People say that Americans love their cars, but shouldn’t the phrase be “Americans love their trucks?” Currently, there are over 2.8 million pickup trucks on the road in the US, and the number is only growing.
However, very few of us have the money for a brand new truck with prices now exceeding $75,000. For that reason, most of us turn to buying used trucks, which can be extremely reliable if you know what to look for.
Let’s talk about the most reliable used trucks on the market you can buy today.
Here’s something you’re not going to hear from anyone else: the older, the better.
In the case of the Chevy Silverado, and many other GM products, their quality has declined over the years. Sure, newer models offer far more “bells and whistles” to attract attention to the truck, but the integrity of the vehicle itself has declined.
If you want a solid Silverado then we recommend buying a model from before 2010 with reasonable mileage if you can find one.
That’s not to say they’re bad vehicles. They’re great for pulling large loads if needed. A 2008 model can tow up to 7,500 pounds and offer up to 367 horsepower.
Nissan is the only other truck on this list where we’d suggest you reach back into the past. Their quality started to decline around 2006 for some of their cars, but the Titan remained a high-quality vehicle for a while after that.
Luckily, their resale value isn’t extremely high so you may find a good deal.
A 2006 Nissan Titan can tow up to 7,400 pounds, and its engines and transmissions are still holding up today for many satisfied customers. Just know how to choose the right years with our used car buying guide.
If you need a truck bed for smaller hauls but you don’t need to tow large amounts then you can get a good deal on this limited series. The AWD system on Subarus is unparalleled even going back to the mid-2000s when these models were being made.
They’re great for driving in tough conditions and saving money on fuel, but they offer a maximum towing capacity of only 2,400 pounds.
Also, since they discontinued these models in 2006, the fact that so many are still on the road and reselling is a testament to how long they last.
Some people don’t like the unique style, which is great for anyone who does because you should be able to get a good deal. At the very least, it’s one of the most reliable used trucks under $5,000 you can find.
Honda is typically associated with cars and SUVs, but they do make a good truck.
The only issue is that their resale value can be quite high, even going back ten years or more. However, even the older models offer towing capacities above 5,000 pounds, a lot of cabin space, and a reputation for durability and longevity.
The Ford Ranger has also been sold as the Mazda B series; you just have to check where the vehicle was manufactured. If a Mazda B-series truck was manufactured in the United States then you may as well declare that you drive a Ford Ranger. This is because they share almost all technology and parts because they are manufactured by Ford at Ford manufacturing plants.
If you want a truck with a reasonable resale price then we’d recommend the Ford Ranger. They aren’t so expensive that you can’t pay out of pocket if you’re buying from an owner, but they aren’t a major risk of breaking down. This casts the perfect balance for those on a budget.
Ford F-150s have high resale values because consumers know how good the trucks are. The Ford Ranger shares a lot of that technology without the same hype so you can usually find a good deal.
These are smaller pickup trucks with most towing capacities maxing out at 3,100 pounds (2010), but if you’re not hauling or towing large loads then it’s one of the best used trucks you can find.
They’re durable, strong, and they have great engines. We’d recommend the V6 models, as they tend to last longer, but the 4-cylinders offer surprisingly good fuel economy.
When shopping for used trucks, Tacomas have a reputation for being smaller pickup trucks, but there are different series to choose from. You can get a full-size Tacoma from nearly any year, or you can get a smaller one with better gas mileage. Either way, they’re arguably the most reliable used pickup trucks on the market.
Most years will offer a towing capacity of over 5,000 to 6,800 pounds, but this will vary depending on the size you choose. Regardless, the Toyota brand is enough to tell you that these are quality vehicles. Kiichiro Toyoda, more commonly known as Mr. Toyota, founded the company with a few principles.
When their first vehicles had issues, he immediately recalled them all and repaired them at the company’s expense. He made it clear to the company and the world that mistakes happen, but they have to be prepared to learn from them. That’s been the case ever since.
Well, that’s one of the reasons why used Tacomas sell at such a high price. Their resale value is high because sellers and buyers are well aware that these vehicles can last forever. There are plenty of Tacomas that are 20 years old that are still selling for $7,000 to $12,000.
For a long time, Toyota only made smaller vehicles until 1999, after over 60 years, when they released the Tundra in 1999. Only four years before that, they launched a smaller pickup truck, the Tacoma, which is still one of the best-selling trucks in the world.
More importantly, buying them used is a great option for anyone looking for reliability, as these trucks can last for well over 300,000 to 400,000 miles with proper care.
Anyone who’s ever owned a Toyota car, truck, or SUV for longer than a few years understands exactly why they have two trucks in the top three. Toyota and Honda both make some of the best vehicles on the road. They’re sturdy, well-built, and they last forever.
While Honda has historically had some trouble with larger vehicles, that isn’t the case with Toyota, and there’s no better example of that than the Tundra. Have you ever heard the story of the million-mile Tundra?
To sum it up, a man in Louisiana owned a 2007 Tundra and drove it for over a million miles within eight years. He was taking frequent trips to North Dakota and back for his business, and he serviced the car regularly. Toyota then offered him an all-new (at the time) 2017 Tundra in exchange, and he declined at first.
Well, Toyota really wanted that truck, so they had to sweeten the deal some more until he reluctantly agreed. It’s still on display in one of their museums, and when they took apart the engine, engineers swore that there couldn’t have been more than 100,000 miles on it. He never replaced the engine, transmission, or suspension system.
If there ever was a testament to how well a vehicle performs, it has to be that. If you take care of your Tundra then you can drive it 125,000 miles a year and still keep it longer than your loan term.
No, Toyota trucks don’t come with the same bells and whistles as Ram trucks, but that isn’t their niche. Their niche is to make high-quality, reliable vehicles that last for a long time. If that’s what you’re looking for, then their full-size pickup is arguably your best bet.
The luxury and prestige of other comparable trucks meet the reliability of Toyota with the Ford F-150. Ford has simply given up on making cars and has chosen their new lane of large SUVs and pickup trucks. You may be wondering why we didn’t just go with the “F series” as a whole.
Well, there’s a reason for that. Did you know that the F-150 accounts for 90% of Ford’s profits? With that knowledge, it’s unsurprising that it’s the most popular pickup truck in the world.
The Ford F series has been around since 1948, meaning the brand has had over 70 years to perfect these vehicles. Since then, with a few bumps in the road (pardon the pun), they’ve evolved into a durable and dependable vehicle that’s perfect for work, hauling, towing, or driving around.
If you’re interested in switching to an electric vehicle, then look no further. The new F-150 Lightning models have batteries that can power an average American home for 10 days, offering one of the longest ranges of any EV on the market. You won’t sacrifice any power, but you’ll save a lot of money at the pump.
When it comes to the most reliable used trucks in the world, you won’t find anything better than the models on this list. Toyota and Ford are definitely the industry leaders when it comes to trucks, but if you find a good deal on any of the others then you can expect them to last a long time as well.
Choose the right truck for your needs, stay up to date with our latest automotive news, and feel free to contact us with any questions on your used truck buying journey.