By on February 26, 2007

24_07tundracrewmax.jpgTwenty-six summers ago I arrived in San Antonio, Texas. I quickly surmised that the pickup truck was River City residents’ favored mode of transport– preferably with an occupied gun rack. These pickup-driving Hill Country Texans worshiped at the altar of one of two churches: Chevy or Ford. Since those simple days of my youth, the rules of the game have changed. That community, so steeped in American pickup truck tradition, is now the production site for the all-new 2007 Tundra. Question: is Toyota’s big rig good enough to pry the keys out of the hands of F150, Silverado, and Ram-loving Americans?

Toyota’s empire is built on low-risk (i.e. bland) styling. If inoffensiveness is an indicator of success, the Tundra is destined for greatness. Critics have correctly observed that the new Toyota looks a lot like the last generation Ford F-Series, with a tri-ovate ‘T’ embossed on the grille. Everything from the front light clusters and aerodynamic-ish hood to the general proportions smack of Dearborn’s influence.

22_07tundracrewmax.jpgNot that looking like a Ford pickup truck is such a bad idea. After all, Nissan’s bold Titan tanked. On the other hand, the daring redesign of the Dodge Ram back in ‘93, offering a semi truck inspired front-end, ignited a market penetrating sales explosion from just 100k to 400,000 units in a little over six years. Just sayin’.

The Tundra’s interior is a far cry from the snug, tightly engineered cockpit that typifies Toyotas. In strict accordance with its American competition, the Tundra’s cabin is cavernous– in the Carlsbad sense of the word. In fact, a [hands free] cell phone might come in handy for inter-passenger communication. And one of those top shelf grabbing gizmos could help with tuning the radio and adjusting the HVAC controls.

34_07tundracrewmax.jpgOur tester’s deeply cushioned seats were covered with [optional] textured cowhide. Depending on the package, the design features a mishmash of contrasting light and dark toned plastics, faux aluminum and an overabundance of fake wood. By froufrou European standards, Tundra’s inner styling is couture désastre. But it ain’t pink, so it’s good to go.

The new Tundra comes in three engine configs. The underpowered 4.0-liter 236 horse V6 EPA’s at 17/20mpg. The entirely adequate 4.7-liter 271hp V8 clocks in at 15/18 mpg. Both of these mills use a five-speed tranny (a cog more than the Silverado). The third option, a free-revving 5.7-liter i-FORCE cast aluminum block V8, musters-up 381hp and 401 ft.-lbs. of tire vaporizing torque. That bad boy– most likely the most popular powerplant– gets a six-speed and sucks fuel at 16/20 mpg. 

56_07tundracrewmax.jpgA 4×4 double cab fitted with the 5.7 skedaddles from nil to 60 in just 6.3 seconds. As insane as that sounds/is, drag times do not do this mechanical jewel justice. As the TV ad testifies, the Tundra blasts through 40 to 80mph with astounding alacrity. It has enough oomph to humiliate HEMI’s, vanquish Vortec’s, trounce Tritons and fell Titans. Thankfully, the Tundra has Texas-sized brakes– you'll need 'em.

To make the beast handle, Toyota deploys standard 18” wheels, low-pressure nitrogen shocks, a coil-spring double wishbone independent front suspension and a multi-leaf live axle rear end– all to ill effect. The Tundra porpoises badly over highway surfaces at middling speeds. The jittery rig is not harsh, but it serves up more action than Anna Nicole Smith (ante-mortem, of course). Through corners, nautical dynamics and howling tires never let you forget that you’re driving a 6’4” tall 5,645lbs truck.

25_07tundracrewmax.jpgTundra buyers choose from 31 engine-bed-cabin variations, with payloads ranging from 1410 to 2060 pounds. She’ll tow up to 10,800 pounds. While that’s best in class, there’s not much else about the way the Tundra goes about the basic business of hauling people and stuff that sets it apart. It’s the details that’ll bedevil Detroit.

Inside the cabin, the ‘tween-the-seats console is big enough to lock down a lap-top. The electric [center] rear window and backup camera makes hitching your wagon (and avoiding your little uns) a breeze. The shock absorber in the tailgate protects hinges and humans alike, and closes with a finger. The XXL door handles are glove friendly. The front frame-integrated tow hooks are rugged and ready. And so on.

18_07tundracrewmax.jpgWhile none of these features are unique to the Tundra, they prove that ToMoCo finally “gets it.”

In 1981, I bought a plaid shirt with pearl snap buttons and cowboy boots. It was a failed effort to integrate into my new San Antonio home. Likewise, moving to San Antonio and donning western duds won’t make the Tundra acceptable to American pickup truck buyers. The Tundra’s success– and it will be successful– will be fueled by Toyota’s marketplace momentum, their obvious commitment to catering to their buyers’ needs and a reputation for reliability.

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114 Comments on “Toyota Tundra Review...”


  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    “their obvious commitment to catering to their buyers’ needs”

    Kinda ties in to Robert’s previous editorial. Something that most companies lately… just don’t get.

  • avatar

    I don’t currently cover pickups on my price comparison site. I haven’t gotten the sense that large pickup buyers look to the Internet for price comparisons and fuel economy information. And entering pricing data for just one of these complex beasties would take more time and effort than entering everything Honda sells.

    But I could be wrong. If you own a large pickup and would like to have such information when shopping for your next one, please let me know.

    http://www.truedelta.com/contact.php

  • avatar

    On the truck itself, I’m not sure the styling is so bland. People on the sites I visit have been quite critical of the front end. I’m not crazy about the grille myself, especially not the fake opening at the top of it.

  • avatar
    partsisparts

    On Toyota’s website was a video of how they made the “Seesaw” commercial. toyota is obviously very proud of it. In the background actually doing the work were many Ford trucks. This was pointed out in The St Louis Courier yesterday. Today the video is off Toyota’s website. It was funny to see, about a half a dozen Fords owned by the guys doing the work all loaded up and they bring in a shiny new Toyota amongst them and run it up this ramp. And still, as they are doing this you see the Fords all loaded up on the ground. All of this was edited for the real commercial. Funny as heck to me. I got a good laugh watching the video.

  • avatar
    bfg9k

    Toyota is spending a hundred MILLION dollars to launch the thing, all in the hopes of selling less than 200,000 trucks. That’s about five grand per customer.

    The initial impression of the success or failure of the new Tundra will be judged by the number of ‘em that are sold in the first year or two, not by the profits made (or not). Once the truck is ‘established’ in the marketplace the marketing will no doubt ease off. Press reports of the truck not selling would be much more expensive than overspending on marketing.

    Don’t forget that Toyota, if their truck doesn’t make the sales they want, will revise the crap out of it for the next iteration. As an example, the Previa -> old Sienna -> new Sienna minivan evolution.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I’m surprised there’s any styling criticism at all. IMHO, this is simply the best looking full-size pickup EVAR. It’s the only one I’d be caught driving…which brings me to my next point:

    There is a whole generation or two out there (let’s call them “X” and “Y”) who believe Toyota can do no wrong. These people have little if any allegiance to domestics. And many of them are getting into travel trailers, boats, and other towables with their growing disposable income. Provided Toyota can speak to the real construction folks, this thing should be a slam dunk.

    Besides, it’s only about as big and heavy as the upcoming 2016 VW Golf ;)

  • avatar
    jaje

    So I wonder for sh!ts and giggles if they put one of the newer Ford Trucks working on that Toyota commercial on that ramp for comparison.

  • avatar
    phil

    I like the ext. styling; it’s the bold aggressive in your face thing that seems to be necessary for these once humble work vehicles. you failed to mention the quality (NOT) of the interior materials. granted i only looked at one truck, it seemed to be a mid level beast with cloth seats but the dash and door panels were that sharp edged flexible crap we know and hate in GM rental cars. and the overall “design” was completely rube goldberg. i was really surprised that the interior, IMO, sucked in comparison to the F150 and probably (haven’t seen yet) the new GM trucks.

  • avatar
    carguy

    While the Toyota badge may not appeal to Chevy and Ford traditionalists, upping the ante in the truck wars will be good for all consumers. What is more troubling is that all truck manufacturers seem more focused on outrageous 0-60 times than getting better fuel economy. That seems to indicate that the ‘recreational’ truck market may not be as dead as first thought. Next they’ll be testing them on the Nurburgring instead of construction sites.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    I wish we had a mathematical definition of “bland,” so that we could make a computational evaluation of a design and agree on whether it was “bland” or not.

    I wouldn’t describe the truck, or any other Toyota as “bland” but that seems the most popular adjective to Toyota styling.

    One man’s bland is another’s “clean,” “liquid,” “smooth,” functional” or even “austere.”

  • avatar
    labrat

    I don’t think Toyota is ‘there’ yet in the full sized truck arena. The new Tundra starts at a higher price point than the domestics, and this may hurt it with the contractors and other small businessmen who only want a stripped down work truck. On the other end of the scale, Toyota (and Nissan) are not offering the super duty trucks that are required for the ‘big job’. This truck does seem competitive in the mid-market ‘urban cowboy’ lifestyle segment, but these are the trendy types who are already moving onto the next big thing as gas prices spike. Also, it must be mentioned that Toyota’s green image is being damaged by vehicles like this, and the environmental activists are noticing. Even with it’s six speed, the Toyota gets worse mileage than the new GMs, and the GMs will soon be adding six speeds and hybrid versions.

    If the big 2.5 can do anything well, it’s trucks. Their owners don’t have problems with them, and have little reason to switch. This Toyota seems to be a nice truck, and sales may grow incrementally, but I don’t think they will be dominating this market just yet.

  • avatar
    ash78

    labrat
    Good point on the base-level aspect of trucks. If I had a dime for every municipal or construction crew’s stripped-down $15k white F-150, I’d have enough dimes to buy one myself.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    labrat: Even with it’s six speed, the Toyota gets worse mileage than the new GMs

    Actually, Chevy’s less powerful 6.0L-engined 4X2 Silverado w/extended cab, the most similar configuration to the 5.7L Tundra I tested, gets slightly worse gas mileage @ 15/19, according to the Feds. It does, however, drive much better – free of the jitters that plague the Toyota.

