Why Aren’t the Most Reliable Trucks the Most Popular?
Reliability is important to truck shoppers. Reliable trucks often have strong reputations because truck drivers are known to drive the same truck for many years and many miles. However, the most reliable new trucks on the market aren’t the most popular. There could be a few interesting reasons behind this trend.
The most reliable trucks so far in 2023
According to data from auto research site iSeeCars, the most reliable midsize truck is the Honda Ridgeline, and the most dependable full-size pickup is the Toyota Tundra. Despite their strong reliability scores and low ownership costs, neither is even close to being the best-selling truck in its respective segment.
Data on GoodCarBadCar indicates that the Honda Ridgeline has sold 16,837 units so far in 2023. The best seller in that class, the Toyota Tacoma, has sold a whopping 95,524 units in the same time period. The Ridgeline is outsold by most of its rivals, like the Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, Nissan Frontier, and Jeep Gladiator. Part of the reason the Ridgeline is toward the bottom of its class in sales is that it’s an unconventional pickup with unibody construction like a crossover SUV.
Despite its proven reliability, the sales numbers of the Toyota Tundra are nowhere near the best sellers in its segment. It’s sold 49,960 units so far in 2023, while the Ford F-Series, America’s best-selling vehicle, has sold a whopping 310,538 units. The Ram 1500 and Chevy Silverado 1500 have both sold well over 100,000 trucks in the same time period.
How do the other trucks rank?
The best-selling trucks in the midsize and full-size truck segments are both the second most reliable trucks in their classes. That proves that reliability ratings do have some correlation to sales.
On a 10-point scale, the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tundra both get an 8.6. The second-place winners in both segments, the Toyota Tacoma and Ford F-150, both get an 8.5. In the full-size segment, the Silverado 1500 and Nissan Titan both also score an 8.5 out of 10, while the GMC Sierra 1500 gets fifth place with an 8.4 out of 10.
In the midsize truck class, the Nissan Frontier is in third place with an 8.0 out of 10, making it less reliable than all of the top five in the full-size segment. The Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon take the fourth and fifth place positions with a reliability score of 7.8 out of 10.
What’s important to truck buyers?
Pickup truck drivers are famously loyal to their favorite brands. Switching brands does happen, but many truck drivers stick with the same brand for life. For example, the average Ford F-150 driver isn’t going to jump ship and buy a Tundra because of its slightly better reliability score. Truck drivers often value brand reputation, familiarity, and image as much or more than reliability.
If you’re looking into buying your first pickup truck and don’t have any loyalty to a specific brand, the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tundra are good choices for anyone who values reliability above all else.