Top 11 Most Reliable Trucks: Comparisons, Photos, and More

October 11th, 2023 by

If you’re in the market for a pre-owned truck, there are many factors to consider when deciding which make and model to bring home. While it’s important to keep considerations such as safety features, towing capacity, mileage, and budget in mind, reliability should also be a priority. Because let’s face it: no matter how great a truck’s features may be, it’s not a great vehicle if you can’t depend on it for the very thing you need it for — transportation.

When it comes to finding a truck that you can depend on, selecting the right one can be challenging — but it doesn’t need to be. To help you narrow down your choices, we’ve rounded up our top 11 picks for the most reliable trucks. Keep reading to see if the truck you’re looking for made the list.

Table of Contents

What Does it Mean for a Truck to Be Reliable?

Simply put, reliability refers to whether you can count on a truck to run properly. If the vehicle is prone to breakdowns or unexpected repairs (whether as a result of its history or based on the reputation of its manufacturer and model), then it is considered unreliable.

In general, new trucks tend to be more dependable than used ones, but that doesn’t mean that all pre-owned pickups are unreliable. Some of the factors that impact a used truck’s reliability include:

  • How frequently the previous owner (or owners) brought it in for routine maintenance. Was service regularly scheduled, or has the truck gone without regular tuneups?
  • The former owners’ driving habits. How many miles was the truck driven, and in what amount of time?
  • The truck’s history. How often did it visit the shop for significant, unplanned repairs?

All of these questions can be answered by looking at the vehicle’s CARFAX report. If a copy isn’t provided on the dealer’s website (or if you’re purchasing via private sale), it’s always a good idea to ask for one. Additionally, you can request to bring the truck you’re considering to a mechanic you trust for a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) before finalizing the sale.

The 11 Most Reliable Trucks

As we mentioned previously, make and model also play a part in determining a truck’s reliability, with some manufacturers being more well-known for the quality of their vehicles than others. The following list features 11 of our top picks for the most reliable trucks, organized alphabetically.

1. Chevrolet Colorado

Chevrolet Colorado

If you’re looking for a truck that performs well, but don’t need the power that comes with heavy-duty pickups, this capable midsize could be a contender. Colorado owners commonly pick this model for its variety of available engines and trims, comfortable ride, and maneuverability. With an above average reliability rating (RepairPal gives it a 4/5) and below average annual repair cost ($599 per year vs. $652 for all vehicles), the Colorado is a dependable choice.

2. Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The Silverado 1500 is a consumer favorite for a variety of reasons — it offers a range of powertrain options, has a roomy cabin, and features ample bed capacity. It’s also a dependable choice, earning a reliability score of 3.5/5 from RepairPal, which ranks it 5th out of 17 full-size trucks. Average cost of ownership and a comparatively low number of major repairs also make this pickup a good option if reliability is a top priority.

3. Ford F-150

Ford F-150

If you decide to drive a new-to-you Ford F-150 off the lot, you aren’t alone — this full-size pickup is often referred to as “the best-selling vehicle in the United States.” What earns it this distinction? We think the pickup’s excellent towing and payload capacities, extensive safety features, and powerful engine options have something to do with it. Of course, reliability also plays a part, with the truck earning a 3.5/5 rating. The Ford F-150 also costs less in repairs per year than other vehicles in its class ($788 compared to $936 for all full-size trucks) and typically visits the shop less frequently than average for unscheduled repairs.

4. Ford Ranger

Ford Ranger

Thanks to its 4/5 reliability rating, below average cost of repairs (when compared to the average for all vehicles), and infrequent visits to the repair shop (outside of regularly scheduled maintenance), the Ford Ranger ranks third out of seven midsize trucks for dependability. In addition to being a reliable truck, the Ranger is commonly chosen for its turbocharged engine, abundance of safety features, and affordability.

5. GMC Canyon

GMC Canyon

With just the right combination of towing capacity and maneuverability, the Canyon is a great option if you’re looking for a midsize pickup that performs. Its comfortable ride and roomy cabin also make this pickup stand out from the rest. In terms of dependability, the Canyon gets good marks, earning a rating of 4/5 from RepairPal. You can also expect to spend $104 less per year on repairs when compared to the average of all vehicles ($652).

