Pickup trucks used to be relegated to work or commercial use, but no longer. Today’s light-duty trucks are versatile, comfortable and safe – and offer many high tech options and packages to further customize virtually every model. From basic commuter to occasional hauler, towing trailers and boats to mild or serious off-roading, there’s a pickup truck for almost every need. We looked at the data and selected these eight inexpensive pickup trucks that also have high safety ratings.
To arrive at this list of the eight inexpensive pickup trucks that are safe, iSeeCars.com analyzed over 20,000 vehicle models from the 2011 to 2014 model years, and 4.5 million used car listings from August 1 through November 1, 2014. Vehicles with an average safety rating less than four stars, as determined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), were excluded from further analysis. The remaining pickup trucks with MPG greater than 14 were then ranked by average asking price to arrive at this top 8 list – which is focused on 2013 models.
The pickup trucks on this list appear in order of least to most expensive. Note that all of the pickup trucks on this list received a four-star overall safety rating from NHTSA.
2013 Toyota Tacoma – It’s not quite full size, but it’s more than capable. The 2013 Toyota Tacoma provides a good balance between hauling, towing, off-roading, and daily driving duty in a safe truck. The 2013 Tacoma is also the least expensive model on this list with a price of $27,684. It has an average fuel economy of 19.5 mpg.
2013 Ram 1500 – A full-size pickup with plenty of impressive technology features and nifty controls, the 2013 Ram 1500 is also a smooth-handling vehicle with a comfortable and well-trimmed cabin. A strong powertrain, an impressive V6 engine, and an eight-speed transmission are other highlights. The average price for the 2013 Ram 1500 is $29,420. As for average fuel economy, that’s an easy-to-live-with 15.5 mpg. Not bad for a full-size pickup truck that can accommodate so many different wants and needs – and look good in the process.
2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 – With its smooth ride, variety of available powertrains, three body styles (regular, crew and extended cab), comfortable seats and lots of available technology and other options, the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a full-size truck that offers a nice combination of features and performance in the highly competitive large truck segment. This was the last year before a full redesign. The average price for the 2013 is $29,969 – just under the $30,000 mark. Its average fuel economy is 14.0 mpg.
2013 GMC Sierra 1500 – Although some of its main competitors offered fresher styling, the 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 (like its corporate twin the Chevrolet Silverado 1500) is still a worthy competitor in terms of its smooth, quiet ride, comfortable seats, range of body styles (regular, crew and extended cab), powerful V8 options, and capable performance. Downsides include limited storage space, a rather bland interior, large turning radius and a relatively weak V6 engine. The 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 has an average price of $32,272 – right in the middle of the pack. It also has an average fuel economy of 14.0 mpg.
2013 Toyota Tundra – Considered a capable workhorse in a full-size truck, the 2013 is essentially a carryover model. That means there were no substantial changes for the 2013 Tundra from the 2012 model. Still, what the Tundra offers is strong utility at an affordable price, even if it is missing some of the refinement of competitor models. It has an average price of $33,376, and its average fuel economy of 14.5 mpg is quite good for a large truck.
2013 GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid – Available only in a crew cab, the 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid, with an average price of $33,491, comes in sixth among the top eight inexpensive pickup trucks that are also safe. This truck has an average 21 mpg in fuel economy.
2013 Ford F-150 – There’s no getting around the facts: the is the best-selling light-duty pickup truck, and has been for more than 30 years. In our research, it came in at number six of the top eight inexpensive pickup trucks that are safe. The 2013 F-150, which received a minor styling update, remains a top choice for those who want to tow, haul, go off road, or just drive on paved roads. Its average price of $34,211 is very affordable for a full-size truck. Average fuel economy is 15.4 mpg.
2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid – Our final entry for inexpensive, safe pickup trucks is the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid. The hybrid version of the regular Silverado 1500, the 1500 hybrid has many of the same positive attributes and the added bonus of being more environmentally friendly. However, it is only available with a crew cab. Its average fuel economy of 21 mpg is tied with that of its corporate sibling, the 2013 . The average price of the 2013 Chevrolet 1500 Hybrid is $34,961.