By on September 11, 2013

2014 Toyota Tundra Exterior-002

We don’t just love pickup trucks in America, we practically worship them. The half ton pickup truck is an American icon embedded into our music, our entertainment and almost the core of our culture. If you haven’t owned or wanted to own a pickup truck, you’re probably a communist infiltrating American society and should be stopped. Despite inroads from the Japanese competition, the full-size truck market is a solidly American segment that isn’t just led by the big three, it’s dominated by them. In August, RAM took third place with 33,009 pickups sold in the US of A, more than three times the number four player: this week’s Toyota Tundra. Why is this gap so large when Toyota crushes the big three in so many other segments? Let’s explore that while we look at Toyota’s refreshed 2014 Tundra.

YouTube Preview Image

When it comes to trucks, we’re talking half-ton cargo haulers, not the compact truck market where Toyota arguably leads. The full-size truck market is about image and brand as much as it is about capability. Aside from men’s razors, no other product in America is marketed in such a completely-divorced-from-reality fashion. We buy trucks both because they haul and because they make us look cool. (Come on, you can admit it.) Truck advertising tells us that real Americans buy trucks, have cattle ranches, sing in country groups and get all the blonde babes. Real Americans also go muddin’, drink Bud and (most importantly) buy American. It is therefore no surprise that Toyota’s biggest market is California. (Make of that what you will.) It’s also no surprise the folks at the launch event were trying hard to sell the Tie-o-ter as the most American pickup on the market. With the highest percentage of American content, plus assembly in San Antonio, there is some truth to their assertions.

Exterior

I think that part of Toyota’s tuck sales problem was the old T100 from 1993-1998. That truck was a half-step between the American mid-size and full-size trucks leading people to consider the T100 more of a mid-size competitor. Then came the 1999-2006 Tundra which grew but failed to keep up with the Americans in terms of styling and dimensions. In 2007 we got the all-new Tundra which yet again grew a half size and was finally competitive with the big three featuring two V8 engines and part-time 4WD. Sales were less than stellar. Why? Toyota believes styling was to blame and I’m inclined to agree. The “bubbly” theme of the old Tundra was fairly emasculating when you parked next to the “rugged” F-150 or RAM 1500.

2014 Toyota Tundra Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

For 2014 Toyota has addressed this problem with an enormous new grille that comes in three flavors (you can see two of them in the gallery) and features a prominent Toyota logo and very upright styling. It’s so upright the front bumper hardly protrudes from the grille at all. The larger and “chromier” grill is flanked by new headlamps that pay homage to the daring big-rig style of the 1994 RAM. The new nose makes the Tundra look bigger and meaner even though the dimensions have barely changed at all. Mainstream looks? Check.

2014 maintains the Tundra’s three cab, two bed, two wheelbase product mix. Things start out with the three-seat, two-door SR and stretch up to the six-seat four-door SR5. In a nod to the large number of truck shoppers that buy for image, not payload, Toyota offers three premium trim levels: Limited, Platinum and 1794. 1794 is named after the ranch that used to operate on the property the Tundra factory was built on. Mainstream product portfolio? Check.

2014 Toyota Tundra Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Interior

Truck makers have finally read the memo that truck shoppers expect passenger car quality interiors. Toyota listened in 2007 but didn’t catch the all important detail “car quality interiors” not “car-like interiors.” Thankfully the 2014 refresh banishes the awkward Camry-esque of the old model for a more masculine design language. Like the competition there is plenty of hard plastic in this cabin, more fake tree than a 1970s suburban tri-level and plenty of bling. I can finally say with a straight face that the Tundra’s interior looks like a truck.

Unfortunately for Toyota, 2014 also brings a raft of refreshed, redesigned and tweaked trucks from the big boys. Compared back to back with the 2014 Silverado and the 2013 RAM, the Tundra’s interior looks a little too “try hard” with shapes that are discordant and not harmonious and parts quality that is a notch below the pack. The F-150 is getting a little old with a 2015 redesign widely expected, but I still find the Ford’s interior to be a better place to spend my time than the Tundra. Mainstream interior? Check.

2014 Toyota Tundra Interior, entune, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Infotainment

2014 brings a few changes to the Tundra’s infotainment head unit. The major change is that all Tundra models will come with Toyota’s 6.1-inch Entune system only. The 7-inch system that ran the high-end software shared with the Lexus brand is not available in any model of Tundra. Consider me pleased. Toyota’s low-end system still seems to suffer from a dim LCD but the software itself is slick, speedy and easy to use. As before navigation is optional as is smartphone app integration. If you want the detailed look, check out the video. Mainstream tunes? Check.

2014 Tundra 5.7L V8, Picture Courtesy of Toyota

Powertrain

Delivering a new truck with an old drivetrain isn’t new, Ford’s been doing that for years. Unfortunately Ford is known for refreshing the under-hood-bits the next year while Toyota is known for  maintaining the status quo until a redesign. Unless Toyota breaks from tradition, this puts the Tundra at a serious competitive disadvantage. The base engine is ye olde 4.0L V6 mated to Toyota’s tried-and-true (but also tired and behind the times) 5-speed automatic. The rated 270 ponies and 278 twists are competitive with RAM’s 3.6L V6 and Ford’s 3.7L V6 on paper where torque is more important than horsepower for towing, but in the real world Ford’s 6-speed automatic makes better use of the power and 2014 brings ZF’s 8-speed to the RAM 1500 giving Chrysler’s 3.6L engine three more 60% more gears to play with. Toyota claims the V6 exists for a low entry price and as a result doesn’t even list a rated towing capacity for the V6 SR model. (Toyota says it’s 4,400 lbs.) I think that’s a serious mistake when we take two things into account. First, many truck buyers, especially those in California where Toyota is making headway, have no idea what a trailer even looks like. Second, Detroit is changing their tune on the V6 models changing them from entry engines to fuel efficient options that can haul some serious loads. RAM’s 2014 V6 model will tow 7,450lbs. Toyota was quick to say that they are the only ones with SAE verified towing numbers but I’m here to tell you the Chrysler 3.6L V6 and ZF 8-speed transmission are a weekend warrior’s towing wet dream.

Because the V6 is the milquetoast discount engine, Toyota offers two different V8s to fill out the product portfolio. Because Toyota only offers the V6 on the base SR model with the regular cab, most buyers will have a V8 under the hood. Both V8s are closely related to the engines found in modern Lexus models and as such are buttery smooth with a rich V8 burble and a torque curve that’s higher and “peakier” than the American competition. The 4.6L V8 is good for 310 horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque, only slightly higher than GM’s 4.3L V6 and well behind Ford’s fire-breathing Ecoboost 3.5L V6. Still, this is not going to be the most popular engine because most Tundras will have Toyota’s 381HP 5.7L V8 capable of cranking out 401 lb-ft. Both V8s are mated to a mode modern 6-speed automatic which is on par with GM and Ford but notably shy of the RAM’s new ZF 8-speed for 2014. If you need more power TRD will be selling the same supercharger kit as before (as a TRD accessory it is covered by the Toyota factory warranty) which bumps the 5.7 to a class blowing 504HP and 550 lb-ft.

2014 Toyota Tundra Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Driving and hauling

If you are one of the few that tow with their pickup truck, you may be happy to know that Toyota is the only company that follows the SAE standard completely when determining tow ratings.  Or, like me, you may look at the situation more skeptically and say “OK, so Dodge, Ford and Chrysler fiddle with their numbers” but does that matter? Not to me. The big three’s 1500 series trucks all slot in around 10,000 lbs with Chevy currently claiming king of the hill. Big deal. How the vehicles behave while towing is more important to me than the numbers and with that in mind there is one clear winner: the 2014 Ram 1500. Why? It’s all about ZF’s 8-speed automatic. The octo-swapper is two gears ahead of the competition and as a result can better keep the engine in its respective power band. Towing with Chrysler’s 3.6L V6 and 8-speed automatic is an eye opening experience and even though Chrysler’s 5.7L V8 lacks the power of the larger GM and Ford V8s the extra gears make a huge difference. Still, most half ton truck owners in suburbia have a truck because they bought a Ski-Doo and can’t imagine towing a 500-pound jetski behind a crossover with a meager 5,000 pound tow rating. (Seriously, I know some of these people.) With that in mind we can just say everyone in this segment can tow more than you need.

Out on the road the Tundra drives just like a pickup truck. If you had hoped that Toyota’s badge on the nose would turn the full-size cargo hauler into a FR-S on stilts you will be disappointed. The Tundra tips/dives and leans just like a Chevy, RAM or Ford and like the competition the horizontal grip varies depending on the cab, bed and rubber you choose. Steering is accurate but numb amd cabin noise is well controlled for a pickup truck.

2014 Toyota Tundra Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

With limited time behind the wheel of the pre-production models I must draw my V6 experience from a dealer provided 2013 model. The V6 is slow and thirsty, with the 5-speed automatic always a step behind what’s required. The 4.7L V8 is thirstier than the V6 but doesn’t drink anymore than the competition. Power delivery is smooth and  the 6-speed automatic shifts firmly with a relative eagerness to downshift when towing. The 5.7L V8 drinks like a college co-ed on spring break and has a somewhat high (3,600 RPM) torque peak which makes it feel out of sorts when towing compared to GM’s 6.2L monster.

