These 2 Decade-Old Used Midsize Pickup Trucks Are Still Reliable Today–According to a Dealer
If you ask pickup fans which trucks are most reliable, their answer will often come down to personal brand loyalty. But the experts at the Patterson Truck Stop dealership in Texas have experience selling every type of pickup truck imaginable. When they compiled a list of the most reliable used trucks of the past decade, two midsize pickups earned a spot: the 2011 Toyota Tacoma and several years of the Honda Ridgeline.
2011 Toyota Tacoma
The Toyota Tacoma boasts legendary reliability. One famous 2008 Tacoma has racked up 1.5 million miles and is still on the road. The truck experts at Patterson Truck Stop prefer the Tacoma’s second generation (2005-2015). They also point out that this midsize truck earned J.D. Power’s Highest Dependability Rating among midsize trucks for its 2011 model year.
You could order the second-generation Toyota Tacoma with an efficient I4 engine or a 3.4-liter V6. Even the V6 made just 236 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. The Toyota Tacoma won’t be winning many stoplight drag races. But its low power output serves to protect its transmission, and the rest of its drivetrain, from premature wear. This is one of the reasons many Toyota Tacomas run for 200,000 miles–or more.
Toyota offered the Tacoma with either a two-door regular cab, an extended cab, or a full four-door cab. You could also opt for either an automatic or manual transmission. If you want the most capable off-road trim, hunt down a Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.
The Honda Ridgeline difference
Honda and Toyota have virtually opposite approaches to building a midsize pickup truck. While Toyota’s Tacoma is a full-frame pickup truck, the Ridgeline is constructed in the opposite way. The Ridgeline shares a unibody chassis with the Pilot crossover. This means it has more in common with a car or a crossover than a truck. It also has a front-engine and FWD layout, with AWD available. Finally, it has independent suspension at all four corners–no solid axles here.
The result is that the Honda Ridgeline handles very well. It drives smoothly, and highway noise is minimal. Its V6 engine–which makes up to 290 horsepower–has proven very reliable. In addition, Honda excels at utilizing the space the Ridgeline has. Innovative storage solutions include an in-bed trunk and a dual-action tailgate.
So what are the downsides to unibody construction? Statistically, the majority of truck owners will never experience them. Firstly, a unibody vehicle usually has a lower towing capacity than a full-frame. Secondly, a unibody flexes slightly under strain while a full-frame vehicle maintains stiffness prized by hardcore off-roaders. Finally, if a very old full-frame vehicle is suffering from extensive rust, you may be able to perform an expensive frame swap instead of scrapping it. But this will never be an option if you drive a unibody truck.
Look for a 2014, 2015, or 2017 Honda Ridgeline
The Patterson Truck Stop points out that the Honda Ridgeline earned JD Power’s Highest Dependability Rating among midsize trucks an incredible three times. The first-generation Ridgeline won in 2014 and 2015.
Then Honda took one model year off before launching its second generation of the Ridgeline for 2017. This truck also took JD Power’s award. Honda has yet to sell an unreliable generation of the Ridgeline. Though the 2014 Ridgeline isn’t quite a decade old–yet–Honda’s been selling this pickup truck since 2006, and every model year offers a ton of value on the used market.
See three more sensible used midsize truck models and years or watch how these trucks stack up in a mashup review in the video below: