The Toyota Tundra is the most reliable truck of the last decade, but it is also the most reliable full-size truck in its class. This is has been proven year over year by the owner feedback and reviews, by the shop visits statistics and all the awards this truck has won over the years.
I spoke to several Toyota Tundra owners to find out their thoughts about the reliability of their Tundra and found out that they all love their trucks. This is in addition to the data based proof that we’ll look at below. I am convinced that if it is reliability you are looking for, the Toyota Tundra is the truck you need.
How The Most Reliable Full Size Truck Is Determined
The most reliable full size truck is determined by 3 main data points that we’ll look at in this article. The first one is the J. D. Power predicted reliability score. The second is the reliability score directly from consumer reports. And the third is the cost of maintenance and repair from RepairPal.com. Here is a little more info about each of these.
J. D. Power – Truck Reliability Score
J.D.Power is an organization that does consumer research and collects hundreds of data points of customer satisfaction and product quality to then create a study on automotive and other products to help manufacturers create better products. It was founded in 1968 by James D. Power III to help product manufacturers focus more on customer satisfaction.
The trucks below are rated with a J.D. Power predicted reliability score from 1 to 100. The score of 91-100 is considered the Best, 81-90 is Great, 70-80 is Average, and 0-69 is Fair and considered below average.
Consumer Reports – Truck Reliability Rating
The second score we are looking at is the Consumer Report reliability rating. It comes from an American non-profit organization that does independent product testing and consumer-oriented research. They survey product owners and collect satisfaction, quality and reliability data from them to compile reports that help consumers make better decisions about the products they buy.
The trucks below are rated with the Consumer Reports reliability rating from 1 to 5, with 1 being the least reliable and 5 being the most reliable. With this rating scale we want the trucks that make it to at least 3.
RepairPal – Cost Of Maintenance & Repair
The third metric we are looking at is the reliability rating, and the cost of routine maintenance and repair of the truck per year. RepairPal collects data from actual shops that do the work. This data is aggregated into a report that compares a car or truck to the average cost per year as well as how many times a car or truck has been taken into the shop. This gives us a good way to compare the trucks to the average to see how they compare.
And The Most Reliable Full Size Truck Is…
After digging through all the data and making sense of it, it was pretty clear that the Tundra comes out ahead. I was surprised how close the GMC Sierra 1500 is though. That is a good thing to know. The other important fact to keep in mind is that the Tundra has been consistently staying at the top ever since it came out.
|Truck||J. D. Power Rank||Consumer Reports Rank||CarComplaints per Year||RepairPal Reliability Rank||Annual Maintenance Cost||Annual Unexpected Repairs|
|GMC Sierra 1500||86||3||8||3.5||$727||0.2|
|Dodge Ram 1500||83||4||348||3.5||$670||0.2|
|Chevy Silverado 1500||78||2||94||3.5||$714||0.2|
Let’s get into the details and look at each of the trucks closer and the rankings they have.
Toyota Tundra Reliability – Most Reliable!
The Toyota Tundra stands at the top of robustness and reliability in the class of the full-sized trucks, with a quire a legacy of awards and customer endorsements. Known for their performance, models from 2008 and newer have been recognized for their dependability. However, like any vehicle, the Tundra has had its share of highs and lows, with some years having great reliability while others are marked by issues and challenges. Now let’s look at the awards, reliability ratings, customer complaints, maintenance costs, and reported issues.
- Most Reliable Years: Toyota Tundra models from 2008 and up are highlighted as the most reliable. According to Consumer Reports, models 2000 and up are rated 4 out of 5, and specific models between 2002 and 2021 received a 5 out of 5 rating.
- Awards & Recognition:
- The 2008 model won the “Motor Trend Truck of the Year”.
- Models from 2007 to 2012 received the “J. D. Power Dependability” award.
- In 2010, Toyota Tundra was awarded the “Most Dependable Large Truck” for the 7th consecutive year.
- The 2013 model received the “Best Full-Size Pickup Truck for the Money” award.
