Over the past couple of decades, trucks have become more of a daily driver than being used for work-related tasks. Think about it. 53 years ago, when the 1970 Chevrolet C-10 was introduced to the market, consumers were looking at it as a way to haul large items in the back or tow heavy trailers or campers that would typically have no way to get from point A to point B. Go back even further to the Model TT that was created to complement the iconic Model T as the workhouse that framers and construction workers used for their careers.
Granted, many consumers still need their pickup trucks to work hard, but they must also be able to take the family to dinner on the weekends. Nothing is worse than getting into a pickup truck that should have been reliable to discover that it has a reputation for breaking down at the worst possible moments. Almost every truck manufacturer has had some bad years that should be avoided at all costs because they are some of the most unreliable trucks on the market.
Updated On April 8th, 2023: Consumers from across the continent may have differing views on what makes a truck reliable and what makes it unreliable, but when the majority of the buyers have bad things to say, it can be proof of something to avoid. Of course, not everyone will have the issues that others do, but a problem listed more than once shows a trend, a trend that may want to be avoided.
15 2006 Dodge Ram 2500/3500: 55/100 Customer Reliability Rating
Front and side view of a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500
For years Dodge Ram has been one of the most popular work trucks on the planet, but like all other truck makers, they had some years of production that were not so great. That may be one of the reasons why Ram went on its own in 2011, but that is par for the course. The 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 had a reliability rating that just broke halfway, coming in at 55 out of 100. The good news is that the problems reported were not related to the engines but to the drivetrain components and the transmission.
14 2001 Toyota Tundra: 52/100 Customer Reliability Rating
Side and partial front view of a 2001 Toyota Tundra
The Tundra has gained a considerable following over the last decade. Toyota makes a great truck that can cope with heavy work days and mingle with daily commuters going out for breakfast. However, in 2001 the Toyota Tundra only ranked 52 out of 100 in reliability. The owner’s main concerns were the transmission slipping and failing, the cooling system problems, and the O2 sensors needing to be replaced prematurely. The 02 sensors were not the only issues reported by owners when it came to the exhaust system because people state that all the components fail faster than they should, from the pipes all the way to the catalytic converter and muffler.
13 2008 Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon: 47/100 Customer Reliability Rating
Side and front view of a 2008 Chevy Colorado
The Chevrolet Colorado was designed to replace the popular Chevy S-10. At first, it seemed like it was going to be an upgrade. Unfortunately, that was not the case because the inline 5-cylinder engine was not all it was cracked up to be. The truck has a noticeable shutter while driving, and the unique engine has to overwork to get the truck up to speed. Numerous complaints have been lodged against the 2008 Chevy Colorado and the 2008 GMC Canyon, dropping the reliability rating to 47 out of 100. Owners state that the engine had major issues, as did the cooling system that was supposed to be designed to keep the operating temperatures at an average level.
12 2005 Chevrolet Silverado: 40/100 Customer Reliability Rating
Side and partial front view of a 2005 Chevy Silverado
The 2000s were not a great time for the Silverado because the trucks’ reliability did not match expectations. 2005 was the worst year for the Chevy Silverado, not just because of one or two small issues. In fact, there are so many issues with the truck that have been reported by consumers that the truck only rates at 40/100 for reliability, as shown by Consumer Reports. The engine and the transmission both have minor issues, as do the cooling systems designed in the trucks. Brake problems are also common, and when you throw in all the electrical issues the truck is reported to have, it is truly a truck to avoid.
11 2004 Ford F150: 20/100 Customer Reliability Rating
Front and partial side view of a 2004 Ford F150
Every Ford lover can honestly say that the Triton engine is one of the worst to ever be created. Any year of Ford with this motor must be avoided like the plague, especially the 2004 Ford F150. Consumers have filed enough complaints about the 2004 F150 that it receives a low 20 out of 100 for reliability. The main issues begin with the spark plugs being ejected, the heads warping, the rear axles failing, and torque converters inside the transmission shuttering and failing when under loads, even loads as simple as getting up to speed from a stop.
10 2003 Mazda B-Series: 19/100 Customer Reliability Rating
Front and side view of a 2003 Mazda B3000
Mazda trucks are not among the vehicles on the top of many to-buy lists, especially in the early 2000s. In 2003 and 2004, the Mazda B-series truck had more problems than the owners could handle, giving it a 19 out of 100 reliability rating from Consumer Reports. According to the complaints against the truck, it would be hard to find anything impressive about it. The major problem areas listed are the cooling system, transmission and clutch mechanisms, and anything and everything to do with the engine.
9 2013 Ram 1500: 15/100 Customer Reliability Rating
Front and side view of a 2013 Ram 1500
In 2011 Ram took off on its own, ending the long-time collaboration with Dodge. The first couple of years were a struggle for the truck, but it has recently become one of the top of its class. However, in 2013, the reliability was so low that people shied away from the Ram for many years afterward. The Consumer Reports rating for the 2013 Ram 1500 was only 15 out of 100, making it one of the worst trucks on this list. Common problem areas were the cylinder heads that would fail and crack, fuel system issues, and problems with the four-wheel drive systems.
8 2020 Jeep Gladiator: 15/100 Customer Reliability Rating
Shot of a Jeep Gladiator Sandrunner in the desert
Jeep is one of the premier brands of offroad vehicles on the market, but not when it comes to the Gladiator. Even though it is good in most situations, there is never a guarantee that the 2020 Jeep Gladiator will return home. Consumer Reports has given this year and model a low 15 out of 100 for reliability because current and past owners have lodged some severe complaints. They state that even though the engine has plenty of power, the drive system will likely fail. The other major problem areas are the electrical system components and suspension.
7 2008 Ford F250/F350: 6/100 Customer Reliability Rating
Side view of a 2008 Ford F250 King Ranch
When consumers buy a truck, they expect it to run how it has been advertised and to be reliable through at least the first 100,000 miles, if not longer. The 2008 Ford F250 and F350 gave buyers far less than that. The overall consensus is that only 38% would ever repurchase the truck because of the bottom-end reliability rating of 6 out of 100. The only good thing reported on this truck is the paint and electrically controlled systems. The engine, cooling system, minor transmission issues, electric system, and drivetrain are rated at one out of five.
6 2004 Nissan Titan: 1/5 Customer Reliability Rating
Side and partial front view of a 2004 Nissan Titan
The Nissan Titan does not have enough data on file at Consumer Reports to give the truck a reliability rating, but when it comes to customer satisfaction, it ranks at 1 out of 5, with only 41% stating that they would repurchase the Titan. The motor has no issues other than those consumers would expect from a truck, but the rear drive axle has been reported as a severe and consistent problem. Once the axle oil leaks out, the back end will lock up, leaving a hefty repair bill. The truck also has been reported to have excessive engine noise while driving, making it rough to drive the truck for any length of time.
5 2017 GMC Sierra 1500: 16/100 Customer Reliability Rating
Side view of a 2018 GMC Sierra 1500
In 2014 some substantial changes were made to the Sierra, making it a better vehicle for everyday use. The 2017 GMC Sierra had the same upgrades as the ’14 model, offering a comfortable ride that is more like a car and offering a cab that is so quiet that it reminds the occupants of a cruise in a fine luxury car. However, that is where the good things end because the 2017 Sierra only received a reliability rating of 16 out of 100, which is not so great.
The main problem areas for the GMC pickup truck are major and minor problems with the transmission and the drivetrain. The transmission shifts hard, especially in cold lower gears, and it has been known to give owners trouble when the truck is under even light loads. Since the problems are erratic and never seem to happen the same way twice, the simple solutions given by GMC repair shops do not always seem to fix the issues.
4 2015 Dodge Ram 2500: 11/100 Customer Reliability Rating
side and front view of a 2014 Dodge Ram 2500
One thing that can be said about Dodge is that the diesel engine they make for its line of heavy-duty trucks cannot be matched by any of its rivals. It is an engine designed to work and work it does. The 2015 Dodge Ram 2500 is available with the choice of a few engines, giving the original buyer some options. It will also affect the truck’s reliability because buyers have said that the diesel is by far the better engine because it has fewer working components to break.
