U.S. Pickup Trucks Makers Struggle in Consumer Reports' Reliability Study

2014_Toyota_Tundra_Platinum 1 II

Consumer Reports' most recent reliability study (considered to be the largest and most influential of its kind), based on a survey of new-vehicle purchasers, shows that U.S. pickup truck manufacturers (Ram, Chevy, GMC and Ford) are still struggling. According to the Detroit News, the only exception seems to be Toyota, which makes both the Tacoma and Tundra in San Antonio. Toyota has traditionally done well in these kinds of surveys, and this year ranks in the No. 2 spot (same as last year), with its luxury division Lexus at No. 1.

The survey does not separate pickups from other car segments, but considers all the vehicles in a manufacturer's lineup. Specifically, pickup truck makers such as Honda fell two spots (from 6 to 8), GMC moved up (from 12 to 9), Chevrolet dropped (from 15 to 17), Ram moved up by the largest margin of any truck maker (from 25 to 19), Nissan fell by the widest margin (from 13 to 22), and Ford stayed flat, finishing at 26, one spot lower than last year. It's worth noting that the vehicle that scored best in the annual survey for Ford was a 3.7-liter V-6-equipped F-150, and the EcoBoost twin-turbo F-150's reliability rating dropped from last year.

To read a copy of the full report or find out where your new pickup ranked, you'll have to subscribe to Consumer Reports to gain access to the report.

2014 Tundra 5.7L V-8 II



Those of us old enough recall Detroit "reliability" from the 70s and early 80s. I think Consumers is benchmarking against a much higher standard than existed back then.

My only gripe with modern trucks is their ancillary systems for the sake of comfort and convenience. I'd rather have less of them to break down on me and roll down my windows with a crank.

But drive-train reliability is great in most modern vehicles. As a CR subscriber for many years, I did those surveys: CR subscribers fill them out, and they define what a "problem" is under CR's rubrics.

So big grain of salt on this. I'd not hesitate to own any Detroit or Japanese truck today, on account of reliability. I'd let engine choices and size dictate what I bought (used, since to me a truck is a wheelbarrow for farm work, not a lifestyle item).

@Bitchagain Bob -
I do like the new GMC trucks BUT the Sierra looks like a muscled version of the GMT900 Sierra and the Silverado looks like it plays homage to the mid-late 80's Chevy.
The engines are new "old" engines, and the only real updates are disc brakes (wow-this is 2014 after all), a 6.5 box with crewcab (nothing new there in a Ford anyway), and inset doors.
They have substantially improved the truck over the GMT900 which is great BUT it isn't going to win them too many 1st place finishes or regain market share.

Facts are facts:
- GMC raised the bar only when compared to GMC.

- GMC is still struggling to remain competitive - these trucks aren't going to improve things for GMC.


“Although GM’s financial performance has improved significantly since the company initially received federal assistance, questions remain about competitiveness, market share and costs,” the GAO said.

"While GM sales were up 15% between 2010 and 2012, the North American market overall grew by more than 23% so GM lost market share. “GM’s North American market share generally has declined,” the report said. “In 2008, GM reported capturing 21.5 percent of the North American market, compared with 16.9 percent in 2012. GM reported that its North American market share was 17.2 percent through the second quarter of 2013.”

"The report also said GM’s negotiations with the United Auto Workers when the current contract expires in 2015 will be key to the company’s future."

I said this before - GMC needed to hit it out of the park with the 2014 trucks. They have not.

I like them and would consider buying one if I needed to replace my current truck for any unforseen reasons but that still doesn't change reality.

Us auto companies have a few issues when compared to the Japanese. My opinion is that the japanese are serious into racing, especially formula and endurance. They then take that racing knowledge and use it to design better engines, suspensions bodies etc. This is one big reason why Honda and Toyota have the reliability and quality that I do not see the US car companies have. I have also seen the difference in the work ethic. But that is a whole other hornets nest.

