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9 Used Pickup Trucks You Should Avoid Buying (11 That Are Worth Every Dollar)

Pickup trucks are incredibly useful. Whether you’re tailgating, hauling, gardening or camping, pickup trucks are a sure way of getting things done. However, there are some trucks that are more reliable, and thus worth buying, compared to others.

An example is the Cadillac Escalade EXT. With an average reliability score of 4.5 out of a 5 from J.D. Power, the Cadillac Escalade EXT is one of the most reliable pickup trucks worth buying. Cars US News notes, “With its midgate, shared with the similar Chevrolet Avalanche, the Escalade EXT easily carries longer cargo, despite its short cargo box.”

Other trucks are less reliable, and therefore you’d be best to stay away from them. An example is the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. It scores an average reliability score of 2.5 out of a 5 from J.D. Power. Cars US News states, “While the Explorer Sport Trac ended its four-year run in 2010, it remains an attractive option on the used truck market, despite a lower-than-average overall reliability score.”

Here are the most reliable pickups worth buying, following by less reliable ones to avoid.

20 Worth Buying: Honda Ridgeline

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With an average reliability score of 4.7 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power, the Honda Ridgeline is one of the most reliable pickup trucks worth buying. Cars US News continues, “Not only is its score from J.D. Power unmatched in this overview of used pickups, but the Ridgeline also sets the bar high when it comes to its ride and handling.”

19 Worth Buying: Cadillac Escalade EXT

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With an average reliability score of 4.5 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power, the Cadillac Escalade EXT is one of the most reliable pickup trucks worth buying. Cars US News continues, “With its midgate, shared with the similar Chevrolet Avalanche, the Escalade EXT easily carries longer cargo, despite its short cargo box.”

18 Worth Buying: Ford Ranger

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With an average reliability score of 4.3 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power, the Ford Ranger is one of the most reliable pickup trucks worth buying. Cars USNews continues, “These pickup trucks deliver a no-frills trucking experience from a design that highlighted simplicity and was considered outdated seven years ago.”

17 Worth Buying: GMC Sierra 1500

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With an average reliability score of 4.1 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power, the GMC Sierra 1500 is one of the most reliable pickup trucks worth buying. Cars US News continues, “The most reliable years have been 2010, 2012, and 2013, which produced trucks that earned a five-out-of-five score from J.D. Power.”

16 Worth Buying: Chevrolet Avalanche

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With an average reliability score of 4.0 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power, the Chevrolet Avalanche is one of the most reliable pickup trucks worth buying. Cars US News continues, “A clever midgate, which is a folding partition between the cargo box and the passenger cabin, allows for carrying long items after the rear seat is folded.”

15 Worth Buying: Chevrolet Silverado 1500

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With an average reliability score of 3.9 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is one of the most reliable pickup trucks worth buying. Cars US News continues, “Over the years, the Chevrolet Silverado has stood out for its towing and hauling capabilities, its nicely trimmed passenger cabin, and its generally high ratings for reliability.”

14 Worth Buying: Nissan Frontier

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With an average reliability score of 3.8 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power, the Nissan Frontier is one of the most reliable pickup trucks worth buying. Cars US News continues, “Some years have proven to be quite reliable for the Frontier, with the 2009 and 2015 models scoring a top five-out-of-five score for reliability from J.D. Power.”

13 Worth Buying: Toyota Tundra

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With an average reliability score of 3.7 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power, the Toyota Tundra is one of the most reliable pickup trucks worth buying. Cars US News reports, “The shortcomings of its aging design, especially its riding comfort and fuel economy, have been obvious for years. Reliability, however, is very good, with 2009 and 2013 models having earned a top five-out-of-five score from J.D. Power.”

12 Worth Buying: Dodge Dakota

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With an average reliability score of 3.7 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power, the Dodge Dakota is one of the most reliable pickup trucks worth buying. Cars US News continues, “Its towing and hauling prowess was directly related to the availability of an optional V8 engine, a rarity in the compact pickup truck field.”

11 Worth Buying: Hummer H3T

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With an average reliability score of 3.5 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power, the Hummer H3T is one of the most reliable pickup trucks worth buying. Cars US News notes, “Of the two model years available, the 2009 version enjoys the higher four-out-of-five reliability rating, beating the 2010 model by a full point.”

10 Worth Buying: Toyota Tacoma

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With an average reliability score of 3.4 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power, the Toyota Tacoma is one of the most reliable pickup trucks worth buying. Cars US News continues, “It is the previous generation, however, that leads the way in J.D. Power reliability scores, with the 2013 model earning a 4.5 out of five rating.”

Now, here are the least reliable pickups you should totally avoid.

9 Avoid: Ford Explorer Sport Trac

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The Ford Explorer Sport Trac scores an average reliability score of 2.5 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power. Cars US News states, “While the Explorer Sport Trac ended its four-year run in 2010, it remains an attractive option on the used truck market, despite a lower-than-average overall reliability score.”

8 Avoid: Suzuki Equator

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The Suzuki Equator scores an average reliability score of 2.5 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power. Cars US News states, “The Equator was a thinly disguised Nissan Frontier, meaning that many replacement parts and service should still be available. That also means that many of the Frontier’s strengths and weaknesses will be found here.”

7 Avoid: Nissan Titan

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The Nissan Titan scores an average reliability score of 2.8 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power. Cars USNews states, “Handling for this older model is nimble, and the single V8 engine, with 317 horsepower on tap, delivers good performance. Still, some rivals feature greater towing capacity, better fuel economy, and more inviting interiors.”

6 Avoid: Chevrolet Colorado

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The Ford Explorer Sport Trac scores an average reliability score of 2.9 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power. Cars US News states, “Fuel economy was another selling point for these older Colorados. Not as appealing were front seat comfort, rear seat room, and the sluggish performance delivered by the standard four-cylinder engine.”

5 Avoid: Hummer H2 SUT

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The Hummer H2 SUT scores an average reliability score of 3.0 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power. Cars US News states, “Despite its size and weight, which kept the H2 from being rated by the EPA for fuel economy, the cabin feels tight. The cargo box is also small for the full-size pickup truck field, while fuel economy and handling fall short of many competitive models.”

4 Avoid: Mazda B-Series

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The Mazda B-Series scores an average reliability score of 3.0 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power. Cars US News states, “The B-Series pickups placed utilitarian function ahead of all else. The design was dated, even when the vehicle was new, the interior is uninviting, and the tow ratings are low.”

3 Avoid: Ford F-150

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The Ford F-150 scores an average reliability score of 3.1 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power. Cars US News states, “For buyers seeking an F-150 with the best reliability score, however, it is the previous generation’s 2009 model that stands out, scoring a four out of five in J.D. Power research. No newer F-150 has been able to equal that reliability level.”

2 Avoid: GMC Canyon

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The GMC Canyon scores an average reliability score of 3.1 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power. Cars US News states, “It is the previous generation’s 2010 and 2011 models, however, that have earned the highest reliability scores from J.D. Power, garnering a commendable four out of five rating.”

1 Avoid: Ram 1500

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The Ram 1500 scores an average reliability score of 3.2 out of a possible 5 points from J.D. Power. Cars US News states, “Previous-generation Rams are noted for their exceptionally comfortable ride and plush cabins. Reliability has varied, though the 2013-model-year Ram stands out with its five out of five score from J.D. Power.”

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