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We talk a lot about truck reliability on this website, referencing Consumer Reports, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration and CarComplaints.com. But we also take a look at the J.D. Power Dependability Study, which looks at 3-year-old vehicles and the number of problems experienced by the original owners. The 2022 study is out, and we here are the most dependable trucks based on 2019 model year.

The results might be surprising considering they don’t sync up with the predictive reliability ratings we see from Consumer Reports. Our explanation for that is Consumer Reports is making a prediction on future products based on past experience – which spans more than 3 years –  whereas J.D. Power is looking at a specific model year in the past and how many problems that specific model had.

So, the point being, if you’re buying a used 2019 truck, looking at the actual dependability of a specific segment would be in your best interests.

Let’s break it down by segment.

Most dependable heavy-duty used truck

J.D. Power usually lists the top three trucks in a segment, but curiously for the 2019 model year, there is just one truck that gets ranked: the Silverado HD.

What’s really interesting is if you look at the actual reliability according to Consumer Reports’ members, the Silverado HD falls to the bottom of the list.

Most dependable large light-duty used trucks

Looking at the top three here, we’re back in the ballpark. Mostly. The top truck in terms of dependability is the Toyota Tundra, which serves as no surprise because it usually ranks high in the reliability scores (except this year). But back in 2019, the Tundra was toward the end of its lifecycle, and Toyota had worked out most of the bugs. The No. 3 item on the list is expected for a similar reason, and we see the Ford F-150 taking that slot.

The surprise, again, is from Chevrolet. The Silverado 1500 takes the No. 2 slot and has us scratching our chins because this truck historically has horrible reliability.

So, take all of this with a grain of salt, but bet your bottom dollar (yep, it’s cliché day) the J.D. Power Dependability Story will factor into resale value, even if the actual reliability isn’t the same.

Most dependable midsize used trucks

The midsize segment on the J.D. Power study is another head scratcher. We’ll start with the No. 2 and 3 trucks, which are the Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma, respectively. While the Ford Ranger has been fairly strong in the reliability arena since its re-entry in the U.S. market, the Tacoma, even though the perceived reliability is high, has had some transmission issues. So, it’s been more off the list than on in the past few years.

The shocker: Nissan Frontier is the No. 1 midsize truck in terms of dependability – and has been since the 2019 study. But maybe this shouldn’t be so shocking after all. Outside of the 2005-2007 model years, this truck has gotten pretty good rankings from Consumer Reports, and there are some model years that have zero (0!) recalls.

The bottom line on the most dependable used trucks

For this 2022 study, J.D. Power noted that infotainment systems are the most problematic area in terms of dependability, experiencing an average of 51.9 problems per 100 vehicles. That’s twice as many problems as the next-highest category.

Thus, the next couple years of this study are going to be interesting as dependability will be equated with how well an automaker executes Apple CarPlay and its infotainment system.

With everything on this list except Ranger and Tacoma having gotten a redesign in the past couple years all the results for 2020 and 2021 models could be dropped on their heads.

Based on our Publisher Tim Esterdahl’s problems with the 2022 Tundra’s infotainment, we see problems on the horizon for that truck specifically.

So, grab some popcorn and stay tuned …

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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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