When it comes to choosing a new full-size
pickup truck, reliability is a key metric that should not be ignored. Whether or not you use your truck for work, these massive vehicles are expensive to repair, and towing fees can be exorbitant too.
This is not lost on the marketing teams of major carmakers, with slogans like “Built Ford Tough” and “Guts. Glory. Ram” pushing the notion that their trucks are the toughest and most reliable out there. But with so many options, it’s hard to know which company is deserving of your hard-earned cash.
Fortunately, Consumer Reports (CR) has put eight of the most popular full-size trucks through their paces, to see which is actually the most reliable.
While there are some familiar faces at the top of the list, CR’s rigorous testing determined that the most reliable full-size truck for 2021 is the Toyota Tundra.
What makes the Toyota Tundra so reliable?
The Toyota Tundra has been around for over 20 years. Back in 2000 it was chiefly designed for towing and hauling, rather than comfort.
The 2021 model might look more glamorous, but it has been made using the tried-and-true formula that served its predecessors so well.
Consumer Reportsreliability rankings gives the 2021 Tundra a lot of credit for this pedigree. Specifically, they note that the 2018, 2019, and 2020 models have all shown to be of above-average reliability, and are confident the latest model will follow suit.
CR also praises the 2021 Toyota Tundra for its responsive acceleration and smooth transmission. It offers a quiet ride and has a huge amount of cargo space—important for a full-size pickup.
The Tundra’s 5.7-liter V8 ensures it is one of the most powerful vehicles on the market, with impressive off-road capability and towing capacity.
Finally, CR notes that of all the full-size trucks it has tested, the 2021 Tundra boasts the highest customer satisfaction rating. Impressively, 79% of owners say they would buy this car again (although they won’t have to, thanks to its best-in-class reliability).
The Tundra does have some flaws
While the Consumer Reports guide is full of praise for the 2021 Toyota Tundra, it's not perfect by any means.
The review is critical of the truck’s poor fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions rating, even when compared to other full-size trucks.
The Tundra is also criticized for failing to modernize to the same extent as its competitors. Save for a cosmetic facelift seven years ago, it really hasn’t changed much in recent years.
CR claims this makes it one of the “least refined and most dated” full-size trucks, but fans will tell you this is part of the charm.
Either way, while the 2021 Toyota Tundra is rightly praised for its reliability and the 2022 model promises to deliver on some of the outdated criticisms levied against the truck.