  • avatar
    LeeAlmighty

    There were Ford Trucks doing all the work because the contracors got a good deal at the fire sale the local dealer was having :)

  • avatar
    cykickspy

    On the styling IMHO this truck looks like the front end of a Ram, the cab of a Silverado, and the bed of a F 150.
    What are your thoughts?

  • avatar
    ejacobs

    labrat, I agree that Toyota will not ‘dominate’ right off the bat, but it will be a slow and steady rise over time. I agree with Ash that generations X and Y will gradually be having more kids, making more money, taking up more expensive hobbies, and buying more toys for themselves and their kids with which to play. As these generations increase in age, so will the sales of big foreign-badged pickups, because (generally speaking, of course) we are more likely to buy a foreign nameplate than older generations. If I went to work with a new Tundra, or even a Titan, most of the staff would ooo and ahh and want to take a ride. I don’t think anyone would care much or even notice if I bought a new Silverado or F-150.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    A couple of quick notes about the Tundra. First, Toyota boasts 75% domestic (US & Canada) content including the engine and transmission. Only 20% of the Tundra is sourced from Japan.

    Second, price. Toyota claims that a base Tundra can be had for about $22k. Good luck finding one. Figure on paying a minimum of $26-$28k. A basic double cab with the sweet 5.7L rings in north of $33K. Be prepared to shell out $40 grand for a loaded model.

  • avatar
    radimus

    I think this truck is going to give GM and Ford some major fits. If GM’s CEO’s are not having Tundra nightmares they should be. Especially if Toyota picks up a few big fleet sales to contractors.

  • avatar
    Sid Vicious

    The current owners of domestic trucks don’t have problems with them? Uhhhhh – OK. I guess spark plugs shooting out of the heads isn’t a problem then. Or totally dis-functional diesel motors. And on and on.

    While fleet buyers like the stripper vehicles, there’s something to be said about the cost of downtime – how much does it hurt for every minute that a truck is not doing what it was bought for. Businesses/govts might find that a Toyota at $23K is a better bargain than a domestic truck at $15. A total cost of ownership thing. In other words, what’s a 150K mile V6 crank window Detroit truck worth at 6 years old? What will the Toyota be worth?

  • avatar
    ejacobs

    Sid Vicious,
    Great point. Although domestic trucks are a relative bright spot for resale value, Toyotas are and always have been through the roof. Compare any similar competing models on the used market, 5, 10, 15 years old: Blazer vs. 4-Runner, Ranger vs. Tacoma, Equinox vs. Highlander, you get the idea. Even the stripper ‘Yotas will be worth a pretty penny years down the road.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Sid Vicious
    I’m not sure residual value matter that much to most fleets, but I could be wrong. Aren’t most vehicles like this on operating leases? So we’d have to assume the lessor actually passes along the depreciation savings to the customer, which could definitely make a $22k truck nearly as cheap (monthly lease expense) as a $15k truck over the same 5-year period. The same could go for ownership, but the monthly finance expense would simply be higher, and many fleet buyers are hand-to-mouth and would take the cheaper payment–I’m thinking about local governments, mostly. Private sector fleet buyers may be a little more astute.

    Something tells me lessors don’t allow for much planned residual value in a $15k domestic truck after 5 years of hard usage.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Michael Karesh: I’m not crazy about the grille myself, especially not the fake opening at the top of it.

    Agreed. Why, oh why, do companies put fake vents on their cars? It looks terrible.

    phil: you failed to mention the quality (NOT) of the interior materials

    Overall, I found the interior appropriately washable and durable for a work truck. The only glaring deficiencies are the vents, which are really flimsy.

  • avatar
    LK

    I’m looking at buying a new ranch truck this year, and at this point the two contenders are the GMC Sierra and the Tundra…and to be perfectly honest, the only reason the Tundra is a competitor is because of the new 5.7L & 6-speed tranny. I certainly wouldn’t buy it for the styling, as I think it has perhaps the worst styling of all the full-size trucks – and it looks even worse in person than it does in pictures. What’s up with that cheap piece of black plastic at the top of the grille? It doesn’t look that bad on darker trucks, but on the light-colored trucks it just looks bizarre.

    Right now the local dealer has 5 of them in stock, but every single one is an extended-cab shortbed…and since I’m looking for a regular-cab longbed, it might be a while before I make my final decision. One thing I’ve learned so far is that Toyota is using their normal system with option packages, and I’m not sure that’s going to over very well with the customers that actually use their trucks for work. The typical work truck has A/C and cruise, and that’s about it…and the only way to get cruise appears to be to order the SR5 package, just like on the Tacoma. So, this makes an already expensive truck even more expensive, and the price difference might be enough that the Tundra isn’t even an option for some fleet buyers.

    Plus, while the mileage is on par with the Titan and F-150, it’s lower than the new GM trucks…and while 2mpg might not seem like a lot, it’s quite a bit when you’re talking about full-size trucks. I’m curious what the new ’08 ratings will be, but GM’s trucks typically match (or even beat) their highway EPA estimate…so I expect that their highway estimate won’t drop very much with the new ratings. BTW, I’m talking about mileage with the larger of the two available V8s (5.3L GM vs. 5.7L Toyota) – there really isn’t any point to getting the smaller engines, since they don’t get any better mileage. GM has the larger 6L, but that’s available only on a couple configurations and is unlikely to be in a real work truck.

    Also, the payload on the Tundra is pretty low…while it’s decent on the regular-cab trucks (2065 lbs.), when you go to the extended-cab it drops quite a bit (to under 1700 lbs). So, that’ll also limit how many folks buy the truck…especially if they tow 5th-wheel trailers. It might be rated to tow over 10,000 pounds, but you’ll never be able to tow that large a 5th-wheel because you’ll exceed the truck’s payload. A 5th-wheel trailer usually has 20% of it’s weight on the tongue, so a 10,000 pound trailer would have a 2,000 pound tongue weight – more than the extended-cab can carry, and even more than the regular-cab (unless the driver weighs less than 65 pounds and has no passengers or gear). To be fair, I should point out that the payload of the GM/Dodge is no higher than that of the Tundra…but you can move up to a 3/4-ton in those brands. The Ford is the exception for half-tons, with a payload about 1000 pounds higher in their longbed models. Toyota’s really pushing the high tow ratings of the Tundra, but in the real world most 10,000 pound trailers are either gooseneck or 5th-wheel…so the payload becomes the limiting factor.

    Also, let me be the first to say that the Tundra looks *nothing* like the prevous-generation F-150…I don’t know where people came up with that idea. The advantage of the prev-gen F150 was that it had a low, sloping hood that provided good front visibility…the Tundra has a much higher hood and horrible visibility. They might look somewhat like each other in pictures, but park the two next to each other and you’ll see a drastic difference.

  • avatar
    tom

    With the Tundra, Toyota has similar problems as the domestics have with some of their cars.

    It’s good enough to keep up with the competition, but it doesn’t blow it away. Why should any F150 owner trade his vehicle for a Tundra?

    On top of that, image means more to the average truck owner. I mean that’s why they drive one in the first place, hardly any truck is used for work anyway. And Toyota is pretty much the Anti-Christ for a lot of potential truck buyers.

    That’s why I don’t think that the Tundra will take off. The points made in the review will definately be enough to attract some additional customers, but it won’t be enough to turn the truck market upside-down.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    All the pundits are saying that the Tundra is the death knell for GM and Toyota. But Toyota is only adding about 80K in sales vs. the previous version. And most of that will come from Ram and Titan.

    As William pointed out, the Ram added 300K in sales when it came out with the big truck look, and Ford and GM did fine.

    The issue for Ford and Chevy is whether Toyota continues to increase sales over time. Long term, that is a problem.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    From the fake hood scoop in the grille (in the grille?) to the bisecting line of aluminum on the center stack, the Tundra is ugly inside and out. The interior has the right details, but it looks like its only good for a focus group. I doubt contractors and the like really need that many storage nooks.

    But hey, kudos to them for trying. For people who don’t care much for styling will certainly get a kick outta that 5.7L.

    So Bill, you think Toyota should have boxed the entire frame like Ford and Chevy? Sounds like it from the review.

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    …from nil to 60 in just 6.3 seconds. As insane as that sounds/is, drag times do not do this mechanical jewel justice. As the TV ad testifies, the Tundra blasts through 40 to 80mph with astounding alacrity…

    This freaks me out. Its one thing to be surrounded by giant vehicles when you’re driving a car. But when the giant vehicles accelerate as fast as a sports car, things get hairy.

    I regularly see powerful pickups and SUVs going waay too fast around exit ramps & on twisty roads like Boston’s Storrow Drive. The ante keeps getting upped (I really need to chip my VW…) but these monsters aren’t handling any better as they get quicker and quicker.

  • avatar
    Turbo G

    Look at the numbers guys. They are only trying to sell 200,000 of these things. That’s a small fraction of the total F-series or GM twins full size offerings. I think they will sell their 200,000 without any real trouble and at a price a lot closer to MSRP than our fire sale,financed to any body with a pulse domestic friends.

  • avatar
    JJ

    Like I said before once, I don’t see the Tundra be a huge succes. Sure, they’ll sell enough of them to make the Big 2.5 hurt a little, but ultimately, I don’t think the Tundra is what Toyota is about.

    Besides that, I think the styling is as bland though still ugly as on most Toyotas. Look at the rims for instance, I think they don’t work. It’s like they took some small car rim design and just made it bigger. They look like some plastic wheel caps from the local budget auto parts store…(whatever that’s called in the US).

    I’m not so sure about Toyotas image with Gen X and Gen Y mentioned above. Being 21 I figure I belong to Gen X and I don’t like Toyota at all. I never heard any of my friends and younger family members say anything positive about Toyota either. Then again, I can’t imagine someone would because they’re so bland and also, I live in Europe, so it’s entirely possible there are some cultural or market differences that lead Americans towards Toyota…like the BIG 2.5′s performance over there and the absence of a lot of brands/particular cars.

  • avatar
    gotsmart

    I was at the Canadian International Auto Show last week and had the opportunity to sit in the Tundra and compare it with the latest offerings from Dodge, Ford, GM and Nissan.

