The Best Used 4×4 Trucks
When it comes to shopping for a used 4×4 truck, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered. Is off-roading your top priority? Do you need a front locking differential, or just a rear locker? Is tire size important? What about a V-8 engine? The list goes on. To help, even just a little, we’ve compiled our list of the top 10 best used 4×4 trucks on the market today.
10. 2020 to 2021 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
It may seem strange that the Jeep Gladiator pickup finds itself at the bottom of our list. With solid axles, coil-spring suspension, locking differentials, and big tires from the factory, the Jeep Gladiator should be a no-brainer. However, since it was first introduced for the 2020 model year, used Gladiators are being listed for nearly the same as brand-new ones. Give this one a few years, and it will surely jump to the top of the list.
9. 2010 to 2014 Ford F-150 Raptor
We love Ford’s desert-romping F-150 Raptor, especially the first generation (2010-2014). These first-generation trucks came with revolutionary Fox internal-bypass shocks and electronic locking rear differential that could be engaged in any mode and to any speed, and with a burly 6.2L V-8 engine under the hood. The downside is that Ford produced these trucks in extremely limited quantities, and prices continue to creep up, getting close to what they cost new.
8. 1998 to 2012 Ford Ranger
The proliferation and popularity of the Ford Ranger is what lands it on our list. From 1998 until the end of the run in 2012, the Ford Ranger remained mechanically unchanged aside from a couple engine updates. This means that parts from a 1998 are likely to still fit a 2012 (legend had it that the bed floor stamping used in 2012 was the same from when Ranger was introduced in 1983). Four-wheel-drive Ranger models could be found with a V-6 engine, a manual transmission, and a manual transfer case. The FX4 Level 2 models even came with a Torsen limited-slip in the rear.
7. 2005 to 2009 Dodge Ram 2500 Power Wagon
The Ram Power Wagon is undeniably the most capable 4×4 pickup in the heavy-duty segment. When the truck launched in 2005, it impressed all with front and rear locking differentials, 4.56:1 axle gears, Bilstein monotube shocks, an electronically disconnecting front sway bar, a 12,000-pound Warn winch, and extensive skidplating. The truck even came standard with a manual transmission and transfer case. Finding one to buy can prove a tad challenging, as Dodge didn’t produce many of these amazing pickups.
6. 2009 to 2010 Hummer H3T
The biggest tragedy in the off-road pickup segment was the sudden closing of the Hummer brand in 2009. The truck lasted two model years, 2009 and 2010, with Hummer only producing 2,700 of these trucks. The H3T Alpha is the truck to have, however, if off-roading is what you’re looking to do. The trucks had a 5.3L V-8 engine, 4.0:1 low-range transfer case, and front and rear electronic locking differentials.
5. 2015 to 2018 Ram 1500 Rebel
Ram introduced the off-road-focused Rebel model of its 1500 pickup for the 2015 model year while Ford’s F-150 Raptor was on hiatus. This proved to be a smart move, as the mustache-grilled pickup made a big splash early and has held onto its popularity ever since. The Rebel came packed with Bilstein shocks, knobby tires, and the company’s ever-popular 5.7L Hemi V-8 engine and link-coil rear suspension. The biggest downside is the truck’s lack of a locking rear differential.
4. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71
The Z71 off-road package has been a staple among Chevrolet pickups for decades. While not as feature rich as some other off-road packages, it does come with unique shocks, skidplates, and an automatic locking rear differential. And because there have been so many of them built, it’ll be easy for a 4×4 truck buyer to find a Silverado to fit their budget.
3. Ford F-150 FX4
Ford’s F-150 pickup makes the list in such a high spot primarily because there are so many to choose from. The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in America for more than 40 years, with Ford’s plants churning out nearly a million new F-150s every year. The newer you get, the more off-road features the truck is likely to have. These trucks can be had with electronic locking rear differentials, hill descent control, knobby tires, skidplates, and more.
2. Nissan Frontier Pro4X
Nissan’s Frontier midsize pickup has gone largely unchanged since 2005. When it comes to shopping for a used model this is a bonus, as it provides for greater aftermarket support. Pro4X models come with an electronic locking rear differential, knobby tires, and good skidplating, making them the perfect option for anyone in the market for a competent midsize off-roader, for less money than a Tacoma.
1. Toyota Tacoma
Look, do we even need to say anything about the Tacoma? Toyota’s Tacoma has the largest aftermarket support of any 4×4 truck on the market. And the Tacoma’s long list of available off-road trims and features is quite staggering. You really can’t go wrong with any four-wheel-drive model from any generation. Pick the Tacoma that fits your budget and have fun!