Best Trucks for the Money for 2024
The best trucks for the money are ranked based on an analysis of their price and average lifespan, with the top-ranked models offering the longest life at the lowest price.
The best midsize truck for the money is the Toyota Tacoma and the best full-size truck for the money is the Toyota Tundra. Topping the list for the best heavy duty trucks for the money is the Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD, while the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ranks first for the best 6-seater trucks for the money.
iSeeCars.com identified the best pickup truck value (“best for the money”) based on price and potential lifespan. Trucks with the lowest cost per 1,000 miles of total potential lifespan are ranked the highest.
Identifying pickup trucks with the longest potential lifespan is critical given the nature of these vehicles. Unlike new cars and SUVs, trucks have to do more than serve as dependable daily drivers or long-distance family haulers offering comfort and versatility. Trucks, by their very nature, are workhorse vehicles, capable of everything from heavy towing to extreme off-roading when properly equipped.
But unlike the early days of trucks, today’s modelscan also include convenience features like high-definition touchscreens, infotainment interfaces such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and advanced powertrains that balance strong horsepower and torque specs with surprisingly high MPG ratings.
Today’s new trucks are offered in a wide range of trim levels, starting with bare-bones worktruck versions to premium configurations with standard four- or all-wheel drive, plus heated and ventilated front seats, concert hall sound systems, and remote-release tailgates. Most midsize and full-size pickup trucks are available in regular cab, extended cab, and crew cab (four-door) body styles. The 2022 model year debuted two new compact trucks, the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. Both feature four-cylinder turbo engines, automatic transmissions, and four-door-only body styles.
Buyers seeking maximum payload and towing capacity will want to stick with full-size models like the Chevy Silverado, Ford F-150, GMC Sierra 1500, and Ram 1500. These larger trucks can’t match the fuel economy of compact and midsize pickups, but they do boast powerful V8 engine options, and the base models offer relatively fuel-efficient V6 engines, which can be an ideal configuration for buyers looking to balance capability and fuel economy.
There are also highly-specialized off-road trucks, including the Ford Raptor, GMC Canyon AT4, Jeep Gladiator, and Toyota Tacoma TRD. All of these models have substantially higher MSRPs than the base versions, but they also deliver unmatched performance for owners that want to leave the pavement behind.
Finally, buyers who want to avoid fuel costs altogether can choose all-electric trucks like the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Rivian R1T. These models can travel over 300 miles between charges, though that range drops substantially when towing a heavy trailer or driving in cold weather.
How We Rank These Cars
The Best Cars for the Money list ranks cars by their annual cost, which compares the purchase price of the car against how long the car lasts. We believe this is a good determiner of value--the lower the annual cost, the better the value.
iSeeCars analyzed millions of cars to determine how long each car can last. Then we calculated the annual cost over the lifespan for each vehicle. In the event two or more vehicles have the same annual cost, we use iSeeCars proprietary rating of the overall quality of the car (iSeeCars Score) to break the tie.
The overall iSeeCars Score is an analysis of three factors: reliability, resale value and safety. It is calculated based on the latest research and analysis by our data science team. The data analysis comes from over 12 million new and used vehicles in our Longest-Lasting Cars and 5-Year Depreciation Studies, combined with NHTSA and IIHS Safety Ratings.
Vehicles are scored in three categories:
Reliability | 33.3%
The reliability score represents an analysis of iSeeCars' proprietary research on the longest-lasting vehicles.
Value Retention | 33.3%
The value retention score is based on our data science team's statistical analysis and prediction of 5-year depreciation from MSRP to determine which cars hold their value best, using US Bureau of Labor Statistics data to adjust for inflation.
Safety | 33.3%
The safety score is calculated based on the last five years of crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and incorporates the latest Top Safety Pick information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).