    The exterior styling is bold and modern, with the wheels shoved far out to the corners, which looks especially futuristic on the extended-cab long-bed version. I don’t know how anyone could call the styling “bland” or “based on the F-150″. The last Tundra was bland and inoffensive. The new one looks serious and mean. Its design is way more in-your-face with a menacing grille that looks like an old Cylon Centurion-meets-ED-209 (from Robocop). Okay, i’m a science-fiction geek.

    On the inside, the functionality and ergonomics are fantastic. And i thought the materials used were at least as good, if not better than all of the competitors’ trucks, even GM’s two new interior options on its trucks. It’s clean, spacious and modern.

    What’s more, the extended-cab model has a more usable rear seat than any of the others’ quad-cab configurations, with a VERY usable floor space with the back seats folded up.

    Toyota means business, and its competitors had better be scared. The new Tundra seems far more sophisticated and heavy-duty than everything else out there in its class. It’ll be interesting to see if they offer a diesel version or an up-rated “heavy duty” variant.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    People, people … do some research. First off, the 5.7L equipped Tundras get better fuel economy than the 6.0L equipped GM trucks. No ifs, ands, or buts.

    As for finding a new Tundra for 22K, I don’t need any luck. A lot of dealers are selling the truck below MSRP, and many are selling near or at invoice. The bigger question is can you find a 6.0L equipped GM truck for 24K – 25K? Because one can easily get a 5.7L equipped Tundra for that price. Some of you mention that the Tundra does not beat the competition, merely matches it. One really amazing thing for the Tundra is that you can get that 5.7L + 6 speed combo on any configuration. Same can’t be said for GM’s 6.0L, or 6.2L V8. Plus, all 5.7L models are very competitively priced when compared to competing big engine trucks.

    As for super-cheap stripper models, Toyota obviously isn’t focusing on that. Most of those sales go to government agencies or fleet group buyers. Very few of those sales go to retail customers. Toyota’s main goal is to change perception among retail customers, namely ranch owners, or F150 owners who also happen to have a Camry. Toyota has also publicly stated they priced the Tundra a bit higher to avoid any potential backlash that they are hurting the Big 3.

    Marketing-wise, Toyota is making a huge effort in terms of grassroots marketing. At a lot of rodeos, state fairs, and country concerts, the new Tundra will be appearing. This is the biggest marketing push Toyota has ever done in North America. That is what should be cause for concern for Detroit automakers.

    Don’t forget when the Ram redesign hit in the 90s, the truck market was expanding. Now, the market is declining, and with the new Tundra and GM trucks, it will at best stagnate. Likely it will continue to decline, with rising gas prices. Ford has publicly announced more incentives on the F-Series, and there has been a fire sale on the Ram for months. GM may add incentives to their new trucks in order to keep sales up. In a declining market, the Tundra’s gains will come directly from “Detroit 3″ conquest buyers.

    On Toyota’s website was a video of how they made the “Seesaw” commercial. toyota is obviously very proud of it. In the background actually doing the work were many Ford trucks. This was pointed out in The St Louis Courier yesterday. Today the video is off Toyota’s website. It was funny to see, about a half a dozen Fords owned by the guys doing the work all loaded up and they bring in a shiny new Toyota amongst them and run it up this ramp. And still, as they are doing this you see the Fords all loaded up on the ground. All of this was edited for the real commercial. Funny as heck to me. I got a good laugh watching the video.

    What’s really funny is that the video is still up at http://www.toyota.com plain and clear for all to see , so I’m having trouble figuring out what point you were trying to make.

    So Bill, you think Toyota should have boxed the entire frame like Ford and Chevy? Sounds like it from the review.

    The GMT-800 frame was not fully boxed, and did that have a jittery ride? I’ve driven the new Tundra myself, and while the ride isn’t a clear class leader, it’s still quite good, especially with some load in the bed, and when towing.

    Also nobody mentioned that the Tundra’s frame design may be a hint at future model variations, like an HD model.

  • avatar
    Crash80

    Not to go off topic but I have to ask, is this the Bill Montgomery from the Carver? OK, back to trucks!

  • avatar
    ejacobs

    JJ, yeah I’m sure it’s a very different climate here in the states, but especially in Colorado, where I live. I’m not a truck guy, but most younger people with trucks and SUVs seem to prefer Toyotas and Nissans–they seem to have a sportier image here.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    The GMT-800 frame was not fully boxed, and did that have a jittery ride?

    Of course it did.

    Truck NVH standards were clearly re-written with the latest Ford and Chevy frames.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Sajeev: So Bill, you think Toyota should have boxed the entire frame like Ford and Chevy? Sounds like it from the review.

    Yes, Toyota utilizes C-section rear frame members to save weight. This configuration flexes more than F-150 or Silverado, which use fully boxed frames. This is likely to blame for the sub-par ride.

    I read another review that dismisses the poor ride as typical of full-sized pickups. I disagree. As soon as I turned in my test vehicle, I made a b-line for the Chevy dealership and drove an ’07 Silverado down some of the same roads that the Tundra handled so poorly. The Chevy’s ride was comparatively flawless.

  • avatar

    KixStart:
    I wish we had a mathematical definition of “bland,” so that we could make a computational evaluation of a design and agree on whether it was “bland” or not.

    I wouldn’t describe the truck, or any other Toyota as “bland” but that seems the most popular adjective to Toyota styling.

    One man’s bland is another’s “clean,” “liquid,” “smooth,” functional” or even “austere.”

    I’m all for mathematical definitions, but in this case, I think something is bland when you can’t immediately tell what it is. And bland is different from “clean,” “Smooth,” “functional,” etc, although several of these adjectives can apply t o the same vehicle, although I would much less associae austere, functional, or clean with bland than the other adjectives. Nonetheless, of those Toyotas badged “Toyota,” as op to scion or lexus, bland is the first adjective I’d apply.

    But Toyota definitely knows how to do other than bland, as evidenced by the xB, which is loaded ewith personality. And the xB is also relatively clean. In fact, one of the reasons a lot of people love the xB styling and hate the Element, despite the similarity in shape, is that the xB is clean, and the element is oh so busy. Pontiac could have designed the element.

    Oh, this was an article about trucks? Right. I guess I veered way off topic.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Crash80: Not to go off topic but I have to ask, is this the Bill Montgomery from the Carver?

    I don’t know what you are talking about, so I guess not.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    First off those hauling and towing numbers are ridiculously low for anybody who wants to use a truck for work. Even though I don’t use my truck as part of my job, I do have occasion to haul compost, lumber, etc. for home projects. I can’t imagine doing this on a regular basis-as you might expect for a contractor’s truck for instance-while being limited to under 1 ton. It doesn’t take many 4×4′s, concrete blocks, etc. before you reach 1 ton. Second, while I am not up on mpg and power numbers for trucks in general, it seems rather odd that the larger more powerful V8 has a lower EPA mileage rating than the base V8. What gives?

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I read another review that dismisses the poor ride as typical of full-sized pickups. I disagree. As soon as I turned in my test vehicle, I made a b-line for the Chevy dealership and drove an ’07 Silverado down some of the same roads that the Tundra handled so poorly. The Chevy’s ride was comparatively flawless.

    You’re absolutely right, poor ride is a thing of the past. Now its only poor by car standards. :-)

    I drove the Chevy and Ford, and its obvious that their big-ass frames were a huge improvement over older models.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    Yes, Toyota utilizes C-section rear frame members to save weight. This configuration flexes more than F-150 or Silverado, which use fully boxed frames. This is likely to blame for the sub-par ride.

    I read another review that dismisses the poor ride as typical of full-sized pickups. I disagree. As soon as I turned in my test vehicle, I made a b-line for the Chevy dealership and drove an ’07 Silverado down some of the same roads that the Tundra handled so poorly. The Chevy’s ride was comparatively flawless.

    I’m interested then to know what your response would be to other reviews of the Tundra out there that said the ride was good, even when the truck was loaded or towing a heavy load.

    Most reviews out there, and myself, put the Tundra’s ride quality as 2nd behind the new GM trucks. Certainly, the new Tundra has a better ride than the F150 or the Titan, and both of those are fully boxed.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Lumbergh21: it seems rather odd that the larger more powerful V8 has a lower EPA mileage rating than the base V8. What gives?

    An extra cog in the transmission. The 4.7L V8 has a 5-speed gearbox while the 5.7L gets an all-new 6-speed.

  • avatar
    LK

    Johnson: Realistically, you should be comparing the 5.7L with the GM 5.3L – not the 6.0L. Finding a GM half-ton with the 6.0L is nearly impossible, because most dealers don’t even bother to stock it – because if you’re going to buy that, you might as well just get the 3/4-ton…and the diesel. Plus, as I mentioned, it’s only available on a couple of different configurations. Of the 100+ GM trucks I’ve looked at on lots, I’ve only seen one with the “VortecMAX” package that includes the 6.0L.

    Toyota’s predicting their biggest seller will be the 5.7L, and GM’s biggest seller is the 5.3L – so it only makes sense to compare those two engines. The Toyota has a horsepower and torque advantage, and the GM has a mileage advantage…so it all comes down to whether the extra power is worth the extra cost at the pump.

    Or, to look at it another way – the best EPA ratings for *any* engine in the Tundra give 15/18 (4wd) and 17/20 (2wd). If you look at the most efficient engine in the GM twins you get 16/20 (4wd 5.3L) and 16/22 (2wd 5.3L) or 17/21 (2wd 4.3L). The GM trucks get better mileage, period. Even the 6.0L is competitive with the 5.7L Tundra – it gets 15/19 in either 2wd or 4wd configuations, which means the 2wd gets slightly worse and the 4wd gets slightly better. In fact, 4wd GMs with the 6.0 V8 actually get better mileage than *any* 4wd Tundra – not just the 5.7L.

    I don’t mean to be a pain about this, but the mileage thing is a pretty clear-cut issue – it isn’t something subjective like styling or ride quality. I expected more out of Toyota, especially with the 6-speed auto…but they’re not even beating the numbers GM gets with the old 4-speed.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Johnson: I’m interested then to know what your response would be to other reviews of the Tundra out there that said the ride was good, even when the truck was loaded or towing a heavy load.

    Most reviews out there, and myself, put the Tundra’s ride quality as 2nd behind the new GM trucks. Certainly, the new Tundra has a better ride than the F150 or the Titan, and both of those are fully boxed.