- J. D. Power Ratings:
- The 2013 model is rated at 88 out of 100.
- The 2019 and 2020 models are also rated at 88 out of 100.
- The 2022 model is rated at 86 out of 100.
- Customer Complaints: CarComplaints registered a total of 492 complaints for the Toyota Tundra over 23 years, averaging 21.3 complaints per year, indicating a low number of complaints.
- Reliability & Maintenance:
- RepairPal gives Toyota Tundra a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars, ranking it 6th among 17 full-sized trucks.
- The average annual maintenance and repair costs are $606, lower than the $936 average for full-sized trucks.
- The frequency of unplanned repairs is about 0.3 times a year, which is in line with the average for full-sized trucks.
- Years to Avoid: The 2007 and 2012 models had multiple issues, including air injection pump failure, knocking pistons, engine and transmission failure, making them less reliable compared to other years.
- Common Problems: The common problems affecting the Toyota Tundra include brake issues, lower ball joint recall, noisy exhaust manifold, transmission, and air injection pump failure.
GMC Sierra 1500 Reliability
The GMC Sierra 1500 combines utility with luxury in a full size truck. With this runner up, let’s look at the data that sheds light on the most reliable years of the GMC Sierra 1500, insights from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, maintenance costs, customer feedback, and the nuances of the years that might warrant caution.
- Most Reliable Years: The GMC Sierra 1500 models from the years 2001, 2013, and 2014 are noted as the most reliable, with the 2014 model receiving a reliability and safety rating of 75 out of 100, and the 2013 model scoring 86 out of 100 from J. D. Power.
- Consumer Reports Ratings: The 2013 model received a 3 out of 5 rating, and the 2001 model earned a 4 out of 5 rating for reliability and quality from Consumer Reports. These ratings are based on actual user feedback.
- RepairPal Ratings and Maintenance Costs: The Sierra received a 3.5 out of 5 stars rating from RepairPal. The truck has lower-than-average maintenance and repair costs at $727 per year compared to the full-size truck average of $936. It also has lower frequency of unexpected repairs at 0.2 times per year, compared to the average of 0.3 for full-sized trucks.
- Customer Complaints: CarComplaints registered a total of 1266 complaints for the GMC Sierra 1500 over 31 years, averaging 8.5 complaints per year.
- Years to Possibly Avoid: The 2005, 2007, and 2012 models are listed as years to potentially avoid due to various minor issues, such as inaccurate speedometers, malfunctioning dash gauges, and heater problems. However, these issues are not deemed critical, with engine knock being the only notable concern, albeit rarely reported.
Dodge Ram 1500 Reliability
Taking a closer look at the Dodge Ram 1500, let’s explore the details and give you a clearer picture of its reliability and performance over the years. Below, you’ll find a detailed collection of data including reliability ratings, maintenance costs, consumer feedback, and specific years that might have had some issues.
- Most Reliable Years: The Dodge Ram 1500 models from the years 2013, 2017, and up are highlighted as the most reliable. The 2013 model was particularly notable, earning the “Most Improved” in a J. D. Power dependability study and the “Motor Trend Truck of the Year” award, along with a reliability rating of 83 out of 100 from J. D. Power.
- RepairPal Ratings and Maintenance Costs: The truck received a 3.5 out of 5 stars rating from RepairPal for maintenance and repair, with an average annual maintenance cost of $670, which is lower than the full-size truck average of $936. The truck also has a lower frequency of unplanned repairs at 0.2 times per year, compared to 0.3 for other full-sized trucks.
- Consumer Reports Ratings: Consumer Reports gave a reliability rating of 4 out of 5 for all Dodge Ram 1500 models starting from the year 2017 and up. The 2013 model was not rated by Consumer Reports.
- Customer Complaints: CarComplaints registered a total of 6,275 complaints for the Dodge Ram 1500 over 18 years, averaging 348.6 complaints per year.
