Whether it is the economy getting better or whether it is weather-related, as storms literally drown sections of the nation, used pickup trucks are holding their value.
FORD: Long either number one or two on the market, the F-150 and F-250 lines have proven to retain their value better than others offered. The F-150, for example, when fully decked out in SuperCab mode can serve not only as a work truck, but also as a family vehicle, as it provides a full rear seat and rear doors with power windows. Ford trucks also pioneered an interesting concept only copied lately by other automakers, and that is the ability to move the pedals back and forth for shorter drivers. The Ford F-150 and F-250 (its half-ton stablemate) are available in two- and four-wheel-drive versions,with standard small V-8s (4.6-liters). New pricing, without a trade and only using factory incentives money, will put the F-150 in the $22,000 ballpark used. One note, if you plan to plow, pick up a used F-250 with all of the right equipment (higher-powered alternator, skid plate, larger battery and plow package). It will handle it better.
Chevrolet/GMC: Essentially the same model, the Silverado 1500 and the GMC pickup, are consistently battling Ford head-to-head in the new and used market. One can find a good, well-equipped Silverado 1500 for about the same value as the Ford F-159 on any used pick up truck listing. Perhaps the key difference has to do with the frame construction, as Chevy has been using hydroforming for its frame for at least three years, and it has some of the widest variety of options on the market. It also offers an Avalanche version that is loaded, but should still only cost somewhere around $25,000.
Lincoln: If you are looking for a luxury version of the F-150 that has some additional cachet to it, look for the Lincoln LT pickup. This is the Lincoln-Mercury Division’s answer to the Ford F-150 SuperCrew.
Dodge: Since the RAM line will likely be undergoing changes under Chrysler Corp.’s new ownership (Fiat owns about 25 percent of the company, and the public still owns the rest as a result of the bankruptcy last year), you can find some great buys in the 1500 series. Both in the two-wheel and four-wheel-drive versions.
Nissan: The Titan is Nissan’s answer to the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado 1500, and indeed is compared with them. It is a full-sized pickup that’s available only in an automatic all-wheel-drive version, whose intelligence determines whether then Titan stays in two-wheel or four-wheel-drive. It features the moving pedal feature you will find on Ford and GM models. Although Nissan would like the market to put this on the same level as the Silverado and F-150 and think of it as a heavy-duty work truck, this is really more of a lightweight. With a nicely finished interior that includes such features as navigation, fold-flat sideview mirrors and more. One can figure you will lay out about $17,000 for a used Titan.
Toyota: The Tundra is Toyota’s full-sized pickup truck and it competes quite nicely with the offerings from Ford and Chevrolet. However, given Toyota’s quality problems and its massive buy-back of many pickups, you should be able to find a late-model Tundra for a very reasonable price.