    Interesting question because I found the ride so surprisingly unrefined. It certainly handled some surfaces at some speeds with Lexus-like smoothness but from 35-55mph over concrete expansion joints it danced and jiggled badly – unforgivably for a vehicle attempting to nearly double its sales in a market dominated by deeply ensconced and accomplished competitors. I would think that any critic willing to overlook this flaw is either very pro-Toyota or has an ulterior motive.

    Lest you think that I have an anti-Toyota bias, let me disclose that I formerly owned three Toyota cars and was fully satisfied by them in nearly every respect. I do not own a Tacoma, but I think it is the best small(er) pickup on the market. I also used to drive a ’78 F-250, so I know a thing or two about harsh and unrefined [insert smiley face graphic here].

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    While getting my wife’s car serviced Saturday I drove one of these…getting past the hideous grille, the rest of the truck was serviceable enough – handling and interior materials up there with the F-150…..

    pleasant enough, plus the bonus of Toyota quality….

  • avatar
    nweaver

    ash78 and Sid Vicious…

    For a car fleet sales, depreciation matters, as it is so poor that you just lease it. (“Company car MR CEO? How about a 6 year lease on an S55 AMG?”)

    But on a TRUCK, it doesn’t. You see, a truck you can write off super quick, especially for a small business. The IRS depreciation schedule is wonderfully agressive, putting the value at 0 in a couple of years.

  • avatar
    Bob Burns

    The concept of comparing the ride, handling or other characteristics of two pickups when the beds are empty blows my mind. Frankly, trucks should never be tested empty, as most car magazines do. Please load it up to the max payload and then drive them back to back. Don’t run it through cones like a sports car. Instead, please do tow tests, braking tests and compare the ride both empty and fully loaded. Finally, the 0-60 time is pretty irrelevant when empty too. Please attached a trailer and let me know how it pulls. That’s a more relevant test.

    One person here posted a comment that seems to indicate that a tuck would ride better empty. That is definitely not the case as most trucks ride better with a heavy load. If you care about how a truck drives empty, buy a car.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I’d submit that ANY 4-door vehicle rides better with 4 people than just a driver (doubly so for trucks). Not handling, mind you, but ride quality. The rear springs have to be able to allow a huge change in weight from empty to full, while the front springs only experience a slight change, since they’re already carrying most of the weight (and generally have more advanced geometry).

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Bob Burns, you have a great point with regard to testing under load. However, most buyers that are concerned with comfort and ride quality drive their trucks for non-commercial purposes. They only load their truck beds on occasional trips to The Home Depot or when pulling a trailer on a vacation. Mostly they drive empty from home to work, their kid’s school and to the grocery store. Since they spend most of their time in Family Car mode that is how I test them.

  • avatar
    ejacobs

    Some grills are conservative-macho (F-150, Silverado) and some are obnoxious-macho (Ram, Tundra). I wonder how much these buyers identify with and/or factor in the styling with their purchases.

  • avatar
    LK

    Bob Burns: Excellent points – and from what I’ve seen, often the trucks that drive best when empty drive the worst when loaded or pulling a trailer. The primary reason is that the OEMs use a compliant suspension to get a good ‘empty’ ride, but when you put a load in the bed or attach a trailer they become bouncy and you feel like you’re barely in control. Previous-generation GM trucks were known for this problem – and I’m curious if they’ve fixed it with the current generation.

    Problem is, many dealers won’t let the average truck buyer take a new truck home for a day or two so they can hook a trailer up and test it properly…that’s where the “24 hour test drive” thing comes in handy. The local GM dealer has offered to let me have one overnight, but the Toyota dealer doesn’t even want to let me out of their parking lot without a salesman along…and if that doesn’t change, they’re not going to end up selling me a truck. I’ve never bought a new vehicle without a 50+ mile test drive, and I’m not going to start now.

  • avatar
    Piston1047

    This is the most complete comparison that I have seen so-far. One thing to note, both in this and truck trends Tundra vs. Silverado the overall “real world” fuel economy on the Tundra is better. Also the truck that everone just pushes to the side won. Looking at the numbers both loaded and unloaded the Ford seems to be the weak link. What’s your thoughts?
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4212506.html

  • avatar
    Alex Rashev

    The reason why ride improves when you add load is because your sprung weight (car and cargo) grows, but unsprung weight (wheels, moving suspension parts and brakes) stays the same. The ratio of the two determines how bouncy and jittery the ride is.

    Apparently, either they made Tundra too light, or they made the suspension bits and wheels too heavy. I’d be inclined to say it’s the latter, as it does ride on gigantic thick rims, has huge brakes, and from what I’ve seen at the DC motor show, has a monster-sized rear axle, and front suspension arms thicker than anything I’ve seen before.

    In other words, Tundra is a truck that will survive a lot of beating, and that’s why ride quality is not as cushy as that of the competition. I think it’s an OK tradeoff.

    Now, I wonder what still keeps them from offering a hybrid version. A V6 Hybrid would be a much better mid-level engine choice than the 4.7 – provided that it is made Honda Insight-style (an “assist” motor right on the crankshaft, vs Toyota’s CVT dual-engine nightmare).

    30-40 healthy kilowatts of electric power will go a long way without costing an arm and a leg – since they usually come with 100+ lb-ft of torque exactly where a V6 needs it most. Now, THIS will be something that can get the domestic truck industry shaking.

  • avatar
    marcpunk

    An Edmunds comparo also put the Tundra’s fuel economy much better than the Silverado. The Slverado had the lowest fuel economy of the test (which also included the F-150), as well as a number furthest away from the EPA estimate. The Tundra had the highest mpg, and came closest to the estimates. The comparo is still up on their site for anyone who disputes this.

  • avatar
    P.J. McCombs

    How much of the Tundra’s jittery ride quality has to do with structural shudders?

    The prev-gen Tundra had relatively good absorption through the tires and suspension, but too much impact energy got passed up through the body; in my experience, these low-frequency vibrations affect pickups’ perceived ride comfort as much as anything else.

    Particularly if they’re driven unloaded by urban cowboys, which seems to be the default use for pickups these days.

  • avatar
    Shumpy

    I’m not sure what would constitute “a success.” If success means selling more than the previous tundra then likely it will be.

    It will be interesting to see how it stacks up in the marketplace, with thousands of dollars in incentives on the domestic offerings further magnifying a price rift.

    -hundreds of millions over spent on the facility.

    -Japanese execs clamoring over the problems with the process of building and starting production..

    -Slow to ramp up production

    -Slow to get the pricing and the trucks out – Suprise you’ll likely get a 4.7 for the price of a comparable 5.4/5.3/5.7 domestic offering!

    -Subpar interior by their own standards

    -Seems like an auspicious start.

    For the price of a loaded 5.7, I’ll go diesel 3/4 ton (again). At least I expect a rough ride with that.

  • avatar
    jschaef481

    Piston1047: Also the truck that everone just pushes to the side won. Looking at the numbers both loaded and unloaded the Ford seems to be the weak link. What’s your thoughts?

    It’s very hard for me to take seriously any rag/blog that wants to tout the Titan as the king of the beasts. It kills all credibility. That truck is easily the weakest 1/2 Ton truck in the market, from its flimsy frame to its dangerously inadequate brakes.

    Toyota has taken a strong shot at this market and they’ll certainly achieve incremental sales gains. While IMHO the domestics continue to offer the best products in this market for now, Armageddon is a-coming. The only chance the Big 2.5 have to retain their leadership is to improve their entire product line, build on brand perception and return to profitability. Sadly (very sadly, indeed), the Big 2.5′s current dominance of the truck market will not likely weather a sustained assault from ToMoCo.

  • avatar
    jfsvo

    Actually the F-150 is best in class in towing at 11,000 lbs. Just sayin’.

  • avatar
    BigBucksT

    This is a horrendously ugly truck. I live in California and even I would never touch this. One would be a fool to get this over the new GMT 900′s once they get the 6 speed.

  • avatar
    hal

    I like bfg9k’s point about the minivans. For Toyota trucks are the icing on the cake, they can afford to be patient, learn and invest in each new generation. They can be confident of selling the 200k the Texas plant will produce so why would they bother chasing fleet sales?
    On the other hand GM and Ford will live or die on truck sales and as they lose points of market share to Toyota they will become more reliant on fleet sales, margins will suffer and they will find it harder and harder to invest and compete. I almost feel sorry for them.

  • avatar
    ThisWas

    bfg9k wrote:
    Toyota is spending a hundred MILLION dollars to launch the thing, all in the hopes of selling less than 200,000 trucks. That’s about five grand per customer.

    BFG, if a grand is $100, then your arithmetic is correct.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    There’s a line in a book I’m working my way through, by noted trial attorney Gerry Spence (entitled Win Your Case: How to present, persuade and prevail – every place, every time) that may apply to the Tundra, and the entire truck market for that matter.

    “Facts have no meaning absent their emotional content,” wrote Mr. Spence on page 30.

    I have little doubt that the new Tundra can compete, even exceed, the abilities of any Ford, Chevrolet (AKA GMC) or Chrysler (Dodge) truck. But truck owners are as loyal to a manufacturer as are most sports car owners and for similar reasons: they are not only making a statement with their vehicle purchase, they are buying into an image, based largely on emotional content.

    That’s why that great old Bob Seger tune “Like a Rock” just cemented the relationship so many Chevrolet truck owners have with their rig, rather than brought in any what vehicle dealers and marketing types call “conquest sales.” (Those who went from say, a Ford or Toyota to a Chevrolet. Nissan wasn’t building the Titan when the commercial with that song ran.)

    When people buy a Ford truck because Toby Keith says they should, are they really going to be concerned about load capacity? It’s doubtful.

    Admittedly, people who read magazines such as Business Fleet are going to be looking at truck purchases with an entirely different perspective. But those who buy a truck as a 4,500 to 6,000 pound piece of vehicular jewelry, are going to perhaps stick with what they’re driving now – unless something can convince them that they’re out of style.

  • avatar
    bznx9w

    I have owned 4 Silverado's in a row. All perfect in freeway ride characteristics (although I don't buy a truck for that) and towed/hauled anything I asked of it. I think the Tundra is a OK entry however, let's see how it performs when towing a 34 foot boat up the Baker Grade (that's outside of Las Vegas for all you East Coaster) in 110 degree F temps. It may do very well…..we'll see. 

