What’s the Cheapest Half-Ton Pickup Truck With Top Reliability Scores in 2023?
Any brand-new pickup truck is highly unlikely to leave you stranded by the side of the road. But depending on the reliability of the 2023 half-ton pickup you choose, your yearly truck maintenance costs may vary. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ranks high in multiple quality and reliability scorings and is very affordable. But the Ford F-150 is the cheapest half-ton pickup truck you can buy in 2023. The F-150 malfunctions the least, and earns high scores, but when it does break down it could cost you more to fix than its competitors.
How reliable is the Ford F-150?
Ford’s half-ton F-150 earned an 86/100 rating for combined quality and reliability from J.D. Power, which is near the top of its class. But the frequency and cost of necessary repairs earned it last place in the reliability rankings RepairPal creates from repair reports.
To be blunt, all the half-ton pickup trucks the Detroit Three offer for 2023 are neck-and-neck in their reliability rankings. The F-150 XL (when configured with a regular cab, 2WD, and naturally-aspirated V6) comes in almost $2k below everyone else’s MSRP.
When J.D. Power totaled up the defects, malfunctions, and design flaws reported by F-150 owners it gave the truck an 86/100 for combined quality and reliability. The most common owner complaints were uninspiring engine noise and door-closing sounds as well as saying driving other vehicles just makes them feel better. But owners liked features such as the bright headlights, infotainment screens, and fuel economy.
RepairPal’s compiled shop data told a different story. The average cost of an F-150 repair ($788) is the highest in its class, though very close to its Detroit competitors. The average F-150 is in the shop 0.28 times a year, which is higher than any other Detroit-born truck, but lower than the average vehicle (0.3). In total, 15% of the mechanical malfunctions reported would classify as severe.
How reliable is the Chevrolet Silverado 1500?
The Silverado earned top Quality and Reliability marks from J.D. Power (87/100), though the GMC Sierra and F-150 were hot on its heels (86/100). Because of the cost of its repairs, it landed fifth in RepairPal’s reliability rankings.
Silverado owners rave about the truck’s maneuverability and fuel economy. But they complain that its headlights, infotainment screens, and the ease of climbing in and out all need work. GMC Sierra drivers have similar complaints, adding that visibility and wind noise are subpar. But they like both the truck’s engine options and its sound system.
The trend RepairPal found is that all Detroit-built half-ton pickup trucks are in the shop less than the average vehicle–or Japanese half-ton trucks–but can cost more to repair when they do need work. The Silverado is in the shop 0.23 times a year on average, with 16% of the malfunctions being severe, and the average repair running you $714. Considering how similar the GMC Sierra is mechanically, you won’t be surprised that it came in with similar numbers: 0.2 visits a year with 15% of problems being severe and a fix setting you back $727.
All-told, RepairPal ranked the Silverado’s reliability fifth among half-ton trucks. It awarded the Sierra third place. There’s no way to know why these mechanically identical trucks earn separate rankings. Perhaps GMC Sierra owners simply fix problems before they become severe.
What is the least reliable pickup truck?
The answer to that question depends on how you define reliability. The Ram 1500 lags behind the GMs and Fords in combined quality and reliability, but its problems are often less severe and repairs cost less. The Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan need work the most often, but tend to cost the least to fix when they do.
Here’s an example. The Toyota Tundra is in the shop 0.31 times per year and 18% of its malfunctions are severe–on average. But the average repair bill comes in at $606. The Nissan Titan does even better: It needs a garage 0.3 times in a typical year, 16% of repairs are severe, and the average bill is $555.
The Ram 1500 landed at the top of RepairPal’s reliability ranking, but near the bottom of J.D. Power’s. How? Owners complained about things such as the economy or the ease of using safety systems or playing audio. They may have listed a number of malfunctions or defects. But according to RepairPal, the severity of malfunctions is the lowest in the segment: 13%. This is why the Ram 1500 is in the shop 0.2 times in the average year and only costs you $691 on average when it does need repairs.
In practice, this is because many common Ram problems are annoyances such as a leaking rear window, warped RamBox lid, air suspension shutting off in the cold, or leaking engine coolant. But often, the Ram’s drivetrain proves reliable for 200k miles or more.
You can see how the reliability scores and MSRP of all the 2023 half-ton pickup trucks compare in the table below:
|Make/Model||J.D. Power Quality & Reliability||RepairPal Reliability Ranking||MSRP|
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500||87/100||5th (3.5/5)||$36,300|
|GMC Sierra 1500||86/100||3rd (3.5/5)||$37,100|
|Ford F-150||86/100||7th (3.5/5)||$34,585|
|Ram 1500||80/100||1st (3.5/5)||$37,410|
|Toyota Tundra||70/100||6th (3.5/5)||$38,965|
|Nissan Titan||N/A||2nd (3.5/5)||$39,950|
Next, find out whether a heavy-duty pickup truck is more reliable than a half-ton or see more trucks and SUVs that will last forever in the video below: