If you’re looking for a pick-up truck, then it’s likely that you’ve got a job to do. With a large load bed and a more robust interior than your typical SUV, a pick-up truck will get your – and plenty of goods – here, there and everywhere.

Designed to go off road, pick-up trucks often come with some of the most rugged four-wheel-drive systems available in the automotive sector which is why they’re able to travel across some of the very worst conditions in the harshest of conditions. But, on some of the newest pick-ups, this has been combined with some more upmarket materials and clever tech to make them a little more hospitable than your usual no-nonsense truck.

The best used pick-up trucks to buy

As we’ve touched on, pick-ups do tend to have a more rugged approach to driving than a typical SUV. It’s because they’re designed to be workhorses and deliver a reliable, easily-fixable way of getting from A to B – even if ‘B’ is the other side of a mountain.

There’s loads of variety in this segment, too, with used pick-ups delivering great value if you’re after as much versatility as possible. These are the trucks we’ll be checking out in this feature.


1. Ford Ranger (2011-2023)

Ford really hit the nail on the head when it released the second-generation Ranger. It debuted with a brand new platform which made it far easier to live with on the road but lost none of the go-anywhere credentials which had helped establish the Ranger name in the first place.

It nurtured a reputation for reliability – something worth its weight in gold within the pick-up segment – while a good range of engines meant there was something for everyone. There’s little wonder why it rose to become the UK’s most popular pick-up while it was on sale and this fierce demand means there’s a plentiful supply on the used market too where they offer excellent value for money considering the level of versatility you’re getting as standard.

Best Features

  • Lots of availability in the used segment.
  • Engines are robust and have a decent amount of power.
  • 3,500kg towing capacity on top-spec models.

Things to consider

  • Fuel consumption is quite high.
  • Base ‘XL’ Rangers don’t get much equipment.
  • High cost of road tax due to high emissions.

2. Volkswagen Amarok (2011-2023)

The Volkswagen Amarok absolutely rocked the pick-up segment when it arrived in the early 2010s. Here was a pick-up truck which was just as usable as its rivals space-wise, but offered a more car-like driving experience which made the Amarok more like a large SUV to live with.

The standout feature of the Amarok was the V6 diesel engine which it was available with. Why? Well, it gave the Amarok some serious performance – enough to scare off a hot hatch, in fact – but made it far more relaxing to drive over long distances than other pick-ups in the segment. Plus, Volkswagen’s usual rock-solid build quality came to the fore in the Amarok with great materials used throughout.

Best Features

  • Remarkably comfortable and refined for a pick-up.
  • 3,500kg towing capacity.
  • Interior is well made and has plenty of features.

Things to consider

  • Amarok was facelifted in 2016 with a sharper design and that important V6 diesel.
  • Since it’s quite powerful, the Amarok will be quite heavy on fuel.
  • Earlier models had a slightly weedy 2.0-litre diesel.

3. Mercedes X-Class (2018-2020)

Mercedes saw the success that Volkswagen was having with its Amarok and thought it would get in on the action. That commenced in 2018 with the X-Class, a pick-up truck with a premium finish befitting that three-pointed star, albeit on a platform shared with the more humble Nissan Navara.

However, the X-Class did go above and beyond its Nissan stablemate with a far greater range of high-quality materials and a generally more upmarket look and feel inside and out. It had some good driving qualities, too, with Mercedes tuning this truck’s suspension differently to the Navara and producing a far more comfortable, refined pick-up in the process. The top-rung 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 on higher-spec models also made the X-Class a match for the most powerful Amarok available, too.

Best Features

  • Premium finish to the cabin with lots of equipment as standard.
  • Refined range of engines to choose from.
  • 3,500kg towing capacity.

Things to consider

  • The X-Class wasn’t on sale for very long so used options may not be that varied.
  • More expensive than equivalent Navara.
  • All versions are heavy on fuel.

4. Toyota Hilux (2016-present)

There are few pick-up trucks with quite the same level of prestige as the Toyota Hilux. Known around the world for its incredible toughness, the Hilux is often seen as the go-to pick-up in the segment. While it may have started out life as a rather rugged and agricultural, this eighth-generation truck did introduce more luxuries without forsaking the assured quality that the Hilux has always been attributed with.

Its superb track-record for reliability means that the Hilux is ideal for drivers who don’t want a truck that’ll cause them mechanical hassle, while its large load bay has smaller intrusions from the wheelarches than in rival offerings, making it easier to load wider and longer items into the rear bay. Though the interior might not be as lavish as other trucks here, it’s ergonomically designed and all of the materials will prove hard-wearing and – importantly for a pick-up – easy to clean.

Best Features

  • Known for its reliability and easy-to-repair nature.
  • Excellent off road and in difficult conditions.
  • 3,500kg towing capacity.

Things to consider

  • Higher-mileage examples are commonplace and will need to be serviced often.
  • Not as easy to live with on-road as others here.
  • Rear space is quite cramped.

5. Nissan Navara (2016-2022)

The Navara is yet another popular option in the pick-up segment. This latest generation model, despite being quite brash in its design was far more refined to drive than you might expect, with relatively good on-road manners backed up by plenty of ability off-road. All versions get a 2.3-litre turbocharged diesel engine – available in various states of tune – and you can opt for either manual or automatic gearbox options too.

