Pickup trucks have come a long way over the years, morphing from work-only rigs to daily drivers with touchscreens and all the latest technology. As they’ve evolved to being used as daily drivers, reliability has become an important issue with pickup trucks.
When looking to buy the best truck, reliability will certainly play a role in your buying decision. To help you in your process, we've compiled a list of the most reliable pickup trucks in all the key segments.
Every year J.D. Power releases a new dependability study that surveys owners of vehicles from the same model three years earlier. This means the 2021 study included owners of model year 2018 vehicles.
When performing these surveys, J.D. Power looks at the number of problems these owners had in the previous 12 months. It then develops a 0-100 score based on the number of issues owners experience.
We used this scoring model over the past five years' award cycles -- 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017 -- to determine the six most reliable pickups within these award years.
These are the heavy lifters of the group, designed for big-time towing and hauling. Not only do they haul, but they are also some of the most reliable pickup trucks on the pre-owned market today.
With a total quality and reliability score of 86, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is the most reliable large heavy-duty pickup.
The work-loving Silverado 2500HD has two engine options, a 360-horsepower 6.0-litre V-8 and a 6.6-litre V-8 turbo diesel with 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque. With this big-time power and a strong platform, this pickup can haul up to a 17,500-pound trailer with a fifth-wheel attachment and the diesel engine or 14,700 pounds with the 6.0-litre engine.
With a quality and reliability score of 84, the 2014 GMC Sierra is our second most reliable large heavy-duty pickup. Like it's Chevy Silverado sibling, the GMC Sierra 2500HD boasts two engine options: a 360-horsepower 6.0-litre V-8 and a 6.6-litre V-8 turbo diesel with 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque.
This pickup can haul up to a 17,500-pound trailer with a fifth-wheel attachment and the diesel engine or 14,700 pounds with the 6.0-litre engine.
The Silverado 2500HD returned to its mantle as the most reliable large heavy-duty pickup for three straight years: 2016, 2017, and 2018. In these years, it pulled quality and reliability scores of 84, 82, and 81, respectively.
The 2016 Silverado 2500HD had a pair of engine options: a 360-horsepower 6.0-litre V-8 and a 6.6-litre V-8 turbo diesel with 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque. This allowed it to tow up to 18,000 pounds with a fifth wheel and the diesel engine or 14,800 pounds with a fifth wheel and the 6.0-litre V-8.
In 2017, the Silverado 2500 gained a new 6.6-litre turbo-diesel engine that pushed the pickup's output to 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. This pushed the diesel-powered pickup's tow rating with a fifth wheel to 18,100 pounds. The gasoline model remained at 14,800 pounds.
The 2018 Silverado 2500HD continued with the same powertrain and specs as the 2017 model.
The 2014-2016 Ford F-250 makes it on our heavy-duty full-size pickup list with a quality and reliability score of 81 in all three years.
The 2014 F-250 SuperDuty had two engines available, starting with a 6.2-litre gasoline V-8 that boasted 385 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque. Optionally, buyers could equip this pickup with a 6.7-litre turbo-diesel engine with 400 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque.
This allowed the 2014 F-250 to tow up to 16,000 pounds with the gasoline engine and 16,800 pounds with the diesel unit.
In 2015, the F-250's diesel power increased to 440 horsepower and 860 pound-feet of torque, but its towing capacity remained at 16,800 pounds. The 2016 F-250 carried on with all the same specs.
Light-duty full-size pickup trucks have all the space buyers expect from a pickup but with reduced towing and hauling capabilities. With less rigid frames and chassis, these pickups are more commuter-friendly but still have plenty of capability.
Leading the pack of light-duty full-size trucks is the 2016 Toyota Tundra and its 88 quality and reliability score.
The Toyota Tundra has a pair of engine options, starting with the standard 4.6-litre V-8 that delivers 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque. Optionally, buyers can bump the power to 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque with the 5.7-litre V-8.
Regardless of its engine, the Tundra can tow from 9,800 pounds in its 4x4 CrewMax format to 10,500 pounds in its 4x2 regular-cab body style.
The 2017 Tundra had all the same specs, but its quality and reliability scores dipped to 84.
The 2018 Tundra received a refresh, but it maintained the same powertrain and its maximum towing capacity fell to 10,200 pounds. It also carried an 84 quality and reliability score.
In the light-duty full-size truck category, the 2017 Ford F-150 is near the top of the pack with an 84 quality and reliability score.
It also offers a slew of powertrain options for all types of buyers, starting with a 3.5-litre V-6 that delivers 282 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. This gives the F-150 a 7,600-pound towing capacity.
