5 Best Trucks Under $5,000

There are lots of reasons to buy a truck and not just to be called on to move anything large! The number one reason is, of course, the ability to haul things needed for work or for play. Trucks also have strong, powerful engines and tough bodies to safely tackle both on and off road driving. Whether you’re looking for an off-road adventurer, a powerful workhorse, or a sporty, high performing machine, there are several great options for used trucks under $5,000 to choose from.

Ford F-150 1998-1999

If you want an affordable used truck with a powerful engine, a stylish interior, and great handling, then the 1998 or 1999 Ford F-150 is a good choice for you. The ’98 and ’99 F-150 have few differences; most notable changes for the ’99 models are standard 4-wheel anti-lock brakes on the XLT and Lariat trims, standard air conditioning in the XLT, and a fourth door on SuperCab models. The SLA suspension of the Ford-F150 makes for a great ride both on and off road, and the overhead cam engines provide plenty of acceleration and towing power.

The interior of the Ford F-150 proves that a work truck doesn’t have to be bland or boring; the ergonomic layout of the dashboard provides easy to access and use controls, and the stylish interior and comfortable seating will make you think you’re in a luxury car. The base model comes with a 4.2-liter V6 engine, and the XL, XLT, and Lariat each come with a 4.6-liter V8 engine. All four trims average 14/city and 18/highway mpg.

Dodge Ram 1500 2001

The 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 is another great choice for a used truck under $5,000. This powerhouse is available in regular, club, and quad-cab configurations of ½ to 1 ton. The regular cab has the ability for seating up to three but if you need more room choose the quad-club or club because there’s room for six. The interior is modern and ergonomic with controls placed within easy reach.

The full sized Dodge Ram 1500 does well both on and off road. It’s quick and handles so well you might forget you’re in a big truck and not a sporty car. And if you can find the 4X4 off road model, you can get some extras, like a steering system designed for low, off road speeds. The base model comes with a Magnum 3.9-liter V6 engine which gets 13/city and 19/highway mpg. The ST comes with a Magnum 5.2-liter V8, getting 12/city and 18/highway mpg.  All models are available with both standard and automatic transmissions, though many will tell you driving a standard is more fun.

Nissan Frontier 2001

The 2001 Nissan Frontier offers lots of affordable used truck options as it comes in 12 body styles and trims and several different engines. The Frontier boasts a supercharged engine and a machine-like, compact design. The oversized fenders, large front bumpers, and exposed attachment bolts contribute in making this truck look like it’s made for action. The interior features fabric seats in a design that resembles woven metal and the large climate and radio controls are easy to use.

The base model XE has a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that gets a notable 20/city and 24/highway mpg. The 3.3-liter V6 is available in several body trims, with a choice of 2-WD or shift on the fly 4-WD, and gets an average of 15/city and 18/highway mpg. If you can find an SC, you’ll be getting a supercharged engine with 210 hp. The Desert Runner trim features an off-road package and a fantastic power-to-weight ratio. The compact 2001 Nissan Frontier packs a powerful punch both on and off road.

Chevrolet C/K 1500 1997-1998

The 1997 and 1998 Chevrolet C/K 1500 come with plenty of room and classic styling, making them a good choice for a used truck under $5,000. The standard powerful 4.3-liter V6 engine can tow up to 10,000 pounds, and anti-lock brakes are standard equipment on all models. While the interior is comfortably functional on all models, you’ll have a more luxurious interior trimmed in leather if you can find one with a Silverado trim package. The C/K also has a switch for disabling the passenger side air bag whenever necessary. Low-speed steering is easy with the electronic variable orifice feature, and you can find both manual and automatic transmissions for this model.

The C/K comes in a number of different body styles, with differing wheel bases and bed sizes as well. They also come with both 2-WD and 4-WD, and there are diesel engines available for several models. The 4.3-liter V6 engine averages 16/city and 21/highway mpg. The extended cab models with a 5.0-liter V8 engine and averages 13/city and 18/highway mpg.

Dodge Dakota 2000-2001

The 2000-2001 Dodge Dakota is a value priced used truck with great towing capacity, plenty of interior room, and a stylish body. The quad-cab features four full-sized doors and plenty of bed room as well. The interior is quiet and comfortable, and the rack-and-pinion steering system is quite responsive. Both 2-WD and 4-WD models are available, and if you can find one with an R/T sport package, you’ll get boosted horsepower, high performance tires, and a lowered suspension.

The 2000 and 2001 Dodge Dakota comes in assorted body styles with various engines and trim packages. The standard regular cab comes with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that gets 18/city and 23/highway mpg or a 3.9-liter V6 that gets 15/city mpg and 21/highway mpg. The extended and crew cab models come with the same engine options, with the addition of a 5.9-liter V8 that gets 11/city and 16/highway mpg.

Regardless of what kind of truck you do get, you’ll find driving a truck grabs you more attention. Sure half your friends only call for your help now, but did they even call before you had a truck?