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The Longest Lasting Trucks

Chris Kaiser

For those in search of a truck able to go that extra mile (or many more), we’ve identified the longest lasting trucks on the market.

Looking for a Long-Term Relationship

2021 RAM 1500 - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2021 RAM 1500 - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

At first blush, it may seem that determining the longest lasting trucks is simply a matter of looking at 15 to 20-year old trucks and see which are still running. But proven longevity is only part of the story and only more so when you’re wanting to buy a truck with less than 200,000 miles on it. To find the longest lasting trucks one needs to consider both historical reliability and prospective reliability. Or to put it more simply, the goal is to find the trucks that have lasted and the trucks that will last.

Caveats abound. Simply tallying up the make/models that have lasted to or beyond 200,000 miles. Sampling bias, where say the number of total F-150s sold 15 years ago leads to an overrepresentation of high-mileage F-150s today, is just the start. There are also relative maintenance requirements. Keeping a Toyota Tundra on the road for fifteen years might require fewer trips to the mechanic than a RAM 1500. By the same token, truck owners, especially those prone to putting on serious miles, tend to take care of their rides and thereby keep even less than reliable trucks on the road longer. In finding the longest lasting trucks, it pays to dig into the details.

To that end, we’ve cross-referenced multiple surveys, data sets, and studies from iSeeCars.com, Consumer Reports, JD Power, RepairPal.com, and others to find the trucks that offer both proven long-term reliability and near-term or prospective reliability. The ultimate goal of our list is to provide the best recommendations for the longest lasting trucks whether you’re looking to buy new or used.

Toyota Tundra

2021 Toyota Tundra - toyota.com
2021 Toyota Tundra - toyota.com

The Toyota Tundra isn’t the fanciest full-size truck on the market. It doesn’t boast best-in-class towing or hauling. It’s not loaded down with the latest tech, trick tailgates, and other gizmos. What the Tundra does have going for it is that stellar Toyota reliability. What’s been true of Toyota passenger cars for decades goes double true for its largest pickup.

Past model years have proven the test of time, racking up mile-upon-mile while also keeping visits to the mechanic far and few between. Current Tundra models appear to be no less durable than in past years. If a reliable used truck or a long-lasting new truck is what you’re valuing most in your purchase, the Tundra demands serious consideration.

2021 Toyota Tundra 5.7L V8 - Ben Hardy on YouTube.com
2021 Toyota Tundra 5.7L V8 - Ben Hardy on YouTube.com

The current 2021 Toyota Tundra features a single engine option, a 5.7L V8 making 381 horsepower and 401lb.-ft. of torque. Fuel economy is 13 city and 17 highway mpg. The Tundra is rated to tow up to 10,200lbs and haul 1,730lbs. Bed options run from 5’6” to 6’6” and maxes out at 8’1”.

Honda Ridgeline

2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport - hondanews.com
2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport - hondanews.com

Like the Tundra, the Honda Ridgeline does not tow the most or haul the most in its segment. What it does better than the rest of the mid-size trucks out there is offer a smooth ride, a comfortable, high-quality interior, and the durability and longevity to serve as a family heirloom.

Used Ridgelines tend to hold their value over time and feature a fairly shallow depreciation curve. It’s reputation for consistent reliability over the years makes it a decent value regardless of the age of the vehicle. There’s literally a decent used Ridgeline out there for any budget. The newest 2021 Ridgeline just received a mid-generation update lending a bit more of a mean-guy truck demeanor to the otherwise mild-mannered mid-size pickup.

2021 Honda Ridgeline 3.5L V6 - carsforsale.com
2021 Honda Ridgeline 3.5L V6 - carsforsale.com

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5L V6 making 280 horsepower and 262lb.-ft. of torque. Fuel efficiency is 19 city 26 highway mpg for the FWD with the AWD version dipping slightly to 24 highway mpg. The Ridgeline tows up to 5,000lbs. and can haul up to 1,580lbs. The only bed is just 5’4” long but it’s also 50 inches wide and features a 7.3 cu. ft. trunk.