6. GMC Sierra 1500

GMC Sierra 1500

The GMC Sierra is a light-duty pickup that comes with a long list of noteworthy attributes, including a variety of powertrain options, a spacious cabin that provides ample legroom for front and rear passengers, substantial bed capacity, and numerous tie-down points. For reliability, this truck receives an overall rating of 3.5/5. Sierra owners report that they bring their trucks in for unexpected repairs with below-average frequency and experience lower-than-average ownership costs.

7. Honda Ridgeline

Honda Ridgeline

What sets the Ridgeline apart from the other entries on this list is its car-like driving experience thanks to its quiet cabin, comfortable ride, and roomy interior. Other perks include its two-way tailgate, a lockable in-bed trunk, and overall versatility. It also earns a 3.5/5 reliability rating, with a lower-than-average cost of repairs when compared to other midsize pickups.

8. Nissan Frontier

Nissan Frontier

The Nissan Frontier takes the top rank when it comes to reliability. It earns this distinction with an overall rating of 4/5 from RepairPal, a below-average annual cost of repairs ($470 vs. $548 for all midsize pickup trucks), and a comparatively low frequency of unplanned shop visits. With this truck, you can also expect powerful engine performance, decent off-roading capability, and stable handling.

9. RAM 1500

RAM 1500

The RAM 1500 is another top-ranked contender for dependability. Out of 17 full-size trucks, this pickup takes the first spot, with a 3.5/5 reliability rating, an average cost of repairs that’s $245 below the class average, and a track record of infrequent trips to the repair shop (outside of regularly-scheduled maintenance). Other reasons that make this truck a popular choice amongst buyers include exceptional tow ratings, a smooth and controlled ride, ample tech features, and a roomy cabin.

10. Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Tacoma

If you’ve got your sights set on a well-rounded, midsize truck, the Toyota Tacoma could be just the one you’re looking for. Its array of trim levels ensure that there’s a version of this pickup no matter what you value — whether it’s basic necessities, more upscale finishes, or off-roading capabilities. The fact that it’s a reliable option, too, is just icing on the cake. This consumer favorite not only earns an above-average reliability score (3.5/5), it’s also on the lower side for annual repair costs and frequency of repair shop visits.

11. Toyota Tundra

Toyota Tundra

Over the years, the Toyota Tundra has taken its place amongst other full-size pickups as a tried and true workhorse — making it a great choice if you prefer a no-frills truck. This pickup’s excellent towing capacity and powerful engine contribute to its status as a dependable work truck that can get the job done. In terms of reliability, the Tundra has an above average rating of 3.5/5 from RepairPal and costs an average of $606 per year to repair (that’s $330 less than the average cost for other vehicles in its class).

Most Reliable Trucks Compared

If you’d prefer a head-to-head comparison, check out the following chart to see how each truck on the list stacks up. As you review the chart, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a perfect truck, and even the ones on our list have been known to experience some issues (noted below). To help prevent common problems — and ensure that your pickup runs to the best of its ability — keeping up with a regular maintenance schedule is a must.

