10 American Pickups That'll Last Longer Than 10 Years (And 10 That Won't)

When consumers buy a pickup, they're likely looking for a vehicle that'll last. There’s no point in getting something that'll fall apart after a few years, right? Even if you don’t keep it for ten years, you'll want to know that you can sell it instead of watching it crumble in a junkyard. You also want to have the confidence that you can go out every morning knowing that your truck will get you home at night, instead of leaving you stranded.

For that kind of confidence, you have to find a pickup that has a high reliability rating—the kind of truck that can go for ten years and carry you every step of the way, with the absolute minimum of repairs as you go. That’s the kind of vehicle that everyone wants. In an ideal world, it would also be a good-looking truck with enough functional space and a comfortable ride. So, does such a truck exist?

Well, allow us to show you. We’ve brought together a list of the ten pickup truck models out there that are pretty likely to last you for ten years without any real problems. Then, alongside them, we've also presented you with the ten trucks that are most likely to break down at the side of the road—or fall to pieces entirely.

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20 Last: Chevrolet Silverado

via wikimedia

This is a real classic, American pickup truck, and it’s a fantastic example of a vehicle built with simple security in mind. While it may not have the bells and whistles of a muscle car or a sports car, this is a working truck with parts that are built to last for a good long time.

The 2500 HD model is the most reliable out of the whole Silverado range, but you can’t go far wrong with any of them.

It may have a crude design and a powertrain that's been around for a while, but those are actually assets when it comes to reliability. It’s an excellent choice of truck no matter what you might be hauling around in the back with you.

19 Won't: 1982-1984 Dodge Rampage

via wikipedia

Remember when there was such a thing as a car-truck? A pickup that wanted to be a car or a car that wanted to be a truck—it’s debatable which way round it was. The Dodge Rampage was, well, little more than just a curiosity. It was a unibody small sports truck and was built on the Omni platform that Chrysler revered in the '80s. There was a very small market for these—they looked wrong, and they didn’t last even as long as the trend did, in most cases. They were only produced for three model years, so you might have a difficult time getting your hands on one that still functions today. Even if they did last ten years into the '90s, would you really have wanted to be seen driving one?

18 Last: Ford F-150

via raptoril

The Ford F-150 has the well-deserved reputation of being the most-loved pickup in the US, and so many of them are bought on a daily basis that it’s a wonder we aren’t all driving them now. It’s a good thing that they're as reliable as you'd hope for them to be because if they all start breaking down now, there’s going to be a severe nationwide shortage of breakdown assistance.

Consumer Reports puts the F-150 as the 2016 winner in terms of having the best-expected reliability for a domestic truck, and many other outlets have also rated it as strongly dependable.

With new upgrades creating even longer-lasting parts, this is a truck you can safely drive for a decade without any fears of having problems with it.

17 Won't: 1972-1983 Ford Courier

via cardomain

Ford took the B1500 pickup and gave it a slight makeover in order to bring us this model, the Courier. Actually, the word "Courier" doesn’t really bring to mind a sturdy truck these days–in fact, it often makes you think of someone on a bicycle or a moped in these modern times–which was a bit of a harbinger of things to come. The Japanese-built car may have been popular on the roads at first, but even the later models didn’t make it through the early '90s before being just about swallowed up by rust. In 1983, it was replaced by the Ford Ranger, which turned out to be a much more reliable and popular vehicle over a lengthy 29 years of production. The Courier, sadly, is now mostly nothing but a red-stained memory.

16 Last: Dodge Ram

via wiki

Here’s a Dodge that does alright. The Dodge Ram is at its best when you pick the models produced between 1994 and 2007 with the Cummins diesel engine.

They have fantastic fuel economy, considering that you're driving a heavy vehicle, and they last a good long while even when used for heavy loads.

There are a few careful owners–normally professional drivers–who've managed to get their Dodge Rams up above the million-mile mark. With more than one person getting it up there, you have to say it’s a trend rather than a fluke. What more proof do you need that these trucks will go a decade easily with personal use only? Who knows how long they would last when carefully driven.

15 Won't: Dodge Ram 2500

via commons.wikimedia

And here’s the exception to the Dodge Ram’s record: the Dodge Ram 2500. This specific model is actually rated as the least reliable vehicle in the pickup-truck category for new buys. That’s pretty poor for a brand that you expect more from. It has a lot of pros and cons in general–like the roomy seating versus the difficulty getting into the tall cab and the coil-spring rear suspension versus the likelihood to break down every single time you pull off your own driveway. This is an issue that Dodge needs to address—and fast; it’s not going to win them any fans in the long run, and it’s a shame considering that other models do a lot better. They’ll be losing loyal customers on this one.

