How to score the best deal
It's no secret that your brand-new vehicle is no longer brand-new and therefore loses a big chunk of its value right when you drive it off the lot. And, of course, that car will continue to depreciate with every passing year. While that's an unfortunate byproduct of purchasing a new vehicle, it means that the used market is full of cars and trucks that are relatively new and fairly affordable.
It's also no secret that cars and trucks depreciate at different rates, with a wide range of criteria separating the good from the bad. Using data provided by iSeeCars.com, we've assembled a list of all the trucks that were on the market three years ago and remain so today, and we've listed them here in order from worst to best. Some of the results are just what you'd expect, but there may be a few surprises, too.
Without further ado, click on the image above to get started with the biggest depreciator of 'em all. If you'd like to see a list of the biggest depreciators outside of pickup trucks, click here.
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $27,357
3-Year Depreciation: 38.1%
The Nissan Titan depreciates more than any other pickup truck in America, and we're not really surprised. The Titan is a capable truck but doesn't really distinguish itself from other, more popular pickups in a way that makes it a desirable used-car purchase. Recently, Nissan dropped the Cummins-built diesel V8 engine option, which removed one of the actual noteworthy elements that may have attracted some buyers.
Nissan Titan Information
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $27,565
3-Year Depreciation: 37.4%
With a drop of 37.4% in value after three years of ownership, the Ram 1500 kicks off a run of trucks from American automakers. Three more domestic trucks fall in line after the Ram, and they are separated by just 2.5% in their overall deprecation score. Still, if you're looking for a large American pickup and want to pay the least amount possible, the Ram 1500 is your truck.
Ram 1500 Information
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $28,469
3-Year Depreciation: 36.1%
General Motors offers two full-size trucks that share almost all of their mechanical bits and pieces, differing on the surface with unique bodywork, and packaging with the Chevy Silverado serving as the everyman's truck and the GMC Sierra offering a bit more polish, particularly in high-end Denali trim.
The two trucks score pretty similarly in overall depreciation after three years, but since the Chevy's average initial purchase price is lower, so is its average asking price on the used market.
Chevrolet Silverado Information
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $34,767
3-Year Depreciation: 35.4%
You saw this coming, right? Right after the Chevy Silverado on the depreciation scale sits its mechanical twin, the GMC Sierra. As we explained on the Silverado slide, however, the GMC's upmarket positioning means it's more expensive to buy, which is reflected in its average three-year-old used price of $34,767. That makes it the most expensive used truck on this list.
GMC Sierra Information
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $30,260
3-Year Depreciation: 34.9%
We're halfway through the list, and we've come to the Ford F-150. The F-Series has been the most popular vehicle for more than 30 years, and that doesn't look likely to change. The Blue Oval's standard-bearing pickup scores just below average for the entire non-heavy-duty truck segment, and it's the top-performing full-size truck that wears an American nameplate.
Interestingly, of the five trucks that remain, only one is a domestic, and it's a middleweight model.
Ford F-150 Information
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $27,938
3-Year Depreciation: 33.4%
The Honda Ridgeline is unlike any other truck on this list. Instead of a traditional body-on-frame design, the Ridgeline uses a more car-like unibody construction. That means it's more comfortable to drive around on a daily basis, but it also means it may not be the best choice for heavy hauling or towing purposes.
It's also worth noting that the Ridgeline is the priciest midsize truck on the used market. In fact, it's more expensive than the Nissan Titan and Ram 1500, which are a full size larger.
Honda Ridgeline Information
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $19,065
3-Year Depreciation: 31.5%
Right after the Honda Ridgeline comes the Nissan Frontier. Unlike the Ridgeline, which is the most expensive truck before graduating to full-sizers, the Frontier is the least expensive way to park a three-year-old pickup in your driveway. The fact that it hasn't changed much over the years may help older models retain their value, while its low initial purchase price translates into lower used prices.
Nissan Frontier Information
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $31,285
3-Year Depreciation: 29.4%
Two out of the top-three trucks on this list come from the same manufacturer. First up is the Toyota Tundra, which is better at retaining value than any other full-size pickup truck in America. No surprise there, Toyotas generally sit at the top of the charts when it comes time to calculate depreciation, partly because they usually sit at the top of the reliability charts, too.
Toyota Tundra Information
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $25,795
3-Year Depreciation: 28.8%
And now we come to the anomaly of the list. Smack dab between two Toyota trucks at the top of the list sits the Chevy Colorado (it's worth noting that the GMC Canyon is similar to the Colorado, and both perform well on the used market). The Bowtie brand's mid-size truck is the only American pickup that has lower-than-average depreciation. It will be interesting to watch this part of the segment in the coming years as the reborn Ford Ranger and brand-new Jeep Gladiator hit the used vehicle market to see where they fall when compared to the Colorado.
Chevrolet Colorado Information
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $26,858
3-Year Depreciation: 25.2%
The best-performing truck on the depreciation scale is the Toyota Tacoma. That comes as little surprise — Toyota's mid-size pickup has out-performed the rest of the segment for years, and has earned a well-earned reputation for dependability.