Next up is a 2.7-litre turbocharged V-6 that pumps out 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque. This powertrain gives the F-150 an 8,500-pound towing capacity.
The third engine is a 5.0-litre V-8 with 385 horsepower and 387 pound-feet of torque. This powertrain delivers a 10,100-pound towing capacity.
The F-150's range-topping twin-turbo 3.5-litre Ecoboost V-6 delivers 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, which helps push its maximum towing capacity to 12,200 pounds.
The 2016 and 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 tie for second place with their 84 quality and reliability scores.
The Silverado 1500 offers three powertrain options, starting with the standard 4.3-litre V-6 that delivers 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. The midrange powertrain is a 5.3-litre V-8 that delivers 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. Topping the range is a 6.2-litre V-8 with 420 horses and 460 pound-feet of torque.
The 2018 Silverado 1500 can tow from 9,500 pounds in its regular cab 4x4 format to 12,500 pounds in the crew cab 4x2 setup.
The 2016 Silverado can tow from 5,500 pounds with the 4.3-litre engine, two-wheel drive, and a crew cab to 12,000 pounds with the 6.2-litre engine two-wheel drive, and a crew cab.
The 2017-2018 RAM 1500 comes in at number four with a solid 81 in the quality and reliability score.
The RAM 1500 has three powertrain options, and its base setup comes with a 3.6-litre V-6 that pumps out 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. With this engine, it tows between 4,210 and 7,600 pounds, depending on the cab configuration.
It also has a 5.7-litre HEMI V-8 engine that produces 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. With this engine, the RAM 1500 tows 5,030 to 10,640 pounds.
Finally, there's the 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V-6 engine that pumps out 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. With this engine, the RAM 1500's tow rating ranges from 7,540 to 9,210 pounds.
Midsize pickup trucks are great for shoppers who only need some of the capability of a pickup truck but also need a smaller vehicle. These smaller cargo haulers fit this bill perfectly with their more compact footprints and respectable capabilities.
The Pilot-based 2014 Honda Ridgeline scored the highest reliability rating of all trucks on this list with a quality and reliability score of 89.
Being based on a crossover, the Ridgeline is the least truck-like pickup on this list. Yes, Its 3.5-litre V-6 engine delivers a respectable 250 horsepower and allows it to tow up to 5,000 pounds, but it has a smooth ride and handles more like a crossover than a pickup. This makes it a great option for a buyer who needs a pickup but doesn't necessarily want one.
The Nissan Frontier has long been one of the simpler pickups on the road, but it was also one of the most reliable from 2014 through 2018. During these years, its quality and reliability score ranged from 81 to 85.
The 2014-2018 Nissan Frontier comes standard with a 4.0-litre V-6 engine that delivers 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. This powertrain affords it a 6,110- to 6,640-pound towing capacity, depending on its trim level, transmission, and wheelbase.
The Toyota Tacoma made the list as a 2014 model and a 2015 model thanks to quality and reliability scores of 80 and 85, respectively.
The 2014-2015 Tacoma was essentially the same truck with just mild updates between the two years. Under the skin, both come standard with a 2.7-litre four-cylinder engine that delivers 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. With this four-cylinder engine, the Tacoma can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
The optional 4.0-litre V-6 engine gives the Tacoma a more competitive 236 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. It also bumps its tow rating to 6,500 pounds with the optional V6 Tow Prep Package.
The 2016 Chevrolet Colorado rounds out our list of reliable midsize pickup trucks with a score of 80.
The Colorado has three engine options, beginning with the standard 2.5-litre four-cylinder unit that delivers 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. With this base engine, the Colorado can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
Moving up a notch is the optional 3.6-litre V-6 engine that injects 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. With the optional trailering package and this more potent engine, the Colorado can tow up to 7,000 pounds.
Topping the Colorado range is a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that produces 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The Colorado can tug up to a 7,700-pound trailer with extra torque from this diesel unit, giving it a considerable advantage over other midsize pickups.
At Clutch, Canada's first 100% online pre-owned vehicle retailer, we have a wide range of pickup trucks in stock, including many of the most reliable pickup trucks on this list. On top of getting a reliable pickup truck, you also get the hassle-free online truck-buying experience Clutch offers.
All our pre-owned trucks have been through a rigorous 210-point inspection and reconditioning process to ensure they'll remain reliable for you. Plus, we back them with a 90-day or 6,000 km warranty for added peace of mind.
Whether you're looking for a reliable off-road pickup, something to haul a trailer with, or just want to throw great tailgate parties, we've got plenty of quality pre-owned trucks for you to choose from.