- Years to Avoid: The years 2003, 2010, and 2014-2016 are recommended to be avoided. The 2003 model had various mechanical and cosmetic issues, the 2010 model’s 5.7L V8 engine had multiple problems, and the 2014-2016 models had issues with the newly released Fiat-Chrysler EcoDiesel engine. Issues with these models range from engine problems to high cost of replacement parts and cosmetic concerns like dashboard cracking.
Ford F-150 Reliability
Looking at the Ford F-150 with a comprehensive overview of its reliability and performance across different models and years. Below, you’ll find detailed information, including reliability ratings, average maintenance costs, consumer feedback, and specifics about the models that have encountered issues.
- Most Reliable Years: The most reliable years for the Ford F-150 are 2009 and 2015. The 2015 model, known for its reliability and toughness, featured significant upgrades including an aluminum body, a new 2.7L EcoBoost V6 engine, and was rated 87 out of 100 by J. D. Power. The 2009 model is also reliable, easily repairable, and scored an 81 out of 100 from J. D. Power.
- RepairPal Ratings and Maintenance Costs: The F-150 has a 3.5 out of 5 stars rating from RepairPal. Owners spend about $788 per year on maintenance and repair, which is lower than the $936 average for full-size trucks. The frequency of unplanned repairs is about 0.3 times a year, aligning with the average for these types of trucks.
- Consumer Reports Ratings: The 2015 F-150 received a 3 out of 5 reliability rating from Consumer Reports.
- Customer Complaints: CarComplaints registered a total of 5,786 complaints for the Ford F-150 over 46 years, averaging 125.7 complaints per year.
- Years to Avoid: The years 2004-2006, 2010, and 2015 are recommended to be avoided due to various issues. The 2004-2006 models had problems with the 5.4L and 6.8L Triton engines, parts breaking during repair, and other issues. The 2010 model was known for oil leaks and technology glitches, and the 2015 model had transmission issues and brake problems.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Reliability
The Chevy Silverado 1500 has established itself as a popular choice among truck enthusiasts, balancing power and reliability. Spanning various models and years, it has gotten attention for its performance and endurance. While some years stand out for their dependability, others have faced issues and criticisms, painting a comprehensive picture of this truck’s journey through the years. The following data delves into the details, highlighting the highs and lows of the Chevy Silverado 1500’s performance, maintenance, reliability ratings, and user experiences across different models.
- Most Reliable Years: 2007-2014
- Best known for its simple pushrod V8 engine with fewer components, making it cheaper to maintain and repair.
- 2007 model received the “Motor Trend Truck of the Year” award.
- 2014 model rated 78/100 for reliability and safety by J. D. Power.
- Consumer Reports Ratings:
- 2007-2014 model: 2 out of 5.
- 2001 model: 4 out of 5.
- 2008 and 2011-2013 models: 3 out of 5.
- RepairPal Ratings & Costs:
- 3.5 out of 5 stars for maintenance and repair.
- Annual maintenance cost: $714 (compared to $936 average for other full-size trucks).
- Silverado 1500 needs unexpected repairs 0.2 times/year (0.3 times/year for competitors).
- Some Silverados are known to last over 1.2 million miles.
- CarComplaints Data:
- 1039 total complaints for the Silverado 1500 over 11 years.
- Averages 94.4 complaints/year.
- Years to Avoid:
- 2012, 2014-2017
- Issues with the 2012 model: engine and transmission problems including oil consumption, vibrations, and failures.
- 2014-2017 models (third generation): problems with A/C units, engine stalling, and transmission. Some issues persisted in the 2018 and 2019 models.
- 2012, 2014-2017
The Toyota Tundra is the most reliable full-size truck on the market. Coming in close second is the GMC Sierra 1500. Both of these trucks have high scoring from J.D. Power for predicted reliability, the consumer report ranking puts the Tundra ahead of the Sierra and the rest of the data is about the same, aside from the car complaints per year, but in context, the Sierra complaints were spread across more years than the Tundra. The actual percentage is same which is 0.02%.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.