Reliability. That’s a word drivers regularly use when they start shopping for a new vehicle.
Whether you’re in the market for a sedan or truck, maintenance should be a simple process, with the potential for major issues to be kept at a minimum. Which is better?
Truck drivers will argue you can get more longevity from a truck. Drivers that prefer family cars focus their attention on four-door vehicles. Is one more reliable than the other?
What is reliability?
Reliability is defined as: the quality of being trustworthy or performing consistently well.
If you look at Consumer Reports, they attain reliability demographics by surveying members each year. In 2021, they received data on over 300,000 vehicles from 2000 and 2021 models. They track any problems with the vehicle that resulted in a repair bill, including warranty work.
If you ask drivers what they want from a reliable vehicle, they most likely want:
- A car that doesn’t break down.
- A vehicle where every repair is an expensive transaction that’s difficult to budget for.
- A car that’s difficult to troubleshoot – every issue requires digging deep to find the root cause.
Reliability is most likely tied to the biggest components of a vehicle:
- The engine
- The transmission
- The braking system
- The electronic system (computer)
Adding motor oil to a vehicle is an inexpensive, routine maintenance item we expect. A blown transmission or a failing brake system could cost thousands of dollars, depending on what the problem is.
What’s more reliable, sedans or trucks?
Every driver would have their own opinion on this, but a site called iSeeCars analyzed over 14.9 million cars sold in 2021 to determine the most reliable vehicle on the road, with the highest percentage reaching over 200,000 miles. Their findings included nine SUVs, three pickup trucks, two minivans, one sedan, and one hybrid hatchback rounding out the top fifteen.
Keep in mind that these vehicles were pushed for testing purposes. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average person puts on 14,263 miles per year. It would take you over 14 years to reach the 200,000 mark.
What should you consider?
Trucks and sedans are built differently. Therefore their required general maintenance will be on a different schedule as well.
Whether you own a truck or a sedan, preventative care and maintenance are key for extending lifespan. If you want a long-lasting car, being regular with fluid checks and inspection visits will ensure you get a full life from your vehicle.
Frequency of maintenance – Every model will have its own guidelines for inspecting and replacing different parts on a car. For oil changes, most manufacturers recommend a sedan be serviced every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, while a truck can wait up to 7,500 miles. Tires for a truck or built for hauling and pulling more weight. Tires for a sedan are built for performance, and tend to wear out more quickly. If you’re debating between two specific vehicles, you can compare guidelines posted by each manufacturer to help you finalize your decision.
Parts – if you’re planning on owning your vehicle for years, you can consider how easily you’ll be able to replace parts as they wear down, and how expensive they will be. After-market parts give you a chance to replace worn out parts with a comparable product that is more competitive and cost-effective. Trucks are designed to accept after-market products easily, so there’s almost always a way to fit a repair into your budget. Depending on the sedan you select, that might not always be the case. Specialty cars like BMW and Audi often require specific services to keep the sedan updated. That can make upgrading or replacing parts more expensive.
Drivability – when you look at the suspension system of the two, a pickup truck offers higher ground clearance. They also have an increased suspension system to lessen the effects of the road. That’s why pickup trucks are more comfortable and safer for off-roading. Sedans are meant for comfort. They sit lower to the road and have built-in suspension parts to add to the comfort of your drive. Manufacturers get very specific with the way they build sedan suspension systems. Tires, shocks and struts, and the necessary parts attached to the suspension system can be fine-tuned to offer you greater performance.
Engine – another part of life expectancy is through engine performance. With a simpler system and fewer parts, it’s easier to maintain. A standard pickup truck is usually going to have a straightforward engine compartment where fewer things can go wrong. With a sedan, manufacturers install all kinds of features to improve performance. With a turbo or supercharger, the parts can be more fragile and complicated, which can also make them more unreliable in the long run. If it’s harder to get replacement parts, you might be without your vehicle longer while it’s being repaired.
Comfort – what are you looking for in a vehicle? Do you want something to haul kids to and from school and activities every day of the week? Are you looking for a vehicle to get you around town? Or are you looking for something to take into the mountains each weekend, satisfying your desire to get away from it all? Trucks are made for hauling. If you wish to tow your boat, camper, or trailer to take advantage of all Colorado has to offer, a truck may be the perfect choice. Sedans work better for urban driving, when comfort and safety are your biggest concerns.
Maintenance – for whatever vehicle you drive, maintaining it will ensure you get the longest life possible from the moment you drive it away from the lot. The key to longevity is being on top of the maintenance schedule established by your car’s manufacturer. It starts with small things like oil changes and rotating the tires. It continues with inspecting the major systems – i.e. brakes, transmission, suspension – regularly to ensure they are in good working condition. Be proactive with your maintenance and your car will be there for you.
What will you pick – sedan or truck?
Luckily, there’s a place for both sedans and trucks in our lives. In fact, many families choose to have both to take care of all their needs.
Whatever you drive, with a regular maintenance schedule, you’ll ensure it lasts for years.
How can we help you keep your vehicle in top condition?