Truck Model Years to Look for Model Years to Avoid Average Annual Repair Cost Most Common Issues Reliability Score 
Chevrolet Colorado 2005, 2011–2012, 2016–2017, 2019–2021  2004, 2006–2010, 2015, 2018 $599 Transmission and drivetrain issues, soft brake pedal, loss of power steering 4/5
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2010–2011, 2013–2015, 2018–2021 2001–2003, 2005–2009, 2012 $714 Transfer case failure, difficulties with the A/C, fuel level sensor failure 3.5/5
Ford F-150 2007–2008, 2017–2020, 2012–2014  2001–2006, 2009–2011, 2015–2016, 2021    $788 Little or no heat in cabin, spark plug ejection problems, oil leaks  3.5/5
Ford Ranger 2007, 2009–2010, 2020–2022 2000–2006, 2008, 2011, 2019 $615 Engine misfires, difficulty starting, noisy synchronizer shaft 4/5
GMC Canyon 2009, 2012–2014, 2019–2020 2004–2005, 2007–2008, 2010, 2015–2018 $548 A/C issues, engine misfires, CD player failure 4/5
GMC Sierra 1500 2004, 2011–2012, 2016–2018, 2021+ 2001–2003, 2005–2006, 2007–2010, 2013–2015, 2019–2020 $727 Transfer case failure, A/C issues, fuel level sensor failure 3.5/5
Honda Ridgeline 2010–2011, 2013, 2018 2006–2008, 2017 $502 Difficulty opening tailgate, issues shifting gears, problems with differential fluid 3.5/5
Nissan Frontier 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2018–2020 2001–2004, 2007–2008, 2010–2011, 2014–2017, 2019 $470 Faulty fuel level sensor, excessive engine noise, difficulty starting 4/5
RAM 1500 2013–2014, 2017+ 1999–2003, 2010–2012, 2015–2016 $691 Steering wheel binding, electrical issues, air suspension trouble  3.5/5
Toyota Tacoma 2005, 2010–2015, 2019–2020 2006–2009, 2016–2017 $478 Lower ball joint issues, transmission problems, faulty throttle position sensors 3.5/5
Toyota Tundra 2003, 2008,    2011–2013, 2014, 2016,  2018–2021 2001–2002, 2004, 2006–2007, 2009–2010,   2015, 2017  $606 Brake issues, malfunctioning fuel pump, faulty air induction pump 3.5/5

Choosing the Most Reliable Pickup Truck

Still not sure which truck is right for you? Here are some tips to keep in mind as you consider your options:

  • Spend time researching the models you’re considering. Find out everything you can about your top contenders so you can make an informed decision.
  • Consider both reliability rating and desired features. When you choose a pickup strictly based on reliability, you may miss out on some of the features that are most important to you.
  • Read reviews from current owners. A great way to determine whether a truck is the one for you is to hear from people who have first-hand experience with it.
  • Chat with a mechanic you trust. As someone who sees many different makes and models come through their garage doors, your mechanic will have a good idea about which ones to consider — and which to avoid.


What makes a pickup truck reliable?

A pickup truck is reliable when a driver can count on it to run without any unexpected issues, problems, or breakdowns. Some of the variables that contribute to a used truck’s reliability include its manufacturer and model, the previous owner(s) driving habits, and its maintenance history.

Which is the most reliable truck?

No one truck holds the title of being the most reliable. However, there are several manufacturers that have gained notoriety for producing quality trucks. These include Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Honda, Nissan, RAM, and Toyota.

Which truck will last the longest?

Any well-made truck has the ability to run dependably for many years, and even decades in some cases. In general, you can expect a truck with a gas-powered engine to last upwards of 200,000 miles with regular maintenance. Diesel trucks on the other hand can last much longer — 350,000 miles and beyond — with proper care.

How do I choose the most reliable pickup truck?

Choosing a reliable truck can often seem like a challenge. Thorough research and consideration of reliability ratings, owner testimonials, and recent recalls can make the process less difficult.

Which is more reliable, a new or used truck?

While new trucks are generally considered to be safer bets as a result of their non-existent owner history, that doesn’t mean that buying a pre-owned pickup presents a high risk. A used truck that’s been well cared for can be just as reliable as a new one.

Find Your Next Reliable Truck at Merchants Auto

Think you want to bring home one of the trucks on our list? Come visit us here at Merchants Auto! We are the largest pre-owned dealership in New Hampshire and have been in operation for more than 60 years.

The inventory on our 26-acre lot is always changing. We have hundreds of vehicles to choose from with more than 30 different makes — including dozens of styles such as hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs, pickups, sports cars, fuel-efficient models, compact cars, and work vans.

We strive to save our customers time and money, and our ultimate goal is to provide an enjoyable and hassle-free car buying experience.

Ready to get started? Browse our inventory online or stop by our Hooksett, New Hampshire showroom today.

Posted in Models, Used Trucks