Cheap pick-up truck deals

Want a tough machine that looks good, can lug a load of weight and head off-road? A pick-up could fit the bill

Chris Rosamond
Jul 28, 2020

There’s something about driving a full-size 4x4 pick-up truck that appeals to the macho side. They’re chunky and often a little ostentatious with big alloy wheels and chrome grilles, so have a great deal of road presence, but their utilitarian nature means they're not as in-your-face as many SUVs.

In recent years, however, manufacturers have ladled on extra appeal with packed specification sheets full of luxuries you’d expect in a mainstream car - touchscreen media systems with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, climate control, leather upholstery and automatic lights and wipers are all fairly run-of-the mill on pick-up trucks these days.

It’s all very appealing for an owner considering a double-cab pick-up truck as a good compromise between rugged workhorse and weekend family hauler, but the real secret of the big one-tonne pick-up truck’s success is a company car tax break. Because HMRC treats these bad boys as commercial vehicles - which they are, in spite of their leather four/five-seat interiors and  bells and whistles - you only have to pay relatively small fixed tax rates for personal ‘perk’ usage, instead of the whacking great bills a company car can accrue.

Pick-up truck tax benefits are therefore the most likely incentive if you’re considering acquiring such a vehicle, but that doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t shop around to find the model that suits you best - from the most utilitarian pick-ups like the Isuzu D-Max, all the way up to the most expensive options like the VW Amarok and Mercedes-Benz X-Class, which offer much more comfort and kit.

Some of the latest generation pick-ups are so laden with luxury they command price tags well in excess of £40,000, but you don’t need to spend anything like that much to enjoy the benefits of a decent used 4x4 pick-up. Read on if you’re looking for a cheap pick-up truck with great value finance deals and low monthly payments.

Cheap pick-up deals

1. Isuzu D-Max

Used deals from £12,998
Monthly finance from £276

We already hinted at the Isuzu D-Max's simplicity, but it’s pretty good value for money, all things considered. While there are a handful of strictly utilitarian single cab versions for sale on the site, starting at just over £10,000, you’ll have to pay a little more to get into one of the much more popular double-cab versions.

It’s a reliable workhorse that drives well, but the D-Max is less refined than many of its rivals and has a cheap if robust feel to the interior - in contrast to the ‘softer’ appeal of more car-like - and expensive - pick-up trucks.

The D-Max benefitted from a new engine in 2017 which brought better fuel economy, and the ride was improved a little with suspension revisions in 2018, but used prices for these later models haven't risen a great deal, so these are the ones to go for. Trim levels include Yukon, Eiger, Utah and Blade, each offering higher specs than the previous ones.

ISUZU D-MAX BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Nissan Navara

Used deals from £14,995
Monthly finance from £325

The Nissan Navara is available both as a single-cab, and a 'king-cab' which has a pair of small rear-hinged doors allowing passengers onto a cramped rear bench seat. Neither are very practical for self-employed owners with family transport commitments, and the double-cab Navara is vastly more popular as a result.

There are two diesel engine options with 160hp or 190hp, but the latter is only available on higher-spec models. Most variants are four-wheel drive too, and you get an impressive towing capacity of 3,500kg with a braked trailer.

While the Navara is packed with goodies and is a bit more swishy than an Isuzu D-Max, it doesn’t quite have the road manners of a Ford Ranger or VW Amarok - and certainly isn’t as comfortable, refined or classy to ride in as the average family SUV. It’s a likeable beast for all that, in part due to the carry-over of controls and switchgear from the Nissan X-Trail which are mostly very user-friendly.

All get a touchscreen media system, cruise control and automatic headlamps, but Acenta+ trim is the one to look out for. It comes with the bigger engine, 18-inch alloys and dual-zone climate control amongst the luxuries.

NISSAN NAVARA BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Mitsubishi L200

Used deals from £14,125
Monthly finance from £326

The Mitsubishi L200 has been something of a trend-setter in the double-cab pick-up sector, with models given names such as Titan, Warrior and Barbarian, fitted with beefy rollover bars and oversized wheels and tyres, and finding a ready source of eager buyers looking for something a bit more prestigious than a tradesman’s van. Everyone’s at it now, of course, but the Mitsubishi 4x4 pick-up has kept its place as one of the most desirable pick-ups around, right up to the current sixth generation.

That’s a relative newcomer, so won’t qualify for ‘cheap pick-up’ thrills yet, but the previous ‘Mk5’ model is around in good numbers having been on sale since 2015. You can choose from either a 150hp or 180hp version of the same turbodiesel engine, and both have plenty of pulling power, although they’re outmuscled by the bigger capacity engines in the Ford Ranger and VW Amarok.

