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Most dependable pickups of last 15 years – J.D. Power Dependability

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If you are looking for the most dependable pickup, then we have the data for you. We have compiled the J.D. Power Dependability survey winners into a spreadsheet showing the last 15 years of winners as well as the top truck brand and pickup model per class. The results WILL surprise you and, if you are a loyal fan, probably make you upset.

When it comes to pickups, most buyers really want to know one thing: how dependable will it be. Forecasting future dependability is nearly impossible, however, we can look back at different resources to determine who has historically be dependable.

With this goal in mind and the ready resource of the internet, we looked at the past 15 years of award winners for J.D. Power’s Vehicle Dependability Study.

This study surveys some 80,000 owners and asks questions about problems and if they would purchase the vehicle again.

J.D. Power is a survey company that uses the results to give out awards. It also sells its data, in the form of reports, to automakers and/or other agencies interested. This practice does cause it some criticism with people being upset at selling the data which seems to make them beholden to the automakers who pay the most for the report.

Whether you are a J.D. Power fan or not, the survey results are pretty interesting and speak for themselves.

Please note, you will not find Ram, Dodge Ram or Dodge trucks listed on this report. This isn’t out of any sort of hatred or bias, they simply don’t show up. Plain and simple.

The survey looks back 3 years for past ownership experiences. This is why you will see the 2005 survey, for example, relating to 2002 products.

J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Survey Results 2005-2019 
Survey YearModel YearCategoryPickup Truck
20052002Mid-SizeChevy S-10
Full-SizeCadillac Escalade EXT
Heavy-DutyChevy Silverado 2500 HD
20062003Mid-SizeFord Ranger
Full-SizeToyota Tundra
Heavy-DutyNo Award
20072004Mid-SizeToyota Tacoma
Full-SizeToyota Tundra
Heavy-DutyNo Award
20082005Mid-SizeFord Ranger
Full-SizeToyota Tundra
Heavy-DutyNo Award
20092006Mid-SizeFord Ranger
Full-SizeToyota Tundra
Heavy-DutyNo Award
20102007Mid-SizeHonda Ridgeline
Full-SizeToyota Tundra
Heavy-DutyNo Award
20112008Mid-SizeToyota Tacoma
Full-SizeToyota Tundra
Heavy-DutyNo Award
20122009Mid-SizeNissan Frontier
Full-SizeToyota Tundra
Heavy-DutyNo Award
20132010Mid-SizeFord Ranger
Full-SizeGMC Sierra 2500 HD
Heavy-DutyNo Award
20142011Mid-SizeHonda Ridgeline
Full-SizeGMC Sierra 1500
Heavy-DutyChevrolet Silverado 2500
20152012Mid-SizeHonda Ridgeline
Full-SizeGMC Sierra 1500
Heavy-DutyGMC Sierra 3500 HD
20162013Mid-SizeNo Award
Full-SizeToyota Tundra
Heavy-DutyChevrolet Silverado 2500 HD
20172014Mid-SizeHonda Ridgeline
Full-SizeFord F-150
Heavy-DutyChevrolet Silverado 2500 HD
20182015Mid-SizeToyota Tacoma
Full-SizeChevrolet Silverado
Heavy-DutyFord F-450 DRW
20192016Mid-SizeNissan Frontier
Full-SizeToyota Tundra
Heavy-DutyChevrolet Silverado 3500 HD

Also, we compiled the list and added up the overall winners by category.

BrandAwards
Toyota 12
Chevrolet/GMC 11
Ford6
Honda4
Nissan2
Mid-Size Pickups
Honda (TIE)4
Ford (TIE)4
Toyota3
Nissan2
Chevrolet/GMC1
Full-Size Pickups
Toyota9
Chevrolet/GMC5
Ford1
Heavy Duty Pickups
Chevrolet/GMC5
Ford1

What do you think? Did you find this information helpful? Comment below.

(Editor’s Note: There is a miscalculation in the video and correct results are above in the story.)

Related posts:

Most reliable 2021 full-size trucks ranked

Is the 2014-2018 Chevy Silverado 1500 reliable? One year to avoid

Are Ram 1500 pickups reliable?

Toyota Tacoma Still Reliable? Engine/Transmission Issues Plague Reliability Scores

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Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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21 Comments

  1. Ric April 3, 2019

    Dependability cannot be gauged in 3yrs. 10+yrs is when you know if a vehicle is dependable.

    Reply
  2. breathing borla April 11, 2019

    and if you did that, Toyota would run away with these awards on the average.

    Reply
    1. mstangt February 18, 2021

      Assuming the frame didn’t rust in half after 5 years?

      Reply
  3. Ben Smitty May 2, 2019

    These ratings rely heavily on Toyota’s past truck models and a Tundra that’s over a decade old. My 3rd gen Tacoma has been one of the worst truck’s I’ve owned in the last 30 years. My neighbor’s half-ton Silverado (2016 I think) has been problem free and has twice as many miles as my Tacoma and my truck is the one that’s left me stranded thanks to a HPFP failure and crank position sensor problems. If anyone would have told me 20 years ago that my Tacoma would be the one with a howling rear diff and my neighbor’s Chevy would have to give me a ride to work, I would have laughed in your face. These days I’m a much more humble and open minded person when it comes to judging brands based on reliability.

    Reply
    1. mstangt February 18, 2021

      My neighbor had a 2016 Tacoma. The transmission was awful, it kept stalling out on his drive to and from work, the rear diff made a howling noise at highway speeds, and the front suspension squeaked like it was on its way out. The suspension noises took multiple dealer visits to fix, and Toyota insisted that the howling noise of a bad ring & pinion setup was actually just a wind resonance or something. From what I understand, Toyota stopped sourcing Tacoma rear axles from North America and instead began to source them from somewhere in southeast Asia and that coincided directly with the reports of oil leaks, under-filled diffs, and howling gear sets. I have to say that it’s quite annoying at this point that Toyota is producing vehicles with glaring quality issues, and nobody holds them accountable for that poor quality/reliability. Even with their cars, there are a lot of complaints with quality issues. Many people don’t realize it, but Toyota is being sued over all the problems with their 8-speed transmission. The automotive magazines will report on complaints over GM’s 8-speed or Ford’s 10-speed, but not one of them seems interested in mentioning that Toyota is being sued for selling transmissions with a new 8-speed that has the *exact* same complaints and reliability issues. Just like none of them will mention Toyota’s issues with oil consumption or how they changed their warranty coverage to say that it’s “normal” for their engines to burn up to 1 quart of oil every 1200 miles. That looks particularly bad when manufacturers like Ford or GM state that they will warranty an engine that burns more than 1 quart every 2000 miles. My SIL has a 2012 or 2013 Rav4 with less than 100k miles and it’s burning 3 or 4 quarts of oil between oil changes and her dealer just says “they all do that”.

      Reply
  4. jarredorlane December 11, 2019

    We do have an F-150 that we use for off-road driving. Seeing this list makes me want to acquire Toyota Tacoma for our second truck.

    Reply
    1. Rachel June 9, 2020

      I had a used 2002 bought it in 2003 I sold it last summer 2019 my biggest regret I wished so many days I had my Baby back home the best Truck EVER good luck

      Reply
  5. Philip Parker February 24, 2020

    I am a little surprised Toyota showed up so much? Just do a search and you will find pages for Tundra problems and failures! It has been common knowledge that GM has been the longest lasting truck on the road for years! I just traded a 16 year old GM 2500, only thing ever done to it was a replaced left wheel bearing. I have had GM that went 200 thousand with little repairs. I have one now that has 190,000 miles and has not had a wrench turned on it! I see people saying, Ford or Dodge is best truck, numbers don’t lie, just do some research and you will find the truth, not just someones opinion! I just read on a site people saying dodge was better because of the Cummings engine, well the engine will not make it very far without a transmission, and everybody knows, Dodge Transmissions have had tons or problems!

    Reply
    1. Tim Esterdahl February 25, 2020

      Eh, you can find pages on all sorts of different pickups if you look close enough. BTW, Dodge/Ram switched transmissions years ago to Allison, the same transmission in your GMC.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Tim

      Reply
      1. Bill February 29, 2020

        Aisin transmissions are found mated to the Cummins in a Ram.

        Reply
        1. Tim Esterdahl February 29, 2020

          Yes they are. Thanks for pointing that out.

          -Tim

          Reply
        2. Richard March 11, 2020

          Only in a 3500 model, not a 2500.

          Reply
    2. steven December 13, 2020

      You got a good one. I bought a new duramax thing was garbage. Exhaust fell off at 5k, towed 4 times before I hit 14k miles where I sold it and bought a cummins, never looked back, and never will. Icing on the cake GM refused to pay that last tow bill as I wasnt close enough to a dealer lol. Fortunately the dealer was appalled and paid it.

