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Consumer Reports recently dropped its annual reliability survey, and since we posted on the full-size truck reliability, we figured we should take a look at the reliable midsize trucks as well.

The biggest thing to note: Toyota got double dinged in this year’s survey. First, Tundra toppled off the top of the full-size list, and now Tacoma gets taken down a couple notches as well.

While Tundra takes a dive based on the 2022 redesign and the unpredictability that inherently raises, we’re a bit confused about Tacoma since it’s 7 years into its lifecycle.

So, we reached out to CR for further explanation, and Steven Elek, the program leader for automotive data analytics, pointed out the 2022 Tacoma receives an average score for predictive reliability, which is based on the past three model years. And, while 2020 and 2021 are showing as quite reliable, it’s 2019, which scored well below average, that’s bringing the whole thing down.

Owners of the 2019 model year reported multiple fuel pump issues, transmission problems and drive system issues. So, even though the last two years have been solid, it’s the third year that’s problematic.

Outside of that, the other big surprise on this list is the Jeep Gladiator, which also gets knocked back a couple rungs, and ends up in last place. In fact, it loses about 20 points in CR rankings and gets bumped off the “recommended” list. Ouch.

Previous complaints with Gladiator have included wandering steering, drivetrain issues and some electrical problems.

So, who’s king of the hill for reliable midsize trucks in 2022? Ford Ranger and Honda Ridgeline tie for top honors. So, the rankings, which take into account predictive reliability as well as CR’s rank score based on the past three years of data, are as follows:

1.(tie) Ford Ranger

1.(tie) Honda Ridgeline

3. Toyota Tacoma

4. Nissan Frontier

5. Chevrolet Colorado

6. GMC Canyon

7. Jeep Gladiator

 

It should be noted that the Nissan Frontier doesn’t have a lot of survey data behind it because not enough people own it. Therefore, the ranking is solely based on the predictive score, which ties with Colorado, Canyon and Gladiator.

The last time we looked at reliable midsize trucks was 2019, and it appears the top three take turns at the top, while the bottom four take turns at the bottom. So, while some things change a little, nothing seems to be changing a lot.

The bottom line on reliable midsize trucks

We have to admit we were surprised to see the Tacoma take a hit – especially since 2020 and 2021 were good years for the truck’s reliability. But, the 2019 explanation makes sense, so hopefully the actual outcome will be better than expected.

The truck we’ll be curious to follow in the future: Nissan Frontier. With its 2021 redesign, we’re hoping sales pick up so that we can get some real numbers and consumer feedback.

While you need to take all reliability rankings with a grain of salt, we think Consumer Reports – and a check of complaints and recalls on the NHTSA website – is a good way to start your search for a reliable truck. Especially if you’ve never owned one or are switching brands.

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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1 Comment

  1. Joshua Draper December 3, 2021

    Toyota had massive fuel pump recalls for 2019-2020 model years, including Tacoma, Tundra, 4Runner and many other models. I have a friend that had his 2020 Tacoma idled at a dealership bcuz they deemed it unsafe to drive for almost 5 months in mid 2020, waiting on a fuel pump replacement. I understand your love for Toyota, but frankly they are far from perfect and Consumer Reports is one of the very few outlets highlighting there are major cracks in Toyota’s proverbial reliability king armor.

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