What you can drive for $23,000
Nissan Frontier 2WD SV King Cab
Mileage: 17 mpg city/23 highway/19 combined
It's tough to find hardworking trucks in this price range, but the rear-wheel-drive, four-seat Nissan Frontier SV King Cab with automatic transmission makes the cut. The Frontier is a top pick by J.D. Power for both reliability and initial quality. The SV King Cab that we're recommending is powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine good for 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque, and is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. Towing capacity is 3,500 pounds, enough to pull a couple of personal watercraft or ATVs. Its heavy-duty suspension, with double wishbones in the front and a multi-link setup in the rear, makes it rugged enough for occasional off-roading. The Frontier SV includes 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, Bluetooth phone connectivity and an audio system with satellite radio capability.