  • avatar
    jthorner

    It seems strange to me that Toyota is starting without a real entry level “work truck” price point vehicle. The lack of that configuration is going to keep them out of most of the fleet and other work truck markets.

    Toyota has publicly said that they don’t want to be a low price leader so as not to put more financial pressure on the 2.5. Gosh, isn’t that nice of them …. keeping more cash in their pockets to help the other guys. You must say this for Toyota, they do not miss a beat on the PR front.

    Perhaps the most impressive thing about the new Tundra isn’t the truck itself, but the massive marketing effort Toyota is putting behind it. Can you imagine a new Saturn getting such an effort????

    Toyota will probably do what they always do, keep at it. One of the most impressive things about the successful Japanese companies is their dogged persistence. No strategy de jur, no programs of the month, and probably very few highly paid management consulting firms! They just keep working the details every day for years on end.

    I had a good look at the Tundras at the recent California agriculture exhibition. The interiors were too fussy for my taste. It didn’t seem like many of the farmers there were all ga ga for getting themselves a new Toyota truck. The interest was more one of idle curiosity.

    Ford and GM are almost running two completely different businesses. Their trucks are generally well designed, well built and well supported and are rewarded with fanatically loyal customers. Then there are their cars, which seem to come from the malnourished portion of the family farm! The only problem with their truck businesses is that the fad buyers are largely moving on, but the hard core truck people still need trucks and are still likely to be loyal … because the products are worthy of loyalty. Toyota is thus competing with an entirely different group in the truck business than they are in the car business.

    To me to big question is why Ford and GM don’t field strong small trucks (Ranger class) and strong working vans such as un update of the Astro and Aerostar. Why have they let Dodge come in with the first modern large van in decades and not responded?

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Sorry, but that interior is a laughable joke.

    Does anyone think that a bunch of chrome stripping that was already seen as ‘cheap’ on a $20k Celica will sell in a $30k truck?

    I’m sorry, but comparing the interior of the Tundra to the F-150 and Silverado is like comparing a Fisher Price chainsaw to a Black & Decker. If anyone believes that the exterior or interior compare well with the competition, they are simply nuts.

    This truck will dominate the market as well as a Honda Ridgeline. It will have a small pop the first year, and wither and declie for the next four years.

    It’s a bit disappointing… given that the compact Tacoma is actually a pretty good truck.

  • avatar
    Seth

    Armageddon is a-coming

    You bet. No doubt about it. Maybe not now.. Sometime in the future, expect a repeat Taco scene. The day Tundra emulates Tacoma and Sierra/Silverado become Canyon/Colorado of halfton pickups… Thats what all this hullabaloo is about.

  • avatar
    svensk

    bznx9w: I agree. Toyota had the last 15 years to get this truck right.
    You can’t be a serious competitor in this market without a strip down low end product that businesses/contractors want. Clearly, Toyota only wants the snobby elitist market right now. At that price point I would expect a Lexus truck instead.
    Last point; they need to spend some money on vehicle design. Their trucks have looked terrible forever and this no different. The lines do not flow, and the front end is extremely bizzare. It looks like all they did was take last years front end grill and scale it up (too far). Nextime, just hire Chip Foose to draw you something cool and build the thing around it.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    LK, for the record, as mentioned by others already, 5.7L equipped Tundras easily get better real-world fuel economy than 6.0L GM trucks. Also for the record, 5.7L 2WD Tundra models get 16/20 EPA, better than any 6.0L equipped GM model. The reason that the 6.0L should be, and is being compared by media and enthusiasts alike, is that it’s GM’s top engine for it’s mainstream trucks (excluding the Denali-only 6.2L, and HD diesel variants). The 5.3L is outclassed not just in HP and torque, but a 5.7L Tundra will easily out-tow any 5.3L GM truck. Simply put, a 5.7L Tundra is more capable than a 5.3L GM. Which is why it makes sense to compare GM’s 6.0L, but it was GM’s own choice to offer it only in limited configurations. Toyota wants to win over conquest buyers with it’s top engine, and is exploiting a weakness in the truck configurations offered by the Detroit automakers.

    Why get an HD diesel, if you don’t need one? Heck, biases aside, why would you get a Silverado 5.3L if you could get a 5.7L Tundra for a similar price? Yes, you’ll likely get some discounts and incentives on the Silverado, but Toyota dealers are also being very competitive with actual “out the door” pricing, with some dealers already selling Tundras a thousand or two below MSRP. Toyota has basically told dealers to do whatever it takes to sell the new Tundra, and that means being very competitive on pricing.

    And I don’t mean to be a pain either, but if we get into the argument of which truck is more “green”, the Tundra still wins. *All* of the Tundra’s 3 engines are ULEV-II emissions rated, including the 5.7L, while the same cannot be said about GM’s truck engines.

    Interesting question because I found the ride so surprisingly unrefined. It certainly handled some surfaces at some speeds with Lexus-like smoothness but from 35-55mph over concrete expansion joints it danced and jiggled badly – unforgivably for a vehicle attempting to nearly double its sales in a market dominated by deeply ensconced and accomplished competitors. I would think that any critic willing to overlook this flaw is either very pro-Toyota or has an ulterior motive.

    Lest you think that I have an anti-Toyota bias, let me disclose that I formerly owned three Toyota cars and was fully satisfied by them in nearly every respect. I do not own a Tacoma, but I think it is the best small(er) pickup on the market. I also used to drive a ’78 F-250, so I know a thing or two about harsh and unrefined [insert smiley face graphic here].

    I’m very curious as to exactly how the truck behaved during your test. Jiggled and danced, as in the bed or rear end bounced around a lot? Did the chassis feel rubbery? Or did the ride simply feel stiff? There is a big difference between these descriptions.

    If the ride felt stiff, or if the rear end was bouncing around a lot, then in fact it is because of the oversized, heavy-duty parts. That in turn would have nothing really to do with the chassis.

    For the record, when I test-drove a 5.7L Double Cab Tundra, the ride felt somewhat stiff, or “hard” if you will, and some road surfaces did feel rough, but I can, with confidence, attribute that to the Tundra’s large parts and spring rates. I still stand by my statement that the Tundra is 2nd best overall in terms of ride, behind the new GM trucks, but ahead of the Titan, Ram, and F150.

    The 1st gen Tundra, I will agree had a more car-like ride, but it’s chassis didn’t have that “solid” or substantial feeling to it. With the new Tundra, you can definitely feel through the ride that it’s a substantial, big and capable truck. It’s somewhat similar to GM’s GMT-800 HD trucks, although the Tundra’s ride overall is still above the HDs.

    I would also guess the large standard wheels have a negative effect on ride quality.

    Please don’t forget that Toyota has tried to enter this market 3 times in the last 15 years and they are still trying to get it right…….lets take a “Truthful” look and see what happens.

    Please. The original T-100 was a non-effort. It didn’t even have a V8! To virtually all full size truck buyers, the truck was invisible. I would only consider their first actual effort the 1st gen Tundra, since that finally had a V8. The Tundra since it’s debut, has maintained annual sales of at least 100K. Also keep in mind Toyota’s truck sales have kept rising, not falling, in those last 15 years.

  • avatar
    LK

    Johnston: The Tundra hasn’t been out long enough to have any accurate “real-world” fuel economy numbers – and you certainly can’t go by published reviews for that sort of thing. Of the 50+ cars & trucks I’ve owned, I’ve found that the ‘old’ EPA ratings seem pretty accurate – my overall mileage is usually at or slightly above the city rating and on trips I generally get slightly less than the highway number (both on the domestics and on the Hondas and Toyotas I’ve owned). No offense, but I put a bit more faith in the controlled EPA test conditions than I do in the mileage reported in the average truck review.

    As far as your other points, I’ve already mentioned that the 5.7L is rated better than the 6.0L in 2wd models – and I also mentioned that the 5.7L had more power than the 5.3L, so it came down to whether the extra horsepower and torque was worth the decreased mileage. The difference is that GM offers 3/4-ton trucks and Toyota doesn’t – so GM has very little incentive to offer larger engines in their half-tons. Toyota isn’t actually exploiting a weakness in the domestics, they’re pointing out a weakness in their own lineup – the competition has 3/4 and 1-ton pickups that easily outperform the Tundra for towing/hauling. At this point Toyota is trying to do it all with one truck, and they’re trying to show that it can do the same jobs as a heavy-duty pickup…but when the average contractor or work truck buyer looks at the price of the Tundra the first thing they’re going to think is that they can just buy a 3/4-ton for that price. So, Toyota should probably be targeting the average Joe that may or may not actually need a truck at all – but from their ads you’d think they were really trying to get farmers, ranchers, contractors, and so on.

    A 10,000+ pound tow rating is pointless if paired with a payload of less than 1,700 pounds…and most folks who tow on a regular basis realize that. Realistically, half-tons are only good for towing perhaps 6,000-7,000 pounds max – anything over that should be towed by a 3/4-ton or larger. The only reason that I’m even considering a half-ton is that I also have a 3/4-ton for the big loads…and it would be nice to have a basic half-ton that gets somewhat decent mileage for the smaller chores.

  • avatar
    tones03

    The interior of this truck is terrible. Looks like 2 people designned each side and never talked once. The quality is a GMT800 quality which EVERY critic hated. One good thing is the nobs are huge and can be used with gloves. Gaps are big and uneven. They sound cheap too.

    Tailgate with the shocks so it wont slam is a brilliant idea, but when you slam it shut it sounds like a beer can, very cheap, put something in there to make it sound like there is a little bit of sheetmetal there.

    The 5.7 is a beast, 6-speed is great on paper, havent driven one to see if it likes to shift gears when towing on a hill, I would assume it would, see how long they last if taht is the problem.

    Overall I do not see anything special about this that makes everyone think they will dominate. I am not a fan of the looks, but that is me. The powertrain is the only thing I can see the big 1.75 loosing sleep over.

  • avatar
    studley1811

    this rocks!

