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New 2013 4x4s - Buying Power

Posted in Features on May 1, 2013 Comment (0)
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Photographers: The Manufacturers

If you need a new SUV or pickup truck, but you need to watch your budget, we're here to help. We've compiled the top five least expensive new 2013 four-wheel-drive SUVs and pickup trucks available in the U.S.

We arrived at the following manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) for each vehicle by simply navigating to each manufacturer's website, where we used the online tools available to build and price vehicles. All of the MSRP's for the specific models listed here include destination charges but do not include taxes, fees, or incentives. Naturally, we ignored vehicles that didn't have a two-speed transfer case. We also ignored options or option packages to get the lowest price. Some vehicle models are undergoing major changes and hadn't been formally announced at the time this story was written, so that's why vehicles like the Jeep Liberty and Chevy Colorado weren't included.

Please note that photos of some of the specific models we're covering here were not available, so we're using what was available from the manufacturers to illustrate the vehicles.

In the end, it's obvious that there are some pretty good deals out there on new SUVs and pickups, especially if you're willing to forego some bells, whistles, and leather.

SUVs:

2013 Jeep Wrangler Sport
MSRP: $23,190
Approach/departure angle (deg): 40.8/37.4
Ground clearance (in): 8.8

It's pretty amazing that one of the most off-road-ready SUVs on the planet is also the least expensive. Among other things, you get the 3.6L 24-valve V-6 engine that makes 285hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed manual transmission, Command-Trac 4WD system, 3.21:1 axle ratio, black interior, your choice of 10 exterior colors, cloth seats with adjustable headrests, steel wheels, P225/75R16 on/off-road tires, fog lamps, UConnect 130 CD/MP3 radio, front floor mats, tow hooks, and even cruise control and audio controls mounted on the steering wheel. You won't get air conditioning, but you can just put the soft top down anyway.
More info: www.jeep.com

2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport
MSRP: $26,690
Approach/departure angle (deg): 40.6/37.4
Ground clearance (in): 8.7

Yep, the Wrangler brand dominates the top two most inexpensive SUV spots. The Unlimited gets you two more doors than its sibling the Wrangler and a lot more interior space. Like the Wrangler, it is one of the most off-road-capable SUVs available. Features on the Unlimited Sport model include the 3.6L 24-valve V-6 engine that generates 285hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed manual transmission, Command-Trac 4WD system, 3.21:1 axle ratio, black interior, your choice of 10 exterior colors, cloth seats with adjustable headrests, 16-inch steel wheels, P225/75R16 on/off-road tires, fog lamps, UConnect 130 CD/MP3 radio, floor mats, tow hooks, and cruise control and audio controls mounted on the steering wheel. A retractable Sunrider soft top is included.
More info: www.jeep.com

2013 Nissan Xterra X
MSRP: $28,375
Approach/departure angle (deg): 32/28.8
Ground clearance (in): 9.1

The Nissan Xterra holds down the Third Place spot on our list and it's a worthy recipient that is very off-road capable. The Xterra will return for 2013, but at press time its MSRP had not been released so we're using the 2012 MSRP, which barring a huge increase should keep the vehicle in this position. The entry-level Xterra X features include a 4.0L 24-valve V-6 engine that produces 261hp and 281 lb-ft of torque, a five-speed automatic transmission, P265/70R16 BFG tires, steel wheels, tubular roof rack with air dam, rear bumper steps, air conditioning, cloth seats, AM/FM/CD radio, three 12-volt power outlets, and much more. If you have the need to haul lots of gear, it's worth noting that the X has a maximum payload capacity of 1,045 pounds.
More info: www.nissanusa.com

2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser
MSRP: $28,905
Approach/departure angle (deg): 34/31
Ground clearance (in): 9.6

Holding down the fourth slot in the top five list of least expensive SUVs is the iconic Toyota FJ Cruiser, a proven off-road performer. Even when you skip all the option boxes, this base model machine comes with a 4.0L V-6 engine that makes 260hp and 271 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed manual transmission, P265/70R17 tires, steel wheels, air conditioning, water-resistant fabric-trimmed seats, heavy-duty all-weather flooring, skidplates, AM/FM/CD radio with auxiliary jack, cargo tie-down hooks, and more. When the need to tow comes calling, the FJ Cruiser has a maximum rating of 5,000 pounds.
More info: www.toyota.com

2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
MSRP: $30,690
Approach/departure angle (deg): 26.3/26.5
Ground clearance (in): 8.6

