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Which Is the Most Reliable Midsize Truck? [Ranked for 2021]

Most Reliable Midsize Trucks

Most Reliable Midsize Trucks

Shoppers looking for a midsize truck have a unique set of priorities. Among those is reliability.

We researched the midsize truck models available in the American market using three trusted sources, and we also aggregate those scores to a simple to understand A-B-C-D type rating of our own.

Here is what our research revealed.

Check out our top picks for the most reliable trucks >>

Read about how we rank our trucks >>

Who Provided the Data For This List?

Where Data Comes FromThe data we used comes from Consumer Reports, J.D. Power and Associates, and CarComplaints. Both Consumer Reports and J.D. Power aggregate owner survey data to come up with their rankings. Consumer Reports provides a 1-5 rating for individual models and model years, with 5 being the best score. For our list here, we average the current model year and two prior to come up with the score shown in our chart.

J.D. Power, by contrast, provides a score based on the number of problems the brand had over three years with its vehicles. Specifically, the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study is what we use. It is a three-year average for all models from the brand. We feel that a brand’s quality reputation matters as much as an individual model’s. With the J.D. Power scores, lower is better.

The last source we look at for information is CarComplaints. This source is a great reality check. The site pulls together a good list of complaints by owners to see if any scary trends have emerged. This is a way to avoid big problems. Even if the manufacturer is covering the repairs under warranty, nobody wants a truck they can’t count on.

Most Reliable Midsize Truck Comparison

Model Consumer Reports Ranking
(higher is better)
J.D. Power Brand Ranking
(lower is better)

Our Ranking

Toyota Tacoma
3.7
98
A-
Jeep Gladiator
5 (Only 2 years)
141
B
Honda Ridgeline
4
145
B-
Chevrolet Colorado
2.7
115
C+
Ford Ranger
2.3
130
C
Nissan Frontier
Est. 3
128
C
GMC Sierra
2.7
143
C-

1. Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Tacoma Reliable Midsize TruckThe Toyota Tacoma often finds itself atop any list of vehicles with solid resale value. The Tacoma is also the longest-running model in this segment, and the top-seller by a wide margin. When Chevrolet, GMC, and Ford quit the midsized segment, Toyota continued to polish this gem.

However, there may be trouble in paradise. Owner complaints have reduced the Tacoma’s Consumer Reports rating. Also, though not part of this analysis, we noticed that the owner satisfaction score of the Tacoma is nothing to brag about anymore.

The Toyota brand still has a legacy of quality, reliability, and durability that is shown in Toyota’s great J.D. Power score. There is no midsized truck brand even close to Toyota on that ranking. Nor are there any scary, common issues with the Tacoma to be found at CarComplaints.

Current Toyota Tacoma Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ToyotaTacoma2.49%$169/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing10/4/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Toyota deals here.

2. Jeep Gladiator

Jeep Gladiator Reliable Midsize TruckWatch out Toyota, the Jeep Gladiator is closing fast. The Gladiator has a 5 rating from Consumer Reports for its model years, 2020 and 2021.

However, the Jeep brand is still working its way up the J.D. Power rankings for brand reliability. The Gladiator is the most off-road capable midsized truck in a field of many excellent mudders and rock-hoppers.

This is the model to watch going forward.

Current Jeep Gladiator Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021JeepGladiator$1,000 0.00%$289/month for 36 months, $3,899 due at signing9/30/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Jeep deals here.

3. Honda Ridgeline

Honda Ridgeline Reliable MidsizeAsk any reviewer which midsized truck is their personal favorite, and the Ridgeline is likely the answer.

The Ridgeline drives like a Honda SUV, which is a high compliment. It has the most comfortable ride by a country mile, and has handy gadgets and features galore. The Ridgeline out-scores the Tacoma in Consumer Reports’ ranking.

There are no scary common problems found at CarComplaints. However, the Ridgeline is let down by a J.D. Power brand score well below the industry average.

Current Honda Ridgeline Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021HondaRidgeline1.90%11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Honda deals here.

4. Ford Ranger

Ford Ranger Reliable Midsize TruckFord’s all-new Ranger returned to the market in 2019. Owners found a lot of problems in that first model year, which is why the Ranger’s Consumer Reports score is lower than one might expect.

We predict the Ranger’s quality to continue to improve.

For now, it falls mid-pack in our rankings.

Current Ford Ranger Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021FordRanger$1,000 1.90%$235/month for 24 months, $3,685 due at signing10/4/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Ford deals here.

5. Nissan Frontier

Nissan Frontier Reliable Midsize TruckThe Nissan Frontier was one of the oldest truck designs on the market until its all-new generation was announced recently as a model year 2022 truck.

Consumer Reports predicts a ⅗ rating for the Frontier, but its data was limited for prior years. All new-generation vehicles have higher than typical issues, so we suspect the Frontier may as well.

From that point forward, we would expect the truck to fall mid-pack.

Current Nissan Frontier Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021NissanFrontier0.00%$269/month for 36 months, $4,344 due at signing10/4/2021
2022NissanFrontier0.00%$299/month for 36 months, $4,224 due at signing10/4/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Nissan deals here.

6. Chevrolet Colorado

Chevrolet Colorado Reliable MidsizeThe Chevy Colorado returned to the American market in 2015.

That year earns CarComplaints’ “Beware of the Clunker” warning due to transmission issues.

However, the Truck has had a much better reliability rating since. Good enough to fall in the middle of our rankings.

Current Chevrolet Colorado Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ChevroletColorado$259/month for 36 months, $3,249 due at signing9/30/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Chevy deals here.

7. GMC Canyon

GMC Canyon Reliable Midsize TruckAlthough the Canyon and Colorado are twins, the GMC line has a lower overall J.D. Power brand reliability rating. So low, that it pushed the Canyon to the bottom of our list.

That does not mean it is a bad truck. On the contrary, we find it a very good truck in most ways.

However, we followed the data, and this is where it placed the “Professional grade” Canyon.

Current GMC Canyon Deals & Incentives

You may qualify for deals and incentives, check out this month's GMC deals here.

Which Midsize Truck Is the Most Reliable?

Unlike some truck segments, the midsize pickup segment has a clear winner when it comes to reliability. The Toyota Tacoma earns higher scores across the board, and not by a little. Toyota is a brand built on quality, and its Tacoma is a long-polished gem.

Jeep’s Gladiator was a surprise second. In only its second production year, the Gladiator is already ahead of the rest of the pack. We feel its scores will improve in upcoming model years and it may rival the Tacoma.

Below is J.D. Power's vehicle dependability ratings:

JD Power Rankings Reliable Midsize

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most reliable midsize pickup truck?

The Toyota Tacoma is the most reliable truck based on our review of three reliable sources of data. The Tacoma has a long history of reliability and durability. This is reflected in Tacoma’s great resale value.

Which truck brand is most reliable?

Toyota makes the most reliable trucks based on Consumer Reports, JD Power, and CarComplaints.com data. Both the Tacoma and Tundra lead their segments for reliability.

What is the most unreliable midsized truck?

We hesitate to call any truck in the midsize segment “unreliable.” All of the trucks score a C- or better overall in our rankings. However, the GMC Canyon is the truck the data points to as being the least-best for reliability.

What's the best midsize truck to buy?

Our opinion is that for many buyers, the Honda Ridgeline is the best truck overall in the midsized segment. However, those who want the best off-road capability should look first at the Jeep Gladiator. If sales are any indication, the Toyota Tacoma is the best midsize truck.