13 Pickup Trucks That Give Us Nightmares (And 11 That Handle Like A Dream)

Despite the rise of SUVs, the pickup truck continues to enjoy a considerable share in the market. After all, this is one of the most practical vehicles that you can ever ask for. For starters, trucks come in both two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants, so that you’ve got an available option in case you want to go off-roading with your truck. At the same time, only a truck typically comes with a cargo bed in the back. That means you’ve got space to store all of your stuff. It doesn’t matter if it’s oversized or rather bulky. Meanwhile, trucks also tend to have good towing capability. Depending on the size of truck that you have and the engine it is using, it’s possible to tow a couple of jet skis or even a boat or trailer.

Over the years, we have seen the evolution of the pickup truck. In the past, the truck was seen as a reliable vehicle who could always get the job done. It doesn’t matter if you’re using it on a farm or at a construction site.

Today, however, pickup trucks are more than your typical workhorse. Instead, these trucks have found a way to get fancier. In fact, some of the pickup truck models today now come with the latest technology and entertainment features to make your drive more fun. At the same time, today’s trucks also come with a number of convenience and comfort features so that the truck pretty much feels like a car. Despite these advancements, however, recent pickup truck models are still a hit or miss. Some handle like a dream while others are a nightmare to keep around.

Want to know which ones you should get and which ones to avoid? We’ve come up with a list to help you out.

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24 Nightmare: 2004 Ford F-150

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While some used and brand-new pickup trucks models are a dream to own, others just plain nightmares. Case in point is the 2004 Ford F-150 that’s amassed as many as 1,978 complaints, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Of the complaints, the majority refers to the engine and engine cooling. One of them read, “Vehicle had been driven earlier that morning. While parked in the rear of the home the vehicle caught on fire in the motor area. It started about 20 min after being parked. There was also damage to the house.”

23 Nightmare: 2005 Ford F-150

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Another Ford F-150 year model that proves to be problematic is 2005. In fact, the NHTSA database reveals that this particular truck has been the subject of 1,041 complaints, three investigations, and 14 recalls.

Just like the 2004 F-150, the chief complaint about the 2005 F-150 concerns the engine. One complaint states, “While driving approximately 30 mph, the exhaust pipe detached from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and it was discovered that the entire subframe of the vehicle was rusted and corroded, including the damaged exhaust pipe.”

22 Nightmare: 2007 Nissan Frontier

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The 2007 Nissan Frontier has also ended up with a lot of reported problems. In fact, the NHTSA reveals that it has received as many as 468 complaints. Moreover, it was also the subject of two recalls.

Just like the 2004 and 2005 Ford F-150, engine issues seem to be the main concern for the 2007 Frontier. One of the complaints read, “Last Monday while driving to work my truck shut off in the middle of Hwy 53 and locked up the steering and almost took my life.”

21 Nightmare: 2008 Toyota Tundra

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Compared to other truck models we have placed on the list; the 2008 Toyota Tundra has fewer recorded complaints (266). However, it is also worth noting that this truck has been the subject of as many as 11 recalls, according to the NHTSA.

Of the recalls, two were regarding the truck’s vehicle speed control. According to the recall summary, “The accelerator pedal may become hard to depress, slow to return to idle, or, in the worst case, mechanically stuck in a partially depressed position, increasing the risk of a crash.”

20 Nightmare: 2008 Honda Ridgeline

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While the 2018 Honda Ridgeline comes highly recommended, the same cannot be said for the 2008 Ridgeline. In fact, owning this one can be described as a nightmare. According to the NHTSA, there are as many as 121 complaints on this truck. Moreover, it has also been the subject of five recalls.

One of the complaints regarding the electrical system stated, “Wiring harness for ac and heater not working. Recall was done to Honda vehicles up to 2007 with same problem.”

19 Nightmare: 2011 Toyota Tacoma

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According to the NHTSA, there are as many as 134 complaints on the 2011 Toyota Tacoma. Moreover, it was also the subject of nine recalls.

Of the complaints, one of the most common issues is the electrical system on the truck’s exterior lighting. One of the statements read, “The running lights are running too hot burning the headlamp and burning the connecting wires.” Meanwhile, the recalls issued concerned the pickup truck’s structure, suspension, seat belts, seats, tires, equipment, and airbags.

18 Nightmare: 2011 Ford F-250

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If you must know, the 2011 Ford F-250 has been the subject of 261 complaints, one investigation, and two recalls, according to the NHTSA.