Least reliable vehicles, listed in order of Ratings score starting with the worst score.

1. Ford C-MAX Energi (Plug-in Hybrid)*
2. Ford Escape (1.6L Ecoboost)*
3. Mini Cooper Countryman
4. Ford C-Max Hybrid
5. Nissan Pathfinder*
6. Volkswagen Beetle
7. Cadillac XTS*
8. Ford Explorer (V6, 4WD)
9. Hyundai Genesis Coupe*
10. Ford Taurus (turbo)*

I would put any of the Big 3 trucks against Toyota and feel comfortable with the outcome. Not saying Toyota would finish dead last but I don't think they would be first either in whatever study you wanted to do. I think the one fact that people keep overlooking is Toyota does not build the amount of trucks that you see Ford, GM, and Ram building so of course you are going to have higher complaints and higher numbers on warranty work with the Big 3. Toyota to me is kinda like the President. Even though they have their own problems (major rust issues, runaway vehicles, motor sludge) for some reason nothing seems to stick to them for all they do wrong and people who like boring and have no minds of their own just seem to love them and keep looking the other way.

Buy what you want and find out for yourself if is a dud or not !

But Asian imports have more serious reliability/safety issues then American vehicles(Toyota proved it by paying monies to random excelleration vehicles)

In todays politically correct world,we must slam anything American and praise Asian,Middle Eastern,African countries....Look around that is 110% True !! We must bow down to people who want to elliminate us,and people do and suck it up like brain dead sheep !!

I always bought Mopar's and I never had a problem with them,and I drive 40,000-60,000 miles per year !

My 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee V-8 has 450,000 miles on it and since 2005 it has been driven/owned by my Nephew !! My 03 Hemi RAM has 280,000 on it and it is driven/owned by my other Nephew ! Only issue was on my nieces car,My niece has a 06 300 C Hemi and 140,000 problem free miles,expect new bushings in the front end at 55,000 due to todays no grease nipples,no issues since !

We have a load of other Mopars some classics to brand new and none had any reliabilty issues,no random excelleration,cracking side glass,cracking tail gates,cracking driveshafts,blowing up trans ,popping open drivers door like toyota Sienna,brake,steering issues on Toyota and Lexus and engine failures on Toyota/Lexus vehicles ,or cracking waterpump housing on the block like Honda (Pilot engines) or failing transmissions..

I do the repairs,since I am a certified tech,and not once had to pick them up or do anything abnormal...

@Troy - so far Toyota has lost only 1 (yes one) court case involving random accelleration.

I've known more people with problems wiith Chrysler products than the Japanese brands.

So what is your point?

Shoot! That's nutin Troy! I only buy Mopars and I don't even have to change the oil and had no problems at all! Never had to in any of em and I probably had like a million miles on my old D50! I don't know for sure cause the odometer stopped. I see all these morons in their Japanses cars and trucks going to lube shops gettin ripped off! They shoulda just got a Mopar! Plus, all that profit from at the lube shop goes to the Middle East since they made the oil! Now before some hater comes in here talking about Fiat owning Chrylser and taking all that profit that is bull. Christopher Columbus was Italian and he discovred America so that means that all that profit that goes to Italy is really American! GGR! Holla!

Me I'm a certified plumber so I know what I'm talking about!

@PURPLE SHAFT 4 LIFE - odd blog name.............. is that worse than "blue balls"?

For those of you guys who had issues with your Ford, GM or RAM trucks, try a Tundra 5.7!

You may learn what Tundra owners already know.

I kid you not! I have owned several GM and Ford trucks, and ONE RAM, and those trucks are the reason I drive Tundra 5.7 today.