After a day tossing the Tundra around Washington state and towing trailers with unknown weights inside (seriously, nobody seemed to know how much weight was in the demo trailer) I came to the conclusion that the Tundra is finally a solid middle of the pack contender. With the exception of ye olde 5-speed on the V6, there’s nothing about the Tundra that’s smaller, weaker, less masculine or less capable than the popular configurations of the Detroit trucks.

Everything about the Tundra is quintessentially middle of the pack, but does that make it the Goldilocks of the 1/2 ton truck market? Yes and no. In the pursuit of mainstream, Toyota has abandoned the attempt to be class leading. As a result, there is nothing extraordinary about the Tundra in a positive or negative way except, possibly, Toyota’s reputation for reliability. In a segment where brand is practically more important than payload and towing (just ask the Chevy vs Ford guys), that’s a problem for Toyota as it gives shoppers little reason to try something new. The 2014 Tundra is the best pickup truck Toyota has ever made and it’s a solid alternative to any of the American pickup trucks.  But, unless Toyota breaks out of their shell and does something radical, the Tundra isn’t likely to sway many shoppers in the heartland.

 

Tundra flew me to Seattle to sample the Tundra refresh.

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195 Comments on “Pre-Production Review: 2014 Toyota Tundra (With Video)...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Could GM or Ford be able to continue operating in North America without the profits they derive from pickup truck sales?

    I’m sure Toyota could (given their revenue model and product mix), but is it not a respectable question to ask regarding GM and Ford?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The answer is yes, but for Ford, the profitability of the F-150 offsets European losses.

      Can Honda or Toyota continue US operations without profitablity derived from the Camry or Accord? Probably.

      I’ve always hated that arguement because any time you cherry pick the most profitable thing a company does, and then remove it, they won’t be as profitable.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Could Honda or Toyota be able to continue operating in North America without the profits they derive from small and midsized car sales?

      I’m sure GM and Ford could (given their revenue model and product mix), but is it not a respectable question to ask regarding Toyota and Honda?

      The answer is yes, they are profitable without trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        bball40dtw,

        How do you come to that conclusion?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          That they are profitable without trucks?

          I’m not suggesting that Honda/Toyota are unprofitable without the Camry/Accord.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            Well, your comment is difficult to parse. It seemed you think that the D3 would be profitable without trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Ford is profitable right now in the US without trucks. This wasn’t always the case. Its modest compared to F-series profits. However, their other platforms combined make money here.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            How do you know Ford (or GM) is profitable in N.A. if one were to reduce or eliminate revenue derived from light truck sales?

            I asked the question not knowing the answer, but one of the primary reasons I asked it is due to the fact that there are few industries that are more capital intensive than automotive manufacturing, I’m under the impression that Ford & GM derive a much higher % of their revenues (and even higher % of profits)from light truck sales than any their rivals, and that given the intense fixed capital costs that are part & parcel of manufacturing automobiles, Ford & GM are necessarily able to realize much more economies of scale as a result of their higher volume of pickup truck sales.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            You aren’t wrong about a majority of Ford’s profits being light truck based. That doesn’t mean they don’t make money on the Explorer, Edge, Escape, Fusion, Focus, etc. On the small and midsized platforms, costs are shared globally. This wasn’t the case previously. Also, since the Explorer was added to the D3/4 platform, Ford is making money on that platform.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Deadweight-

            I think of all companies, Chrysler/Fiat would have the most issues without RAM. Jeep and Ram keep the whole company alive right now. They don’t have vehicles with the same global volume/profits as many of the other big car companies.

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      Another auto blog called this truck the “White Flag” edition. Some one once said buying a Tundra or Titan instead of an American truck is like going to France or Italy and ordering room service. The Tundra is clearly an also ran with a flimsy frame, flimsy sheetmetal, bad gas mileage and a tailgate one can’t even be used as a load platform, Does it still have that “bed bounce” issue.

      Styling is a personal issue but Toyota is generally regard as making the ugliest vehicles in the auto industry and the Tundra certainly lives up to this reputation. “mock air vents”?

      • 0 avatar
        beachjesus

        Flimsy frame? You mean the same set-up as the D3′s 3/4 ton pick ups?

        • 0 avatar
          billfrombuckhead

          EVEN THE TOYOTABOT KOOL_AID DRINKING TUNDRA FANBOI WEBSITE SAYS THE TUNDRA FRAME IS SUBPAR!

          “FRAME:

          The frame is clearly one of GM’s strengths – the truck is rated to haul more, and the frame is largely responsible for this. There’s also the well documented “bed bounce” issue that some people are experiencing on their Tundras. When Toyota re-designs the Tundra, we hope they use a frame that’s more comparable to the GM and Ford products.

          WINNER: GM. Years of truck experience building trucks can definitely come in handy.”
          http://www.tundraheadquarters.com/blog/tundra-vs-sierra-silverado-part-one-mechanicals/

          BTW 2013 RAM just doesn’t crush Tundra in gas mileage it embaresses Tacoma as well. If JapanInc beat the domestics this bad in gas mileage the pundits would never let it go but they seem to give Toyota and Nissan a pass on their antique drivetrains.

          One more thing, it wouldn’t be a Toyota truck without some sort of fake airvent. Instead of looking to bauhaus or classic designs of the past, Toyota looks to J.C. Whitney, Manny, Moe and Jack for inspiration.

        • 0 avatar
          jz78817

          http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GJZVUnOduH4

          Just because Toyota made the tundra’s frame “look” like the other pickups’ doesn’t mean it actually is like the other pickups’. Yes, all ladder frames will flex and twist to some degree but what the tundra is doing is just absurd.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        “The Tundra is clearly an also ran with a flimsy frame, flimsy sheetmetal, bad gas mileage and a tailgate one can’t even be used as a load platform, Does it still have that “bed bounce” issue.”

        My F-250′s side panel (behind the half-door and before the bed) flexes if I lean against it while filling the tank.

        Is the Tundra’s sheet metal really any flimsier than my SuperDuty’s? I tend to doubt it, but I suppose it’s possible. More importantly: Would I care?

        To paraphrase a saying from the gun community – “Is truck. Gets beat up.”

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    I like how the Tundra morphed from this pedestrian yet subtly handsome pickup into the silly caricature of a truck. This refresh completes the task.

    And that orange/woodgrain/satin metallic cabin treatment…what? I realize those are the same ingredients that make, say, an F-250 Platinum cabin, but I can take the same ingredients used to make a chicken pot pie and make an inedible mush. So can Toyota.

    I just look at this and the Titan and have to chuckle knowing that this is one segment where the Japanese truly have absolutely no idea what they’re doing.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      I like the Tundra…90% of the negativity is BS posturing from the domestic truck crowd….nothing new. And this comes from a Ford Raptor owner.

      But I agree about the interior as shown. It looks like Toyota has “out-Laramied” the Ram Laramie or Ford King Ranch….just needs a dinner plate sized belt buckle badge in the middle of the dash! But it seems that after Toyota has tried their full-size truck experiment their way, they are conceding that it didn’t work and are mirroring what the domestics have done with great success.

    • 0 avatar
      neonturbo

      I like vehicles with interiors other than the usual “you can pick any color as long as it is grey”, but this weird orange-brown-butterscotch doesn’t quite look right for some reason. It doesn’t help that the woodgrain is only 3 shades different than the pukey orange dash.

  • avatar
    readallover

    I`ve always thought it was the benevolent ignorance of the managers of the Big Three. Trucks were always left to themselves. Extremely long product cycles, where design and innovation were low on costs and importance. And because of that they were far more durable and less problem-prone that their car cousins. Pickups did not give their owners the quality or financial headaches that the American cars gave to their owners. And because of that, truck owners stayed loyal as opposed to car owners who migrated to the Japanese manufacturers.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I don’t think I would say that the big three trucks are low on innovation. They can certainly spread costs out farther than other products though. I know that at Ford, engineers working on trucks are less berated about cost than engineers working on anything else. I would bet thats the case though at Mercedes with the S-Class vs anything else.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I think he’s saying that ustabee the case, it certainly isn’t now. But back in the day, it certainly wasn’t uncommon for trucks to be relatively unchanged for a decades.

        In the case of the F-Series, the ’96 F-150 shared a lot of similarities with models from the 60′s, but mostly dated back to 1980. Heck, you could still get a three-on-the-tree in ’86.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Damn, what’s it take for Toyota to give up on an already saturated and hostile market segment?

    Unlike cars, there’s never been anything wrong with American trucks for Toyota to improve upon.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Toyota tends to take the long view. I would expect them to keep swinging at this for at least another couple of decades.

    • 0 avatar
      afflo

      Because they want a profitable slice of the pie?

      Imagine this is a Cruze, Focus, Sonic, or Fiesta blogpost:

      Damn, what’s it take for Detroit to give up on an already saturated and hostile market segment?

