3 of the Least Reliable Pickup Trucks on Consumer Reports Are Some of the Most Popular Trucks

Pickup trucks occupy a strange space in the automotive market. On the one hand, pickup trucks are meant to be the most utilitarian vehicles. This means they have to be practical, tough, and reliable. However, pickup trucks have morphed from a tool to a status symbol somewhere along the way. It seems reliability and toughness have become less important than features and upholstery. In fact, three of the least reliable pickup trucks on consumer reports are some of the most popular trucks on the road. 

A 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 parked outdoors.
2023 Chevrolet Silverado | Creative Commons

What are the least reliable pickup trucks? 

Consumer Reports takes all aspects into account when rating vehicles. One of the metrics is predicted reliability. Consumer Reports explains how it comes up with these figures here: 

” Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for over 300,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2022 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.” 

With that in mind, the three least reliable pickup trucks so far for 2023 are the Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra 1500, and the Ford F-150 Hybrid. These three nameplates are also some of the most popular and recognizable vehicles ever made. So why are they so popular if they aren’t reliable? 

What are the most popular pickup truck brands in the U.S.? 

Ford F-150
2022 Ford F-150 | Ford

According to TFLtruck, 2022 truck sales show that GM, Ford F-series, and Chevy Silverado landed first through third place in that order. GM truck nameplates combined sold 754,876, Ford F-series sold 653,957, and Chevy sold 513,354 Silverados. 241,522 GMC Sierras sold, landing that nameplate in fifth place behind Ram trucks. 

The Venn Diagram of the least reliable pickup trucks and the most popular pickup trucks is nearly a circle. That is hard to understand. However, at least anecdotally, truck buyers are quite loyal to their truck brand of choice. 

Are these bad pickup trucks? 

2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X in snow
2023 GMC Sierra 1500 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

Just because Consumer Reports predict poor reliability, that doesn’t mean they will have trouble. The fact is, people buy Ford F-150s, Chevy Silverados, and GMC Sierras by the buckets. And for many people, these trucks offer everything customers need. Also, for some, extra maintenance is worth it to continue to own a Ford pickup truck or whichever model they are loyal to. 

It’s also important to note that although truck people (myself included) can be strange, this phenomenon isn’t special to my truck peeps. Jaguars have been notoriously unreliable for decades, and people still love them. Look at Alfa Romeo, too. The point is, the proof shows that we like to buy the cars we like, not always what cars are the best.