  • avatar

    LK: you posted:”I don’t mean to be a pain about this, but the mileage thing is a pretty clear-cut issue – it isn’t something subjective like styling or ride quality.”

    and

    “The Tundra hasn’t been out long enough to have any accurate “real-world” fuel economy numbers – and you certainly can’t go by published reviews for that sort of thing…..No offense, but I put a bit more faith in the controlled EPA test conditions than I do in the mileage reported in the average truck review.”

    What the frack! Is mileage only a clear cut non subjective issue if it favors a brand you favor. It either is a big deal or it isn’t and what do you mean we can’t rely on published reports. Real people driving both vehicles is less accurate than the EPA? Oh so is that accurate for the Prius too?

    Discounting what other peoples actually experience with their vehicles is the attitude that got Detroit into the predicament that they are in right now.

    Guess what if the reviews coming in from Edmunds and Popular Mechanics and truck trends are that the Tundra gets better get mileage than the new GM trucks then the Tundra probably does get better real world mileage. You can’t go around touting mileage as a big factor and it being non subjective and then shrug off the mileage figures of the major reviews.

  • avatar

    Johnson: you posted “Toyota has basically told dealers to do whatever it takes to sell the new Tundra, and that means being very competitive on pricing.”

    Since when does a dealer cut someone a better deal just because the manufacturer told them to cut people better deals.

  • avatar
    brokenvw

    A local dealer around me has a number of base 2006 Ram 1500′s with 5.7 Hemi’s. Carsdirect puts the price at around $18K with dest. Is the Tundra worth an additional $10K or more? Doesn’t seem likely.

  • avatar
    rainking

    Sherman lin: “Since when does a dealer cut someone a better deal just because the manufacturer told them to cut people better deals.” Um, ALL THE TIME. That’s how dealers work. They try to get as much for the car as they possibly can. You, the consumer, try to get the car for the least amount of $ you possibly can. You meet somewhere in the middle. If the manufacturer gives spiffs to the dealer, he can or cannot pass it on to you. This happens all the time with nearly every automaker. I know Toyota dealers for one are discounting the he** out of Corollas, because the factory is telling them to move ‘em out.

  • avatar
    partsisparts

    Take it from a person who was a dealer for 20 years, they don’t care what the manufacturer says. They are there to make money, all the money they can on every transaction. If the manufacturer gives money to the dealer as incentives to sell more units (which Toyo is not doing) then they will pass along some savings.
    And Johnson, the point of my last post was that not one Toyota truck was working on Toyota’s own jobsite.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    LK, when Toyota comes out with a heavy duty Tundra (and it’s not a matter of “if”, simply a matter of when) what will your excuse be then? 3/4 ton and 1 ton are expensive trucks, and are for those that need serious hauling. Your arguments are completely irrelevant, because then GM wouldn’t need it’s 6.2L or 6.0L in any of it’s trucks, Dodge wouldn’t need it’s Hemi, and Ford wouldn’t need to be rating it’s F150 at 11,000 lbs max tow capacity. Furthermore, the majority of full size pickup models sold are of standard trucks, not heavy duty models. Toyota is striking the heart of the market, not the extremes or niches.

    Not everyone is looking for some heavy duty monster, *especially* today, with gas prices on the rise. Also, if you’re looking for a Ford Superduty, you’re mostly out of luck, since Navistar has halted Powerstroke shipments to Ford.

    You may not see it, but the fact is Toyota is exploiting a weakness in the available configurations of 1/2 ton standard full size pickups offered by the Detroit 3. Where as most manufacturers make their mid-range engine the value leader, Toyota is making it’s 5.7L the value leader. Such a powerful engine being the value leader will do more than you think to change perception among truck buyers.

    I’m not so sure you know truck buyers all that well. Truck buyers love big power, and they’ll be happy to see the decent EPA figures of the 5.7L.

    Even on the old Tundra, towing 7000 lbs was really pushing it. The new Tundra can tow that with ease, and not struggle on the highway. The F150 with the 5.4L Triton begins to struggle towing 7000 lbs, and so do GM’s 5.3L trucks. Even the Tundra with the 4.7L gets a workout, but the 5.7L can handle it easily.

    It’s not just about how much each truck can tow, but how much each truck can tow confortably, and conveniently.

    Take it from a person who was a dealer for 20 years, they don’t care what the manufacturer says. They are there to make money, all the money they can on every transaction. If the manufacturer gives money to the dealer as incentives to sell more units (which Toyo is not doing) then they will pass along some savings.
    And Johnson, the point of my last post was that not one Toyota truck was working on Toyota’s own jobsite.

    Take it from Toyota; there have been published interviews where they directly say that they’ve worked very closely with all of it’s dealers for the new Tundra. Dealers may not care what a manufacturer says if there is a sour relationship, but believe me, dealers do care what Toyota says. And what Toyota has told dealers is to be more flexible on pricing.

    As for that jobsite for the commercial, I didn’t see one Ram in there either. What’s your point? That Toyota trucks are incapable? That the previous Tundra didn’t have enough capability? We might as well throw any other trucks into this argument that were not present in the commercial.

  • avatar
    LK

    Sherman Lin: As an engineer, I only pay attention to tests done in controlled conditions – and so far the only tests done under controlled conditions are the EPA tests. I won’t argue that the EPA tests aren’t flawed, but at least the results are comparable. So yes, the EPA results *are* more accurate than mileage figures turned in by owners…and are the only legitimate way to compare one truck with the other. Besides, the Tundra’s potential buyers are going to be looking at the numbers on the sticker – so as far as sales are concerned, those numbers are the ones that matter. I’m curious what the EPA ratings will be for the ’08 models…while I’ve seen some preliminary results, so far I’ve seen nothing official.

    I’ve seen a lot of bizarre mileage results come out of vehicle reviews – sometimes as much as 50% less than the worst result I got with an identically-equipped vehicle – so at this point I tend to ignore them. Consumer Reports is one of the worst – I have no idea how they manage to get such terrible mileage out of the vehicles they test, unless they’re forgetting to release the emergency brake.

    As far as what owners report, so far the sample size is too small on the Tundra to make any kind of guesstimate…heck, the local dealer hasn’t managed to sell a single one yet. And, when you actually talk to owners you can’t really trust what they tell you for mileage anyway – I know one person with a diesel 1-ton who claims to get 27mpg on the highway, and another who claims he’s never broken 10mpg even when unloaded (and these are nearly identical trucks). You certainly can’t trust mileage results from the internet – there were a number of people claiming to own the new Tundra (and quoting mileage figures) before the truck was even being sold to the public. If only half the results are legitimate, which half do you decide to believe?

    Perhaps the Tundra really *will* get better mileage, but IMHO it’s too early to tell at this point. Heck, I hope it does…I’d rather buy the Tundra than either the Sierra or Silverado. I do find it a bit odd that when numbers from controlled tests (like horsepower, torque, and EPA mileage) favor the Tundra people like them, but when they don’t favor the Tundra the tests must be wrong.

  • avatar
    LK

    Johnson: The local Dodge dealer is selling loaded 3/4-ton 4×4 Mega-cabs w/the Cummins diesel for $34,000 – which is less than the sticker price on on the equivalent Tundra. Once you add in the equal amount of options, the Tundra will cost just as much as the Dodge…even if you get the Tundra at invoice.

    Have you actually towed 7000 pounds with the new Tundra? If you haven’t, then you have no idea how it’ll handle a trailer that size. The problem isn’t horsepower or torque (or even braking), it’s how well the suspension handles the extra weight. Most half-tons have a suspension that’s too soft & with insufficient dampening to pull larger trailers, w/the only exception I can think of being the 8200 GVW Ford half-tons…those actually aren’t too bad. I used to have an ’02 F150 w/the 7700 package (similar to the 8200), and that’s the only half-ton I’ve ever owned that would do a decent job pulling a 10,000 pound trailer. The 5.4L Ford seems to outperform the 5.3L GM motor for towing, even back when the 5.4L was only rated at only 260 hp…though a lot of that depends on gearing. I’ve actually pulled trailers with Dodge, Ford, and GM trucks…and I know what they are capable of. I haven’t gotten a chance to pull one with a 5.7L Tundra, so I’m going to withhold judgment until I do that.

    Yes, Toyota gained some legitimacy in the full-size truck arena with the introduction of the 5.7L V8…but if they *really* wanted to get attention they’d introduce a small diesel in their half-ton model. That would probably be the biggest move they could make, as far as gaining sales and getting attention.

    And I’m not anti-Toyota, I’m pro-reality. I don’t care what brand a vehicle is as long as it’s a better vehicle…and I hope that they do offer heavy-duty pickups, because the competition is good for consumers.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    From the sound of this review the lack of a fully boxed frame a la Ford and GM does hurt the ride of this Truck. Of course the ride in any full size pick-up isn’t going to be great unladen but this also points to another big issue for the Toyota. Durability. If they are aiming this as the high end, big power and towing capacity truck and pinning their Toyota rep to it, they’d better measure up to Ford and GM’s durability. But there is no way that frame is going to hold up to the abuse those customers put their trucks through.

  • avatar
    speedy4500

    I have no problem with Toyota vehicles per se, but the Toyota fan-boys who believe their brand can do no wrong, who make excuses for Toyota’s shortcomings as they crucify GM or Ford for the same thing, who think that every car Toyota produces is mechanical perfection, who can’t go 10 minutes without declaring their love for Toyota and insisting that everyone should drive a Toyota…. those people just piss me off.

    For that reason alone I will never buy a Toyota.

  • avatar
    jschaef481

    Johnson: Navistar’s action to stop shipping Powerstroke engines to Ford is likely a temporary move to pressure Ford to settle it’s warranty lawsuit on the 6.0L diesels from 2003 and 2004. That engine is too important to Ford’s survival for them to allow this negotiation too drag on too long.

    Also, since you know so much about trucks, you probably also know that International hasn’t published financials since 2005 and has been de-listed from the NYSE. I doubt International is in a financial position to shut off production long term for a customer that uses 70% of the engines they produce. My guess? This dispute gets settled before the market will even notices the disruption.

  • avatar

    Re: LK

    The Ram trucks are on a fire-sale, and a CrewMax 5.7L Tundra (which has more interior space than a megacab) has a starting MSRP of about 30K. At invoice, it will be cheaper than that. The Crewmax doesn’t come out for a few weeks, but I am more than willing to bet you’ll be able to find a CrewMax 5.7L for around 28K. And keep in mind it comes standard with a lot of features.