      Unlike cars, there’s never been anything wrong with Japanese small cars for Detroit to improve upon.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        In a truly free market with no CAFE and other gov’t interference Detroit prob would have given up on the small car last decade and focused on trunks/SUVs and traditional American cars. The traditional American car market may have dwindled but its still out there, its members have been turned into truck, SUV, and later CUV buyers by Detroit starting in the early 90s. I seriously doubt GM (by bringing in a Korean design for Cruze), Ford (by bringing in a European design for Focus from the beginning), and Chrysler (also by bringing in a European design for Dart) either want to be in or truly understand the small car market.

        If the Japanese really wanted to make inroads in the pickup market they would undercut Detroit in price. The Big Three have been kept going by their truck profits for twenty years, they can’t afford to lose the segment while Japan Inc has a stranglehold on cars to fall back on. Even today despite any Camcord shortcomings people keep blindly buying them, which is phenomenal given the fact nearly everyone else has reached the bar they once set. American buyers even in the red states aren’t a loyal of consumers as you’d think, if Toyota undercut the Big Three by say 25% on Tundra without skimping on value or options I imagine their market share would grow exponentially. Every point gained by Toyota may not represent much (if any) profit to Toyota, but it would represent exponential profit loss to The Big Three which weakens them over time. Less profit equals less advertising, R&D, prestige, and finally less of a stock price.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          There *is* far more profit in pickup trucks, especially when a semi-well-equipped one costs $40K for no good reason. I almost want gas prices to go up so that I can get one of these new Silverados on the cheap.

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            For perspective, roughly $40k is the AVERAGE transaction price for a pickup these days.

            So not only are they costly and thirsty, they sell very well. I’m guessing the people (like me) whining about high truck prices aren’t actually truck buyers.

            I think the high price is part of the cache, actually. It’s not cool to tell your friends you got a good deal; instead, it enhances your manhood to say you paid a premium.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Yes, the new 6.2L is a monster, but it isn’t even available yet. How does the carryover Toyota 5.7L V8 compare to the new GM 5.3L V8? I can imagine that the former is far less fuel-efficient…

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          The Japanese can undercut the Big 3, hence the chicken tax and other regulatory differences in US LCVs.

      • 0 avatar
        Russycle

        Cruze, Focus, Sonic and Fiesta are sold all over the world, and before them Ford and Chevy sold millions of (mostly crappy) compacts in the US. They’re not trying to crack a new market with a product they can’t move anywhere else. Where else does Toyota sell the T100 in significant numbers?

        This is like Ford trying to sell Fiesta in Japan, except Ford gave up after 3 years…and they had plenty of other places to sell Fiestas.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “Because they want a profitable slice of the pie?”

        And have for 14 years.

        BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!….

        “Shimatta! Head hurt, wall still there.”

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’ve wondered the same thing about the Kia Sedona minivan.

      Our 09 is my favorite of the 4 we’ve owned (96 GV, 05 Oddy, 98 GC), but the Sedona is never even mentioned in comparison articles. I don’t know why they keep trying.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatist

      The situation is this (I think): The very successful Toyotas and Hondas are essentially variants of successful cars in the Japanese market. Same with the highly successful (outside the US) Hilux and similar pickups.

      The Japanese do not understand the US pickup market because there is nothing like them at home, or in other countries. Nowhere else in the world do they sell lots of trucks that big for personal, or personal/business use. So they just crudely copy the American segment but they really do not have a feel for it.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        The Toyota pickups I’ve looked at are beautiful, at least externally. And I would fully expect then to have the same reliability I’ve flat-out worshiped in Toyota’s and other J-cars since the 80′s.

        They’re just superfluous and pricey.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Excellent point about domestic markets vs the foreign (US) market. Imagine Dodge trying to sell kei cars in Japan.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        I think it’s more subtle than that. Toyota successfully scales up the size of sedans and minivans for the US market, making class-leading vehicles they don’t sell in Japan. Their decision making employees in the US and Japan seem to be able to relate to products for white collar office workers and suburban families. On the other hand, how many people in Toyota’s product development centers drive full size pickup trucks or associate with full size pickup truck buyers? Over time Toyota has learned that size matters, but they still don’t really get why someone would want a full size pickup truck. The Tundra looks like nobody designing it wanted to own one.

        Contrast the Tundra with a 2013 Ram 1500 Express in Black. http://www.ramtrucks.com/en/ram_1500/#express/black_clear_coat/mono The next to the lowest trim Ram, selling for well under $30k, looks like the designers put some effort into making it look good.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      One look at a 2007 Tundra next to any of the Detroit trucks at that time showed that there was an awful lot to improve upon.

      It took Ford 4 more years to come up with a competitive powertrain. GM and Chrysler didn’t get there until this year.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Because the segment has the largest profit margins it literally screams for new entrants.

      That will improve the product and bring down prices, win win for consumers.

      But a huge loss for manufacturers who have historically relied on pickups to keep them in business.

    • 0 avatar
      neonturbo

      “Damn, what’s it take for Toyota to give up on an already saturated and hostile market segment?

      Unlike cars, there’s never been anything wrong with American trucks for Toyota to improve upon.”

      I agree. The big 3 have had many decades of experience building trucks. Most of them pretty good trucks, by the way. The Detroit 3 pretty much know what the average US truck buyer wants.

      I don’t think Toyota should give up completely on trucks, but I do think they are way over their heads in the full size class. They should build something more unique, or build a truck to compete in another class of vehicles where they can define or dominate that segment. Maybe they can revive the compact truck market?

  • avatar
    Pch101

    If my understanding is correct, Toyota budgeted the R&D for this just as the financial crisis was kicking into high gear. The company was strapped for funds and the future of the US car market was uncertain, so TMC took the conservative approach and did what it could on a limited budget.

    Consequently, this is more of a refresh than it is a new vehicle. Now that the truck market is on fire, that may seem as if that was a foolish decision, but Toyota decided that it didn’t want to bet big dollars or yen on a segment in which it had little to gain and a lot to lose if it overspent. If it’s serious about the segment (and it seems to be), then they’ll invest more of an effort into the next model.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “If you need more power TRD will be selling the same supercharger kit as before (as a TRD accessory it is covered by the Toyota factory warranty) which bumps the 5.7 to a class blowing 504HP and 550 lb-ft.”

    Seriously? Can you get the 5.7 in the standard cab? You know just in case you are a totally insane Toyota fanboy who wants to go hunting Hemi Ram Expresses. For crying out loud I can get the tires to spin on a 4.6V8 powered F150 with automatic and it only makes 231 hp (172 kW) 293 lb·ft (397 N·m)

    If you need 500+ lb ft & 500+ hp to tow go get a diesel and or a CDL.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      I expect they’re not bought for towing. Toyota shows the only standard cab as an SR work-spec, no 4×4, 6 only. They really seem not to want to sell anything but extended cabs.

      • 0 avatar

        My neighbor has a 2009 Tundra reg cab SR5 with the 5.7 I really don’t like the tundra styling (I think it is the ugliest pickup ever conceived) but his reg cab in blue is the least offensive one to my eye.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        I think that’s because nobody really wants to buy anything but extended or crew cabs*.

        I rarely see full-size pickups with standard cabs – and then it’s almost entirely fleet/commercial trucks.

        (I know I absolutely refuse to even consider one for personal use; on the road that extra space is invaluable.)

        * Am I wrong? I’d love to see some sales mix numbers – a quick search revealed nothing useful, however.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      You could get the 5.7 with any cab before 2014. I want to say you still can, Toyota’s website is just so screwed up right now. It won’t even let me build a Double Cab Limited like Alex has pictured here, giving me only the option to build a CrewMax.

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      Hah! +1

  • avatar
    ajla

    Personally, I felt like the Ford 6.2L walked all over the Chrysler 5.7L in HD applications. Especially on a hill. That 8-speed must be pretty magical.

    For me, I’d be a little worried about towing near five-figures of weight with the 8-speed until Ram starts fitting it to the HD line.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      Keep in mind the 8-speed auto (8HP90 only) is rated for 737 lb-ft in diesel applications so that is an incredibly stout transmission. It won’t stand up to the 6.7L Cumins’ 850lb-ft but it is certainly appropriate for the 3.0L diesel, and the 5.7 and 6.4 Hemis. (Chrysler hasn’t said if the 2500/3500s will get the 8-speed with gasoline engines at this time.)

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I’m sure it can handle the engine’s output. But, 10000 pounds is still an awful lot of weight to pull.

        And, I’d wonder why the 8-speed isn’t in the HD trucks right away. It isn’t like HD truck buyers are poor.

        It’s the same reservations I have about the Ecoboost 3.5L not being offered in the Super Duty.

        • 0 avatar
          Alex L. Dykes

          I have a feeling it is primarily because it can’t handle the Cummins’ 850 lb-ft and it would seem odd to jam the 8-speed on the base engine and have the $7,750 optional engine hanging out with a 6-speed.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          The Ecoboost isn’t in the Super Duty for two reasons.

          1. Cost. The 6.2 is as simple as modern gas engines get. Iron block, two valves, one cam per bank, standard injection, no cylinder deactivation. It certainly costs Ford a couple thousand dollars less than the Ecoboost. It probably costs Ford even less than the base F-150′s base V6.