14 Last: Ford Super Duty

via freeismylife

What do you think is the car rated to last the longest according to research into used vehicles? Since you’ve already read the header, you may well guess that it’s the Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup truck. Well, you’d be right. Around 4.2% of used Super Duty trucks on sale have gone more than 200,000 miles. That might seem like a low percentage but only because you don’t realize that the nearest pickup in the statistics only managed a little over 2%. It’s a great choice for businesses where the truck is going to be facing a lot of work and a lot of miles over short timespans. It seems like the name "Super Duty" isn’t just a name–it’s a genuine description of what it can do.

13 Won't: 1986-1992 Jeep Comanche

via wikimedia commons

This truck is the unfortunate equivalent of a startup business getting acquired by Google and then left to rot. The Jeep Comanche was affordable, stylish, and had great handling when it was launched. The problem was that AMC-Jeep was running out of money—and fast. They couldn’t even afford to market their new vehicle, leading to poor sales. When Chrysler bought AMC in 1988, the Comanche was considered to be too much competition for the Dodge Dakota, meaning it was left to wither away silently and was discontinued in 1992. No particular care was taken to ensuring that owners would have support and the particular parts required for their vehicles since there was no intention of building any more, and so, this isn't a truck that you would ever want to buy used–especially more than 15 years after the last was built.

12 Last: GMC Sierra 2500

via wikipedia

When you do a check of the used GMC Sierra 2500s on sale, you’re likely to find some of them with more than 200,000 miles on the clock. That’s a very nice statistic and indicates that one of these trucks will be more than enough to last you for a decade. They're pretty heavy-duty, particularly when compared to some of the pickups in this list that aren’t rated to last. What’s most impressive about the record for this pickup is that heavy-duty models like this normally have heavier loads to tow, which should cause more wear and tear on the parts of the truck. The fact that they survive such distances anyway is impressive enough that we’re thinking about going and getting one right now.

11 Won't: Chevrolet Colorado

via autoevolution

This car might perform well in crash tests, but unfortunately, it can’t survive the harsh realities of simply driving along in the real world. It has a low rating for reliability that can’t be ignored, no matter what other appealing features it may have. Even if you don’t care about how long it lasts, you could do a lot better than this in terms of interior comfort, performance, and refinement. The styling looks nice, but it’s nothing you couldn’t beat with other manufacturers. It’s also pretty bad at towing and going off-road, which makes you wonder whether this is really a truck at all. Most auto reviewers seem to agree that the Colorado is simply adequate, and that’s not something we want to hear when we’re thinking about purchasing a vehicle.

10 Last: Ford F-350

via diesel power mag

Much like the other Fords in this list, you really can’t go far wrong with one of these pickup trucks. Ford has really been one of the brands at the forefront of both design and performance for the pickup sector, and you can see it in this truck as well as the others we've mentioned. They have a lot of experience in making trucks that'll stay the distance and finish the job, and this model is one of them.

It’s often favored by professional drivers or self-employed laborers who need to transport tools and equipment but also enjoy driving a vehicle that looks good and feels comfortable.

Even with that extra wear and tear, they can often last well past a decade and rack up a fair few miles, too.

9 Won't: 2008 GMC Canyon

via cargurus

While some of the models have aged well, the GMC Canyons that were produced in 2008 simply haven’t stayed the distance. This is a truck that's rated pretty poorly on reliability, and the sad part is that it wasn’t even that good of a choice when it was brand new.

The handling is great, but it just doesn’t have the power that a pickup truck really needs.

This is probably one of the reasons why the reliability dipped: when you’re trying to force performance out of a vehicle that simply wasn’t built for it, things are going to start to go wrong. Thankfully, more recent models seem to have shown an improvement. Still, we’ll have to wait and see whether they can actually manage ten years or not.

8 Last: GMC Sierra 1500

via gmauthority

This car is proven to last a long time, with plenty of models listed for sale as used past the 200,000-mile point. That’s a long way for a truck to go and still be in a saleable condition, so you can be sure this is a great pickup for the long term. It’s not surprising to find out that a lot of the vehicle is very similar to the Chevrolet Silverado under the surface–why change a formula that works? The GMC is aimed more at professional truck drivers and workers who need a bit more comfort inside the cabin because of the time they spend there. Statistics also suggest that Sierras are held onto by their first owners longer than the Silverado, making them a good bet for reliability.

