Ford Motor Company

Finding the right pickup requires careful consideration. The truck needs to have enough room up front to fit extra passengers and freight without minimizing bed space in the rear for cargo. Upset this balance, and you’ll have a truck that fails to do its job.

With that in mind, AxleGeeks narrowed down 14 of the best pickups that strike that chord of form, function, utility and affordability. These are the 14 most affordable extended cab pickups:

#14. 2015 GMC Sierra 3500HD

MSRP: $37,620

For under $40,000, GM’s heavy-duty, full-size pickup gives occupants in the cab an average amount of space. In the front row it has 42.8 inches of headroom and 45.3 inches of legroom. In the back it offers 38.7 inches of headroom and 34.7 inches legroom.

The Sierra’s rear bed measures 97.2 inches. With a total payload capacity of 4,593 pounds, the Sierra can haul 2,063 pounds more than most average pickups. Towing strength, at 13,000 pounds, reflects its muscular build.

#13. 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD

MSRP: $36,705

Essentially the Chevy version of the Sierra, the Silverado is another affordable extended cab from GM that offers the exact same dimensions for passengers up front and in the back.

The Silverado is nearly $1,000 cheaper than the Sierra, but it can only haul 4,270 pounds of cargo, slightly less than the Sierra, and 335 pounds less than the average for its class.

#12. 2015 GMC Sierra 2500HD

MSRP: $35,375

The brother of the Sierra 3500HD, the 2500HD is cheaper than its sibling but also $5,322 more affordable than the average pickup of similar size. Like the 3500HD, this version of the Sierra offers nearly identical headroom and legroom for passengers and doesn’t skimp on space.

Though it’s a lower-end model, the 2500HD sports a bed that’s 1.2 inches longer than the 3500HD. Towing capacity, at 13,000 pounds, is standard.

#11. 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

MSRP: $34,460

Chevy’s version of the Sierra 2500HD, the Silverado is even more affordable—$915 cheaper—and, due to GM design, carries the same cab dimensions for drivers and passengers.

Inside and outside its class, the Silverado 2500HD’s payload capacity pays off. It can haul up to 3,410 pounds—71 lbs. more than the average extended cab, and 880 lbs. more than all pickups combined. This makes it an ideal choice for customers seeking that elusive combo of cargo room within a budget.

#10. 2015 Ford F-350 Super Duty

MSRP: $34,330

Ford weighs in with the F-350 Super Duty, a one-ton rugged monster whose abilities as a full-size pickup surpass its surprisingly affordable MSRP. A bit more constricted inside, the F-350 Super Duty gives front-seat occupants 40.7 inches of headroom and 41.1 inches of legroom. In the second row, its 38.1 inches of headroom and 31.6 inches of legroom are less than the average in its class.

A 98.4-inch bed in the rear can load up to 3,630 pounds: 975 lbs. fewer than most other extended cab pickups, but 1,100 pounds more than its smaller contemporaries. Better news: a 14,000-pound towing capacity is the highest on this list, along with the F-350’s smaller kin, the F-250.

#9. 2015 Ford F-250 Super Duty

MSRP: $33,430

Up to $7,267 cheaper than competitors, the F-250 is also $900 less than the F-350, making it a good choice for people who want to buy essentially the same truck for less money.

Muscle-wise, it can haul 3,600 pounds, only 30 pounds fewer than its larger counterpart, but still 261 pounds more than other pickups in the class. Towing-wise, Ford tops the scales: a 14,000-pound capacity is second to none (at least on this list).

#8. 2015 GMC Sierra 1500

MSRP: $30,695

GMC’s base Sierra, the 1500, trades off its qualities in several ways. Its lower price point (relatively speaking) is over $5,000 less than the 2500HD. It offers 42.8 inches of headroom and 45.3 inches legroom in the front, along with 38.7 inches of headroom and 34.6 inches of legroom in the back.

