can be yours for $27,000.
2012 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson Edition
For the Harley-Davidson edition of the F-150, Ford offers the utmost in comfort and smooth handling without compromising on performance. Whatever you may have heard about old rubber-coated plastic cars, that’s not true of the F-150 Harley-Davidson Edition, which has remarkably comfortable front bucket seats and steering with a chunky feel.
The 6.2-litre V8 engine produces 411 hp and 434 lb-ft of torque and propels the 2012 Harley-Davidson Edition F-150 to 100 km/h in under 8.0 seconds. The tow/haul transmission mode is convenient when hauling a load up a hill. A 2012 Harley-Davidson Edition F-150 pickup costs around $29,996.
2007 Ford F-150 XL Saleen S331 Supercharged
Just three years after the SVT Lightning was discontinued, Ford teamed up with Saleen to introduce a tuned version of the F-150 known as the S331 Supercharged pickup. What’s really intriguing about the Saleen S331 Supercharged Truck is that it’s been modified beyond the bolt-on body kits, and passed EPA and crash tests.
Based on the RWD FX2 F150 SuperCab, the Saleen S331 pickup was fitted with retuned shocks and BFGoodrich performance tires. Saleen fitted the modified F-150 with a Class IV hitch and trailer system that increased its towing capacity to 9,500 lbs. The Saleen S331 Supercharged truck, which costs around $27,995 in the used car market, develops 450 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque.
2006 Chevrolet Silverado Intimidator SS
The Chevy Silverado Intimidator SS is a special edition pickup built in honor of Dale Eamhardt. Unlike the original Silverado SS, this special-edition Intimidator SS features performance suspension, a stiffer front stabilizer bar and Tenneco shocks.
Chevrolet only built 1,333 units of the Silverado Intimidator SS, based on the 2006 Silverado SS equipped with a Vortec 6000 V8 engine rated at 345 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of peak torque. Find a used Chevrolet Silverado Intimidator SS pickup truck for $17,333 here.
2006 Dodge Ram SRT-10
The monstrous horsepower of the 2006 Dodge Ram SRT-10 is one of the many reasons it can’t go out of style, even after several decades. Installing a Paxton NOVI 2000 supercharger with the 8.3-liter V10 produces 650 hp and 700 lb-ft.
The 2006 Dodge Ram SRT-10’s maximum towing capacity is about 8,150 lbs., which isn’t too bad for a pickup truck under $30,000. The Ram SRT-10’s 22-inch Viper-style wheels are wrapped in 305/40 Toyo Proxes ST III tires to provide ample grip when you hit the road.
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