          2. Mileage. The Ecoboost was invented at all for Ford to advertise a great EPA treadmill number (when they’re off boost) and 3/4 ton trucks aren’t even tested. Off the treadmill, unlike a F-150 that’s usually empty, a F-350 is usually doing real work (and weighs an extra ton even when it isn’t) and would be in and out of boost all the time getting terrible economy.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “Personally, I felt like the Ford 6.2L walked all over the Chrysler 5.7L in HD applications. ”

      It does. That’s why Chrysler is bringing out a 6.4L gasser this year for the HDs.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    It appears hydraulic power steering is going the way of the throttle by wire!

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      Don’t you mean mechanical throttle? My Challenger is actually hydraulic power steering (little reservoir down on the rack), but the pump is electric. Seems they want to get all the accessories driven off the engine.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        yes you’re right sorry!

      • 0 avatar
        LeMansteve

        I don’t have a very good understanding of the motivations towards EPS, electronic water pumps and other electrically-powered devices replacing traditional belt-driven devices. Sure, you have one less pulley and less parts, but aren’t you just redirecting all of that through the alternator into the battery? Won’t the alternator pull harder to keep the battery charged since it is now supporting high-load pumps and motors?

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Big trucks have pretty hardcore alternators already; and the additional load from making more electrical power is *very likely* less than that of moving pulleys and belts to run pumps and compressors.

          Especially since you don’t really need to drive that power steering pump so much at freeway speeds, but you still were…

          In the no-AC, no-steering (ie, freeway) cases, you reduce load significantly; when both are in serious use I suspect it’s a wash at worst.

          (Plus, no leaking steering boxes, ever!)

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    “towing capacity for the V6 SR model. (Toyota says it’s 4,400 lbs.)”

    Holy crap, that’s less than my Jeep Liberty CRD!

    Towing is something important to me, and with all the manufactures dumping truck-based SUV’s for these flimy weak crossovers, I’m left with fewer choices every model year. Thankfully, for now, my Jeep has plenty of life left in it, but the day it goes…..

    I want a SUV. I don’t like trucks; I have a utility trailer that is far more useless than any truck bed I can hitch to the back of the Jeep. What I want is something I can take on a trip, through snowy mountain roads if needed, that is comfortable and keeps my stuff safe and dry inside (and I travel with a lot of stuff).

    I’m curious how the 8-spd Ram tows. I don’t like it when a vehicle keeps downshifting to keep up. Let me emphazize how much I HATE automatics that constantly downshift. It’s one reason why I love the Liberty. 5spd is enough with the power delivery of that diesel.

    At this point, the Toyota 4-Runner and FJ Cruiser look like the only real offerings left on the market. I find the Grand Cherokee to car like, and NOT having a solid axle is a serious problem for me. The Yukon/Tahoe are too big, and outdated.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The Yukon/Tahoe/Suburban are being updated soon. The 2015s will be debuting at the Texas State Fair this month. They are still too big for you probably. Your best hope is that GM decides to bring the Colorado/Canyon based SUV here with the diesel engine. There is your new car.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatist

      reviews I’ve read suggest that constant downshifting is not a problem. The computer realizes it’s on a cusp, and will pick a gear and hold it.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      Welcome to the club brother. Us SUV lovers have been left out in the cold. I’d add the Wrangler Unlimited to your list although cargo space isn’t great. If you want an FJ better buy one soon, looks like it too will be killed off after 2014.

    • 0 avatar

      If you need towing that much yet require a package as small as Libbie, you ought to consider Frontier (7250 lbs IIRC). Everything else gets fairly phail ratings nowadays. It’s not going to have anything to match your CRD, but you can avoid downshifts by pressing the magic button called “O/D off”.

    • 0 avatar
      Nicholas Weaver

      Heck, thats less than a V6 Taco with the towing package (and its hard to get a Taco that doesn’t include the tow package.)

      I think the biggest problem the Tundra faces is called the Tacoma.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      ” I don’t like trucks; I have a utility trailer that is far more useless than any truck bed I can hitch to the back of the Jeep.”

      I… assume you mean useful?

  • avatar
    brettc

    I saw one of these things at the Toyota dealer recently. It looked way overdone with that new grille. And it was $45000, which is just insane to me. It was a nice shade of metallic brown though, so there was that.

    I have a neighbor with a 2013 Tundra and the 5.7 V8. It replaced a Trailblazer with the V6. He drives it to work and back 99% of the time and then a couple times a year he tows a small tent trailer. The wife and I have a good laugh whenever we see him get out of it because he’s a really small guy. I call it the Leprechaun-mobile. I have no idea why he bought it when a smallish SUV would have done the job. But whatever, different strokes I suppose.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    ” In August GM took third place with 7,037 pickups sold in the US of A, ”

    This ain’t right. The Sierra alone moved 18,017 units in August.

  • avatar
    Ion

    The Tundra comes off as a caricature of what the Japanese think Americans want in a pickup.It has cartoonishly large gear selector and door handles for big fat americans. There’s an unnecessary giant metal skidplate that makes changing the cannister oilfilter a huge pain in the ass. It exceeds at nothing in it’s class.

    I can’t see why anyone would buy one unless they got a good deal with incentives or are too much of a hipster to buy ‘american’ (Tundra is made here after all).

    • 0 avatar
      kenzter

      Exactly.
      This thing reminds me of a particular Southpark episode.
      “american penis so big”

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Considering how garishly styled the domestic pickups are inside & out, and how little of their trucks’ capabilities most owners use, a caricature seems like a reasonable strategy. The frame flex of a Tundra doesn’t matter when you are using the thing primarily to commute and haul the kids, which seems to be all that most non-HD full sizers are used for.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    The last time I shopped for trucks was in 1999, but I’m betting it hasn’t changed that much. For a V8, 1/2 ton, regular cab, 2wd, 6ft bed; ranking in price from low to high, Ford, Chevy, Dodge and highest by far was Toyota. I bought the Chevy and still have it.

    • 0 avatar
      stevelyon

      Good luck finding a 1/2 ton regular cab truck with a 6′ bed. Nobody seems to want to make them in anything but the lowest of the low trim levels anymore. And even with the low trims, you can “build and price” them online, but good luck finding one at a dealer.

  • avatar
    afflo

    I would never guess that the Tundra is that far behind. THere are a ton of them in my corner of Texas.

    But then, they build them here in town, so that probably has a bit to do with it.

    The fake stick-shift/console thing looks kinda silly in a truck. Seven feet wide, and the seats are STILL jammed against a console? Why use a console shfiter in a truck, period?

    They aren’t offering a stick in these anymore, are they?

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      I for one will miss the steering column shifter on a regular cab with an automatic transmission.

      No one is building a half-ton with a manual transmission for the North American market anymore. It has been that way for few years.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Not only do they force you into the buckets in the double cab if you want any options to speak of, you can’t have any crew cab with a bench at all. Takes the crew cab right off my cross shopping list.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Still C-channeled frame too. Unlike the fully boxed frame of it’s competitors Alex hit the nail on the head, this is no game changer but suburban/city truck.

    How much you want to bet that the rust reclls continue in the midwest?

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    One other thing that hurts possibly is the ordering model.

    Talking with a salesman at the Toyota dealer, Toyota doesn’t have a mechanism to custom order!?!

    Especially on a truck, it makes sense to order custom, especially when the one you would want is a practical unicorn (E.g. I might like a stripped, 4×4, 4-Cylinder, standard cab, manual Taco). Yet Toyota doesn’t enable this at all, especially from a Texas plant.

    Compare with Subaru, where the GF’s XV was custom ordered and shipped from Japan.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      Typical of the Japanese makes; this trim level is equipped like so and if you want something else you can piss off. I was surprised how barren the options list was on a Corolla compared to a Focus.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Looks like Toyota still hasn’t figured out how to build a truck engine. My biggest complaint about my ’93 compact Toy PU was the lack of low end grunt out of it’s OHC V6 engine for towing. That’s why when it was time to step up to a full size truck for towing my 3rd boat I passed over the Tundra after a test drive. Ultimately the roller cammed 5.7 in the Chevy I ended up buying was a better engine for towing 5500 lbs as was the rest of the truck.

  • avatar
    wmba

    No, Alex, GM sold a lot more than 7037 pickups in August.

    I quote from goodcarbadcar.net once again, since TTAC Staffers of all kinds seem to forget this resource, even when they quote sales figures a month out of date like the other day:

    “GM sold 63,431 pickups in August.” That was about 43,600 Siverados and 18,000 Sierras, plus all the other bits and pieces.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Toyota believes styling was to blame and I’m inclined to agree. The “bubbly” theme of the old Tundra was fairly emasculating when you parked next to the “rugged” F-150 or RAM 1500.”

    That’s an interesting point and lets say you are both correct. Then why is the overall cab area (esp back by the D pillar) still rounded and feminine? Trucks are supposed to look capable and masculine for all of those un-endowed men out there. Toyota styling fail. Ditto to the Ridgeline although I believe it’s going away next year.

