The 6 Most Reliable Used Pickup Trucks—According to U.S. News
Rising new pickup prices are driving many trucks buyers to the used market. But the last thing you need is for your used truck to break down halfway through an important job. Luckily, U.S. News and J.D. Power compiled a list of your most reliable options when shopping for a used pickup truck between four and six years old. Here are the top six.
Six: 2018 Ram 1500
The 2018 Ram 1500 earned 83/100 points in J.D. Power’s reliability rankings. It also scored well in U.S. News‘ overall score: 8.6/10. Ram launched the fifth generation of its half-ton 1500 for the 2019 model year, but the changes were mostly visual. This means two things for used 2018 Ram 1500s: First, this truck’s drivetrain is mostly identical to a new Ram (eight-speed automatic, current engine options, rear coil springs), except for the complex eTorque mild-hybrid system. Second, the “visually outdated” 2018 model will be cheaper than a comparable used Ram from the current generation.
Find out all the differences between used 2018 vs. 2019 Ram 1500 trucks.
Five: 2017 Toyota Tundra
Toyota built the second generation of its Tundra from 2007 through 2021. By 2017, its drivetrain was a bit dated by modern standards: six-speed automatic, rear leaf springs, and the premium engine was a naturally-aspirated 5.7-liter V8. This may be why U.S. News only gave it a 7.2/10 overall score. But boy does Toyota know how to build a truck that can take a licking and keep on kicking. J.D. Power awarded the 2017 Tundra a predicted reliability score of 84/100. If you shop around, you can even find a reliable used 2017 Tundra pickup truck equipped with the first year of blind-spot monitoring.
Beware of the only year of used Toyota Tundra with an ‘Average’ reliability score.
Four: 2017 Nissan Frontier
This is the only mid-size truck on our list, but if you don’t need a full-size, it’s worth considering. By 2017, Nissan had this generation of the Frontier’s drivetrain well sorted. It earned an impressive 85/100 predicted reliability score from J.D. Power. The Frontiers don’t hold as much value on the used pickup truck market as Tacomas, so they are an especially savvy and reliable buy. Like the Tacoma, you could order the 2017 Frontier with an I4 or V6. The I4 only made 152 horsepower and didn’t improve on the V6’s fuel efficiency very much, so it’s worth hunting down a V6. Note that U.S. News only gave this truck a 7.6/10 overall score and warned that it’s a bad choice if you need a truck with the latest comforts and luxuries.
Read how Nissan doubled its Frontier sales.
Three: 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The Chevrolet’s half-ton Silverado 1500 is extremely reliable, earning an 86/100 predicted reliability score from J.D. Power. The vast number of Silverados and its mechanical twin–the GMC Sierrra 1500–on the road means you can always find someone who knows how to work on them, and parts are relatively cheap. You also have your pick of cab and bed configurations on the used market. U.S. News loved this truck when it first came out, giving it an 8.4/10 overall score. High points of the 2018 model included an infotainment system ahead of its time and a mild hybrid 5.3-liter V8 powertrain that earned fuel mileage equal to the V6.
Two: 2019 Ford F-150
The Ford F-150 tied with the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 for the second-place reliability spot on this list. J.D. Power awarded the 2019 F-150 an 86/100 for predicted reliability. U.S. News gave the Blue Oval’s full-size pickup truck a higher overall satisfaction score than the Silverado: 8.8/10. Ford has consistently offered a new generation of the F-150, with improved features, every few years. 2019 stands out as the first year of standard forward collision warning/automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. By 2022, competitors such as Ram were still charging extra for this life-saving technology.
One: 2019 Nissan Titan
Hear us out: If you want a cost-effective and capable full-size truck, you need to look at the 2019 Nissan Titan. The 2019 Nissan Titan topped J.D. Power’s predicted reliability scores with 89/100. Better yet, every single 2019 Nissan Titan came with a 390-horsepower V8 engine and Apple Carplay/Android Auto. Both of these features were reserved for more expensive versions of competitors’ trucks. You can also find three separate cab sizes on the market: single, crew, and king. Overall, the truck earned an 8.1/10 from U.S. News back in 2019 and is #1 on its list of reliable used trucks today.
The U.S. News list of used trucks with high-reliability scores and high overall ratings actually included 12 vehicles. Here are the honorable mentions from last place to number six: 2018 Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon, 2017 Toyota Tacoma, 2019 Ford Ranger, 2017 Honda Ridgeline, and 2018 GMC Sierra.
Next, find out whether the Nissan Titan XD is a heavy-duty pickup truck or hear TFL talk go over the used trucks under $25,000 that will last forever: