For much of the world's, pickup trucks remain the lone option if they were forced to choose a single vehicle for all of life's challenges. Sure, you can haul the family equally well in a Ford Taurus or a Ford F-150—but you can't haul a horse trailer or load up lumber into a Taurus.
City dwellers are increasingly finding that pickup trucks offer the exact kind of flexibility that they require, even if they're usually just commuting to and from work. But new pickups can get extremely expensive extremely fast. For some buyers, finding the right used truck is essential.
But not all pickup trucks are created equal, while some are downright dreadful. Keep scrolling for 11 trucks from the 2000s that break down constantly and 5 that are worth every dollar.
16 Unreliable: Chevy SSR
Chevrolet's SSR experiment came to an end after only two production years, a fact that should surprise absolutely nobody. The SSR's combination of retro styling by way of a hardtop convertible and bulging fenders, plus a factory bed lid and a V8 engine, just weren't ideal to begin with. Plus, the model was essentially a parts bin special, which always leads to reliability issues.
15 Unreliable: Nissan Frontier
Nissan developed a reputation for building affordable cars and trucks that would run forever, along with their fellow Japanese carmakers in the 1980s and 90s. But by the 2000s, Nissan got ahead of themselves and their Frontier pickup started showing signs of transmission, cooling, and electrical problems.
14 Unreliable: Hummer H2 SUT
Humvees may be bulletproof (literally) machines built for military service, but the Hummers that GM released in the 2000s were anything but tough. Besides the H2 SUT's absurdly tiny bed, this was another parts bin special that shared mechanicals with multiple other trucks and SUVs, which is never ideal for a vehicle that might see rugged conditions.
13 Unreliable: Dodge Dakota
Dodge is another brand with a reputation for reliability that, perhaps, it has not quite earned. The mid-sized Dakota pickup trucks of the mid-2000s are a perfect example, being famous transmission shifting problems, including not being truly in Park when they appear to be in Park. The owner above is much better towing their Dakota than towing something with it, to be sure.
12 Unreliable: Chevrolet Avalanche
The Chevrolet Avalanche is a strange combination of an SUV and a pickup truck that ended up worse at both truck and SUV activities. Again, somewhere between a Suburban and a Silverado, Chevy missed the mark. Plus, folding down the back seats to fit anything in the truncated bed is liable to contribute to electrical problems as the interior is exposed to the elements.
11 Unreliable: Subaru Baja
The Subaru BRAT was a cute little 4x4 pickup with great style and some sick factory jump seats in the bed. Subaru attempted to get back into a similar game with their Baja truck—if it can truly be called a truck, since it's mostly a station wagon with the rear canopy missing. But as with any Subaru, get ready for blown head gaskets from the Boxer engine!
10 Unreliable: Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Ford has had plenty of problems with the Explorer, ever since the first generation struggled with a rollover risk that led to a massive controversy with Firestone tires. But the second generation was less reliable from a mechanical standpoint, something that Ford didn't help themselves deal with when the released the Sport Trac version, which tended to push the already weak Explorer into more truck-like scenarios.
9 Unreliable: GMC Sierra
GMC might advertise that their products are "Professional Grade" but advertising isn't always true. Case in point is the GMC Sierra from the mid-2000s, which suffered from transfer case shifting issues that could leave owners stuck in rugged terrain without four-wheel drive to help get themselves out. Throw some climate control issues into the mix, too, and that's a rough day on the trail.
8 Unreliable: Lincoln Blackwood
Ford's decision to produce a luxury version of the F-150 might not have seemed as crazy as it does with hindsight. After all, Cadillac did a great job with the Escalade, which was a luxury version of the Suburban, right? But the Lincoln Blackwood just made simple things more complicated, and market research showed that most Blackwood owner, in fact, owned another truck for when they actually wanted to get work done.
7 Unreliable: Chevrolet Silverado
Silverado is an established name in the truck world, having been in production for two decades now. But anyone shopping for an early Silverado would do themselves a favor by having a pre-purchase inspection performed. Much like their Sierra siblings, these trucks needed some time to iron out the kinks.
6 Unreliable: Hummer H3T
Compared to the H2 SUT, at least the H3T had a more respectable truck bed. But that's about all the positives that can be afforded this unfortunate vehicle. Underneath the false advertising of its aggressive design, the H3 was yet another Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon platform-mate. Beefing it up a bit might have even inspired false confidence among off-roaders.
5 Worth Every Dollar: Toyota Tacoma
Toyota's pickup trucks have long been at the top of the game when it comes to reliability. For the Tacoma, potential buyers can be pretty confident their future truck will run forever—as long as a check for frame rust is performed before any potential purchase. Without frame rust, these trucks will happily run for hundreds of thousands of miles.
4 Worth Every Dollar: Ford Ranger
Many pickup truck models have grown in size over the years. The Ford Ranger's reintroduction to the North American market seems like a huge jump, but the truck was sold internationally over the gap. The early-2000s Ranger, though, was small pickup perfection: simple, capable, and reliable. Plus, they're dirt cheap on the used car market today.
3 Worth Every Dollar: Honda Ridgeline
The Honda Ridgeline's styling leaves a lot to be desired, not to mention the fact that it's really an SUV masquerading as a truck—much like the Chevy Avalanche. But all those knocks against the Ridgeline of the 2000s mean that used prices are quite low, and under the skin, it's going to run like a Honda.
2 Worth Every Dollar: Toyota Tundra
The Toyota Tundra from the early years of the 21st century might be as good as it gets. Slightly larger and more luxurious than the Tacoma, the Tundra fits right below the larger Fords, Chevrolets, and Dodges of its era. With little more than routine oil changes, a Tundra might just run forever.
1 Worth Every Dollar: Ford F-450
When it comes to the larger pickups of the 2000s, there's no doubt that the king of the roost was the Ford F-450. Beefed up in every respect compared to its smaller siblings, the F-450 could tow forever, fit six adults, and offered reliability, to boot. A used F-450 might be a bit steeper than some smaller trucks, but it's well worth the money.
Sources: Car Complaints, RepairPal, and Wikipedia.