Overall the issues reported by the people are body durability, which is strange because it is designed to be a work truck. Plus, the turbocharger fails regularly, and the transmission clutches stop working correctly. Other than that, people have also complained about the power equipment not working properly. Overall, this Dodge is a great truck, but the 2015 Dodge Ram 2500 should be avoided at all costs because it only receives a reliability rating of 11 out of 100.
3 2022 Chevrolet Colorado: 5/100 Customer Reliability Rating
Front and side view of a 2022 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
Since more awareness has been placed on reducing the number of carbon emissions that internal combustion engines (ICE) full-size trucks are being passed on by buyers. This leaves an excellent market for smaller-size trucks that can still haul up to 7,000 pounds, like the 2022 Chevy Colorado. Plus, the truck uses less gas than its larger siblings, which is a step in the right direction until electric vehicles (EVs) can take over the market. However, although the design was good, but the execution of the production was not so great.
The customer reliability rating of 5 out of 100 shows that current and past owners have much to say about the Chevy Colorado, but not all good. The main problems listed are the transmission, the electrical system, and the body’s integrity. Transmissions seem to need to be replaced and rebuilt more often than expected, plus the linkage and sensors like to go out. The electrical system problems are mostly centered within the infotainment center, which likes to go blank. When driving down the road, the body makes all kinds of noises, and the weather seals do not keep moisture out like they are designed to do.
2 2019 Ford F-350: 4/100 Customer Reliability Rating
A front 3/4 action shot of a Ford F-350 towing
Heavy-duty trucks such as the Chevrolet and GMC 3500 are built to handle any task. The Ford model that competes with these big pickups is the Ford F-350, which is, by all accounts, a great truck for the most part. It can haul up to 7,640 pounds and tow up to 35,000 pounds, making it one of the go-to trucks for heavy work and serious recreation.
Even though this may sound like a perfect truck to many, the 2019 Ford F-350 has so many issues attached to it that consumers have given it a very low-reliability rating of 4 out of 100. The main trouble spots center around the engine and transmission, but there are many reported problems with the electrical system, the body, the suspension, and the drive system. The 2019 model is definitely one to avoid.
1 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid: 4/100 Customer Reliability Rating
Front and side view of a Ford F-150 on the road
The shift to electric vehicles may seem simple to consumers, but the truckmakers of the world are still dealing with issues. The reason for that is actually very simple; it is a new type of technology being used to mass produce vehicles of all sizes and demands.
That means it should be expected that some of the first designs the companies come up with, whether hybrid or entirely electric, but many do not feel that way. Buyers that put their faith in Ford have some not-so-nice things to say about the 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid, which can be seen by the overall reliability rating of 4 out of 100. Some of the most problematic spots listed are the transmission, drive system, electrical components, and body integrity.
Q: What Is The Most Unreliable Truck?
Even though Ford has been one of the top-selling trucks for numerous years, the Triton motor found in the early 2000s was a huge mistake. Along with those trucks, the 2008 Ford F-250 and F-350 only had a reliability rating of 6 out of 100, making them the most unreliable trucks on the road.
Q: Which Truck Has The Fewest Problems?
Out of the last couple of decades, the truck with the least amount of problems would have to be the Honda Ridgeline. It is definitely not the one that most people would expect, but take a look at what some current and past owners have said about it, and you will understand why it should be at the top of everyone’s list.
Q: Why Is The Ford Triton Engine So Bad?
Other than all engines’ fundamental issues, the Ford Triton motor has the habit of spitting the spark plugs out of the block. The reason for this is the short thread design that the motors have, which reduces the amount of distance that the plugs are screwed in. This makes it easy for an engine’s compression to push the plugs out, creating an engine that will need to be rebuilt or replaced.
Q: What Trucks Are Easiest To Maintain?
Undoubtedly, the easiest and cheapest trucks to maintain are the older Ford, Dodge, and Chevy, which were produced with simple designs. Long before computers and electrical systems took over, the motor was simple enough to work on and common enough to find parts for.