Buy/Drive/Burn: The Cheapest Full-size Trucks in America for 2021

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Buy/Drive/Burn returns today with another “cheapest of” installment, the latest in a series that’s seen us cover sedans, midsize trucks, and most recently some convertibles.

And today we’re discussing the cheapest full-size trucks on offer in 2021.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The Silverado ekes out about a $1,000 savings over the cheapest GMC Sierra twin, so it’s our GM entry today. The cheapest configuration is the rarely-selected Regular Cab. Trims range from a WT 4×2 with 4.6-liter V6 (285 hp) and six-speed auto for $28,900 through the High Country with 5.3-liter V8 at $57,600. The WT Regular Cab is only available in long bed format (8’6″), and eight exterior colors are free. Interiors are Jet Black in color, though cloth or vinyl materials are available per customer preference. GM adds a freight charge of $1,695 on to the Silverado for a final ask of $28,900.

Ram 1500 Classic

Believe it or not, Ram still offers their Classic last generation truck in 2021. It’s available in basic Tradesman and more upscale Express and Warlock trims, where Tradesman starts at $28,700 and Warlock at $36,945. Both trims use the same 305-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 as the Chrysler Voyager from the B/D/B entry the other week. All trims also use the same eight-speed automatic. Here, basic dollars net a 6’4″ cargo box rather than the eight-foot of the Chevy. Two colors, red or white, are available for free. Interior options include a gray and black cloth or gray vinyl, free of charge. Ram adds $1,695 destination charge, for a grand total of $30,395.

Ford F-150

Last but not least, it’s today’s most expensive option the Ford F-150. In its basic Regular Cab and short box (6’6″) configuration, Ford asks $28,940. There are 25 configurations available, which range from XL to Platinum where the entry fee is over $59,000. Our basic dollars select XL trim and mean power comes from a 3.3-liter V6 good for 290 horsepower. Those horses are routed through the rear wheels via a 10-speed automatic. Eight different exterior colors are available at no additional charge, as well as vinyl or cloth interiors of dark gray. After the $1,695 destination charge, the F-150 will cost buyers $30,635.

Three basic trucks vie for the lowest number of your dollars possible. Which one’s worth a Buy?

[Images: GM, Ram, Ford]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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2 of 64 comments
  • Rvakenya Rvakenya on Mar 17, 2021

    I bought a 1990 Chevy C2500 at auction for $1600 with 86k miles on it. No rust. Looks like hell and after a new fuel tank, lines, and TBI rebuild, runs fine. After this post, I see I saved the cost of the truck and only paid the shipping cost of a new one. And I had the fun of wrenching on it.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Mar 17, 2021

    Smart to buy that 1990 Chevy probably one of the best Chevy trucks ever made.

  • Lorenzo Subaru had the ideal wagon - in 1995. The Legacy Outback was a straight two-box design with rear quarter and back windows you could see out of, and was available in brown with a 5-speed manual, as God and TTAC commenters intended. It's nice they're not raising prices, but when you've lost the plot, does it matter?
  • Bkojote Remember a month a go when Cleveland wanted to create a more walkable Cleveland and TTAC's 'BIG GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM' dumbest and dullest all collectively crapped their diapers? Here's the thing- look on any American highway and it's littered with people who don't /want/ to be driving or shouldn't be. Look at every Becky on her phone during the morning commute in her Tucson, look at every Brad aggro driving his 84 month loan GMC. Hell look how many drivers nowadays can't even operate a headlight switch. You expect these people to understand a stoplight? In my neighborhood alone 4 people have been rear ended at lights from someone on their phone. Distracted driving over the past 10 years has spiked, and it's only going to get worse unless Becky has an alternative, because no judge is going to pull her license when 'she needs it to get to work!' but heaven forbid she not check fb/tiktok for 40 minutes a day.
  • Scott Shouldn't the The Italian Minister for Business be criticizing The Milano for being too ugly to be Italian?Better use of resources doing that....
  • Steve Biro Frankly, while I can do without Eyesight and automatic start-stop, there is generally less B-S with Subarus in terms of design, utility and off-road chops than with many other brands. I just hope that when they adopt Toyota’s hybrid system, they’ll also use Toyota’s eCVT.
  • The Oracle These are all over the roads in droves here in WNC. Rarely see one on the side of the road, they are wildly popular, capable, and reliable. There is a market for utilitarian vehicles.