    Like I said, more and more people are questioning buying an HD pickup due to the initial cost, plus the fuel costs.

    No, I personally have not towed 7000 lbs with the new Tundra, but there are several videos that show the new Tundra towing a sizable load, including one on toyota.com that shows it towing over 7000 lbs. Also many reviews have already tested the truck under towing big loads. The dealer I talked to had already testing the truck by towing a 7500 lb boat. From all accounts, the 5.7L Tundra tows it with ease, not to mention comfortably.

    It seems that you won’t take my word, or anyone’s word in terms of the 5.7L being great at towing. Even the specs don’t seem to convince. You should test the new 5.7L Tundra soon then, and report your experience. By all accounts, the new Tundra is a big improvement over the old model in terms of towing, and I don’t see why your experience should be any different.

    But there is no way that frame is going to hold up to the abuse those customers put their trucks through.

    And there is no way you can make such a statement right now. The truck hasn’t been out for a long period of time, and it’s impossible to say how durable it will be. It’s also extremely naive to assume that the frame “won’t hold up” just because it’s not fully boxed. A lot of medium-duty and heavy-duty commercial trucks use C-channel frames, trucks that would humiliate any “1/2 ton” or standard size HD pickup in terms of capability. You don’t have any information on the steel gauge, the technical strength of the frame, not to mention the tolerances that the frame and associated components have.

  • avatar

    Re: jschaef481,

    Even if the disruption is just a week long, it will cost Ford a ton of money (over a billion some estimate). Not just that, but a week-long disruption means thousands of trucks that would have otherwise been at dealer lots. It likely won’t become a huge issue, but is yet another problem relating to the F-Series that Ford does not need. Ford’s own people are expecting a double-digit drop (again) for F-Series sales in Februrary.

  • avatar
    partsisparts

    HD trucks a niche market??? Ford sells 400,000 Super Dutys a year. Some niche. As far as getting a new Super Duty, Ford hasa supply of engines. And besides, neither side can afford to let this dipute go for long.
    Johnson, I worked for a Toyota dealership. Have you? They don’t care what the manufacturer says. Toyota’s worked closely with the dealers about marketing and gave them easy financing for having to alter part of their shops to accomodate the larger truck.(i.e. new lifts and wider bays)
    Toyota cannot tell dealers what to charge for anything. Period. NADA will not let that happen.
    Once again regarding the video, most buyers use their trucks for WORK as well as play. One vehicle fits all. And Toyota does not have the rep as a work truck. In fact quite the opposite. And another thing they only have 18 months before the all new 2009 F150 comes out with a 4.4L diesel.
    The other problem Toyota is going to have as these trucks age is the fact that Toyota has maxed out the capacities of the truck. A lot of buyers over use thier trucks. Payload 2000lbs? They put 2500lbs in it. Happens all the time. Goes for towing too. GM and Ford know this and spec their trucks to 3/4 of what they actually can do.

  • avatar
    Piston1047

    partsisparts, can you give me data on how GM and FORD underrate their trucks and Toyota maxed them out. As an Automotive engineer Iam somewhat likely to understand the underrated argument due to the idea of allowing some buffer in design, also called a FOS or factor of safety. But why would you think GM and Ford would do this and Toyota wouldn’t. Maybe you just think Toyota are trying to trick us with their evil intentions and maxed out specs.
    Also has anyone found any other comparison articles with QUANTIFIABLE data, i would be interested.

  • avatar
    svensk

    I would like to see somebody pull a 10k lb. trailer on a regular basis with ANY 1/2 ton truck like the tundra. Everyone who does heavy towing knows better then to even look at a 1/2 ton truck. That 6 speed tranny will probably get eaten up pretty fast. If I had that kind of investment I would want a 4L80E or an Allison swapping my gears for me.

  • avatar
    partsisparts

    Piston:I have been told this by engineers from Ford and from GM when I attended truck school for each. I do not have hard data just what I have been told by the teachers.

  • avatar
    LK

    Johnston: The Dodge was a 4×4, and according to Toyota’s website the base on the 4×4 crewmax is $33,985 + destination. The Dodge was a fairly well-equipped SLT, with about the same options as package C on the Tundra – which adds another $1,865. So, that makes $35,850 for the Tundra – or $36,495 after destination. Perhaps it will be possible to get the truck for under $34,000…but either way, it’s pretty darn close to the Dodge. So far the local dealer isn’t moving much on Tundra prices – maybe $500 off MSRP – but perhaps after a new months they’ll be more willing to negotiate. HD trucks with diesels seem to get about the same mileage as half-ton trucks, so fuel costs would be pretty similar…though diesel has been a bit more expensive than regular unleaded for the past year or so.

    I’m certainly not saying the Tundra is a bad truck, and I’ve mentioned that it’s one of my top two options – ahead of the Ford, Dodge, or Nissan trucks. One thing that I’ve noticed is that none of the ads I’ve seen mention the reputation the Tacoma has gotten over the years as a bulletproof truck that runs forever – even the most die-hard Ford and Chevy fans have respect for the Tacoma, and I think it would benefit Toyota to take advantage of that reputation. I’ve also noticed that none of their commercials directly compare the Tundra to the competition – except for one or two components, and then they don’t tell you which truck the competing part came off of. Perhaps they need to take a page from Dodge’s playbook – show the Tundra running the quarter-mile alongside the competition, both unloaded and pulling a trailer. For better or worse, the Hemi helps Dodge sell trucks…and if Toyota demonstrates how much better their 5.7L is versus the competition I think they’ll see a dramatic increase in sales. The 5.7L/6-speed combo is excellent…and IMHO Toyota could be doing a better job of getting that point across to the public.

  • avatar
    paulpita

    The interior makes me throw up inside of my mouth. It looks like one guy designed the left side, one guy designed the right side, and they forgot to talk to each other.

  • avatar
    jschaef481

    Johnson: There will be no production disruption. It will not cost billions. It will likely cost between $0 and roughly $160 million in withheld payments (Ford deducted them to apply to the warranty costs on the 6.0L) to settle this dispute. You are correct that Ford can ill-afford such a disruption…but they know it, too! And they have more than a months supply of those engines, so there’ll likely be no reduction in available F-Series for dealers or customers.

    Also, the frame isn’t inferior simply because it makes use of C-channel frame rails. You correctly note that many larger trucks use C-channel. But a boxed frame is stronger and significantly reduces NVH. More important to strength and durability of the truck are the frame construction techniques. The Tundra’s crossmembers are not through-welded or huck-bolted to the rails, rather it is built using standard bolting and riveting. The Toyota also utilizes a narrower leaf spring setup than the domestics. There may or may not be durability issues with the truck, but there is no arguing that their much-hyped frame and suspension are still far from the class leaders in those categories.

  • avatar
    Martin Albright

    The story here isn’t the truck, it’s the extraordinarily aggressive methods Toyota is using to market the truck.

    Will it succeed? I guess it depends on what constitutes “success.” I don’t think Toyota is shooting for the top slot among big truck buyers, they simply want to cement their place as a viable player (maybe even by threatening perennial 3rd place Dodge.) If they simply hold a position as a respected alternative to Ford and Chevy, then they’ve secured a foothold in a market that is very difficult to penetrate.

    And if they don’t “succeed”, even by their own metric? Well, if there’s one thing Toyota is known for, it’s persistence. Look at what happened when they entered the minivan market in the early 80′s. Their little van was a flop. Then they came out with the Previa, also a flop. Then they came out with the Sienna which is a class leader. Unlike the big 2.5 who often seem to be dilettantes, lurching from one fad to another in the vain search for that miracle product that will lift them out of the doldrums, Toyota is content to set their sights on a goal and keep trying until they get it right.

    The T100 was a flop. Then came the Tundra, which was not as successful as they’d hoped. Now they have the new Tundra. And if this one fails, they’ll try again, and again, and again until they succeed.

    To paraphrase Michael Beihn from the first “Terminator” movie “That’s what they do. That’s ALL they do.”

  • avatar

    partsisparts, you’re right, Toyota cannot exactly state to delaers at which prices to sell the Tundra, but they can definitely give them guidelines as well as flexibility in financing and lease rates. And that is exactly what they are doing, giving more flexibility than ever before in pricing, financing, and lease rates.

    As for the next-gen F150, it’s foolish to talk about that now. Fact is, we don’t know what the GM trucks or the Tundra will have by 2009. They may all get diesels by 2009, we don’t know that yet.

    And Toyota has maxed out the capacities for the new Tundra? That’s the most foolish thing I’ve ever heard. Do you have *any* evidence whatsoever to back this silly notion up? If you do not, then you would be wise to stop posting such nonsense.

    For the record, during testing around Indiana and San Antonio, Toyota engineers had the 5.7L Tundra towing well over 11,000 pounds. One person who works at the San Antonio plant told me that he saw Toyota people pulling a 12,000 pound trailer with a 5.7L Double Cab. In Indiana, several workers reported seeing a 5.7L Double Cab being tested with over 2200 pounds of payload. There were also reports that 5.7L Tundras were being tested in northern Japan pulling loaded-up 30 and 32 foot trailers.

    Fact is, you have no proof that Toyota is maxing out the Tundra’s specs. Meanwhile, there is plenty of proof against this idea, and that in fact Toyota spec’d the Tundra *very* conservatively. Several reviews for example mention that when towing heavy loads, the Tundra remains level, and the rear end doesn’t sag, like it does with an F150 or Silverado.

    Many of the Tundra’s components are oversized, compared to a Silverado or F150. Then there’s the stiffer than expected ride of the Tundra. This all implies that Toyota built a 1/2 ton with the capabilities of a 3/4 ton.

    LK, keep in mind the Ram is on a fire sale, and the incentives and deals on it are undoubtedly better than on a new Tundra. In fact, AutoNews just announced that Dodge is throwing in free Hemis to anyone buying a Ram or Durango. That means you can get a Hemi at no extra charge. Tough times indeed for Dodge.

    jschaef481, AutoNews posted that Ford has temporarily cut Super Duty production due to the low supply of Navistar engines. They also posted that a court has ordered International to resume production of the engines. So it appears things should get back to normal soon, but a production cut has already been made at the Ford plant.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    jschaef481, as for the Tundra’s frame, have you closely examined it? Also the steel gauge and tensile strength has a lot to do with frame strength as well. Word is that at San Antonio, they are using some new welding methods, and the welding part of the plant is off-limits right now to any media, just like the paint shop.

