2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD

13 Reliable Pickup Trucks You Can Always Count On

There’s a reason why so many songs mention pickup trucks: you can count on them no matter what. Of course, this only applies to specific models. Whether a model has a hit one year or consistently produces great pickups, we’ve rounded up some of the best. Here are some pickup trucks you can always rely on to get the job done. 

Ford F-150

1975 Ford F150 Custom Pickup
Image Credit: Mecum Auctions.

What’s a truck list without at least one F-150? 1975 brought us Ford’s best-seller and one of the most iconic pickups in American history. The F-150 was made as a heavy-duty version of the F-100, but the model was eventually replaced as the superior truck. The vehicle has many variations, including the Raptor, the Super-Duty and the Lightning. While most consumers don’t look for a pickup for its speed, it is also one of the fastest pickups on the market, going from 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. 

Toyota Tundra

Toyota Tundra
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Tundra was the first full-size pickup built in America by a Japanese manufacturer. They have stayed relevant due to their reliability on and off-road and in rough terrain, with over 125,000 units sold in 2023. Its high ground clearance of 10 inches allows it to successfully navigate over rocky terrain, obstacles and much more.

Honda Ridgeline

Honda Ridgeline
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Ridgeline had a rough start, with early criticism targeting the crossover truck’s car-like design. However, consumers soon came to respect the vehicle for its all-wheel drive and comfortable interior. The first generation ended in 2015, but the second emerged in June 2016. The 2023 model can tow up to 5,000 lbs with its 280-horsepower V6 engine. 

Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Tacoma X-Runner Supercharged 
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Tacoma was first introduced in 1995 and remains a favorite among Toyota enthusiasts. It replaced the Hilux in the American market at the time (then known as the Toyota Pickup) and served as its replacement permanently since the Hilux is not actively sold in America. Many young drivers find it reliable as a great first truck.  

Dodge RAM 1500 Classic

Dodge RAM 1500 Classic
Image Credit: Tony Webster/WikiCommons.

The RAM 1500 Classic is a hefty, reliable vehicle that can last for ages with regular maintenance. They’re also at a great price point for someone needing a reliable base truck (with a little over 10,000 lbs hauling capacity) at just over $30,000. There’s always the option to add-on features later! The most reliable models are those made from 2017 onward, except for 2019 (the J.D.Power Dependability Study never lies).

Dodge RAM 2500 

Dodge RAM 2500 
Image Credit: IFCAR/WikiCommons.

Need a little more than the 1500 offers? A LOT more? If you want a truck known to last for 15 to 20 years and can get the biggest jobs done, the RAM 2500 is great for tradespeople and offers a quiet and comfortable drive, even at its large size. Are you opting for a diesel engine? You’ll have impressive power and torque. From 2023 onward, you can choose from the Rebel or Power Wagon trim for off-road capability.  

Chevy Silverado

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

We won’t mention the 2005 model, but many Silverados are known to be reliable because of their longevity and engine options. Base models come with a 4.3 liter V6 engine, but you can always upgrade to a V8. They’re also fantastic for off-road terrain, making it the truck of all trucks! 

GMC Sierra 1500

GMC Sierra 1500
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

GMC trucks are known for their significant hauling capabilities, but the J.D. Power Dependability Study has kept the model in its top five for years. Its variable valve timing allows for fast acceleration and a better fuel economy than other trucks. Note that the Direct Injection Technology allows for reliable power with maximum efficiency.  

Nissan Frontier

Nissan Frontier pickup truck red display. Nissan is part of the Renault Nissan Alliance.
Image Credit: The Global Guy/Shutterstock.

Looking for a compromise between a smaller cab and a monster truck? Slight exaggeration aside, the Nissan Frontier has a 3.8-liter V6 engine and a mid-size build, which is ideal for those needing something a step up from a “typical” truck. Most Frontiers have at least a 4 out of 5 reliability rating. Just skip any built between 2005 and 2008 due to a known radiator issue.  

2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10

2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10
Image Credit: Daniel Matthews/Flickr.

What makes this model stand out? If you’ve got your hands on one of these, you have a 500-hp Viper V-10 in a pickup. Seriously. And it’s about $100K less. In online threads, enthusiasts sing its praises for reliability, often not seeing any need for big maintenance until at least 70,000 miles. 

Ford F-250

Ford F-250
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

While its “little sibling,” the F-150, is in a league of its own, the F-250 is for someone who needs something with a little more power but the same reliability. The F-250 offers a nearly 4,000-pound payload, so it’s perfect for heavy hauling. Choose a gas or diesel engine and get used to climbing up into the cabin–it’s a hike! 

Toyota Hilux

Toyota Hilux
Image Credit: EurovisionNim/WikiCommons.

A favorite in reliable truck roundups across truck enthusiast threads everywhere, the Hilux is known for its amazing fuel economy and capacity to haul big loads. But if you live in the U.S., good luck getting your hands on one. High tariffs prevent the model from being shipped to the States. The next best Toyota truck choice is a Tacoma. With a bit of imagination, you could pretend it’s a Hilux.

2003 Ford Ranger

2003 Ford Ranger
Image Credit: Greg Gjerdingen/WikiCommons.

Whatever Ford was doing in 2003 worked because the 2003 Ford Ranger was the compact model that could go for miles. Many models can reach 300,000 miles after years of use. So, if a new truck is too pricey, consider snagging one of these from the used market and see why so many have given it a nearly 5-star rating. 

Author: Gretchen Gales

Bio:

Gretchen Gales is a freelance writer, the executive editor of Quail Bell Magazine, and the author of the poetry chapbook Agora. Writing for nearly a decade, her work has appeared in Business Insider, Next Avenue, The Huffington Post, Bustle, and others. Gretchen has also been interviewed for Her Campus as part of their “How She Got There” series and an interview with the popular website Dear English Major. 

Gretchen, a knowledge geek and educator, loves breaking down complicated concepts into something everyone can understand and enjoy. A Jill of all (Writing) Trades, there aren’t many topics she hasn’t written about. 

 

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