There's a used truck out there for almost anyone, a side effect of the fact that modern-day trucks come in an almost limitless number of configurations, sizes, and shapes. With so much choice available, it's hard to pick the single best used truck. Rather, it's a better idea to try and select the best used trucks that fit into a particular niche. Whether you want to haul cargo or just haul ass, climb mountains or climb your driveway in the winter, we've put together a list of trucks that are worth checking out on the secondhand market.
Let's take a quick look at 10 of the best used trucks for 2014.
Best Used Trucks for 2014 - 01 - Ford SVT Raptor
Few pickups have attracted as much notice in recent years as the Ford SVT Raptor. Introduced in 2010 as an off-road racing-inspired variation on the ultra-popular Ford F-150 full-size truck, the Ford SVT Raptor is an intimidator both around town and out on the dunes. Featuring a wider track than the standard F-150, along with a long-travel suspension setup and (in later years) a standard 6.2-liter V-8 putting out 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque through its four-wheel drive system, the Raptor is a force to be reckoned with in terms of performance and attitude.
Best Used Trucks for 2014 - 02 - Ram 2500 HD
The Ram 2500 HD is a heavy duty pickup that straddles the line between full-on work rig and daily driver. The Ram 2500 HD provides the kind of strengthened chassis and up-rated suspension system that is so necessary when hauling or towing a heavy load, but it's not over-sprung to the point where it's impossible to drive when empty. Although the Ram 2500 HD can be had with a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, in our opinion the version of the truck to target is the model that features its 350 horsepower, 6.7-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel engine. This unit, which also produces an astounding 650 lb-ft of torque, can be matched with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
Best Used Trucks for 2014 - 03 - Honda Ridgeline
The Honda Ridgeline is the best used truck for those who don't really want to be driving a pickup. While that might sound a bit obtuse at first, please hear us out: the Honda Ridgeline rides on a unibody chassis borrowed from Honda's crossover program, giving it a much more supple ride than one might expect from a utility-focused vehicle. The all-wheel drive system in the Ridgeline is biased towards the front wheels, the passenger compartment seats up to five in comfort, and there's a locking 'trunk' located in the bed of the open cargo area. It's a unique truck no matter how you slice it, and also one that hasn't changed at all since it first hit the market in 2006 (all versions of the Honda are motivated by a 250 horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6).
Best Used Trucks for 2014 - 04 - Toyota Tacoma X-Runner
For a brief time compact sport performance trucks were a 'thing,' and in celebration of that there was the Toyota Tacoma X-Runner. The Toyota Tacoma X-Runner is a factory-slammed edition of the standard compact Tacoma pickup, and not only does it feature a lower ride height than stock, but it also comes with a trick body kit that is far more boulevard than bruiser (there's even a hood scoop). The X-Runner gets a louder stereo system, too, but more important is its standard 4.0-liter V-6 that grinds out a healthy 236 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, managed by either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.
Best Used Trucks for 2014 - 05 - Chevrolet Avalanche
The Chevrolet Avalanche has always been somewhat of an odd duck, a crossover pickup that combines the rugged attributes of a full-size pickup (crew cab seating for up to five passengers, four-wheel drive, tow-friendly frame) with SUV-like cargo management options. These include the 'midgate' feature, which allows the divider between the open cargo bed and the cabin to be lowered and extend the vehicle's carrying capacity by a significant amount. Under the hood of almost every used Chevrolet Avalanche sits a 5.3-liter V-8 that is good for 320 horsepower, but some models left the factory with an optionally-installed 366 horsepower, 6.0-liter V-8.
Best Used Trucks for 2014 - 06 - GMC Sierra Denali
The GMC Sierra Denali is worth pursuing if you want a comfortable, yet still capable full-size pickup. A used GMC Sierra Denali rides on the same utility-focused bones as the standard Sierra truck, but it's a vehicle that has been sent to finishing school by way of its luxurious, leather-laden interior, heated steering wheel, unique exterior styling, and a suspension system that has been tuned with compliance in mind. The Sierra Denali also features a standard 6.2-liter V-8 that generates 403 horses and 417 lb-ft of torque, which can be managed by an available all-wheel drive system for maximum traction.
Best Used Trucks for 2014 - 07 - Nissan Titan
The Nissan Titan is on our list of the best used trucks not because it's bigger, more powerful, or more refined than any other entry. The Nissan Titan actually makes the cut based on its value proposition, as prices for secondhand examples of this pickup have taken a beating in recent years. The fact that the Titan doesn't offer the latest and greatest gear doesn't matter so much when buying used, where most shoppers will be perfectly happy with its strong build quality, its 317 horsepower 5.6-liter V-8, and its available four-wheel drive system. Think of it as basic truck transportation and you'll know how much you should pay for a used Titan.
Best Used Trucks for 2014 - 08 - Cadillac Escalade EXT
At first glance a used Cadillac Escalade EXT would seem to be nothing more than a gussied-up Chevrolet Avalanche, and while there's some merit to that interpretation (they both share the same platform and body style), the Caddy's got some extra mojo working to attract your attention. Specifically, all versions of the Cadillac Escalade EXT come with a 6.2-liter V-8 that is good for a respectable 403 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque. Like the Sierra Denali, this output is corralled by an all-wheel drive system (standard with the Cadillac), and the vehicle can also be had with a magnetically-controlled suspension system that gives it a very controlled ride.
Best Used Trucks for 2014 - 09 - Chevrolet Colorado
The Chevrolet Colorado was a much-maligned pickup when new (it's been out of production for about a year while we await its 2015 replacement), but we're including it in this roundup of the best used trucks for one specific reason: it's the most compact of the mid-size trucks out there that was also available with an eight-cylinder engine. In fact, the Chevrolet Colorado, when outfitted with its available 5.3-liter V-8, is a veritable hot rod, as its 300 horsepower mill gives it substantial acceleration and decent towing capacity. Look for post-2009 editions of the Colorado if you want to sample its eight-cylinder charms, as that’s the first year this motor became available.
Best Used Trucks for 2014 - 10 - Nissan Frontier PRO-4X
The Nissan Frontier PRO-4X is a mid-size pickup with an off-road focus that is an appealing choice on the used market. The Nissan Frontier PRO-4X can be found in extended and crew cab editions, and it provides a trail-ready suspension system, low-range four-wheel drive, skid plates, Bilstein shock absorbers, knobby tires, and a locking rear differential. The PRO-4X also comes with a standard 4.0-liter V-6 engine that has been tuned to provide 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque, with the choice between either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic to handle the gear shifting duties.