Each vehicle on this list is capable of towing at least 4,000 lbs, and can carry at least 1,200 lbs. Most Affordable Practical Tow Vehicles of 2014.

The price range on some vehicle models can be incredible. Take the humble 2014 Ford F-150 as a case in point. Ford's website lists the starting MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) as $24,445. But step onto your local Ford lot, and you'll find F-150 models with stickers that total well over $50,000. What is a shopper to do?

We've put together a list of practical tow vehicles with all of the features and equipment that you really need, and none of the fluff that drives sticker prices through the stratosphere.

Each vehicle on this list is capable of towing at least 4,000 lbs as equipped, and can carry a payload of at least 1,200 lbs. We've specified vehicles that are body-on-frame and rear-wheel drive, with automatic transmissions and gasoline-powered V6 engines. Though some base models can tend toward the Spartan, we specified power door locks, keyless remote entry, power windows, power mirrors, at least an AM/FM/CD stereo and Bluetooth for modern comfort with a minimum level of complexity and added cost. Perhaps most importantly for this list, each vehicle on this list comes in with an MSRP under $30,000, including destination charges and options necessary to meet our qualifications.

We've ranked our vehicles by price. The top ranked vehicles are the Most Affordable Practical Tow Vehicles of 2014.

2014 Nissan Xterra

2014 Nissan Xterra

2014 Nissan Xterra X 4x2

Engine: 4.0-Liter V6

Transmission: 5-speed Automatic Transmission

Horsepower: 261 @ 5,600 rpm

Torque: 281 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm

Fuel Economy: 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway

Max Towing (as equipped): 5,000 lbs

Max Payload (as equipped): N/A

Base MSRP: $23,110

Options: Nevada Tow Package ($480)

Total (including destination): $24,450

Xterra isn't the first vehicle that comes to mind when it comes to towing, but it is the least expensive body-on-frame tow vehicle on the market for 2014.

2014 Nissan Frontier V6

2014 Nissan Frontier V6

2014 Nissan Frontier SV V6 King Cab 4x2

Engine: 4.0-Liter V6

Transmission: 5-speed Automatic Transmission

Horsepower: 261 @ 5,600 rpm

Torque: 281 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm

Fuel Economy: 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway

Max Towing (as equipped): 6,500 lbs

Max Payload (as equipped): 1,447 lbs

Base MSRP: $23,200

Options: Bedliner and Tow Package ($625)

Total (including destination): $24,685

Frontier nips Tacoma at the finish line with an impressive list of standard features and a price tag from the 1990s.

2014 Toyota Tacoma

2014 Toyota Tacoma

2014 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab PreRunner

Engine: 4.0-Liter V6

Transmission: 5-speed Automatic Transmission

Horsepower: 236 @ 5,200 rpm

Torque: 266 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

Fuel Economy: 17 mpg city/21 mpg highway

Max Towing (as equipped): 6,500 lbs

Max Payload (as equipped): 1,500 lbs

Base MSRP: $23,560

Options: Convenience Package ($1,005), Tow Hitch Receiver ($550)

Total (including destination): $25,975

The venerable PreRunner surprises with a bargain price and big truck capability.

Read More Most Affordable Practical Tow Vehicles of 2014 >>

Disclaimer: Photos are accurate for year, make and model, but may not reflect the exact trim level described on this list.

2014 Ram 1500

2014 Ram 1500

2014 Ram 1500 Tradesman

Engine: 3.6-Liter V6

Transmission: 6-speed Automatic Transmission

Horsepower: 261 @ 5,600 rpm

Torque: 281 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm

Fuel Economy: 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway

Max Towing (as equipped): 4,800 lbs

Max Payload (as equipped): 1,512 lbs

Base MSRP: $24,385

Options: Power & Remote Entry Group ($735), Trailer Tow Group ($330)

Total (including destination): $26,645

Ram 1500 was all-new for 2013, and has gotten great reviews. Choose the Tradesman trim level, and add a few packages to make it more livable.

2014 Ford F-150 XL Regular Cab 4x2

2014 Ford F-150 XL Regular Cab 4x2

2014 Ford F-150 XL Regular Cab 4x2

Engine: 3.7-Liter V6

Transmission: 6-speed Automatic Transmission

Horsepower: 302 @ 6,500 rpm

Torque: 278 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm

Fuel Economy: 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway

Max Towing (as equipped): 5,500 lbs

Max Payload (as equipped): 1,710 lbs

Base MSRP: $24,445

Options: Package 101A ($2,110)

Total (including destination): $27,370

F-150 can get really pricey, with near-luxury features available. Keep the options to the minimum, and you can spec out a bargain tow vehicle.

2014 Chevrolet Express 1500 Cargo Van Regular Wheelbase WT RWD

2014 Chevrolet Express 1500 Cargo Van Regular Wheelbase WT RWD

2014 Chevrolet Express 1500 Cargo Van Regular Wheelbase WT RWD

Engine: 4.3-Liter V6

Transmission: 5-speed Automatic Transmission

Horsepower: 195 @ 4,600 rpm

Torque: 260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2,800 rpm

Fuel Economy: 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway

Max Towing (as equipped): 4,300 lbs

Max Payload (as equipped): 2,382

Base MSRP: $27,710

Options: Convenience Package ($395), Heavy-duty Trailering Equipment ($265), AM/FM Stereo with CD/MP3 Player ($705), Bluetooth ($50)

Total (including destination): $29,955

Squeaking in under our $30,000 limit, the Express Cargo brings a healthy payload and decent towing to the fray, and is big enough to conceal a couple of bikes from prying eyes.

What top tow vehicles would you add to this list?

Disclaimer: Photos are accurate for year, make and model, but may not reflect the exact trim level described on this list.