Most Reliable Pickup Trucks [2021 Edition]
John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John’s focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of an academic team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of the battery thermal control designer. After earning his engineering degree, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University. For 20 years, he applied his engineering and sales talents in the worlds of semiconductor manufacturing, biopharmaceutical production, and automotive electronics supply chain. Always a writer, John has published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career and dedicated himself to chasing his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to online publications such as Car Talk, John’s work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers, and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites.
Reliability is an essential factor in anyone’s vehicle buying decision. However, many trucks serve as work vehicles, and uptime means revenue; downtime means lost earnings. Every truck manufacturer in America advertises the reliability, durability, and toughness of their trucks.
Based on our analysis, two companies stand out. The first is Toyota. The full-size Tundra had the highest score overall in our research. The Tacoma is the most reliable midsize truck. These are the only two segments for which Toyota builds a truck.
Stellantis is the automaker that has the broadest selection of reliable trucks. The Jeep Gladiator earned second place in our midsize category. Among full-size trucks, the Ram 1500 is second. Finally, in the heavy-duty segment, the Ram 2500 is in second place. Stellantis has made reliability a focus area for its products.
Table of Contents
- Most Reliable Trucks Comparison
- Most Reliable Midsize Trucks
- Most Reliable Full-Size Trucks
- Most Reliable Heavy Duty Trucks
- Which Is the Most Reliable Truck?
- Most Reliable Trucks By Size
- Frequently Asked Questions
Most Reliable Trucks Comparison
|Model||Consumer Reports Ranking |
(higher is better)
|J.D. Power Brand Ranking |
(lower is better)
|Chevy Silverado 2500|
Most Reliable Midsize Trucks
The midsize truck segment is growing by leaps and bounds. Popular among homeowners and tradespeople alike, the midsize truck of today has capabilities unimaginable 20 years ago.
The Tacoma from Toyota is the most reliable truck in the midsize segment with an overall score of A-. That does not mean the Tacoma is a one-trick pony. Toyota has been building the Tacoma without interruption for decades.
When other brands quit the segment to focus on building bigger and bigger luxury trucks, Toyota continued to produce affordable midsize work and general-purpose trucks and its legendary TRD Pro off-roader. The Tacoma line has no gaps, and it serves the most comprehensive group of shoppers in this segment.
Jeep’s new Gladiator hit the market with a bang a couple of years back, and the fact that an all-new design arrives at such a high spot on the reliability list is remarkable. Jeep incorporates the best elements of the Wrangler SUV and the Ram 1500 designs in the Gladiator, and fans are thrilled. The Gladiator has off-road chops that no other brand offers.
Jeep also has the Jeep Wave included maintenance program, and of course, your fellow owners will literally wave to you in traffic. No brand offers a tighter community of owners than Jeep does.
See all our picks for the most reliable midsize trucks here >>
Most Reliable Full-Size Trucks
Full-size trucks are among the largest segments overall in the auto industry because they can fill so many roles. Of course, they are the mainstay of the tradespeople that build and maintain America, but these trucks are also “family cars”.
The Tundra is not just the most reliable full-size pickup in our estimation, but also the most dependable truck - period. The Tundra earns an A rating from FTBCP because ower-reported data prove that it just doesn’t break.
The Tundra may not be a desert-racer, and it may also not be the most expensive truck in this segment, but those who buy one enjoy the best reliability in the truck kingdom. That reliability also translates to a solid resale value when it comes time to pass down, trade, or sell your Tundra.
2. RAM 1500
Unlike the Tacoma, the Ram 1500 line does include a desert racer and does come in luxury editions that rival any vehicle for comfort and convenience. Among testers of trucks, the Ram 1500 has a reputation for being the most comfortable truck in this class.
Its new optional large-screen infotainment system is also one of the best offered in any vehicle, at any price point. Those looking for a reliable truck line with every possible combination of specs and features need to look no further.
See all our picks for the most reliable full-size trucks here >>
Most Reliable Heavy Duty Trucks
Heavy Duty (HD) trucks are the workhorses on every job site. They plow our roads, build our houses, and fill the roles that lesser trucks cannot.
The Silverado 2500 edged out the Ram 2500 to take the top spot on our list because its brand rating was stronger in the J.D. Power VDS. Chevy’s brand rating is strong, and that translates to an overall commitment to reliability.
In the HD segment, specifications matter - a lot. Here Chevy delivers. However, Chevy doesn’t overlook creature comforts in its HD trucks. The Silverado HD is the complete package.
2. RAM 2500
Were it not for a low score on a Consumer Reports rating for 2018, the Ram 2500 would have been the number one truck in this segment for reliability. Ram’s quality scores continue to rise year after year, and the Ram 2500 earns a perfect 5 from Consumer Reports for the past two model years.
Those who value ride quality and infotainment may see the reliable Ram 2500 HD as the truck to choose in this segment.
See all our picks for the most reliable heavy duty trucks here >>
Which Is the Most Reliable Truck?
We have ranked the most reliable pickups in each of the three market segments. Toyota emerged as the overall best truck brand for quality in the midsize and full-size segments. We suspect Toyota would have won every category, but Toyota opts out of the heavy-duty segment. Those looking for the most reliable midsize pickup will find it in the Tacoma and those looking for the most reliable full-size truck should start with the Tundra.
In the HD segment, Chevy tops our listing. Chevy’s J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study was the factor that tipped the scales in Chevy’s favor. The Silverado 2500, Ram 2500, and GMC 2500 all had the same Consumer Reports ratings.
One take-away from our research is that each segment offers trucks with a B or better reliability rating for shoppers to consider. Manufacturers clearly take the reliability of trucks very seriously and have many great styles from which to choose.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most overall reliable truck?
The Toyota Tundra is the most reliable pickup truck sold in America based on Find the Best Car Price’s data analysis from three reliable and independent sources. The Tundra earns an A rating from FTBCP, the only truck model to do so.
What is the most reliable midsize truck?
The most reliable midsize truck is Toyota’s Tacoma. The Tacoma earns the highest scores on Consumer Reports in this class, and the Toyota brand is the top truck manufacturer according to the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study. Find the Best Car Price gives the Tacoma an A- rating for reliability. Jeep’s Gladiator came close to topping the Tacoma in our analysis.
What is the most reliable large-size truck?
The most reliable full-size large pickup truck is the Toyota Tundra. Find the Best Car Price used three sources to make this determination. The Ram 1500 is a close second.
What is the most heavy-duty truck?
The most reliable heavy-duty truck model is the Silverado 2500 from Chevrolet. Find the Best Car Price used data from three sources to make this determination. Number two is the Ram 2500.
What makes a truck reliable?
Reliability is often mistaken for powertrain lifespan. On the contrary, small things like an infotainment system that won’t sync to one’s phone and a small interior trim that comes loose can also push down a vehicle’s reliability rating. Reliability scores from Consumer Reports, J.D. Power, and CarComplaints all stem from owner-reported defects.