High class fit and finish, interiors that would make luxury cars jealous, and a ride you wouldn’t be embarrassed taking to a black tie affair… are not what we think of when we hear the word “truck”! Because they were initially built to get you through sticky situations, haul heavy loads to work during the week, and unload your toys on the weekend.
Just a decade ago, the words “luxury” and “truck” didn’t belong in the same sentence! But nowadays, there are a few cheap trucks that punch way above their curb weight, and offer all the comfort and perks of a high-end European sedans, with the capability of a rural workhorse!
GMC Sierra 1500 Denali (2014)
There’s no better way to start off this list than with the OG luxury truck: the GMC Sierra Denali! Okay, here’s a little history lesson. The Denali trim level has brought that special flair to the GMC lineup since the 1999 Yukon! My family had one when I was a kid, and we used to say, “Yu-Kon go anywhere you want!”
Fast forward to 2014, when the regular Sierra just wasn’t enough for the affluent buyer, GMC offered those discerning customers the $60,000+ Denali trim with its bold 20-inch chrome wheels, oversized grill, and LED headlamps, and enough comfort and power to keep things classy when things get rocky.
And when you open that driver’s door, you’re met with pure luxury! The cowboy influence is strong here with rich leather seats that are both heated and cooled, plus a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel. And, of course, you can’t miss the striking high-end aluminum trim with finishing touches like Denali inscribed in the headrests just in case you forgot you were in GMC’s range topping trim.
Yeah, GMC tried really hard with this rig, even using triple door seals to eliminate road noise. And, you know, quiet down all those poor people outside. Have you ever heard the old joke, “What’s a Denali got in common with a Corvette?” Well, most of its engine! That’s right, you’d be hard pressed not to find one with the Corvette-bred 6.2-liter 420-horsepower V8 with the tow-happy 8-speed automatic transmission. Those excellent gear ratios keep the torque-rich engine right in the sweet spot and will blast this 2.5-ton piece of metal from 0 to 60 in a quick 5.4 seconds, all while getting over 20 miles to the gallon!
And when you can snag a Denali with all this luxury for under $20,000, you’re going to be hard pressed to find a better deal!
Cadillac Escalade EXT (2007-2013)
How could a cheap luxury truck list be complete without the quintessential American luxury brand Cadillac? I personally think the Cadillac Escalade EXT sport utility truck looks like a really expensive mullet. You know, all business in the front, and party in the back! Started at $54,000 new, this truck is a 3-ton hunk of luxury on wheels.
Now, the early trucks, the 2002 to 2006, had those ugly headlights, and you want to stay as far away from that generation as possible! But step up to 2007, and Cadillac gave the truck a much needed makeover to look like the rock star it really was! And to say it’s one of the most ridiculous vehicles ever made would be an understatement! At first glance, you can tell GM was thinking luxury first, truck third.
This thing oozes luxury out of its tailpipe with a 6.2-liter V8 with 403 horsepower quietly purring under the hood. And those massive 22-inch wheels are 100% ballin’! But, when your gaze stops at the dismal 5.25-foot truck bed, you might think it’s not going to haul jack to the job site, but you’d be oh-so wrong! This big boy caddy had a trick up its sleeve! The midgate divider system literally extends the usable bed into the rear seating area after folding a few things down, and you now have 8 feet of usable bed space for moving logs or tools or whatever truck guys do with trucks!
Hop inside and you’ll find seating for 5, with finely stitched leather and wood and metal accents throughout. The materials used look and feel expensive, and the 10-speaker Bose system is going to let crank up the Billy Ray Cyrus as you take on a long haul. Mullet optional.
Now, this full-frame luxury truck doesn’t get the best gas mileage, drinking up 14 miles per gallon, but it will get up to highway speeds in a respectable 7.1 seconds. And you can find one of Cadillac’s top-of-the-line trucks for only $10,000. Well, it’s not a “truck” in the traditional sense of the word, but it’s a strong deal at that price point!
