The Most Reliable Used Pickup Trucks in Consumer Reports Rankings
When you’re looking at vehicle reliability, you can’t apply the same standard to pickup trucks you would with passenger vehicles. After all, trucks take a beating on a level that doesn’t happen with the average Toyota Camry or Mazda 3.
However, you can compare trucks to one another, and we did just that using Consumer Reports reliability ratings dating back to 2010. As we dug deeper, there were surprises.
For example, Ford F-150, the all-powerful sales leader, has featured below-average reliability ratings since 2010. (Even though customer satisfaction remained high that entire time, the folks at Consumer Reports only care about data with their reliability scores.)
Setting popularity and everything else aside, these 10 pickup trucks have been the most reliable models since 2010.
10. Chevrolet Colorado
- The first redesign years (’15-’16) were bad, but otherwise Colorado had a strong record for reliability.
Colorado wasn’t in production every year this decade, but when it was it put together a decent reliability record. The previous generation’s final models (2010-12) were strong, and the new ’17 showed Chevy can correct its mistakes.
Still, there are two models to avoid at all cost: The first Colorados following the relaunch (2015-16) were bad.
Next: The GMC version performed just as well.
9. GMC Canyon
- Canyon’s ratings were consistent with Colorado’s for the decade.
While reliability ratings can change even between sibling models (due to different interior options), Consumer Reports ratings for Colorado and GMC Canyon were virtually the same for this period.
Trouble spots included the fuel system and paint/trim in the previous generation. Canyon’s engine and transmission were solid throughout the decade.
Next: If you avoid the darkest years for Fiat-Chrysler, you can find reliable Ram trucks.
8. Ram 1500
- As long as you stay away from the 2014-15 models, Ram 1500 has been reliable.
We’ll get the negatives out of the way first. For anyone shopping for a used car, we recommend avoiding every Fiat-Chrysler model from 2014-15. That includes Ram 1500, which had its darkest years during that period.
Nonetheless, the half-ton Ram posted the top reliability score for 2017 and average or better every other year this decade.
Next: Heavy-duty Ford trucks have been strong.
7. Ford F-250
- The ’13 and ’16 model years were especially strong.
Though Ford’s half-ton pickups didn’t make the cut, Super Duty models performed better in reliability surveys and tests. Two above-average ratings in recent years (2013 and 2016) made it a strong tool on the job.
Fuel system trouble and in-car electronics issues were the only consistent trouble spots of the decade.
Next: Chevy’s discontinued pickup was reliable while it lasted.
6. Chevrolet Avalanche
- Though production ended in 2013, Avalanche’s final models were solid.
While Chevrolet Avalanche departed the scene in 2013, its final editions are worth a look on the used market. Avalanche rated above-average or at least average in three of it last four years where ratings are available.
That includes very strong marks in 2012, just before production ended. If that model (or a ’13) Avalanche is up for sale, truck buyers have a shot at getting a great return on the investment.
Next: While few raved about F-350 reliability, this heavy-duty Ford was solid for the entire decade.
5. Ford F-350
- Though not quite stellar on reliability, F-350’s consistency sets its apart from other heavy-duty trucks.
In a segment where exceptional reliability is unusual, Ford F-350 posted the type of consistency its heavy-duty competitors lacked. Since 2011, F-350 never went below-average, and the ’12 edition was among the elite.
Overall, that record put Ford’s heavy-duty truck among the best of the decade for reliability.
Next: Setting aside the latest model, Tacoma has excellent reliability marks.
4. Toyota Tacoma
- While Tacoma has struggled since its ’16 redesign, the previous model was bulletproof.
Even Toyota has issues with redesigns. In the case of the Tacoma that debuted for 2016, the models have scored poorly on reliability. However, the previous generation (especially 2011-15) scored the highest marks year after year.
Meanwhile, Tacoma keeps appearing on the list of vehicles that top 200,000 miles and keep going. In this truck’s case, 300,000 miles was also normal.
Next: Used Frontiers are worth a look for their strong reliability.
3. Nissan Frontier
- Several top scores and overall better-than-average reliability set Frontier apart.
Given the records of compact and full-size pickups, Nissan Frontier’s high-reliability ratings throughout the decade are worth noticing. Since 2010, Frontier has two top scores, five years above the average, and just one average year.
Only the occasional body integrity issue dinged this truck’s overall rating.
Next: Among smaller pickups, Ridgeline reigns.
2. Honda Ridgeline
- Ridgeline’s sterling reliability record is unmatched among compact pickups.
Throughout the decade, Honda Ridgeline posted one perfect or above-average reliability rating after another. (In the previous generation, only the Takata airbag brought a low mark.)
Meanwhile, Ridgeline consistently ranks among the most satisfying vehicles for truck owners. Few people ever regret buying one.
Next: No pickup comes close to Toyota Tundra for reliability.
1. Toyota Tundra
- With 8 top ratings in 9 years, Tundra sits in a class by itself.
Toyota’s Texas-built Tundra is in a class by itself when it comes to reliability. In the nine years this decade Consumer Reports took surveys and ran tests on the pickup, Tundra scored the highest marks eight times. (In the ninth year, it scored above average.)
Compared to other pickups, Tundra is noteworthy because it has not undergone a redesign since 2007. Toyota started out great and continued perfecting it ever since. Among half-ton pickups, it’s easily your best bet for reliability.
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