  • avatar
    RS

    Toyota (and Nissan) lost the truck market when they started to offer the same thing as the US companies. They have what it takes to capture a significant amount of sales if they’d just offer something different. Nissan caused a little stir with the announcement of a diesel offering in a 1/2 ton and rumors of Toyota using the same motor was reported also. Too bad Ram beat them there and theirs will be mated to that wonderful 8 speed tranny.

    There is a vacuum of small trucks in America, not mid size, but small. They sales stalled because they never were updated with modern powertrains and options. Every manufacturer has the technology to really do something nice there, but they resist. It’s kinda like their procrastination of making nice small cars, but look at them now.

    There is an opportunity for a small pickup that gets 30+ MPG’s, tow 5K lbs and doesn’t cost $25K+. Nissan and Toyota need to go back to what made them famous and stop trying to be something they aren’t.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      This is an excellent point, similar to one made in another TTAC thread regarding Mitsubishi’s lack of mid-size car product.

      Just as it’s suicidal for Mitsu to compete against Camcords, it’s suicidal for Toyonissan to compete against F150s, Sierras, and Rams.

      There is a real market for a modern small pickup, and Toyonissan could do that easily.

      • 0 avatar
        Nicholas Weaver

        Heck, for 80% of the customers you actually see driving around, a Taco is a better sized truck than an F150: Smaller, more agile, built like a brick S-house, and it still halls a legit half-ton in the bed and/or can tow 6500 lbs (V6, tow package).

        Imagine a new-design Tacoma, if Toyota doesn’t care about cannibalizing bigger truck-sales.

        • 0 avatar
          DinosaurWine

          There is no reason anyone should buy a Tacoma over a modern full-size truck. The design is older than dirt, they get similar fuel economy to most modern V8 1/2 tons, and they aren’t even all that much cheaper. They’re about 95% the size of a current full size truck so it won’t be that much easier around town. Oh, and they have that silly plastic bed, so they aren’t great for actually hauling anything.

          I think the modern Tacoma is proof that people will literally buy anything with a Toyota badge on it. The only reason it sells at all is because it is the only credible entry in an otherwise dying segment. I certainly can’t think of any other market in which an 8 year-old design sells that well.

          • 0 avatar
            afflo

            No reason?

            Price. Fuel economy*. Having to park downtown would be a huge one – if you spend your entire life in Mayberry or cruising from the Home Depot to Olive Garden in the suburbs, it would be fine.

            A compact pickup is a vehicle that could be used as an everyday car in a variety of situations, including parking in the narrow bays of a parking garage.

            * I keep hearing how a compact/midsized pickup has about the same fuel economy as a modern full-size. I’ve owned a compact – my ’03 Sonoma was a classic little 4-banger pickup with a stick. You can still get that from Toyota, although unfortunately it’s a bit wider these days.

            The Tacoma 4-cyl/manual is rated at 21/25. The 6-cyl/manual is 16/21. The latter can be matched by a Ford 6-cylinder with turbo wizardry, but I can’t find a modern full size that matches a small/mid-sizer with a small engine.

            Also – strange, the Dodge Ram isn’t listed on fueleconomy.gov, and hasn’t been since 2010.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @afflo fyi- Ram became a brand, separate from Dodge in 2011. Ram is on the website.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Uh, a little bit of yes and a whole lot of no. Tacomas are old and overpriced, yes. But “aren’t even all that much cheaper” relies entirely on dealerships dropping far below MSRP on full sizers. Otherwise a 4-door Tacoma is about $8000 less than a 4-door full sizer, IIRC.

            I’d buy a Tacoma over a full size because I don’t tow or frequently haul near GVWR, but I do want to be able to get offroad in the backcountry and haul bulky items in the bed. Full sizers are incredibly wide vehicles and that hampers offroad ability and in-town driving.

            So there are reasons. There just aren’t as many as there used to be.

          • 0 avatar
            afflo

            THe problem with the Tacoma is that it has grown too large… A 1995 Tacoma (the first year after it replaced the Hilux in the US) had a 193″ length, and a 66″ width. That’s a narrower, shorter footprint than today’s Accord Sedan… and that’s an XtraCab.

            It weighed in at around 3000 lbs.

            That’s actually not far off from a contemporary Camry.

            So my question: Why can’t they build a ~3000 lbs Camry-ish sized pickup? Give in the same engines – the 2.5L from the Camry is grunty enough to haul around 3000 lbs with ease. Small enough to easily squeeze into small parallel parking spaces and compact only bays in municipal parking garages. Toss bicycles, camping equipment, crap from the hardware store, vintage furniture from flea markets, etc. in the back with ease, hose it out if it gets dirty. Assuming similar weight to a modern compact crossover, it should be able to manage low-mid 20′s around town.

            Even go unibody like the Chevrolet Montana.

            http://www.chevrolet.com.br/pickups/montana.html

            They were unbelievably popular in the 80′s and 90′s, usually comparable in cost to a compact car, and it’s not as if they’d have to reengineer them – they build the things all over the world.

            I understand the point about the Tacoma being too close to full size, but to me, that just means that a Tacoma is not quite as undesirable as a full-size truck, not a reason to go for something even more inconvenient.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            They do make a Camry sized, Camry weight, 4 cylinder pickup. It’s called the regular cab and so few people buy them that in all likelihood Toyota is going to kill it.

            The people who want a compact beater truck are the same people who also want to pay no more than $8,000 for it used.

    • 0 avatar
      Prado

      I have always thought that Subaru has the perfect platform/powertrain in the Impreza, for a small, inexpensive and fuel efficient truck. The boxer engines would allow them to retain rwd (right wheel drive for a truck!). Keep it a single cab with a good size bed and start around 15k. They would sell a ton to fleets.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    “1794″? That is a truly stupid name. Maybe they should do a special blue edition to commemorate the founding of the US Navy, or a light brown job in honor of the Whiskey Rebellion.

    When did trucks get exempted from bumper standards? Did somebody decide that making the front bumper flush with the grille was a good idea? I guess they figure they’ll make a killing selling replacement plastic grilles.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Toyota didn’t put in the money for a very new truck but I’m not impressed by what they did change.

    The new exterior is every bit the overstyled caricature that the old one was. They can build a clean, good looking truck when they want to, the Tacoma proves that. At least they didn’t outright ruin it like the new 4Runner.

    The new interior seems much less bad than the old one but still isn’t very good. They had 5 years to copy Ford’s flat cargo floor in the crew cab, even GM got that right, and they half-assed it with seats that don’t fold up as neatly and a floor that isn’t flat. And the seats don’t recline anymore either.

    They’re still putting a 26 gallon tank (with a light that comes on at 20) in a 6000 lb tow truck. Stupid. Ford puts in 36. Transfer Flow fits in 46 if you pay them $1500 for it. Toyota could make that standard.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    Until Toyota puts a longer bed on the CC, it will always be a niche player. There is a ton of things that could have been easily accomplished, but other than a refreshed body & interior, nothing of significance occured.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      I wish you could get the CrewMax with a longer bed too, it would look much more symmetrical (though be a pain to park) but the Double Cab, which has 4 independent doors (the blue truck pictured here) is available with a 6 or 8 ft bed.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    One factor that I think is an important reason why Toyota pickup trucks do not sell better is their relative lack of dealerships in rural areas. Pickup trucks are quintessentially rural. In addition, those fleet buyers who operate their vehicles in the countryside have to consider where to get warranty service, et. al.

    To back up this observation, I did a quick survey of the state of Oklahoma. The following towns have one or more Ford dealerships, but no Toyota dealership: Ada, Boise City, Chickasha, Claremore, Clinton, Duncan, Durant, Elk City, Guthrie, Ponca City, Shawnee, Tahlequah and Woodward.

    None of these 13 towns are part of a metro area. They probably represent micro-markets that average 30 to 50k in population. They don’t hardly drive nuthin’ BUT pickup trucks. Also, my list of towns is not complete, even for Oklahoma.

    • 0 avatar
      ctg

      The image of pickup trucks are quintessentially rural, but I’m not so sure the sales of new (used could be a different story) trucks are driven by rural buyers. According to this article, the cities of Houston and Dallas buy more new trucks than any other state: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2013/06/truck-makers-take-the-truck-wars-to-texas.html

      I think you’re right that rural areas probably have the highest percentage of pickups, but I bet a lot of the volume of new trucks actually comes from big cities and suburbs, just because of the sheer number of people. Metro Houston has more significantly people than all of Oklahoma, and no shortage of Toyota dealerships.

      • 0 avatar
        jimbob457

        You big city boys think you are so damn smart! Well, maybe you are, and maybe you ain’t. Fact of the matter is that the really big city of Houston and environs has ten Toyota dealerships and ten Ford dealerships. The two smaller metros of Tulsa and Oklahoma City combined (albeit with about 1/3 the population of Houston, etc.) have five Toyota dealerships and ten Ford dealerships.

        Hate to break it to you, son, but last time I looked there were a lot more Tulsa’s and OKC’s than there were Houston’s. You headquarters guys ought to get out in the field once in a while.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Count of sales matters a lot more than count of dealerships.

          You’ve successfully argued that the Domestics own the rural areas; granted.

          What I don’t see there is any argument that the majority of unit sales are in rural areas, or even a significant plurality of them.

          (It might be so, but I ain’t seeing it in the data so far.)

          • 0 avatar
            jimbob457

            I am sure you are right. My only argument is that dealership availability is one factor.

            A few years ago, I was teaching an introductory microeconomics class in Tahlequah. I decided to use pickup trucks to illustrate the concept of shared monopoly and explain how two new Japanese entrants had weakened that monopoly and thereby benefitted all consumers.

            Never invite a room full of country kids to start debating the relative merits of pickup trucks unless you really want to hear about pickup trucks. Did you know that the huge black Nissan truck belonging to the girl from Tulsa is regarded as a ‘chick’ car? Most of the guys in the room used their pickup trucks at least partly for work. Pickup trucks are not a fad in Tahlequah.

  • avatar
    mike978

    How is this for hyperbole “Why is this gap so large when Toyota crushes the big three in so many other segments? ”

    I can think of only two segments where Toyota outsells by a bout 2:1 Ford or GM (2:1 is way less than Toyota re outsold in trucks). That is compact and midsize sedans. I don`t see the Yaris, Avalon, RAV4 or Highlander dominating their segments (I don`t think any of those are in the top 3 either).

    • 0 avatar

      RAV4 is still top-3, clinging for dear life. But that’s a small point. More importantly – Prius.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      There is no segment where Toyota has a massive lead over Ford and/or GM.

      Per Goodcarbadcar.com YTD figures

      Corolla is #2 but it’s lead is not that big at 210K vs 183K for the Cruze and 171K for the Focus.

      Camry buys the #1 spot but its 287K lead is sizeable but not crushingly so over the Fusion’s 206K but it is more than double Malibu’s 140K.

      The Sonic and Fiesta totally dominate the Yaris selling near 4 or 3 times as many respectively.

      Rav 4 is behind the Escape and Equinox.

      Highlander and 4Runner are behind or way behind the Explorer and Edge.

      Yes the Prius does pretty well and it doesn’t have any true direct domestic competitor.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    Here in Australia we see very few full-size American trucks because the conversion to RHD adds about $30,000 to the price. Toyota have always engineered all their cars to be easily built as either lefties or righties so I wonder whether the Tundra will be easier for us? Anybody know? There are plenty of farmers and horse owners who would love one of these big trucks. That probably applies equally in South Africa, another RHD big country.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Spike_in_Brisbane
      There is a company in Bundeberg that converts and sells twin cab Tundra’s for about $110 000.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      Since you are losing most of your auto production, you people need to get with the program.

      Convert the whole country over to the more logical left-hand drive. Then accept all vehicles that meet American standards as meeting standards for Australia.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I really figure it will be the other way around. We have some pretty good pickups that can achieve most what a 1/2 ton can do.

        Now, maybe if your 1/2 ton pickups have decent diesels we would buy some.

        You have to remember Australia has a very large pickup market. I think in our top 10 sold vehicles 3 or 4 are regularly pickups.

        • 0 avatar
          Firestorm 500

          That’s my point. Why re-invent the wheel? Import US spec pickups. That way you will have a vast range of possibilities, just like we (the US) do.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Firestorm 500
            Re-invent the wheel? WTF?

            Trucks have been around the world, well since trucks……….globally.

            Our pickups now are designed outside of the US and all the new ones over the past 2-3 years have a 5 Star safety rating. It isn’t unusual to have a 30mpg average as well as being able to tow over 7 500lbs. Your trucks wouldn’t be competitive enough for more than a grey import market, which we already have.

            Maybe the US should change it’s laws to allow our midsizers in, give the antique Taco some real competition.

            Your trucks are very nice and a want here by enthusiasts, but a want is what they are. Here they aren’t regarded as work trucks because most 1/2 ton pickups have low load ratings and are expensive.

            It’s horses for courses.

            Other than Australia/NZ what other countries would want them.

            The US is like the Galapagos Islands with pickups. Isolationist/protected policies, US pickups have evolved to the point where they are just to big for most every country. The funny thing is most dedicated pickup fans are against Greenpeace’s protectionist ideals, yet they want their ‘animals’ protected. Ironic.

            Even my midsize BT50 is pushing 20′ in length and is 6′ 4″ at it’s widest. Maybe the global Ranger with a 5 litre supercharge Coyote in it would sell when the Falcon ute is gone.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @DeadWeight

    Could GM or Ford be able to continue operating in North America without the profits they derive from pickup truck sales?

    Ford……probably
    GMC…….NO
    Fiat……NO

    Some have said that as high as 90% of their profits came from trucks. Margins are tight on cars but not pickups. In the neighbourhood of 70% of truck owners are brand loyal. Lipstick on a pig goes a long way.

    Truck buyers are very loyal and traditional therefore truck companies have learned that evolution not revolution sells trucks. Ford is the master at this game. The current generation looks very close to the last gen trucks even though little is shared.

    @pragmatist – I tend to agree.

    Toyota has had poor success trying to break into that market. Looks are secondary to the realities of the market. Trucks are an integral part of the fabric of the USA, you put a Japanese badge on it and Pearl Harbor comments start flying. Even if Toyota went with exactly the same looks as the USA trucks they’d still have a hard time.

    @28-Cars-Later
    - Actually, tariffs and trade barriers like the Chicken Tax were the big reason why the Detroit 3 handed the small car market to the Japanese. Smaller cars are low profit units that had to meet tougher emissions and safety rules. This was in the ’70′s. SUV’s were truck based and therefore had to meet the same rules as their pickup brethren. That meant huge profits due to low innovation. Lifting trade barriers would of encouraged more small cars and would of hurt the SUV and truck market.
    Small import trucks did very well until the “chassis cab” loophole was closed. Companies could import a pickup with the bed removed, and re-attach in the USA. No 25% duty. The tariff was closed and truck prices rose around 27% on the domestic side and around 24% on the Japanese side.

    @stevelyon-
    Reg cab short box 1/2 tons may go the way of the dodo bird. Some experts feel that short box reg cab trucks will die because they fall into the tougher “small trucks” emissions and mpg bracket.
    Current emission footprints favour bigger trucks. I suspect that current 1/2 tons will morph into pseudo 3/4 ton trucks to take advantage of less stick rules for those classes. We’ve already seen 1/2 tons grow into 3/4 ton cargo capacities, the new GMC trucks have 12K tow ratings. On the other end of the scale, Ram has the new 30,000 lb tow gorilla Cummins 3500. That tow capacity is well into the MDT commercial tractor range.

    @RS
    There is a vacuum when it comes to small trucks. Tariffs and emission and mpg rules favour big trucks. Toyota Tacoma has negligible completion until the Colorado diesel shows up. The Tacoma is extremely outdated. The only reason to buy one is because you want one. The current crop of V6 1/2 tons beat the Tacoma in every metric except size.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      All GMC makes is trucks. Therefore, they cannot survive if they don’t make trucks.

      Circular argument.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @Lou_BC As a matter of fact, GM derives 60% of its global profits from full size trucks, compared with Ford who earns 90% from F150 alone. Fully 15% of Ford Global profits come from F150 sales in two cities in Texas!

      GM is much larger and more diverse than Ford, very profitable in NA with current mix, most significantly, with every carline, including the subcompact Sonic making money. They appear poised to regain their historic dominance in the pickup truck segment with the 2014s. They already own the full size SUV segment. In addition, the new small trucks will be exactly what many are calling for on this site. They will be making a lot of money on trucks, for sure.

      That’s why the smart money would be on GM as the sole survivor for the hypothetical question posed.

      • 0 avatar
        darkwing

        Not quite — that 90% number includes the entire F-series and their BOF derivatives. (That’s according to the Morgan Stanley report that I think you’re also referencing.) The 60% figure you’re referencing for GM appears to only consider the GMT900.

        It would appear you’re making an inaccurate comparison.

        • 0 avatar
          doctor olds

          No one but Ford and GM know precisely, but the comparison is fair, or you may actually have it backwards. Here is the quote: “Ford’s F-Series accounted for 90 percent of its global auto profits last year, while GM’s big pickups and sport-utility vehicle derivatives generated two-thirds of worldwide earnings, according to Adam Jonas, an analyst at Morgan Stanley.”

          http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?docId=1376-MNTNUT1A1I4H01-5VEE58E42T1QI8BE5PMTSERU2H

          That can be interpreted to mean Ford F series trucks alone, while the GM figure specifically includes SUVs.

          It really doesn’t make much difference for Ford, since their full size BOF SUV volume is a tiny fraction of total F series and derivative volume.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            At least they both seem to be improving their trucks, keeping transaction prices up, all while starting to make money on other things. Europe is the weak point, profit wise, for both, but truck sales have more than offset those losses.

            “But what if the big 3 didn’t make trucks.” Bah, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts we’d all have a merry Christmas.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            If Ford truly is deriving 90% of its profits in N.A. from the F series lineup, or even remotely near that level, isn’t this a big negative factor given how much it has borrowed and poured in to present (and pledged to future) capital expenditures involving non-pickup platform vehicles?

            That’s staggering, if even close to true (it reminds me o the late 90s, where milk & honey from trucks & SUVs offset corporate structural deficiencies and poor long term finances).

            The Fusion is selling well, but it’s no Camry slayer, and it’s certainly not exactly a profit machine, nor is the Focus.

            It seems Ford is most “eggs all in one basket,” at least in N.A., at present.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DeadWeight
            Hence, my argument about the Chicken Tax and tariffs protecting Detroit.

            If the protection wasn’t there you would have the Chinese or someone else now owning the Big 3 (I know Fiat).

            Not a good position for the US vehicle manufacturers. They have to be eased out of this situation and ‘forced’ to create an export market.

            But who will buy full size trucks for export other than a few to us? Who will buy the US’s ‘copied’ Asian and Euro vehicles. Europe and Japan are becoming cheap factories as well.

            Who will buy US vehicle exports when the US has different design regs. What about FTA’s, the US is in an awkward position, something will give within a few years.

            Tough position to find yourself in.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @BigAl- Why don’t Toyota and Nissan just undercut the D3 pickup prices and gobble up market share? All global makers have presence in NAFTA, for that matter and can easily work around the chicken tax.

            The real barrier to entry in NA is goodness to meet standards first, to be allowed to sell here, and then goodness to compete in the richest, most competitive market in the world.

            Even illustriously profitable VW is struggling here, again. Meanwhile, General Motors sold more cars globally than any other company in the world last quarter.

            How do these facts plug into your model of “how things are”?

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Yeah but maybe one of the people on here that are clamoring for the new small trucks will actually go out and buy a new one.

        As far as the full size trucks go the new model should give them a boost until the new F150 comes out. Fact is there is no group of buyers more brand loyal than those that buy full size trucks. So much of the boost will likely be short term as people trade in their old GM truck for a new one and once that “have to have the new one” group is done sales of the GM trucks will likely settle down. Meanwhile Ford will likely see a drop from people waiting for the new one and then see their own boost shortly after it hits the ground.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Scoutdude
          “Clamouring for a small truck”, you don’t have any decent small trucks. You have nice 1/2 ton full sizers and some outdated crappy midsizers.

          Unfortunately the US pickup market is like the Chinese internet…………censored.

          Yes you have Ford and the rest of the Big 3, along with Toyota and Nissan (Honda?).

          What about the rest of the pickup manufacturers……globally? If they can’t set up a factory in the US (NAFTA) they can’t sell pickups because of tariffs and regulations restrict their competition.

          Wouldn’t it be nice if Mazda, Mitsubishi, Land Rover, Nissan (Patrol pickup), Toyota 76 Series pickup (with a V8 diesel), even Ssyanyong with their 2 litre diesel dual cab, etc were able to import several thousand of these vehicles per year. They can’t, you can’t even grey import one.

          Imagine allowing a consumer the ability to buy something they might want, I suppose you would like the US to have the Chinese internet as well.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – No one in the US is missing crappy Proton, Mahindra, Ssanggyang trucks, etc, so why do you care? The only grey market vehicles anyone has cared to import to the US have been high end German or Japanese sports cars. If someone wants a cheap disposable, Bic Shaver of trucks, there’s an array of older trucks to choose from with plenty of used parts available. And I’m sure these OEMs have zero interest in the US market. So again, why do you care?

            But then what about all the crappy global cars we’re deprived of? Who’s gonna cry for them???

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Lou_BC – Small import trucks did sell well, before the “cab chassis” loophole closed (Dec, 1979), but they sold even better after. Exponentially. And import truck prices did not increase much (obviously), in that era. It was the price of import cars that rose dramatically. Import trucks continued to undercut the price of US small trucks (and most cars in general), deep into the ’80s. The average transaction price of Japanese cars, however, did rise dramatically because they focused on loading up their cars and of course, top sedans went high end. The Maxima, Cressida, Galant and 929 all were tarted up to the max. Then came Acura, Infiniti and Lexus.

      If you wanted Japanese cars you just had to pay more. Even for entry level. It’s also when we had the wave of highend sports cars. The S/C MR2 was pricy enough, but there was the 300ZX, 3000GT/Stealth, RX7, SVX and Turbo Supra.

      But there will be no emissions/CAFE (schedule) reasons to step up to 3/4 tons. HD trucks will always get much worse MPG and pollute way more than 1/2 tons. They would have to severely undercut the price of 1/2 tons.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Wow, I did not know this, thanks for the insight Lou_BC.

  • avatar
    afflo

    OK, truck people.

    Can you explain these ton sizes to a car guy?

    I’m guessing that a 1500 is a 1500 lb payload, or 3/4 of a ton. A 3000 lbs payload would be two tons (3500, F350?)

    Is a half-ton an old F100? Or the current crop of “midsize” trucks?

    Is the Tundra a 3/4 ton like an F150/1500 series, with 3/4 ton payload?

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      1/2 ton is the Tundra, Titan, F150, Silverado 1500, Ram 1500. 3/4 Ton is the F250, Silvy 2500, Ram 3500. 1 ton is F350, Silvy 3500, Ram 3500.

      • 0 avatar
        afflo

        What do the tons refer to? Payload? (I’d expect an F350 to be able to carry more than 2000 lbs) Surely not towing capacity!

        • 0 avatar

          It used to reflect payload in the 50′s and a little in the 60′s then payloads grew and automakers choose to keep the same designations. In general half tons will have smaller axles with 5- 6 lugnuts and three quarter ton and larger will have heavier axles with 8 lugs. It can get pretty convoluted at times for instance dodge sold a 3/4 mega cab as a halfton for a few years with basically just a badge change.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Actually the first number IE the 1, 2, 3, of 150(0) 250(0) ect mainly refers to the class of truck it is, which reefers to the GVW range. Of course since the “1″ trucks have grown to the point that they are almost now all in the sub class 2a and the “2″ trucks are mostly now 2b.

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truck_classification#United_States

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The numbers are basically meaningless nowadays. Just think of them like an alphanumetric nomenclature on a BMW.

  • avatar
    Maintainer

    I was selling Toyotas around the time the Tundra first came out. It was really hard to build value in a truck that had crank windows and manual seats for roughly the same sticker as a Chevy with power everything. That may still be haunting them.

    The pictured Tundra reminds me a 2008 or so F150 King Ranch. They may be on the right track now.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @afflo

    Current pickup truck “ton” nomenclature is woefully outdated. I had read that the current system stemmed from world war 2 procurement specifications. The military wanted 1/4 ton ie. Jeep, 1/2, 3/4, 1 ton, 2 1/2 (deuce and a half) etc.
    Designations have stuck more due to tradition as opposed to any legitimate correlation to cargo capacity.
    Compact trucks no longer exist in my books. I tend to refer to them as small trucks.
    1/2 ton(s) are your entry level full sized pickup. Most run on P metric 4 ply tires and are 6-7 lug. Wheels range from 17″ to 20″. They all have at least 1,500lb capacity. Most top out at 10,000 – 12,000 lb towing capacity. Cargo capacity includes passengers except for the driver. Most base a driver at a mythical 150 lb. Crewcab 1/2 tons have been called by some “a SUV with a balcony”. Like a comparable SUV, you can carry cargo or passengers but not much of both at the same time.
    3/4 ton trucks all run on LT (light truck) tires which tend to be 10 ply. All are 8 lug and run 18 – 20 inch wheels. They run full floating rear ends. The axles do not directly carry weight. Engines tend to be 5.7 – 6.2 litre gassers or diesels over 6 litres.
    1 ton trucks share many of the components of 3/4 ton trucks. Frames may have more crossmembers and may be beefed up in certain areas. These trucks can also be available with dual rear wheels.
    Both Ford and Ram have trucks that go into the 1 1/2 ton range but don’t seem to get called this. There can be a big difference between a “chassis cab” truck and for example and F450 with a pickup box. The chassis cab HD truck tends to be closer to a medium duty commercial tractor ie. Freightliner than a pickup.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yup the “ton” designations are pretty much just tradition at this point. “1/2″ tons can be had with payloads as low as 800lbs for certain Ram 1500 to as high a 3000lbs for a properly equipped F150. F350 and F450s can be had with payloads up to around 6000lbs.

  • avatar

    I’m tempted to watch the video, see how Alex is going to hide in the trunk.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Car and Driver tested a full boat Ram 1500 Hemi. It had a 5,999 lb curb weight and a GVWR of 6,800 lbs. Recommending a Ram for work is amusing, considering that 801 lbs is a nice payload for a compact car.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Ram does have class-trailing payload.

      However, C/D tested a 4×4 Crew Cab Longhorn Laramie with a 3.21 rear end.

      That’s as bad as you can get for payload, towing, and acceleration within the Ram line. Most half-tons Rams should be between 1000 and 1300 lbs.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The addition of the coil springs greatly improved ride and handling, but alone, decrease payload capacity. With air suspension and all that jazz, the 1500 can payload up to 1900 lbs or so, most seem to be in the 1600lb range.

      I can’t imagine much that would fit in in a 6′ pickup bed that would weigh more than a ton. If someone is loading something that weighs that much regularly, they should seriously consider a 2500 or 3500.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Ram is generally a bit optimistic when it comes to their published payload ratings. You really need to go the CAT scales and weigh your truck with driver/wife/brush guard/fuel and compare that to the GVW rating.