Ford F-150 Limited (2016 or Newer)
I don’t think anyone can put a finger on exactly when trucks became more luxury toy than work tool. But, about 20 years ago, Ford introduced to the world the Lincoln Blackwood, a beautified F-150 with a carpeted bed and a hideous frend door tailgate. That was a little too much for the general public to handle, to say the least. And although Ford struck out with the Blackwood, they did pave the road for where luxury trucks were headed.
The 13th-generation Ford F-150 Limited 4×4, the top dog in Ford’s truck lineup, puts luxury first and work a distant second. You can get it in any styling configuration as long as it’s a four-door SuperCrew cab with the 5.5-foot bed. The easiest way to spot a Limited is the massive 22-inch wheels many donk owners would be jealous of! As for the inside, you’re greeted with high quality leather heated and cooled seats with massagers for the people lucky enough to sit up front, limited exclusive wood trim, and a panoramic glass roof for easy star gazing at night.
And this American truck’s engine is a showpony! Yes! The $51,000+ rig comes with the EcoBoost V6 pumping out 365 horses and 420 foot-pounds of torque. It’s good for a 0 to 60 run of 2 ticks under 6 seconds, which makes it one of the better performing trucks on this list!
The good news is that the F-150 Limited has lost half of its value, and at roughly $30,000, is an insane luxury truck value! I get it, cheap luxury trucks aren’t for everyone, and there are parts of the F-150 Limited that make you realize it started as a $26,000 pickup truck. But, there is a reason Ford F-150s are America’s #1 selling vehicle. And if you want to see why they’re also the #1 depreciating truck ever, check out this video where we explain!
Chevrolet Silverado High Country (2016)
Okay, so you want a luxurious pickup truck built Like A Rock. Well, for Chevy boys buying the 2nd-generation Silverado, the top-of-the-line LTZ trim was as good as you could get! And, let’s just say, that really wasn’t a contender when it came to the world of luxury pickups! But Chevy had a really good reason. Remember the GMC Sierra Denali we talked about before? General Motors didn’t want to haul sales away from GMC by having a sibling rivalry, but… that didn’t last very long!
For the 3rd-generation Silverado, Chevy stepped it up a notch with the 1500 High Country! The High Country is a basic Silverado dipped in chrome, with accents everywhere making it look more like a mall crawler than a mountain crusher. Body-wise, it’s still a basic Silverado, but the loud, in-your-face accents make it look like a $50,000+ truck!
While outside is a flashy sprinkling of chrome, inside is a cowboy’s dream. The designers at Chevy went hog wild with leather, covering everything in saddle-colored leather that extends way beyond the seats. Oh, and the dash stitching carries on the Western theme and ties the knot for this bow tie truck dressed up in a dapper suit.
But it doesn’t stop there, because sitting behind that massive chrome grill sits a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horses ready to riot! And the mechanical similarities between this motor and the Corvette’s LT1 are undeniable. Which is pretty cool, you definitely have bragging rights when you have a ‘Vette motor under the hood.
But the other, far less fun option is the 5.3 EcoTec3 mill, which is no slouch in its own right with 355 horsepower. But, I mean… ‘Vette engine… Am I right? Either way, you really can’t go wrong, especially when you can find deals on deals for under $30,000 all day long!
Toyota Tundra 1794 (2014)
Oh baby! Let’s talk about the super loaded Toyota Tundra 1794! It’s the same full-size Tundra from the automaker that’s synonymous with reliability, but given a decidedly more “American” flair! Why do they call it the 1794? Well, the land Toyota built their $2.2 billion assembly plant on to build the Tundra and Tacoma was previously owned by the JLC Ranch since 1794 in Texas. This is their homage to the history of that ranch.
So, what’s different about the 1794? I guess Toyota thought the Tacoma was already perfect because… not much. What has changed is a fancy custom emblem on the outside, and the interior. The inside of the 3rd-generation Tundra the 1794 is based on is super roomy, with tons of leg room for the driver and back seat passengers. But the 1794 edition takes it one step further with supple leather and beautiful stitching, which they hoped would make the initial buyer fork over almost $50,000 MSRP new. I mean, it also had custom floor mats so that’s worth it right?
Lucky for you, you won’t have to pay anything close to that! You can ride this bronco for under $20,000! This Toyota is doing Texas proud!