The steering of the Navara is quite heavy – particularly when compared with a regular SUV – but that does make it feel quite solid when you’re driving. Around town, its large shape and size makes parking more of a task, but then this is commonplace across the segment. Regardless of specification you’re getting air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control as standard, too.

Best Features

  • Good value considering the level of equipment you get.
  • Interior is well made and will be familiar to drivers of ‘regular’ cars.
  • 3,500kg towing capacity.

Things to consider

  • It’s quite noisy at motorway speeds.
  • Manual gearbox isn’t the nicest to use – we’d pick the auto.
  • Lots of high-mileage examples out there.

6. Isuzu D-Max (2012-2021)

The D-Max is a pick-up truck which puts robustness above all else, which is why it’s the go-to option for many drivers who really rely on their vehicles to get the job done. It’s why you’ll see Isuzus being sold in countryside areas as they’re the top pick for farmers and agricultural workers.

This generation of D-Max – just prior to the latest ‘brand-new’ one – might not be the quietest nor refined, but thanks to well-judged steering it’s not as difficult to pilot as you might think. It’s available with both 1.9- and 2.5-litre engine options and while some might naturally think the larger of the two is a better fit, the smaller-capacity engine still does well and can deliver the 3,500kg towing limit that is the benchmark for this segment.

Best Features

  • No-nonsense design makes it very easy to get accustomed with the D-Max.
  • Plentiful parts means there’s always an option should something go wrong.
  • 3,500kg towing capacity across the range.

Things to consider

  • Quite loud when driving at motorway speeds.
  • Early five-speed automatic gearbox is clunky and doesn’t change quite when you want it to.
  • Low-spec models are truly basic and don’t get many features.

7. Fiat Fullback (2016-2019)

Fiat might not be a name that you’d usually associate with a pick-up truck, but the Fullback changed all that. Built in collaboration with Mitsubishi – the Fullback shared a platform with the L200 – this pick-up took a more value-orientated approach than others in the market. Plenty of standard equipment helped towards this endeavour, too, while a surprising amount of interior space aided its overall appeal.

There’s just one engine available – a 2.4-litre turbocharged diesel – but it’s available in two states of tune, so you do have options. The Fullback is a little lighter than others in the segment, too, which makes it feel a bit more agile in the bends, and though the suspension can be a touch bouncy at lower speeds, it’s actually not bad when you’re driving on the motorway. Longer journeys shouldn’t prove too tasking in the Fullback, therefore.

Best Features

  • Quite a bit cheaper than rivals here.
  • Only three trim levels to choose from and all get plenty of features.
  • 3,100kg towing capacity.

Things to consider

  • Not as commonly found in the used market.
  • Interior looks and feel is a bit old-school.
  • Ground clearance isn’t the best in the pick-up world.

8. Mitsubishi L200 (2015-2019)

The L200, like others here, is a truck which really focuses on being as rock-solid dependable as possible. However, being lighter than its rivals means that the L200 brings some extra agility to the table without being any less usable and practical. This fifth-generation L200 was particularly good, too, and was available in a number of specifications which each brought plenty of equipment. The outlandish Barbarian trim continued to turn the L200 into an eye-catching truck, too, as it has on previous generations of this Mitsubishi.

The 2.4-litre turbocharged diesel does a fine job of powering the L200 along in a brisk enough fashion, too, while an update in 2018 meant it could finally meet that much-required towing capacity of 3,500kgs – earlier versions could only manage 3,100kgs in contrast. It means you’ll have to opt for a later version if you really want the best-possible towing capacity.

Best Features

  • Variety of specifications means there’s a version to meet most budgets.
  • Good availability on the used segment.
  • 3,500kg towing capacity, or 3,100kg in pre-2018 versions.

Things to consider

  • The L200 is quite softly sprung, so when unladen it has a tendency to feel a bit bouncy.
  • Some materials used inside feel a bit low-rent.
  • Infotainment system feels quite outdated and lacks many functions.

What should you consider when buying a used pick-up truck?

There’s a lot to think about before you dive into pick-up ownership as they bring a range of positives and negatives that you’ll need to consider prior to taking the keys. Let’s take a look.


If you’re used to driving a standard SUV, then you’ll find the switch to a pick-up truck quite noticeable. Even the most car-like of pick-ups – like the Volkswagen Amarok, for instance – is still louder and bouncier than your regular car due to their more solid construction. You’ll also want enough room to park your truck at home easily – they’re very large and, because of the tail section, take up a lot of space. Even a regular-sized parking space won’t fit most of the pick-ups here.

Running costs

There’s no getting around it – a pick-up costs more than your equivalent SUV to run. Due to their larger tyres and heavier bodies they do use more fuel, so you’ll need to factor this into your overall budget.

Remember, that you’ll need to keep up with your servicing on a pick-up, too, as if they’re used hard they’ll need to be maintained properly.

Ease of use

Pick-up trucks are both the most and the least practical vehicles out there. For instance, if you’ve got large garden or your job requires you to move big items – which can’t fit in a usual car – then a pick-up is great. But if you’re a family with a push-chair and kids that need to go in the back seats, you might find that the large rear bed could actually be a more of a hinderance.


Frequently Asked Questions