Buying a brand new truck is sort of like buying an expensive tool. And if you purchase such equipment, you expect it to be of high quality. Not only should it look good and work well, but it should also be built to last. It’s essential for new truck buyers to find a vehicle that is dependable enough to hold up to all the abuse thrown at it by your life and job. To help narrow down the field, we have come up with a list of the 10 most dependable trucks, highlighting some of the things that make them reliable and some of the areas in which they fall short.
10 of the Most Dependable Trucks
Photo Credit: Nissan
2017 Nissan Titan
The Nissan Titan is not one of the fastest selling full-size pickups. However, its overall quality continues to improve as production increases, and it, therefore, earns a spot on our list. The Titan has some thoughtful features like removable in-bed storage boxes and a highly configurable interior with water-resistant seats, and a center console with enough room for a laptop and a lockable storage area under the rear seat. This is assuming you didn't opt to delete the back seat entirely for some extra storage space in the cab.
Following in the footsteps of the Nissan Frontier's reliability, the Titan is a truck that we believe will see more sales as owners get behind the wheel and experience the trucks reliability for themselves.
Photo Credit: Ram Trucks
2017 Ram 1500
The 2017 RAM 1500 has many excellent attributes, including features such as an available diesel engine, four-corner air suspension, RamBox Cargo Management System and the Active Air grille shutters, which Ram isn’t afraid to integrate before other manufacturers. Partially due to that cutting-edge technology (diesel engines, for example, are notoriously complex), the Ram doesn't beat all its competitors when it comes to dependability, but owners absolutely love their trucks and it the inclusion in this list was a result of that consumer love.
Photo Credit: General Motors
2017 Chevrolet Silverado
For some reason, the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado seems to lag slightly behind the closely related GMC Sierra in the dependability department (despite being built in the same factory with many of the same parts,) placing it a few spots below its sibling on our list. We aren’t sure if it’s just owner perception, or if Silverados are generally used harder than the Sierras (which are generally slightly more expensive and can be configured to a higher level of luxury,) but we believe it’s probably one of the latter. Either way, the Chevrolet Silverado is still a reliable truck that should last you a long time.
Photo Credit: GMC
2017 Chevrolet Colorado / 2017 GMC Canyon
Unlike their bigger brothers, the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon seem to be evenly matched when it comes to dependability. While they don't quite beat the compact truck options from the Japanese manufacturers when it comes to reliability, we think that most drivers will be able to overlook that slight disadvantage thanks to the Colorado and Canyon’s more modern design, nicer interior and smoother ride. Plus the Colorado and Canyon have the best in class towing and are the only compact trucks available with a fuel-efficient (and complex) turbo-diesel engine. If you’re looking for a comfortable and dependable pickup to drive daily, either the Colorado or Canyon should do the trick for many years to come.
Photo Credit: Ford
2017 Ford F-150
The 2017 Ford F-150 features an aluminum body that will be a blessing for some and a curse for others. Aluminum’s light weight helps to improve fuel economy and increase payload capacity, and it’s essentially impervious to rust, but on the other hand, it can be slightly easier to perforate and is usually more expensive to repair. Ford’s advanced turbocharged EcoBoost engines have been slightly more troublesome than more traditional designs, but the less complex normally-aspirated V6 and V8 engines are as reliable as the competition. The F-150 earns the sixth spot on our list, but If you live in the rust belt you may want to bump it up a few more notches.
Photo Credit: GMC
2017 GMC Sierra
GMC touts itself as ‘Professional Grade’ and all the data we found showed the 2017 GMC Sierra to be a bit more dependable than its corporate cousin the Chevrolet Silverado, thought both the trucks use nearly identical mechanical parts. The Sierra is available with more bells and whistles than the Silverado, which you might expect would lead to lower reliability, but in fact, the opposite seems to be true. Perhaps it’s because you don’t usually go off-roading or haul loads of gravel in a fully-loaded truck with a leather interior. Either way, the GMC Sierra makes it into the top five on our list.
Photo Credit: Toyota
2017 Toyota Tacoma
The current version of the Tacoma has been around for a while (though it has been updated several times, including in 2016), and while that means that it isn’t quite as modern or up to date as some of its competitors, it also means that the design has been tried and tested. While the reliability doesn’t seem to have been quite as good since the latest refresh, the 2017 Toyota Tacoma still takes a spot in the top half of our list. If you want a truck that can survive for years in even the harshest weather conditions, consider a Toyota Tacoma.
Photo Credit: Nissan
2017 Nissan Frontier
The 2017 Nissan Frontier is another design that hasn't had a recent refresh (and the oldest on our list,) but it manages to nab a spot near the top of our list, just edging out its main rival. If you’re looking for a compact truck with some fairly serious off-road chops (for a stock truck at least) and don’t care about a smooth ride or all the modern technology, then the Nissan Frontier is the truck for you (especially if you spend lots of time away from civilization where breakdowns can be more than just an annoyance). There’s something to be said for a simple tool that does its job well.
Photo Credit: Honda
2018 Honda Ridgeline
The 2018 Honda Ridgeline takes a unique approach to the compact pickup, offering a unibody design with a front-wheel drive based drivetrain layout (with optional all-wheel drive.) Built very much like a modern car, it offers good handling, a great ride, and a comfortable and modern interior, all with legendary Honda reliability. As a work truck the Ridgeline isn’t necessarily the best choice (and would probably suffer quite badly from the abuse,) but as a daily driver to haul the occasional piece of furniture from the store or load of leaves to the community compost it makes an excellent choice and earns the runner-up spot on our list.
Photo Credit: Toyota
2018 Toyota Tundra
The 2018 Toyota Tundra takes the top spot on our list with a fairly resounding victory. The Tundra is actually one of the most reliable vehicles on the road, with an almost spotless record and no obvious trouble spots. If you need a heavy-duty workhorse there are other more capable options, but for most the Tundra is more than all the truck they’ll ever need, and we’re surprised we don’t see even more on the road every day. There’s not much worse than breaking down on a family vacation while pulling the camper, and buying a Toyota Tundra is one of the best ways to help avoid that situation.