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Consumer Reports Truck Reliability Rankings: Ranger, Chevy HDs Tops

November 18, 2021 by Jerry Hirsch, @Jerryhirsch

Truck shoppers looking for the most reliable pickups should consider the Ford Ranger, Ram 1500 and the heavy-duty trucks from Chevrolet and GMC, according to the annual auto and truck reliability rankings from Consumer Reports.

“The Ranger has shown steady improvement since its 2019 re-introduction. The GM heavy-duty trucks simply have few reported problems since their 2020 redesign and continue to have above average reliability,” said Steven Elek, automotive data analyst at Consumer Reports, the nonprofit research, testing, and consumer advocacy organization.

Consumer Reports midsized pickup truck reliability rankings:

  1. Ford Ranger
  2. Honda Ridgeline
  3. Toyota Tacoma
  4. Chevrolet Colorado
  5. GMC Canyon
  6. Jeep Gladiator

Although Toyota is known for its reliability, the Tacoma has average reliability and trails the Ranger and Honda Ridgeline.

The Jeep Gladiator, the brand’s most reliable model last year, fell below average in the latest report because of steering and suspension issues, according to Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports full-size pickup truck reliability rankings:

  1. Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
  2. GMC Sierra 2500 HD
  3. Ford F-2500
  4. Ram 25000
  5. Ram 15000
  6. Ford F-3500
  7. Ford F-1500
  8. Ram 1500 Classic
  9. Chevrolet Silverado 15000
  10. GMC Sierra 15000

The Toyota Tundra was redesigned for 2022 so Consumer Reports can’t use any data from recent years to calculate predicted reliability. Historically it has been among the most reliable half-ton pickup trucks.

The Nissan Titan, while still in the same generation, had an insufficient sample from our survey respondents to analyze and calculate predicted reliability, Consumer reports said.

Chevrolet and GMC 1500 trucks mostly use 5.3-liter or 6.2 liter V8 engines that are problem prone. The bigger 2500 heavy duty pickups use 6.6-liter gas and 6.6-liter diesels and have fewer engine problems.

Ford’s redesigned F-150 scored below average.

The Ram 2500 and 1500 are both rated at average reliabilty. But the Ram 1500 Classic, an older generation 1500, has well-below average reliability marked by problems with brakes, emissions systems, engine, and power equipment, Consumer Reports said.

Top Brands

For all autos, regardless of body type, Lexus held the top reliability ranking among all automakers with Mazda, Toyota, close behind. GM’s Buick brand continues its run as the most reliable domestic nameplate, and the only U.S. brand in the top 10.

However, models from five domestic brands, Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Chrysler, and Ford, take the top spots in seven categories, which Consumer Reports called “an unusually strong showing.”

They include:

  • Buick Envision (Luxury Compact SUVs)
  • Chevrolet Trailblazer (Subcompact SUVs)
  • Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and its twin the GMC Sierra 2500HD (Full-sized Pickups)
  • Chrysler 300 (Midsized/Large Cars)
  • Ford Bronco Sport (Compact SUVs)
  • The Ford Mustang Mach-E (Electric SUVs)
  • Ford Ranger (Midsized Pickups)

Other topline findings included:

  • Despite their complexity, hybrids and plug-in vehicles are among the most reliable models.
  • High-end electric-powered SUV are among the least reliable vehicles, but it is not the electric powertrains that are tripping them up. Their problems are common with those of gasoline vehicles – basically complex electronic glitches.
  • Some Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, and Toyota models continue to have problems due to technologically advanced, and complex, transmissions.

“With new-car prices at all-time highs and a shortage of vehicles on dealers’ lots, it’s more important than ever to consider reliability when you invest in something new,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports.

The 2021 Auto Reliability Report is based on data collected from Consumer Reports members about their experiences with more than 300,000 vehicles in the annual surveys.

Jerry Hirsch September 20, 2021
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