Of the complaints, most of the issues pertain to the truck’s power train. One of the filed complaints states, “While driving 35 mph, the vehicle slowed down, and the rear passenger and driver side wheels seized. In addition, the transmission warning indicator illuminated. The dealer diagnosed that the transmission was losing line pressure and needed to be replaced.”

17 Nightmare: 2016 Toyota Tacoma

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Another truck model that is quite a nightmare to own would be the 2016 Toyota Tacoma. According to the NHTSA, this truck has received as many as 202 complaints over the years.

Of the complaints, the majority were regarding the power train. One read, “On long trips where the vehicle is driven for several miles in one gear it is extremely difficult to pull it out of 4th, 5th or 6th gear in order to change gears. This resulted in dangerous speed control issues (both too fast and too slow for traffic) while driving on mountainous highways.”

16 Nightmare: 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

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If you must know, the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 seems to be the subject of a lemon issue.

According to Lemberg Law, the three major complaints on this car concern the power train, electrical system, and exterior lighting. With regard to the power train, Lemberg Law explained, “There aren’t many complaints about the base transmission, but owners everywhere are up in arms over the 8-speed. The unit has several issues such as banging into gear, delayed shifts and an illuminated check engine light.”

15 Nightmare: 2018 GMC Canyon

via edmunds.com

Considering that the 2018 GMC Canyon is a recent model, it is fairly surprising that the truck has already been the subject of one recall. Moreover, there are also five filed complaints on this truck, according to the NHTSA.

The recall on the 2018 Canyon concerns the truck’s fuel systems. According to the report summary, “The high-pressure fuel pump may detach from its mounting flange, possibly resulting in the pump damaging the high-pressure fuel line.” Meanwhile, the complaints on the 2018 Canyon concern steering and the truck’s power train.

14 Nightmare: 2018 Ford F-150

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Unfortunately, the 2018 Ford F-150 has already logged as many as 202 complaints. Moreover, it has also been the subject of one investigation and eight recalls.

Majority of the complaints concern the truck’s engine. One 2019 complaint read, “On Jan 25th, 27th and 29th a "malfunction indicator lamp - regulatory' light went on, and at the same time there was a warning of 'reduce power' the truck power results in a reduction of speed to 10-20 mph. This happens at speed, 60-70mph on the freeway, to 10-20 mph. Fortunately, I was able to get off the road.”

13 Nightmare: 2019 Chevrolet Colorado

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It seems that not everyone is happy when it comes to the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado. According to one review posted on Edmunds, “Stay away from the V-6 with the 8-speed transmission, there are problems with the torque converter shuddering!!! GM to date has no known repair for this issue.”

Meanwhile, a complaint with the NHTSA remarked, “While driving at different speeds I get a bad vibration. I have read where a lot of people have this problem with the Colorado. Dealer says to wait for a recall.”

12 Nightmare: 2019 Ford Ranger

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Earlier this year, Ford Motor Company decided to do a recall for the 2019 Ford Ranger which affected as many as 3,500 units in Canada and the US.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the recall is being done due to an issue with the truck’s wiring. In a statement, Ford further explained, “In the affected vehicles, the PRNDL bezel wiring may interfere with the shifter interlock override, preventing the shifter from locking in the park position and allowing the driver to shift the transmission out of the park with the vehicle off and without a foot on the brake pedal.”

11 Dream: 2010 Nissan Frontier

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If you happen to be in the market for a used truck, one of the most ideal models to consider is the 2010 Nissan Frontier. It may not be a full-size truck, but the Frontier still has a pretty impressive towing capacity. In fact, according to The Car Connection, its rating goes all the way up to 6,500 pounds.

For the 2010 Frontier, you get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that can deliver as much as 152 horsepower. If you happen to need more power, you can look for a variant 4.0-liter V6 engine. This one can readily deliver 261 horsepower.

10 Dream: 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE

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The 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE is another used truck that would be a dream to have even today. In fact, the 2014 Sierra 1500 has a 4.4 rating from drivers on the website cars.com. Moreover, as many as 84 percent of drivers recommend the car, giving it high scores for comfort, reliability, performance, interior design and exterior styling.

Under the hood, you get a 4.3-liter V6 base engine that can deliver as much as 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. In addition, the SLE trim features remote keyless entry, heated mirrors, first row LCD monitors and 17” aluminum wheels.

