There are different types of truck buyers in the world. Some care most about towing capacity and other working capabilities, while others are more about off-road performance. Also, there is a group of buyers who like pickups that are refined, with the crossover-like ride quality and hi-quality interior. However, all these groups have one common thing. They are all looking for a pickup that is also reliable.
It’s hard to call any pickup good without great reliability ratings. Simply, we are talking about working machines, which are designed to last for decades and the first condition of good exploitation is low-cost maintenance and rare issues. Therefore, we’ve decided to make our list of the most reliable pickup trucks of all time.
Keep in mind that this list is nothing more than our opinion, you may find different rankings in other places. Also, we didn’t focus on specific model years or generations. Instead, we will talk about nameplates that have great history regarding reliability scores.
Based on the legendary Suburban, this pickup was in production between 2001 and 2013. It was Chevy’s attempt to make a more refined pickup, which won’t be just a great working machine, but also a comfortable and practical vehicle, perfect for families.
The Avalanche was produced in two generations and both models turned out to be not just practical and functional, but also very reliable. No major issues have been recorded, especially not in terms of the powertrain department. All models of this pickup were offered with mighty V8 engines, which are mostly in perfect condition even today. The same story is with the transmission, no matter if we are talking about an older-generation 4-speed automatic or a newer 6-speed unit. The suspension setup is pretty basic, just like car electrics, so it’s no wonder these aspects are also major issues-free.
This model doesn’t need any introduction. It is by far the best-selling pickup truck of all time and what’s particularly impressive is that most versions of it were pretty reliable. Ford managed to find a great balance, so F-150 pickup trucks usually feature pretty advanced technologies and design solutions, when compared to key rivals. At the same time, reliability scores were always pretty high.
Despite that we are talking about yearly sales figures that measure in million, the number of issues is really small. If you’re looking for a used F-150, 2004 and 2005 models years should be avoided, as well as the 2010 model. Those were the initial models years of the eleventh and twelfth generations. On the other hand, newer generations are constantly among the highest-reliable models in the class, no matter the model year.
Read More About Ford F-150
Chevy Silverado 1500
The light-duty version of Chevy’s pickup truck has always been known for its excellent reliability. One of the main reasons may be the fact that GM engineers are pretty cautious when it comes to implementing new technologies. For example, even the current generation, which has been around since 2019, still relies on proven V8 Small Block engines, without forced induction or any other thing that could make things complicated.
As a result of this policy, Silverado models aren’t as capable as rivals, at least on paper. On the other hand, they are more reliable and that’s the main reason why sales numbers are still pretty impressive. If you’re looking for a used Silverado to buy, we would recommend you to avoid models from the previous generation, which may have some A/C issues and electrics problems. Earlier and later models are great.
The Frontier is a perfect example of less is more. This particularly refers to the outgoing generation, which has been in production for more than 15 years. When you produce a vehicle for such a long time without updating it, the only thing you can do is to fix all issues. That’s exactly what Nissan engineers did with the current generation. It may be outdated in every aspect, but it is reliable and extremely cheap to maintain.
The current generation won a couple of awards in J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Survey, as the most reliable mid-size pickup truck. The new generation is on the way but we don’t believe it will have bigger issues in terms of reliability, considering that it will ride on the same platform and use many parts from the previous model.
It’s not a surprise to see Toyota pickups on this list. Moreover, we believe that Tacoma would be ranked much higher if there weren’t few critical years of the current generation. The initial 2015 and 2016 models have some pretty big issues with transmission and suspension, but these things have been solved and younger model years work without mistakes.
On the other side, you definitely won’t go wrong with the previous generation, which was in production between 2005 and 2015. These models literally can’t break and that’s probably the main reason why it’s really hard to find them for sale, at least at a reasonable price. Models between 2011 and 2015 are probably the best years.
Chevy Silverado HD
This is the only heavy-duty pickup on our list and that’s for a good reason. It’s really hard to find another pickup truck that combines capability and reliability in such a fashion. Yes, Ram HD trucks may be way better for work but they are nowhere near when it comes to reliability. After all, the Silverado has won multiple awards in J.D. Power surveys for the most dependable HD pickup truck.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that this Silverado is without flaws. You should avoid initial models years of most generations, as well as initial launches of certain engines. With these models, you may face some powertrain or suspension issues. Later models years are usually fantastic.
Read More About Chevy Silverado HD
Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon
These mid-size twins have been in production for a long time, with some short breaks. What’s common for both models and all versions is that there have never been major issues. This particularly refers to engines, which aren’t the most efficient, not most refined in the class but offer an impressive level of reliability. Furthermore, suspension issues are pretty rare.
The most critical years are 2015 and 2016. There were no major powertrain issues, but problems with the fuel system have been recorded. Also, we can hear a lot of complaints about the paint job in these years.
These pickups are not just very reliable. They are also the most capable models in the class regarding max towing capacity. That’s why Colorado and Canyon are still among the most desirable pickups in the class, despite that rivals are younger and more refined.
The Ridgeline reminds us a lot of the legendary Honda quality from a couple of decades ago. This pickup is what Honda used to be in the past, a perfect mix of refinement and reliability. For so many years, the Ridgeline has been voted the most dependable mid-size pickup truck on the market. We particularly like the engine, which is super smooth and indestructible. The transmission is pretty amazing as well.
This pickup is different from rivals. It features a unibody design, which makes it less capable compared to rivals. On the other side, it is far more refined and offers a crossover-like driving experience. So, if you need a truck that combines comfort with ultimate reliability, this should be your pick. Even the worst years of Ridgeline are ranked above average for reliability.
Despite that the current generation is a mammoth among pickup trucks, it still makes some pretty impressive sales numbers. The reason is simple – this is the most reliable full-size pickup truck you can find on the market. In the last 15 years, this pickup has been voted 9 times for the most reliable truck, according to the well-known J.D. Power Dependability Survey.
One of the reasons for such impressive results it Toyota’s unique approach, where there is no rush for major design changes. The current generation has been around since 2007 and it still uses a good-old 5.7-liter V8, which may be thirsty as hell but which definitely won’t break. The Tundra definitely isn’t the most refined pickup. It’s not the most capable either. Moreover, it is outdated in nearly every aspect but a whole army of buyers don’t mind that at all.
The next generation of Tundra is on the way and it will hit the market later this year. We have no doubt that many things will change. One of them probably won’t – class-leading reliability.
Although it’s not available in North America, the Hilux is a well-known nameplate around the globe. It has been around for decades and it proved itself as the toughest pickup truck of all. Once again, it’s not the biggest, nor the most capable pickup around. On the other hand, it can deal with all kinds of hard terrains and it won’t break.
The Hilux is the most popular vehicle in Australia, but widely popular in other parts of the world as well. It won’t let you down, no matter if you’re in a desert or the North Pole. This machine is built not to break and it does it perfectly. That’s a vehicle to trust life and if you don’t trust us, ask all those militant organizations across the Middle East, who use this pickup as a light combat vehicle.
That would be our reliable list of the most reliable pickup trucks of all time. If you disagree or you think we’ve missed something, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.