The reason why Ford doesn't offer a 100,000 warranty like GM and Ram is because there trucks will last well pass 100,000 without drivetrain problems. Remember 2008 when GM and Chrysler were almost liquidated as corporations because the American public got sick and tire of buying junk. Both lost billions because people stop buying there vehicles, GM was still building old out dated pushrod engines (3.4, 3.8, and 3.3 v-6) while Ford stop building pushrod engines in the late 90's with the exception of the 3.0 Vulcan v-6 which was faded out in 2009. Toyota, Nissan, and Honda faded out pushrod engines in the late 80's. GM was trying to compete with super high-tech OHC and DOHC engines with pushrods engines, that weren't as durable or as powerful. THESE ARE THE REASONS WHY GM AND RAM OFFER 100,000 MILES WARRANTIES TO PROTECT THE BUYING PUBLIC AND TO GAIN THE TRUST OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS. AFTER 2008 NEITHER GM OR CHRYSLER OFFER PUSHROD ENGINES IN THERE CARS, ONLY IN THERE PICK-UP TRUCKS.

THESE ARE THE FACTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Toyota SUCKS, THESE Consumer Reports are garbage.

@Lou BC, "I've known more people with problems wiith Chrysler products than the Japanese brands."

I have known more people including myself with more problems with Ford products then Chrysler products. ;O

@HEMI V8 - odd how that is, isn't it?
Interesting how you move onto the next item that you think will push buttons.
If it makes you feel any better, I'd be less inclined to buy a Ford product right now because of their listed problems just like I'd be disinclined to buy anything with a Fiat North America badge on it.

Since we are talking about trucks on this site -
JD Power and Vincentric interestingly enough match for who rate #1:
HD's - GM siblings
1/2 tons - Ford
Small - Tacoma

Until I see Chrysler/Fiat products consistently at the top of the list at JD Power, Vincentric, Consumer Reports etc. I am not going to buy one.
If Ford doesn't have a top rated vehicle, I won't buy it either.

I'd buy a Chevy before a Chrysler/Dodge/Ram/Fiat.

Troll all you want but until you grow up, your opinion of what is or isn't reliable, or is or isn't the best matters little to any of the bloggers on this site.

You occasionally show signs of maturity and respectability but you always blow it.


Reliability ratings from Consumer Reports seems contradictory to the real world to me.

I have seen plenty models of Dodge Rams that are past 10 years old and still running strong.

What does Consumer Reports do with a vehicle to determine which is more reliable than the other for whatever job they put them through?

I drove an old Cummins truck with that good old 5 speed transmission and I couldn't buy it at the time because it didn't have a pickup bed on it.

Looking back I wish I would have gone on and bought that instead of a sedan that doesn't make as much money for me as some trucks I used in the past.

If I find that Dodge again, I might buy it and just find another bed to put on the back.

@LouBC, Lets ignore the obvious.
2013 Ram 1500 pickup truck earns top marks
Consumer Reports News: July 16, 2013 06:08 AM

The 2013 Ram 1500 has both muscled and finessed its way to the top of our full-sized pickup truck ratings. The updated truck delivered impressive performance in our tests, balancing work capability and refinement in a way that sees it outscore established domestic- and foreign-nameplate competitors.

"You can't fix stupid."

@HemiV8 - thanks for pointing out once again that you are a lost cause.

Does you exerpt anywere mention durability or reliability?

It won CR's shootout. No different than winning PUTC's shootout - no wait.... it lost that one.

I was talking about durability and reliability.

I haven't seen Ram score a top finish anywhere that was corroborated by another survey company.

In other words results matter little if no one else replicates those results.

As pointed out in earlier comments, this is predicted unreliability which I'm not sure how CR determines. That said, Ford really got dinged on their info center. I get where several people have knocked how they judge that, but let's face it, people spend a lot of time in their vehicle and that IS important. Working in the electronics industry (more specifically the chip processor design industry for one of the top microprocessor companies), we hear and see people that want functionality and ease of use. At times that is a hard thing to marry together. Put Microsoft in charge of that as Ford has done and that can be more problematic in my experience.