9 Dream: 2015 Ram 1500 SLT

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As far as used truck models go, the 2015 Ram 1500 SLT comes highly rated. In fact, according to the U.S. News & World Report, this truck ranks fourth among all the 2015 full-size pickup trucks.

Under the hood, is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that can deliver up to 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, the SLT trim features a chrome exterior trim, power accessories, dual gloveboxes, heated mirrors, satellite radio, Bluetooth phone, a 5-inch touchscreen interface, an overhead console, and more.

8 Dream: 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT

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Today, you can get a pretty good deal on a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT. In fact, according to U.S. News & World Report, the average price paid for this model range between $20,500 to $38,288.

For the LT trim, you get a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that can crank out as much as 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, other features of this truck trim include a tailgate damper, steering wheel with audio controls, alloy wheels, an upgraded driver information display and LED headlights.

7 Dream: 2017 Ram 1500 SLT

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The 2017 Ram 1500 SLT is another used truck that has received pretty solid ratings and reviews over the years.

Under the hood of the 2017 Ram 1500 SLT is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that can deliver as much as 305 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 269 pound-feet of torque at 4,175 rpm. On the highway, it has an estimated fuel efficiency rating of 25 miles per gallon. Meanwhile, standard to this trim are features such as keyfob remote keyless entry for all doors, cruise control with steering wheel controls, dashboard storage, two USB ports and more.

6 Dream: 2017 Toyota Tacoma

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The 2017 Toyota Tacoma is another used truck that is worth the money due to its easy handling and reasonable performance.

Under its hood is a standard 3.5-liter V6 engine that can deliver as much as 278 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 265 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm. Moreover, it has a maximum towing capacity of 6,400 pounds. Standard to the 2017 Tacoma are several convenience and comfort features such as power steering, an overhead console with storage, rear view camera, keyless ignition and more.

5 Dream: 2017 Ford F-150

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Aside from the Toyota Tacoma and Ram 1500, the Ford F-150 truck also boasts of a pretty impressive 2017 model.

For the 2017 F-150, you get three engine options. First up is the 3.5-liter V6 engine that can produce as much as 282 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. Next, you can also go for the 2.7-liter twin turbo V6 engine that can deliver up to 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque. Finally, there’s the 5.0-liter V6 engine that can crank out 385 horses and 387 pound-feet of torque.

4 Dream: 2018 Honda Ridgeline

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The 2018 Honda Ridgeline is another good choice if you are in the market for a used pickup truck.

Under the hood, you get a 3.5-liter V6 engine that can deliver as much as 280 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 262 pound-feet of torque at 4,700 rpm. Meanwhile, this truck has an estimated fuel economy rating of 19 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway. As for comfort and convenience features, the 2018 Ridgeline comes equipped with a back-up camera, cruise control, keyless entry, keyless start, power steering, auto-off headlights and more.

3 Dream: 2018 Chevrolet Colorado

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Another used truck that would be worth your money is the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado. According to Chevrolet, this comes with a relatively affordable starting price of $20,200.

Under the hood of the 2018 Colorado is a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that can deliver up to 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. Aside from this, there is also an option for a 3.6-liter V6 engine that can crank out as much as 308 horses and 275 pound-feet of torque. Even better, it has a towing capability of up to 7,000 pounds.

2 Dream: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado

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As far as new models go, the 2019 Chevrolet All-New Silverado comes highly recommended.

For the 2019 Silverado, you get several engine choices. First is the 2.7-liter turbo engine with active fuel management that delivers 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque. There is also the 4.3-liter engine with an output of 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque as well as the 5.3-liter V8 engine that can produce 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. If you’re looking for more power, you can opt for the 6.2-liter V8 engine that can deliver 420 horses and 460 pound-feet of torque.

1 Dream: 2019 Ram 1500

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The 2019 Ram 1500 is another brand-new truck model that would be a dream to own.

For the 2019 Ram 1500, you get two engine choices. First up is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that can deliver as much as 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. Moreover, it provides a towing capacity of 7,730 pounds. Meanwhile, there is the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine that can crank out 395 horses and 410 pound-feet of torque. This comes with a towing capacity of 11,610. With the eTorque system though, this capacity goes up to 12,750 pounds.

Sources - NHTSA, Edmunds, The Car Connection, U.S. News & World Report, Cars.com, Lemberg Law & Detroit Free Press

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