It may come as a surprise that the Grand Cherokee has placed in the top five least expensive SUV list, especially considering that it is a very luxurious vehicle. In its base form the Laredo has a huge number of standard features including the Pentastar 3.6L V-6 engine that generates 290hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, a five-speed automatic transmission, Quadra-Trac 4WD system, aluminum wheels, P245/70R17 on/off-road tires, UConnect 130 CD/MP3 radio, cloth seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic headlamps, four-wheel traction control, luxury front and rear floor mats, and 160-amp alternator. You have your choice of two interior colors and nine exterior colors. If wheeling in luxury and on a budget is your thing, the Grand is your SUV.
More info: www.jeep.com

Pickup Trucks:

2013 Toyota Tacoma
MSRP: $23,490
Approach/departure angle (deg): 27/20
Ground clearance (in): 8.1

Here's the low-buck leader of pickup trucks. The nimble, regular cab, standard bed Tacoma comes with a 2.7L four-cylinder engine that produces 150hp and 180 lb-ft of torque and it's mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. Buyers have a choice of five exterior colors. The online build tool required us to purchase the sliding rear window and 50-state emissions for $140. This trim level of Tacoma features a fiber-reinforced steel-molded composite inner bed with steel outer panels, four fixed cargo bed tie-down points, P245/75R16 tires, steel wheels, air conditioning, fabric-trimmed front seats, 4.10 ratio gears, and two 12-volt power outlets, among other things. According to Toyota info, the regular cab standard bed has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds with a maximum tongue weight of 350 pounds.
More info: www.toyota.com

2013 Nissan Frontier S
MSRP: $26,845
Approach/departure angle (deg): 31.5/22.6
Ground clearance (in): 8.9

The midsized Frontier holds down the second spot in the top five least expensive pickup trucks. Pricing for the 2013 Frontier models wasn't completed in time for this story, so we're using 2012 pricing, which should be similar. Interestingly, it's less expensive to purchase a Crew Cab standard bed Frontier S than a King Cab standard bed Frontier S. For your money you get four full doors, a 4.0L V-6 engine that generates 261hp and 281 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed manual transmission, 5-foot-long cargo box, P265/70R16 BFG tires, tow hooks, and a 43.3:1 crawl ratio. There are nine exterior and two interior color choices. The Crew Cab S has a maximum payload of 1,251 pounds and is rated to tow up to 6,100 pounds with a maximum tongue weight of 610 pounds.
More info: www.nissanusa.com

2013 Ram 1500 Tradesman
MSRP: $27,395
Approach/departure angle (deg): 17.7/25.6
Ground clearance (in): 8.6

The least expensive fullsize truck on our five-truck list is the Ram 1500 Tradesman regular cab with the 6-foot 4-inch box. Designed for the workin' man, the truck's features include a 4.7L V-8 engine that puts out 310hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed automatic transmission, 3.55:1 axle ratio, UConnect 3.0 AM/FM radio, class IV receiver hitch with wiring, locking tailgate, vinyl split bench seat, vinyl flooring, heavy-duty engine cooling, heavy-duty transmission oil cooler, air conditioning, P265/70R17 tires, and steel wheels. The truck has a maximum payload capacity of 1,440 pounds and a maximum towing capacity of 6,250 pounds. It is available in 11 exterior colors.
More info: www.ramtrucks.com

2013 Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500 WT
MSRP: $28,325
Approach/departure angle (deg): 15.6/24.2
Ground clearance (in): 9.1

It doesn't matter whether you choose the Chevy or GMC because they're both the same price for the regular cab, standard box WT. The WT comes with the 4.3L V-6 engine that produces 195hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, a four-speed automatic transmission, Solid Smooth Ride suspension package, 3.73:1 axle ratio, AM/FM radio, vinyl seats, rubberized vinyl floor covering, air conditioning, two 12-volt power outlets, P265/70R16 tires, steel wheels, tow hooks, Stabilitrak, and your choice of nine exterior colors. Oh, and the WT has an honest-to-goodness floor-mounted transfer case shift lever (we get excited about things like that). The truck has a maximum payload of 1,714 pounds and a maximum towing capacity of 5,100 pounds.
More info: www.chevrolet.com, www.gmc.com

2013 Ford F-150 XL
MSRP: $29,305
Approach/departure angle (deg): 22.4/23.9
Ground clearance (in): 8.2

The regular cab F-150 XL with the 6½-foot box rounds out the top five least expensive pickups. The XL comes standard with the 100A equipment package that includes a significant number of items including a black grille surround, halogen headlamps, and a black grille insert. The XL we spec'd has the 3.7L V-6 engine that generates 302hp and 378 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed automatic transmission, black vinyl flooring, an AM/FM radio, vinyl bench seat, P235/75R17 tires, and 3.73:1 axle ratio. The truck is rated to tow a maximum of 6,300 pounds and it has a maximum payload of 1,670 pounds.
More info: www.ford.com

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