        And, the issue with payload is your hitch weight when towing. The hitch weight is part of your payload and you want that to be 10%-25% of your trailer weight.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          I’m a fan of tongue weight for stability, believe me, but I don’t want 25% back there.

          I’ll be towing a 6000lb trailer this weekend, and I’ll probably have only 10-12% back there. Anything much more than 15% is loading the vehicle a more than necessary.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            If you’ve got a 5er or a gooseneck, it’ll be over 15%.

            I normally aim for 15% on a TT, 7%-12% on boats, open air, and tent trailers.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @ CJinSD – Ram fans touted the air ride system in the 1/2 ton as the best thing ever but cargo capacity is lower, mpg ratings are the same and some testers have reported “suspension overheat” warning lights when the truck has been taken off road. I’m sure that people owning one with air ride will have issues in severe cold.

    A level smooth ride with 801 lb in the box happens in pretty much any pickup with springs without the added up front expense.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The 801 lb capacity of the Ram equipped with air springs, a hemi and 3.21 rear axle ratio includes the weight of driver, passengers, tongue weight of any trailer, interior accessories, etc… There’s no way you’re getting 800 lbs in the bed unless the truck is parked and nobody is sitting in it. The Ford and Chevy it was being compared to each had 400 lb higher GVWRs and weighed hundreds of pounds less, driving home the point that the RAM being a loaded model was no excuse for such flaccid capabilities.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Not a huge truck guy, but have to agree that with sufficient tongue weight there is no excuse for flaccid capabilities in the bed, even when fully loaded.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Are we still talking about trucks?

          Those that want meaningful payload buy the reg cab. Or buy a full boat 3/4 ton. You can consider every truck option as carrying payload at all times. The extra weight of a diesel leaves less payload too.

  • avatar
    Robert Fahey

    Toyota knows nothing about pickups, eh? Tacoma? Hilux? Hello? The Tundra is up against Bob Seger. That’s the problem.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I can’t take it, nor ford seriously so long as they still use DOHC V8s. Why would I choose a engine that weighed more, was more complicated, costs more, has a terrible torque curve, highly inefficient, barely has an aftermarket, over a tried and true pushrod V8?
    When they offer me a pushrod v8 without cyclinder deactivation, I’ll take a good look, until then their not even attempting to swim.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Wow, a lot of visceral emotion here.

    I’ll take a contrarian view on why the 2007 Tundra didn’t live up to any measure of expectations.

    It was marketed – terribly. Horribly. Tyota’s marketing was so tone deaf it was stunning to me. I could write a story on it.

    When the 2007 Tundra rolled the message was, “bigger.” Bigger gears, bigger brakes, bigger payload, bigger towing capacity, bigger torque, BIGGER.

    In a faltering economy buyers didn’t want bigger and bigger didn’t equal better. Bigger equaled more expensive (perception is everything, regardless of reality).

    When the economy flatlined Detroit pivoted on their truck marketing. Economy, value, and sudden we had Howie Day, in what is a pretty bad ad, zinging the new Tundra on fuel economy. GM, selling against Toyota, on fuel economy??? What insane world is this.

    Instead of pivoting – Toyota stayed, stunningly, on message. Bigger is better, and did nothing to address their lowest in class fuel economy from a product stand point.

    During 08 – 11 buyers did care, look at the dip in truck sales across the board. At least Ford and GM crafted a story (interesting Ram also stayed on message of Ram Tough).

    The Tundra was a sales disappointment in my opinion beyond design. People will buy the Lazy T edition pickup truck because its got a Lazy T on it. They didn’t play to the markets needs and customers went downscale for economy with a Tacoma (winning!!!!) or walked to GM / Ford for ironically, better value and economy,

  • avatar
    carguy

    While I appreciate Toyota’s desire to compete in the domestic full size truck market they clearly spend as much on R&D as the domestics. Like with some other of Toyota’s launches, the new Tundra looks competitive enough today but when you consider what the competition is doing then I doubt that it will still be so in three years time. The Chrysler V6 is already way more economical and Ford are seriously investing in weight reduction and more efficient power trains that will make the Tundra uncompetitive long before the planned end of its current product cycle.

    I would seem that Toyota’s competitive advantage in the truck market is the Tacoma and maybe it would have been better served by spending its money on improvement for it rather than the Tundra.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @28-Cars-Later – Here are some links. The US auto industry has been shaped by tariffs, technical barriers to trade and even “voluntary restraint programs” self imposed by the Japanese in fear of high tariffs. All have cost USA consumers billions in extra costs and created the lethargic bloated USA auto industry and the parasitic growth of the UAW.
    There have been some very good stories on TTAC about tariffs and the industry.
    Here is one:
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/how-cafe-killed-compact-trucks-and-station-wagons/
    Several links will take you to a “Law review” and to a study done by a financial institution. A bit of a dry read but sheds much light on the industry.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1406550

    http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1443&context=auilr

    http://www.caranddriver.com/features/free-trade-cars-why-a-useurope-free-trade-agreement-is-a-good-idea-feature

    http://europe.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130524/ANE/305249993#axzz2ZKMqOTGe

    @DenverMike – still barking up the wrong tree I see. I’m not about to start another debate with you. I will post any links that bloggers on this site may want to read.
    The level of intellect on this site is vastly superior to PUTC and these bloggers can come to their own logical conclusions.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Toyota trucks have (or had) the $1,000 100K timing belt thing. Truck buyers object to that.It leaves a bad taste in their mouths at about the time they are getting ready to buy a new one.

    Toyotas are not particularly cheap. Ford F-150 XLT super cab 4X4 goes for a real world price of $34K. I wouldn’t want to drive something like that, but you have a very nice trim level and a very capable vehicle for a realistic price.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @DenverMike – yeah right, specifics? like I said, TTAC readers seem to be a clever bunch, they can read for themselves.

    You…………. keep dancing and prancing, obfuscation is your only defence and you have never been able to refute any of my posts. Well, you have tried – please refer to the dancing and prancing part.

    A legal study done by the “American University International Law Review” and by ” Thomas Klier of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago” to quote you “mean nothing, are complete propaganda or contradict your agenda.”

    I always thought that papers published in respected journals were credible. Wow – all of that post secondary education, and all of that training I received on how to properly do research and protocol development has been a complete waste. (That was meant to be sarcastic since you would probably take that as an admission of guilt)

    What agenda are you referring to?

    Your reply should be either:
    a.. waste of blog space or
    b.. incredibly amusing or
    c.. a bunch of out of context cut and paste excerpts aimed at discrediting my arguments based on the hope that other bloggers are too lazy or dumb not to read my links… or
    d.. all of the above.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “A legal study”? Is propaganda illegal now???

      No one goes into a “study” without a predetermined outcome. Break it down to the individual “fact” and they’re always laughable.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I think the Tundra with a slightly tweaked 4.5 V8 Landcruiser diesel would do well.

    I think if Nissan (V8 Cummins) and Toyota can put out V8 diesel 1/2 ton trucks they will take sales away from the Big 3′s HDs. Especially those who want to tow cheaply.

    A V8 diesel 1/2 ton with a decent load capacity would be great, better than an HD for most.

    Are you listening Toyota and Nissan? The Big 3 need some innovative competition.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I can’t believe they left the goofy middle-of-door handle on the rear door, and didn’t relocate it. That handle immediately dates the truck. The rear looks just like the 04 RAM did, not cool. Finally, the trim around the nav screen and the trim on the HVAC don’t line up correctly, it’s bothering me. And yes I know it’s pre-production.

    I like the sunless tan orange of the interior though.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @DenverMike – wow, a tow truck driver is lecturing me on research. Funny, real funny. Research is done to validate or refute a theorum. These studies are done on existing data. Typical – if one doesn’t like the message, kill the messenger.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Like I said, I have nothing to hide and we know zero about you. And you still haven’t proven any of your theories. You come up with links based on opinion only.

  • avatar
    BlackDynamiteOnline

    The Tundra should do what it is supposed to do. Keep Toyota buyers in the fold if they need a big rig

    Has all the room, towing, and power you need. Has a grille big and ugly enough to be an American, and is 75% American made, #1 in the class. The biggest flaw in the old truck was the interior design, and that has been corrected. Ride has been tuned for more smoothness and quiet in normal driving.

    Should sell around 150k for the forseeable future. Won’t threaten the domestics, but will keep Toyota owners in the family, if they need to move up from Tacoma
    BD

  • avatar

    An argument may be had, but let’s assume that Toyota have finally caught up with everyone else. What are they going to do when Ford rolls out the aluminum F-150, which is imminent now?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @DenverMike – my employer prefers it that way. Considering the stupidity of the trolls at PickUpTrolls.com, I prefer it that way too.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Lou_BC – What are you, Canadian CIA? We all put ourselves ‘out there’ by being outspoken. I’ve given up enough info about myself that the Global Pickup Mafia can easily put out a ‘hit’ on me… I’m not scared, so what are you so afraid of?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @mikey – the CIA isn’t a good example, don’t you think? Just ask Edward Snowden.

    Would that be labor or labour?


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