The Sierra 1500 has an identical bed length as the 2500—about 98 inches—but pulls its weight in the hauling and towing departments. A payload capacity of 1,870 pounds, 28 pounds more than rivals, outshines its towing ability of 9,500 pounds, just about 500 pounds short of other, stronger pickups.

#7. 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

MSRP: $30,130

Chevy’s Silverado 1500 is another in a family of reliable GMC trucks that don’t lose much in the way of quality as its price decreases.

Buyers looking for ample headroom and legroom might want to opt for the 1500, as you’ll get the same interior design specs for a lower price.

#6. 2015 Nissan Titan

MSRP: $29,640

The first of two Nissan full-size pickups on AxleGeeks’ list, the 2015 Titan is the choice for buyers who prioritize efficiency and utility. It’s smaller than some of its domestic counterparts—with a bed length of just 79-inches—but still accommodates 2,102 pounds of cargo.

How well does the Titan cater to its passengers? Front row space features 41 inches of headroom and 41.8 inches of legroom. In the second row, 38.9 headroom inches is 0.2 of an inch more than rivals. It offers 33 inches of back-row legroom.

#5. 2015 Toyota Tundra

MSRP: $28,510

The Tundra symbolizes an extended cab that checks all the important boxes for a truck: under $30,000, with plenty of hauling and towing capacity, plus passenger/cargo space to match. Though average for its class, its ample headroom and legroom in the front and rear is comfortable for most passengers.

A 97.2-inch bed can haul 1,735 pounds. As for towing, the Tundra really impresses: 10,300 pounds is hard to beat for the price.

#4. 2015 GMC Canyon

MSRP: $20,995

The 2015 Canyon is great for drivers who prioritize passenger comfort over utility. The Canyon’s MSRP is nearly half that of some full-size pickups, and the interior room is about the same. Front-row passengers can enjoy 39.5 inches of headroom and 41.3 inches of legroom. While the backseat is a bit more compact, it’s still a good value for its class.

The Canyon can haul 1,450 pounds in its 74.4-inch bed, which doesn’t disappoint, since it’s 20 pounds more than other compact pickups can muster. Towing-wise, it can pull only 3,500 pounds—anemic, but acceptable for such a low price tag.

#3. 2015 Toyota Tacoma

MSRP: $20,965

The 2015 Tacoma is another affordable (and popular) pickup. Up front, there’s 40 inches of headroom and 41.3 inches of legroom; in the second row, 35.2 inches headroom and 28.2 inches legroom is average for its class.

A 73.2-inch bed length provides decent hauling and towing capabilities. For a compact cab, 1,285 payload pounds and some 3,500-pound towing puts it slightly behind its competitors.

#2. 2015 Chevrolet Colorado

MSRP: $20,120

Over $5,500 less than other compact pickups, the 2015 Colorado is the choice for buyers who don’t want the full-size of a Silverado. For a compact, interior room is ample at 39.5 inches of headroom and 41.3 inches of legroom in the front, and 36.6 inches of headroom and 28.6 inches of legroom in the back.

Outside, the Colorado’s cargo faculties are on par with the Tacoma and Canyon. Though a 1,410-pound payload capacity is 20 pounds less than the average, and a 3,500-pound towing capacity is 3,000 pounds less than the average, shoppers won’t be disappointed with this truck’s smart, affordable sportiness.

#1. 2015 Nissan Frontier

MSRP: $17,990

No. 1 on our list, the Nissan Frontier offers a sub-$20,000 price point. For starters, it’s $7,710 cheaper than rival compact trucks, and nearly half the price of the full-size GMC Sierra 3500HD.

Cabin room is spacious for the price: compared to the rest of the segment, 39.7 inches of headroom is on par with other compacts, while 42.4 inches of legroom is 1.1 inches more than the average. Likewise, in the second row, 38.3 inches of headroom space is 1.7 inches more than the average. Though 25.4 inches of legroom might be a deal-breaker.

While it can’t carry as much as its full-size competitors, for the price, the Frontier blazes a new trail on the budget-saving front.

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