      Reply
  6. Joshua L Johns May 7, 2020

    Dependiability can’t be gauged in years, miles driven is more importent, how many miles did these go? Toyotas, for example, are not used as frequently as Fords and Chevys and that’s because hardly anybody buys them as fleet tucks. If they’re so reliable and so good I wonder why more ompanies aren’t using Toyotas and Hondas as fleet trucks, you’re more likely to see fleets of white Ford and Chevy than anything. Maybe Toyota and Honda don’t make trucks intended to be trucks, IE worktrucks. I don’t know. Anyway in my opinion, how many years it lasts don’t matter, what matters is how many miles it lasts, you can baby any vehicle and use it as a sunday driver and it will last practically forever but a vehicle that lasts past 290,000 miles before needing the engine and/ or transmission swapped or rebuilt after hundreds of thousands of miles of towing and hauling thousands of pounds of watever you want or need to tow and haul and going across country while still being your daily driver to get to and from work can’t bee considered an unreliable truck. In all truth I think the only reason I had to get that engine swapped was because a hose popped off on the highway and dumped my coolent and I couldn’t find a place to pull over or off the highway for another 30 miles, so I had to keep driving the truck until I found a safe place to pull over, this happened twice to the same engine in the same year and that truck still kept going for months until one day I started hearing knocking i nthe engine and I knew something inside had to have been damaged and I had to get that engine rebuilt or replaced. That kocking started at 297,000 miles in my 2002 Chevy Silverado 1500, that engine and transmission had never been rebuilt or replaced before that and, except for some minor leaks, that truck was still going strong. Now at 309,000 miles I sometimes hear a noise that makes the truck sound like a big windup toy, I think it must be coming from the transmission. I find the transmission fluid low when I hear that sound and when I add fluid it stops so I guess there’s a leak in the seals somewhere, I’m not suprised considering most ransmissions apparently need rebuilding or replacing at around 250,000 miles along with most engines, except for GM’s diesels, those things just don’t die easy, it’s no wonder the US militry relies on GM for almost all their diesel powered vehicles. Look, other than the weak towing and hauling stats I just don’t know why Toyotas and Hondas aren’t used for fleet trucks more if theyre considered so reliable, I’m thinking that they’re reliable only if you don’t really need a truck at all and you would be fine with a car and only renting a truck to tow and haul when you need to do that or having people deliever whatever you want to tow and haul; unless you don’t use a truck for what a truck was meant to do and oly use it as a toy, like for offroading or camping, which begs the question of why you don’t just get a jeep or SUV. Maybe buying and modifying trucks is cheaper than buying vehicles designed offroading? Maybe you really like using the bed for a tent? I don’t know.

    Reply
    1. Ryan August 9, 2020

      Ford and chevy do fleet trucks Construction companies by in mass, 1/2 , 3/4, 1 tons, more trucks cheaper price.Toyota doesn’t . Cant base it by that. I see alot of tundras with trailers when I’m camping.. have one myself, Love it ,toyota doesnt sell you a line of bullshit, with 4 different engines, 2 different trans and 4 different rear ends.. in their half tons. Toyota 2 engines one tranny 1 rear end. And that rear end is 4/30 and its 10.5 inches, biggest in the half ton market.Just go to towing guide… quality not quantity. I like my toyota because it’s old school..

      Reply
  7. Kelly September 6, 2020

    I have a 2010 tundra, platinum, hasn’t seen a shop. Brakes and oil changes. 150000km. Keeping it until the new tundra comes out in 2022. I’ve had chevys and gmcs. Absolutely no comparison in quality and reliability.

    Reply
  8. MJ September 15, 2020

    Toyota Tundra is the best truck I’ve ever owned.I used to drived a 2013 F150 and in 6 months I went to a mechanic 4x to fix some problems so I sold it and bought a 2013 Ram 1500.The Ram is good at first and it was serviced at the dealership but on my 11th month owning then the engine was damage.The dealership offered a trade and I pick their 2013Nissan Titan Pro4x.I drove the the Titan for 2 yrs and it went to a mechanic 3x before I traded to a 2015 Tundra and in 5 yrs I never had a problem aside from oil change and stuffs..

    Reply
  9. Mark Dyer September 16, 2020

    Had chevys my whole life been a great truck. Before all yall start knocking Tundras without owning one, do like me. Go buy one won’t regret it. Definitely will stop you from talking down about a Tundra. It’s a great truck, reliable. Might try Gm again one day but Tundra is the better truck for now.

    Reply
  10. joe October 22, 2020

    2002 Tacoma Base with bigger of 2 of the 4 cyls. 350,000 miles and still gg strong. Radio quit years ago. only problem ever.

    Reply
  11. Robert December 13, 2020

    Just read a article on a toyota tundra hitting 1,000,000 miles on same transmission and same engine. If that’s not reliability and dependability, then I don’t know what is!

    Reply
  12. James February 8, 2021

    Be careful if you buy a used Tacoma. They have been plagued with severe corrosion problems in the frames. They had a recall where they brought them in to apply undercoating. All that did was cover up the rust until it was too late to fix! I had this happen to me. My 2006 Tacoma was under coated 5 years ago and the dealer said this would prevent the frame corrosion on these models. Well it didn’t. Went in for a state inspection last week and they found a 2 foot section of frame that was so corroded that they rejected it as unsafe to drive. Toyota never issued any recalls for this other than the undercoating recall. My truck is now just turning 15 years old…trying to see if their frame warranty still covers mine. IF not, I am in for some expensive Frame repair.

    Reply

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