2015 Vehicle Dependability Study: Most Dependable Trucks
By Christian Wardlaw, February 27, 2015
J.D. Power annually surveys thousands of original owners of 3-year-old vehicles in order to collect data pertaining to design- and defect-related problems as the vehicles have aged. The result of this effort is the Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), and based on this owner feedback J.D. Power formulates Power Circle Ratings to provide a consumer-friendly reflection of the data that can be used during the vehicle research process.
This Most Dependable Trucks guide highlights those models that receive a Power Circle Rating of 4, 4.5, or 5 out of a possible 5 for overall vehicle dependability after three years of ownership.
2012 Chevrolet Avalanche
Half pickup truck, half SUV, the Chevrolet Avalanche carries up to 6 people and has a rear cab wall that can be removed to expand cargo capacity into the passenger cabin. In 2012, the Avalanche added standard trailer sway control and hill-start assist technology, and a new hard-drive navigation radio was optional. The LT trim level gained standard heated front seats and the LTZ came with a standard heated steering wheel.
The 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.
2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Every version of the 2012 Chevy Silverado 1500 full-size pickup truck came with newly standard trailer sway control, hill-start assist, and cruise control. New colors, new trim treatments, new 20-in. chrome aluminum wheels, and new special-edition versions of the truck also debuted for 2012, and the LTZ trim level added heated and ventilated front seats. A hard-drive navigation radio also became available for the Silverado LTZ, and a new OnStar Remote Link app could be downloaded to a Silverado owner's smartphone.
The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4.5 out of 5.
2012 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD/3500HD
One year after a redesign, Chevrolet made additional changes to its full-size heavy-duty pickup truck in 2012. Maximum towing and payload capacities increased, and the 6.0-liter V-8 engine became E85-compatible. The basic Work Truck model gained standard equipment, a Z71 Appearance package debuted, and a hard-drive navigation radio was a new option. Owners could put a new OnStar Remote Link app on their smartphones, and the LTZ version could be optioned with heated and ventilated front seats. Enhanced color and wheel choices, and expanded availability of side-impact and curtain air bags, also accompanied the Silverado HD into the 2012 model year.
The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado HD receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5, and is the top-ranked Large Heavy Duty Pickup in the 2015 VDS.
2012 GMC Sierra 1500
GMC freshened its light-duty full-size Sierra 1500 pickup truck for 2012. Basic versions of the Sierra gained standard cruise control, and all trim levels included trailer sway control and hill-start assist. The top-of-the-line Denali version gained a reversing camera, heated steering wheel, and heated and ventilated front seats as standard equipment. A set of new 20-in. aluminum wheels debuted, and a new hard-drive navigation radio was offered for the SLT and Denali trim levels.
The 2012 GMC Sierra 1500 receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5, and is the top-ranked model in the Large Light Duty Pickup segment of the 2015 VDS.
2012 Honda Ridgeline
Based on the same set of mechanicals as the Honda Pilot crossover SUV, the Honda Ridgeline is a midsize, 5-passenger crew cab pickup featuring a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and a 4-wheel-drive system that can be locked into a 50:50 front-to-rear power split at lower speeds. It offers a dual-action tailgate design and a unique in-bed trunk beneath the cargo floor. For 2012, a new Sport trim level debuted, and slight styling changes yielded an increase in highway fuel economy.
The 2012 Honda Ridgeline receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5, and is the top-ranked model in the Midsize Pickup segment of the 2015 VDS.
2012 Nissan Frontier
A midsize pickup truck employing rugged body-on-frame construction, the Nissan Frontier was offered in extended cab and crew cab body styles, with a 4-cylinder or a V-6 engine, and rear- or 4-wheel drive. In 2012, stability control became standard and a new Sport Appearance option package debuted.
The 2012 Nissan Frontier receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.
2012 Ram 1500
Ram's full-size, light-duty pickup truck saw few changes for 2012, aside from the addition of a Mossy Oak trim package with camouflage-style accents. Three cab styles, a selection of powertrains, and multiple trim levels delivered plenty of choice to Ram 1500 pickup buyers.
The 2012 Ram 1500 receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4.5 out of 5.
2012 Toyota Tacoma
The largest of the midsize pickup trucks, the 2012 Toyota Tacoma received a cosmetic freshening inside and out, with revised styling, new colors, new interior materials, and a revised control layout. Buyers could choose from three cab styles, a 4-cylinder or a V-6 engine, and several trim packages. A 4-wheel-drive system was an option.
The 2012 Toyota Tacoma receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.
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