  • avatar
    partsisparts

    Johnson: I am just reporting what I heard. The same way you have reports of engineers towing 12000 pound trailer and trailers as big as a semi in japan.
    What kind of flexibility is Toyota giving dealers? What kind of guidelines? What do you mean? Are they taking weak credit? What kind of special lease rates is it? High residuals? Better lease interest rates? Truth is there is no special deals comming from the factory. I have a good friend that sells them and he says there is nothing.
    Having a stiff suspension does not imply that it is as strong as a 3/4 ton truck. It means it has a stiff suspension. As for the sagging thing I have only observed trucks sagging when they are overloaded or have a lot of mileage on them. I also have observed F-250′s with 7.5ft plows on them and the front end drops 1/2 inch with the blade raised. Do that with an implied suspension.Also what parts are oversized compared to Silverado and F-150. You don’t believe those commercials do you? I can hold up a rotor from a 1972 F-100 and compare it to a new truck’s also. Considering Toyota’s past of lying about horsepower and not acknowledging safety issues, I would not put it past them.
    BTW the 09 F-150 will be out in a year and a month or two.So it is foolish not to talk about it. Just as the Toyota is gaining traction the F-150 will hit the street, with a very loyal customer base.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    You should read more industry sources like AutoNews. I really don’t want to go digging for the exact rates and flexibility Toyota is giving. Who said anything about a sagging front end? I was talking about the rear end, and I have seen *plenty* of GMT-800 trucks as well as current gen F150s with sagging rear ends when pulling a moderate or heavy load, or having a lot of stuff in the bed.

    Toyota’s claim is that even when payload or towing capacity is at max spec, the Tundra won’t sag and will remain level. If you know much about trucks, then you should know that certainly suggests the truck is comfortably capable of performing better than what it’s specs indicate.

    If the new Tundra wasn’t very capable, and that Toyota had maxed out it’s specs, then the rear end would likely sag when towing near max. As for the stiff suspension, the Tundra’s ride is still better (by most accounts) than the F150, Ram, or Titan.

    For one thing, the driveshaft, the rear end ring gear, and the brakes are all oversized on the Tundra, compared to it’s competition.

    Again, all we have on the next F150 are rumours, just like rumours that the Tundra will get diesel, hybrid, and heavy duty variations. It’s pointless to be arguing and discussing rumours. What till official info comes out, or better yet when the truck comes out.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    Also need to add, I have seen plenty of 1st gen Tundras with sagging rear ends.

  • avatar
    partsisparts

    It’s kind of a mute point to talk about sagging suspensions because we do not know the weight of the cargo and the payload capacity of the vehicles that were observed sagging.
    One reason the Toyota may not sag is the how the springs are progressively loaded. Similar to a flat trailer when empty has a rise in the center. And when loaded it flattens out. This is a good idea because it perseves quality.
    BTW the F-150 will have a Land Rover 4.4L diesel in it. It is not a rumor. They are driving test mules all over Detroit as I am writing this.
    Do not count out the american car companies yet they know thier trucks and their customers.
    If the tundra is as good as Toyota says it will still take years to pull loyal customers away from their brands. Toyota’s pricing is not helping either.

  • avatar
    partsisparts

    Johnson: About the rear sagging when towing. Most of the weight is on the wheels of the trailer. Only the trailer’s tongue weight is actually on the truck.

  • avatar

    For all the pre intro hooplah, seeing one in person is a bit of a downwer. Not that it’s bad but it’s just another truck. Too bad they couldn’t keep the original concept truck details then it would be as rad as the FJ Cruiser.

  • avatar
    Mark

    Kudos to the WSJ for getting this story out….Toyota must be shocked they had to resort to this !

    Toyota is offering discounts for its base Tundra pickup, a newly redesigned model that is built in Texas and has only been on sale for a matter of weeks. The discounts are intended to last a month and involve $250 coupons that dealers can use at their individual discretion to lure buyers of the regular-cab Tundra.

    The Wall Street Journal reports that the discount coupons are good only on models of the entry-level Tundra in stock, and dealers are allowed to offer no more than four per sale for a total discount of $1,000.

  • avatar

    This does NOT work in the domestics’ favor.

    Remember: Toyota can afford to make a loss on these trucks. The lower the price goes, the more pressure they put on the domestics’ margins, and the more market share they’ll steal. As predicted here.

    And they can’t be accused of “dumping” a Texas-built truck.

  • avatar
    Mark

    Robert: I can’t argue with your logic. That said—why didn’t Toyota pursue this pricing strategy right out of the gate. Rebates so early on the new Tundra smack of Toyota management miscalculation.

    They better hope the quality of these trucks doesn’t follow the trouble they have had like with the recent Avalon and Camry launches or we could be looking at another Nissan Titan episode. Of course even if there were Tundra quality issues…I doubt the mainstream press would report them as we have barely heard a wimper against the 3.5 million engine sludge lawsuit or the fact that last year Toyota recalled more vehicles than they built.

  • avatar
    TRAVERS

    WILL THE TOYOTA TUNDRA (07)COME TO SOUTH AFRICA

  • avatar
    Rakinyo1

    After months of quoting Tundra specs in my sleep (says my wife)…I was a bit disappointed in the price.
    Im new to the pick up truck scene. We own a used Toyota SUV which we both love. So naturally I thought owning a new pick-up would be just as nice. Until I saw the new pick-up truck prices. My wallet fell in the middle of the drive-way and began throwing a 3 year olds temper tantrum.
    How un-Godly to price a pick up truck so high. I thought the only options were A/C and power steering?

    Other than using my first born as a down payment, I dont wanna spend 400+ a month for a pick up truck.

    ISANE ISANE ISANE…wonder if my parents would consider letting me move back home with luggage?
    It seemed to work for the Waltons…and they had tons of crap.

  • avatar
    umterp85

    First Toyota quicly resorts to Tundra rebates to make up for pricing mistakes—-now Tundra can’t match up to safety standards set by Ford & GM pickups—-I can’t see how this can be spun any other way than a flawed launch……

    Toyota Motor Corp.’s redesigned Tundra, battling full-size pickups from U.S. automakers, didn’t get the top rating for frontal crash safety achieved by rivals, Bloomberg News reported today.
    The Tundra fell one star short of the perfect five-star rating for driver safety in head-on collisions in a test by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Big pickups from General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. earned five stars.

  • avatar
    cykickspy

    here is what toyota is saying about safety in the tundra

    “Safety is important, but it’s not a very big part of the truck market,” Kwong said. “They want to haul stuff, carry stuff.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aN0e4.52IYZU&refer=asia

  • avatar
    tjchapin

    Interesting enough, when I picked up my new plates for my ’07 DC 5.7 in Champion of Austin, the registration had it as a 3/4 truck. Guess they know big in Texas when the see it.

  • avatar
    ApexAlex

    question: What makes a truck a 3/4 ton as opposed to just a 1/2 pu?

  • avatar
    umterp85

    Lesley Wimbush: Kinda ties in to Robert’s previous editorial. Something that most companies lately… just don’t get.

    Lesley / Robert—–apparently not. The Tundra launch has been flawed and arrogant. Hopefully this trend continues for Toyota so the domestics can play catch up from their own flawed and arrogant decision making…read on…..

    When Toyota Motor Corp. set the pricing for its new Tundra pickup, skeptics said $22,290 seemed steep for the base model. Toyota managers countered that the truck didn’t cost more than comparably equipped rivals.

    But the critics had a point.

    Toyota is now offering dealers cash — as much as $2,000 for a base two-door Tundra — to help them sell the pickups amid reports of sluggish demand for the entry-level model. “They overestimated what the market will bear,” Whitmire said. “What they need to do with this vehicle is to de-content it.”

  • avatar
    truckgrl

    I got the chance to hard test drive (pedal to the metal, hard braking, slalom weaving, tight circling) a Dodge Ram, Chevy Silverado, Ford F150, Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra. The AMERICAN
    trucks performed well, Nissan and Toyota had breaking and turning issues (severe oversteer, undresteer and yaw) the american trucks beat Nissan and Toyota in a short track race with a 1000lb payload. An American heavy duty truck was brought out and played tug of war with the Nissan and the Toyota at the same time. The got dug backwards as tires squealed and rubber burned. My opinion about the Toyota Tundra reas the first three letters of the manufactures name TOY–OTA if you want a frilly foo foo truck, Tundra is it if you need a work horse that can handle an onslaught of everyday driving hazzards buy a Chevy, Ford or Dodge.

  • avatar
    umterp85

    the latest in a long line of embarrassments for the Tundra launch…

    In some of the first 2007 Toyota Tundra pickups that rolled off the assembly line, optional V-8 engines are failing due to faulty camshafts. The company says the problem should only impact a limited number of the redesigned full-size pickups, but hasn’t yet figured out what that number is. The company sold 37,000 of the new Tundras with the powerful 5.7-liter V-8 in its first three months on the market.

    The company is replacing the entire engine of any truck affected by the problem,

  • avatar
    sliver1978

    I think another major point that must be raised about the new Tundra is that is 100% american made. To sum this up in mean that 100% of the parts and labor are made in America! They really should be calling it a domestic, with that being said the ford mustang is only 75% american. Im not sure how well known this fact is but it buying a toyota tundra = american loyalty. I think toyota has a great product here, we can talk number all we want but in the end image is really what sells these top segment trucks not the amount of work they can do. The only image I can see is the toyota out draging the competition followed by the Nissan Titan. Domestic car makers are in real trouble if they dont start giving the customers what they want.

  • avatar
    cykickspy

    Now Consumers Report will not recommend the four-wheel-drive V-8 version of the Tundra pickup.
    Stating it is “below average” in quality.
    Also I heard the Tundra is having problems with their engines and tailgates.

  • avatar
    f250fx4

    With the 2010′s hitting the streets and the recalls stacking up how are these things holding up? The frame rust on the earlier models and accelerator issue to mention a few. Calling it a F-150 redux, some may take offense to that!


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Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India