Ride comfort is on a par with the Nissan Navara, but rear seat comfort is compromised in the L200 by a high rear floor which means you sit with your knees up. The entry-level 4Life double-cabs come with Bluetooth, air-conditioning and cruise control, while the range-topping Barbarian has dual-zone climate control and electrically adjusting leather seats.

MITSUBISHI L200 BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Fiat Fullback

Used deals from £11,995
Monthly finance from £294

The Fiat Fullback is a beefy pick-up that looks a lot like the Mitsubishi L200 Mk5 - they shared their chassis engineering and basic body design under the skin, so that's no surprise, and really only differed in specification and kit.

If you haven’t noticed the Fiat Fullback on the road, don’t be surprised. It was only on sale between 2017 and 2019, and in spite of its connection to the Mitsubishi, it never had the same cachet amongst tradespeople who’ve grown up driving the Japanese original.

Still, that lower level of brand identity in the pick-up sector must surely make the Fullback worth a look for anyone unimpressed by having ‘the right badge’ and you might end up finding a better deal with the Fiat.

Low mileage models are available with attractive monthly payments, and in common with rivals you get all the right kit including air-conditioning, a digital radio and cruise control on basic models. The LX gets a 6.1-inch touchscreen media system with sat-nav, electric/heated seats and leather, while the top-spec Cross has a bigger touchscreen and a reversing camera.

FIAT FULLBACK BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Toyota Hilux

Used deals from £14,559
Monthly finance from £356

The Hilux pick-up is a legend for toughness, thanks in part to the efforts of the Top Gear team and their attempts to ‘kill’ one on the telly. Money can’t buy that kind of marketing, but in truth most of the pick-up trucks around today offer similar robustness and reliability.

That said, the Hilux has a reputation as more of a workhorse than some, and Toyota hasn’t diluted its credentials much by marketing overly showy versions of its pick-up truck, even though they’re equipped with a similar range of cabin comforts from touchscreen media systems to climate control and reversing cameras. The top-spec Invincible X gets heated leather seats, a sat-nav and all-round parking sensors though, as well as big 18-inch alloys.

All Hilux models are fitted with the same 150hp diesel engine, so it’s often outgunned by more powerful rivals. Performance is adequate though, as is the ride quality and refinement in the cabin, albeit not up to VW Amarok standards.

TOYOTA HILUX BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Ford Ranger

Used deals from £12,498
Monthly finance from £300

The Ford Ranger is one of the best pick-up all-rounders around, with a choice of punchy 170hp four and 200hp five-cylinder diesel engines, and a wide range of specs and trims from the entry-level XL to the eye-catching Wildtrack with its chunky off-road style. There’s even a Raptor model developed by Ford Performance with sporty looks and more aggressively-tuned and upgraded suspension.

Standard Ranger models come with four-wheel drive and lots of ground clearance for off-road work, in common with most of their rivals. Even so, it’s one of the best to drive on tarmac with relatively smooth suspension, and steering that’s more direct than most full-size pick-ups. It’s not quite as composed and precise as the VW Amarok around corners, but it’s just as quiet and refined at motorway speeds. While the interior quality doesn’t match the Germans either, it’s not far off and the Ranger’s cabin feels distinctly more classy than the Japanese competition.

If you’re looking for creature comforts the XLT is a good choice. It adds a 4.2-inch touchscreen media system, cruise control, air-conditioning and alloy wheels to the relatively utilitarian XL. Limited trim upgrades you to Ford's slicker SYNC 3 media system which has an eight-inch touchscreen plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The range-topping Wildtrak has roof rails, 18-inch alloys, sat-nav and a reversing camera.

FORD RANGER BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Volkswagen Amarok

Used deals from £16,480
Monthly finance from £401

The VW Amarok shares the crisply conservative styling of its SUV stablemates, and coupled with a suitably Germanic level or interior build quality, this means it manages to present something of a premium image in the pick-up sector. In fact, it feels much higher quality inside than the Mercedes X-Class and yet still feels very much the tough pick-up truck.

The model arrived with a range of 2.0-litre TDI engines which were replaced in 2017 by a fantastically powerful new 3.0-litre V6 variant. Unfortunately the V6 has yet to enter the realms of ‘cheap’ even on the used market, so we’re looking at the older 2.0-litre models only.

The truth is, many will consider them a little underpowered, though they are no worse than the engines in other more utilitarian pick-ups. Nonetheless, if you’re an unhurried driver, you still get the VW sophistication and image, although early Amaroks aren’t as good as post 2017 facelift cars in this respect either. If you can stretch to a 3.0-litre model, the Amarok not only looks upmarket but feels upmarket thanks to the impressive shove and refinement from the 3.0-litre engine.

VOLKSWAGEN AMAROK BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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