Ford has done a lot recently to try to fix these issues, but all of the surveys point to MySync being the #1 customer issue. If you have to live with that day in and day out, you bet you're going to dislike the vehicle despite how good the rest of the vehicle actually is.

RAM/Dodge/Chrysler went with Blackberry for their system. While we hear nothing but bad news from the company itself, the OS they use (and used in the RAM) is a better experience for the end customer.

So at the end of the day, while the comments here tend to lean heavily on motors and towing, that's really not as much of a factor in most people's mind when they do these surveys. It's all about interiors, info centers, and ride quality. That's where Ford's trucks are currently behind GM and RAM. However, we'll need to wait and see what they bring out in 2015 (their big redesign year). Could be Ford jumps ahead of the rest of them.

Surveys are a snapshot and there are lots of factors involved when people take them. Questions, what's happening at that exact moment, and of course the topic itself. Bottom line is surveys are good, but not always a true indicator of something.

latwoods: You have your emotions mixed up with facts, just the fact that NASCAR has used pushrod engines forever with no reliability problems must mean something? just think about it, they have engines that can run at or near redline for hundreds of miles, and maybe even more, and make tremendous power. Here is another fact, the Hemi, is the same displacement as the tundra 5.7 engine, it make more power everywhere, weighs less, gets better mpg, and has a great record fro long miles and reliability. Here is another fact, GM has been making both types of engines for a long time, and when they use a pushrod engine for a truck, the truck they makes has a great record of high mileage, and good mpg, better than any tundra V-8. These are facts, and when you extrapolate the numbers built by all of them, the % of problems known by all, are greater with the 5.7 Toyota engine, than all the rest, even their own 4.7 has a better record than the 5.7, unless you have to put a new starter in one, have you ever had to do that? look it up, it is a big job, as they put it under the intake manifold!!! and have you ever just tried to do something as easy as change the oil in one? as the filter is down in there so deep, but still cant be touched from bellow, and there is no way to do the job without making a big mess! I have owned all the major brans of U.S. manff co. trucks, and have had great service and luck with the Chevys, and Dodge trucks, Ford? no so much, but have only had one, and my cousin has the tundra, and yes he has plenty of miles on it, but, it is a gas hog! and it already has rust, and the tailgate has been off since his quad runner bent it when trying to load it! not to mention he has finally put air bags in the rear, after breaking rear leafs in the springs! 3 times!!! and he uses his truck right along side my Chevy, when we go traveling with our wife's and toys, sure he can drive up the hills a little faster than mine, (over the limit), but he pays at the pump! the one time we use our F-150 though, that was another story!, but then again, I will not use that truck with its service record, and head gasket problems I had had , more than once! I know first hand how (good) the imports are, and would never buy one! you can drive what you want, but do not throw facts around, that do not add up!

Lou BC, Ram moved up by the largest margin of any truck maker (from 25 to 19), Ford stayed flat, finishing at 26, one spot lower than last year. LOL


" thanks for pointing out once again that you are a lost cause."

So if Toyota occupies the #2 and #1 spot (Lexus)....why are you only using their pictures for your article where you primarily call out Ford, GM, and Ram?

so my previous comment was posted then erased so here i go again....

if toyota is rated #2 and #1 although with the lexus name plate...and then you have Ford, GM, Nissan at 9,19,17,22, and 26...why do you have pictures of the Tundra and the Tundra engine....shouldnt the images the speak about the article content be about those trucks that are facing struggles/reflect the article content?

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the best reliability indicator is how a company stands behind their product. i have had at least 10 major issues with my Rav4 v6 2007. toyota has been useless in looking after me. example. my muffler rotted out. toyota repair est. 1500. so i chose to replace just the rotted part at ctire for 350.. then a year later a recall. toyota paid me back the 350. i asked them to replace the part instead but they refused. i could go on and on . you get the picture.
never to buy a toyota again

I don't have navigation on my vehicle. I own a good map and know how to read it. $4000 to fix a nav. means you are too dumb to read a map.

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