Toyota Tacoma

2021 Toyota Tacoma - toyota.com
2021 Toyota Tacoma - toyota.com

The Toyota Tacoma and it’s forebearer the Toyota pickup has long been known as one of the most reliable vehicles money can buy. The Tacoma has a reputation as a no nonsense, Timex-like takes-a-licking-and-keeps-on-ticking mid-size truck. Over the years, the Tacoma has become increasingly off-road capable with serious suspension upgrades, skid plates, and gnarly off-road tires making their way to trims like the Tacoma TRD.

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The Tacoma is another pickup that holds it value well over time. Used examples with major mileage racked up still carry a premium over comparably aged pickups simply because of their deserved reputation for reliability and durability. Toyota’s commitment to overengineering has made the Tacoma one of the safest bets in pickup trucks you can find.

2021 Toyota Tacoma 3.5L V6 - TDTVGarage on YouTube.com
2021 Toyota Tacoma 3.5L V6 - TDTVGarage on YouTube.com

The current 2021 Toyota Tacoma offers a choice between the base 2.7L 4-cylinder making a paltry 159 horsepower or a more robust 3.5L V6 putting out a decent 278 horsepower. With that mill, the Tacoma can tow up to 6,800lbs. and haul up to 1,685lbs. The Tacoma comes with options for either a 5-foot or 6’1” bed.

Ford F-250

2020 Ford F-250 - media.ford.com
2020 Ford F-250 - media.ford.com

Among heavy-duty trucks none has proven quite as resilient as the Ford F-250. Like it’s little brother the F-150 the F-250 can run the gamut between bare bones work truck and semi-luxury behemoth. As the leading pickup for decades on end, the F-Series has long featured the latest in technology, a comfortable cabin, and serious truck credentials. The F-250 is a supremely capable machine, with enormous towing and hauling rating that compliment it’s sophistication.

The F-250 has displayed laudable staying power over the years, with many examples running well over 300,000 miles. The current F-250, like the rest of the heavy-duty segment, can be rather expensive. But, when you consider that it’s a 20+ year investment, that in most cases will be providing returns as a farm or work truck, it starts to look a lot more reasonable.

Ford F-250 6.7L V8 Diesel - media.ford.com
Ford F-250 6.7L V8 Diesel - media.ford.com

The F-250 come with three engine options, a 6.2L V8 making 385 horsepower, a 7.3L V8 good for 430 horsepower, or a 6.7L turbodiesel V8 boasting 475 horsepower and 1,050lb.-ft. of torque. It’s this diesel that grant the F-250 is astronomical towing capacity of 24,200lbs. standard or up to 37,000 when equipped with a fifth-wheel trailer and a gooseneck trailer hitch. Hauling is nearly as impressive at a maximum of 7,850lbs. Fuel economy for the 6.2L is approximately 15 mpg combined but expect the as-yet-unrated diesel to best that number. Beds include a smaller 6’8” bed or an 8ft. bed.

Chevrolet Silverado

2021 Chevrolet SIlverado - chevrolet.com
2021 Chevrolet SIlverado - chevrolet.com

Among half-ton pickups, the Chevrolet Silverado has an unmatched track record for holding up to decades of abuse without much fuss or complaint. As one of the three top trucks on the market, the Silverado has long battled the F-150 and RAM 1500 for loyalties of truck buyers. As a result, it’s been blessed with comparable towing and hauling ratings and plenty of modern technology. But what’s been less comparable is the Silverado’s consistently high reliability. This has made it an excellent choice for truck buyers in search of a long-term relationship, whether buying new or used.

2021 Chevrolet Silverado 4.3L V6 - carsforsale.com
2021 Chevrolet Silverado 4.3L V6 - carsforsale.com

The current 2021 Chevy Silverado offers five different engines ranging from the base V6 at 285 horsepower and turbo four-cylinder to weighty 5.3L and 6.2L V8s and even a Duramax turbodiesel V6 netting in impressive 23city / 33 highway mpg rating. We recommend the V8s for their ample supply of power. Towing maxes out at an impressive 13,300lbs. and a full 2,280 of hauling capacity. Beds range from 5’10” and 6’7” to a full 8’2”.

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Chris Kaiser
Chris Kaiser

Chris’ greatest passions include topiary, spelunking, and pushing aging compact cars well past 200,000 miles on cross-country road trips. His taste in cars runs from the classic and esoteric to the deeply practical with an abiding affection for VW Things, old Studebakers, and all things hybrid-crossover.

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