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Most Reliable 3-Year-Old Trucks That You Can Buy Right Now

Here’s the latest from Consumer Reports on two models of used pickup trucks you should consider from 2020 that proved to be exceptional when it came to reliability and repairs.


Used Trucks Recommended by Consumer Reports

Earlier articles that proved to be popular ones with truck shoppers included one about Chevy Trucks to Buy and Not Buy Explained by a Chevrolet Mechanic; and, one titled “Why You Should Look at a Used Silverado Before Considering Buying a New Model.”

In addition, to those two articles, a third followed based on the research of the good folks at Consumer Reports who did the number crunching and survey analysis with an article titled “New Listing of This Year’s Trucks Buyers Liked and Disliked After Buying.”

Today, however, CR automotive analysts came out with their latest recommended selection of used 3-year-old vehicles, of which there are two pickup truck recommendations from 2020 that can prove to be helpful for the truck shopper focused on buying a lightly used truck without the new truck pricing.

Related article on some older used truck models: Consumer Reports Lists What's New in Small Pickup Trucks

However, there’s more to gain from a 3-year-old truck (or any vehicle for that matter) than just pricing. According to CR analysts. “Three-year-old models are attractive because most leases are for three years. That means many of these cars have low miles, and because the lessor had to keep the car in good condition, the vehicles are likely to have been maintained properly and have interiors that were treated well.”

As such, their focus is to provide a new guide to help you find sedans, SUVs and trucks that are the most reliable and least likely to bog your budget down with expensive repairs.

Related article: Mechanic Talks Candidly About the Best Used Car You Should Not Buy

As always with this site and some repeated advice from CR analysts about their listings: “Make sure to have the one you’re considering thoroughly inspected by a certified mechanic before you sign on the dotted line.”

That said, here is a summary of their recommendations toward buying a used truck:

Most Reliable Used Pickup Trucks from 2020

2020 Toyota Tacoma

Price Range: $24,250 - $40,725
Owner Reported MPG: 20 mpg

Overall truck summary: Available in either a 3.5-liter V6 engine with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic or a 2.7-liter model with a five-speed stick shift, the Tacoma rightfully earns its description as a “rough-and-tumble” pickup truck that “…delivers impressive off-road prowess.”

CR analysts stated that, “Our 4WD V6 Tacoma delivered a good 19 mpg overall,” however they also point out that it is a primitive ride with stiff handling and a very loud cabin.

Safety features: FCW, AEB with pedestrian detection, and LDW are standard, but BSW and RCTW are optional.

Related Tacoma articles:

Toyota Tacoma Common Problems to Watch Out for Explained by This Toyota Expert

No Panic Problem Common to This Toyota Engine

2020 Toyota Tundra

Price Range: $32,025 - $46,150
Owner Reported MPG: 15 mpg

Overall truck summary: According to CR analysts, “The Tundra’s biggest advantage is its consistent superior reliability,” but also point out that a big draw of choosing a Tundra is that it is similar in towing and payload capabilities compared to large 1/2-ton trucks from Chevrolet, Ford, and Ram.

Our favorite engine choice is the rewardingly powerful 5.7-liter V8; thus equipped, the Tundra can tow around 10,000 pounds. Mated with a smooth and responsive six-speed automatic, we measured a competitive 15 mpg from this engine. Smaller available V6 and V8 engines are also smooth, but are less powerful.”

Cons to this vehicle like the Tacoma is a noisy interior and less refined driving and handling.

Safety features: FCW, AEB, and LDW are standard.

Related Tundra articles:

Important Toyota Tundra Recall Warning from Consumer Reports Could Save Your Child’s Life

Toyota Tundra Warning About Its Engine Change

And finally…

For additional articles about buying used vehicles, here are some apt warnings on what to look out for:

The Best Used Car Deals Mechanics Recommend Against Buying

This 2023 Toyota is the Last Ultra Reliable Truck-Like SUV You Can Buy Today

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

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