When it comes to full-size pickup trucks, it’s fair to say that they don’t make them like they used to. On the whole, automakers make better trucks than they did in the past.
Whether you go by driving experience, hauling capacity, cabin comfort, or fuel economy, a 2019 pickup will beat a 1999 model every time. But these improvements haven’t come cheap, and as a result you’ll find a robust secondhand market.
Since just about every truck has problems after 100,000 miles, used-pickup buyers should take a close look at the data available. Studying owner surveys from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power along with recall data, you get a picture of which pre-owned trucks are the best bets for your money.
Going back to the 2014 model year, these seven models top the list on the used market for 2019.
7. Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD/3500HD (2015)
When you consider the abuse a heavy-duty truck will go through, it’s easy to understand why so few get high ratings in areas like dependability and owner satisfaction. In recent years, Chevy’s Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD only scored high in these categories for 2015 models.
In Consumer Reports surveys from that year, the only are where these trucks scored below average was for in-car electronics. Its strong engine and transmission performance — both in CR and J.D. Power rankings — make these models a good call on the used market.
6. GMC Sierra 2500HD/3500HD (2015)
As the mechanical twin of Silverado, the GMC Sierra often shares the same dependability scores with its less expensive sibling. That trend held for 2015 Sierra HD models.
Of course, you’ll find more interior comforts and options in the Sierra Denali than you will in any used Silverado, so that’s the main selling point here.
5. Ford F-250 (2016)
Ford F-250 models scored high both in J.D. Power Dependability surveys (tied for best) and Consumer Report reliability rankings (above average) for 2016. This model rated above average in every area except general body integrity.
While it was only for one year, the record of the ’16 F-250 stands out from the pack. A low-mileage model would be a good investment for any business.
4. Ram 1500 (2016-17)
Multiple years of high owner satisfaction and strong reliability ratings are a bit rarer in full-size pickups. After a rough run earlier in the decade (including 12 recalls in 2014), the Ram 1500 emerged a better truck by 2016 and managed that feat.
By 2017, it had improved enough to get flawless reliability scores across the board from Consumer Reports. What a difference a few years can make, and used-truck buyers ought to take note.
3. Ford F-350 (2014-15)
While it’s rare to find solid reliability and high owner satisfaction for heavy-duty trucks in any year, it’s even less common to find the top ratings for consecutive years. The one exception since 2014 has been the ’14-’15 Ford F-350.
Mostly excellent powertrain operations and few other problems won over F-350 owners for these years, and it’s easy to understand why. The 2014 Super Duty line, which bested even half-ton trucks from Ram for reliability that year, would be an especially good buy.
2. Ford F-150 (2014-16)
While the 2014 Ford F-150 gave way to a redesigned aluminum model for 2015, two things stayed the same: solid reliability and strong customer satisfaction. In fact, Ford improved in both areas for 2015-16.
In the ’14 model, used-truck buyers should check for brake issues that were reported. Otherwise, the only gripes for these three model years centered on infotainment (i.e., electronics), and owners’ willingness to buy the same truck again speaks volumes.
1. Toyota Tundra (2014-17)
You’ll only find one full-size Toyota truck on the market, but data from the past five years shows no pickup rates higher than the Tundra. For every year from 2014-17, you’ll find excellent reliability ratings along with above-average owner satisfaction.
That landed Tundra four straight Consumer Reports recommendations — something unheard of in this class. If you comb through surveys and testing data, you won’t find a single problem area in this truck since 2015. (In 2014, only the infotainment system gave buyers headaches.)
Meanwhile, J.D. Power surveys yielded almost the same feedback. When you look at the pickup trucks that retained the most value over this time period, it’s no wonder Tundra came out on top of the full-size pack.