3. 2013 Ram 1500 Tradesman
Chrysler’s most blue-collar pickup is the Ram 1500 Tradesman. Undercutting the F-150 XL by a fat stack of Benjamins, this tested-tough truck starts at right around $23,500. At that price buyers get a regular-cab body and a six-foot-four-inch bed. As you probably guessed, it’s two-wheel drive only.
The Tradesman is powered by a standard V8 engine; it’s a 4.7-liter unit that puts out 310 horsepower with 330 lb-ft of twist. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A fire-breathing Hemi V8 is available at extra cost, as is an efficient Pentastar V6, which is matched to a cutting-edge eight-speed automatic transmission. This combo should deliver best-in-class highway fuel economy of 25 MPG.