7 Won't: 1956 Ford F-100

via hotrod

This truck was absolutely beautiful, and a lot of people think that it was the last, as well as the first, of the beautiful trucks ever produced. But sadly, that doesn’t mean that it's lasted through to the current day. Well, maybe you wouldn’t expect it to, given how long ago it was made–but even in the years after it was produced, reliability seems to have been a problem. If you see one coming up on the used market as a vintage car, you can buy it as a decoration that you display in your garage with pride. We wouldn’t recommend buying it as a commercial or even a daily personal-use vehicle–it won’t stand up to the strain for very long.

6 Last: Chevrolet Avalanche

via auto evolution

Looking back ten years ago, you can see that the Chevrolet Avalanche models produced in 2008 are still going strong. That’s a pretty good indication that the present models are a good bet as well. They've been recorded as going over 300,000 miles from multiple drivers, which means you can push them hard as well as for a long time. The hauling and towing capabilities are rated as excellent, and the ride is so smooth, you won’t believe you’re in a truck. The folding rear midgate is a favorite feature for those who like to get things organized properly. The only downside is that this truck tends toward the expensive side, which might make it prohibitive for some. Still, if it’s an investment for the next ten years, it doesn’t seem like such a high price.

5 Won't: 1990 to 1993 Chevrolet 454 SS

via autopost

This is always a bit of a controversial element on any pickup list because a lot of people will argue that it isn’t a real truck.

There may have been a lot of muscle in the pickup, but that didn’t mean it was built to last.

In fact, the more muscle there is in a truck, the more likely it is that people are going to abuse it more–and that’s exactly what tended to happen with the 454 SS. Sure, you could make it last a bit longer if you were careful with it, but this is a car-truck. People weren’t careful with it. This vehicle was designed for people who can’t even decide what category of vehicle they want, let alone drive it carefully.

4 Last: Toyota Tundra (US Built)

via tirekicker

Though it may bear the Toyota name, this truck was fully built in the US. That makes it eligible for this list, as far as we’re concerned. The Toyota Tundra is rated as the most reliable pickup truck on the market above all of the others we’ve listed here, so that really makes it something special. The thing that puts some buyers off is that it still has a fairly simple and almost old-fashioned build. While it's been updated over recent years, it still feels outclassed by other similar trucks. But what do you want—a pickup that looks good or one that'll last you for so long that those mod cons you wanted will be out of date anyway? The choice seems fairly simple to us.

3 Won't: 1961 to 1963 Ford “Unibody” F-100 and F-250

via youtube

Not only did these trucks not last a decade, but we also have a very specific reason as to why that's the case. You see, what they did was build a bed and a cab as one single entity, then mount it onto a traditional ladder frame. That doesn’t really make them a unibody pickup, but they got stuck with that name early on anyway. But here’s what happened when you loaded them up with cargo—the body would flex. Eventually, or with the right amount of weight, it would simply crack apart. So, that’s why these were littering the sides of roads during the '60s without a hope in hell of getting put back together again. It was a nice experiment, but it just didn’t work in practice.

2 Last: 1947 Chevrolet 3100

via hemmings

This truck has been pretty much the embodiment of everything good about Chevrolet’s trucks. The look was so classic that designers have been trying to put a modern spin on it ever since. Everything from the grille to the cab to the bed was just right. It wasn’t only the outside that looked good either. This is a real classic pickup, and you may be able to get your hands on one even now that still runs great. Sure, it may have had a few upgrades and replacement parts put in over the years, but give it a break–it’s probably older than your grandfather. What else do you know that's functioning well after so much time without even the slightest bit of repair?

1 Won't: Chevrolet El Camino

via seattleclassics

You know, the thing is, this just isn’t really a truck. The same could be said of the Ford Ranchero, too. When you put them in a list against a load of vehicles that generally are trucks, of course, you’re going to see the real thing performing a lot better. The problem is that this is built as a car. Then, it had a flatbed put on the back. That’s not the same thing as actually building a truck. It means more strain on the car components, which aren’t really right for taking that kind of strain, and it means a lot more breakdowns. They don’t even look great; to a modern eye, they look incredibly dated, not vintage. They’re so low and odd and weird to look at.

Sources: Cheat Sheet, Oscaro Parts, Edmunds, Consumer Reports

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