Crossovers and SUVs might be the best-sellers at the moment, but Americans will always love trucks. Throughout history, we saw different brands and models being popular, but Ford and Chevrolet are there all the time. Nowadays, Ram, previously Dodge, is challenging their supremacy, while Japanese carmakers are trying to carry over reliability from smaller classes.
We are trying to find the best models in the past decade. There are several grounds to determine if a truck is reliable or not. First, you can take sales – who will buy unreliable vehicles? There are always some issues, but recalls are not the downside that can totally harm an overall impression. Here are probably the most reliable models in the last 10 years.
The first track on the list is a big surprise. You won’t find the Ridgeline at the top of the sales charts. But, whoever owns this unibody pickup is more than happy with its durability. Well, truckers will say the Honda Ridgeline is not a true truck, since it is not built on a ladder frame and this kind of architecture also draws some other downsides, such as lower towing capacity compared to the competition. But, the Ridgeline makes it up with reliability and a driving impression.
This is one of the biggest what-ifs in the truck industry… Could the Ridgeline be better with a ladder frame? The current generation dates from 2017. But when it comes to reliability, definitely the first-gen series were better. The best rating is rewarded for the 2014 YM. If electronics were better, we could speak about the Honda Ridgeline as one of the most reliable pickups of all time.
There were even better models, but JD Power still rewards Toyota Tacoma with high ratings. The best thing about newer models is the resale value. Also, there are plenty of additional options. In this case, sales don’t lie – Tacoma is a very reliable pickup and a hard worker. There are competitors with better numbers in some areas, but the whole package is the best with Toyota’s small truck.
The company can’t carry this over to the full-size segment and Tundra. Still, there is an obvious decline in reliability on newer versions of the midsize pickup. While some older versions were rated above 90 out of 100, nowadays, the scores are just above 80. According to predictions, the new 2023 YM will slightly improve the ratings.
Dodge Ram 1500
For a long time, the US truck market was split between fans of Ford and Chevrolet trucks. But, the most recent sales show that Dodge Ram 1500 surpassed Silverado 1500. It is not happening by chance. The company recently brought the new truck, but the old one is still in production and being sold as the Ram 1500 Classic. Bosses say – if it sells, why not to deliver it. But, that just shows that the truck is reliable.
Electrical and transmission issues are the most common for the Ram 1500 truck. Still, the company makes it up with a great driving experience. Also, a diesel engine is there to improve performance and overall reliability. The resale value is not as good as for Toyotas, but we can still call it excellent.
The Japanese company keeps improving the reliability scores of its midsize truck. The new generation debuted last year and it is already better than its predecessor. In the past, Frontier relied on the build quality, but the driving experience was not so great. Also, the resale value was on a lower level than for most other midsize pickups.
Now, it is improved in every aspect. You are not losing too much as the time is ticking away. The truck can tow enough, and there are not too many defects reported in the past year or so. The infotainment system is better. The driver is getting more help from smart systems. Technology probably made the biggest leap compared to the second generation. Well, the platform was used even by the German automotive giant Mercedes for their X-Class. Enough said.
Chevy fans will never admit that, but the F-150 is the best truck in the US for a quite while. Ford is dominating the sales charts and the F-150 is at the top in every aspect: reliability, durability, safety, performance, towing capacity, technology… Well, there is a drop off in reliability scores of the new generation. But, we are sure the company will fix that very soon.
There are models to avoid in the last 10 years if you want to get the best of the Ford F-150. If you buy any model after 2018, that is a good purchase. Common problems are ignition coil failure and spark plug ejection. Nevertheless, with nearly 1 million units sold per annum, there must be some issues. Overall, the F-150 is not a synonym for reliability, but it is not going to let you down on the road.