When looking for the most dependable vehicle, you have a few sources of credible information. Consumer Reports reliability ratings factor in the reputation of an automaker and long-term tests along with owner surveys to come to a conclusion.
In the case of J.D. Power dependability ratings, the organization turns to verified owners for data. After receiving feedback on their three-year-old vehicles, they assign scores on a scale of 1-10. There are three main areas: Mechanical, Exterior and Interior, and Features and Controls.
For the latest (2018) rankings, some 37,000 J.D. Power subscribers put their 2015 vehicles under the microscope. Here are the pickup trucks and large SUVs that fared the worst in dependability.
7. Chevrolet Colorado
There weren’t any light-duty pickups with poor ratings in this survey. Among full-size models, the scoring range (from 8-9 out of 10) was better than any other segment. The midsize pickup segment, which had scores ranging from 7-9, only did slightly worse, and the Chevrolet Colorado landed near the bottom of the pack.
In the three survey categories, Colorado only rated below-average in the mechanical field (for its powertrain and overall drive experience). Otherwise, Chevy’s midsize pickup posted strong scores for its interior/exterior and infotainment.
6. GMC Canyon
It isn’t much of a surprise that GMC Canyon scored about the same as Colorado, its mechanical twin, in the dependability survey. Like its Chevy counterpart, Canyon rated above average in interior/exterior quality while scoring below average for its powertrain and overall ride.
Yet there was one area that differentiated the two trucks: infotainment features and controls. Surprisingly, the upmarket Canyon fared considerably worse than Colorado. Consumer Reports surveys matched these results quite closely, with power equipment and climate control ranking poorly.
5. Ram 3500
In the heavy-duty pickup segment, once again we find mostly high scores, with the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD leading the pack. Oddly enough, most of these trucks scored best for interior comfort and exterior styling, which isn’t the first thing you expect from a work truck. (The GMC Sierra is an exception.)
At the bottom, you’ll find the Ram 3500 from the 2015 model year. This truck rated highly among owners for its interior features, controls, and styling. However, it didn’t post a strong rating for its powertrain and ride quality.
4. Ram 2500
Like its heavier counterpart, the 2015 Ram 2500 also landed at the bottom of the list for its below-average feedback on its powertrain and ride quality. Owners were generally happy with the interior, exterior, and controls inside the cabin.
Looking at Consumer Reports ranking for this truck circa 2013-15, you also see low reliability ratings and average customer satisfaction (at best). If you buy a Ram 2500 used, you have to know it won’t be perfect.
3. Nissan Pathfinder
In the three-row SUV category, the 2015 Nissan Pathfinder stood out from the pack with the worst score for interior/exterior dependability. Problems with trim and general fit and finish are to be expected with this model.
Its ride and powertrain dependability also score below average. The one area where this Pathfinder excelled was in interior features and controls.
2. Chevrolet Suburban
Looking at the list of truck-based SUVs, you find lower-than-average dependability across the board for the 2015 Ford Expedition and three GM models (one GMC and two one Chevrolets). The Chevy Suburban stood out with the lowest score in the segment for its exterior and interior.
Meanwhile, the ’15 Suburban didn’t win over any fans for its cabin controls and infotainment system. The only area where it proved capable was in its powertrain.
1. GMC Yukon
The least dependable large SUV or truck from the latest J.D. Power survey was the 2015 GMC Yukon. After three years of ownership, buyers had little good to say about the Yukon’s interior and exterior. Nor did they have much positive to say about its controls.
Meanwhile, no large vehicle got worse feedback for the dependability of its powertrain and overall ride experience. Recalls for its ignition system, steering, and transmission (as well as another five for other issues) are likely to blame here.