By on June 13, 2016

2014 Toyota Tundra 1794 CrewMax

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Dan Neil fairly torched the 2016 Toyota Tundra CrewMax in a recent review for The Wall Street Journal’s Rumble Seat.

“It is not the strongest, the swiftest and definitely not the most fuel efficient,” Neil wrote in a particularly stinging paragraph which began by Neil calling the Tundra, “not the most technically advanced truck on the market.”

The Tundra faithful, not particularly numerous at the best of times relative to rival Detroit nameplates, is an ever more compact group of individuals. With each passing month, America’s truck buyers make increasingly clear that they heartily agree with Dan Neil.

“It has a pretty raucous-sounding powertrain,” Neil says of the highfalutin 1794 Edition Tundra, “and delivers fairly squishy driving reflexes compared with its prime competitors.” Those prime competitors own 95 percent of the full-size truck market so far this year, up from 94 percent through the first five months of 2015. Indeed, Tundra market share among full-size pickups was fairly steady at 6 percent after falling from 7 percent in 2009 and 2010 and from 9 percent in 2008 and 2007, when Tundra volume reached record highs.

In other words, a decade ago, nearly one out of every ten pickup trucks sold in the United States was a Toyota Tundra. That figure now stands at one in twenty.

Neil’s right when he explains some of the reasoning behind the Tundra’s scarcity. In contrast to its chief rivals, the Toyota, “has a more limited menu.” But this isn’t new – the Tundra’s lack of variants was equally noteworthy when 9 percent of the full-size pickup trucks sold in America were Tundras.

But Neil’s especially right when he says the Tundra isn’t high-tech. There’s no aluminum-intensive body, no highly efficient diesel or trailer parking, either. Toyota, for so long at the forefront of hybrid technology and lean manufacturing excellence, has allowed the Tundra to grow grey and old. Recent refreshes included a thick treatment of Just For Men, but consumers aren’t fooled: the Tundra is ancient.

2014 Toyota Tundra 1794 interior

The second-generation Toyota Tundra arrived at dealers in 2007. (Note: the 2014-onward Tundra is sometimes called a third-generation model, but c’mon.) The 5.7-liter 4×4 Toyota Tundra rang EPA’s fuel consumption meter at 14 miles per gallon nine years ago. Today? 15 mpg, in a world where F-150 EcoBoost 2.7-liter V6 travels 33-percent farther on a gallon of fuel.

Besides the noted superiority of direct full-size rivals, the truck market’s marginally improved midsize demand is abundantly obvious inside Toyota’s own pickup truck portfolio. Sales of the class-leading Toyota Tacoma rose to a record high of 179,562 units in calendar year 2015, and the Tacoma’s 9-percent year-over-year improvement through 2016’s first five months outpaces the pickup truck sector’s 6-percent uptick. Monthly Tacoma volume has increased in 19 of the last 21 months.

Yet while U.S. pickup truck volume rose 6 percent, or 59,000 units, in the first five months of 2016, Tundra sales are down 11 percent this year, a 5,555-unit drop. Monthly Tundra volume has decreased in nine of the last 10 months, including a five-month streak to begin 2016. In a historic context, the 106,000 Tundras Toyota USA is on track to sell in 2016 represents a 46-percent decrease from 2007, when the Tundra was new.

The Tundra doesn’t go without compliments. “The Tundra 1794 is absolutely chockablock with creature comforts,” Neil says, while also giving credit to Toyota’s Tundra pricing model.

Perhaps the Tundra’s marketplace performance deserves a positive outlook, as well. Here’s a truck that Toyota seemingly forgot to foster — Ford has debuted two new F-150s since the second-generation Tundra was introduced — yet it’s a truck that is set to make 2016 the fifth consecutive year in which more than 100,000 are sold.

Moreover, it could be worse. Toyota sells nine Tundras for every Titan sold by Nissan.

[Image Source: Toyota]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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151 Comments on “95% Of Pickup Truck Buyers Agree With Dan Neil: Toyota Tundra Not The Most Technically Advanced Truck...”


  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    What the Tundra does really, really well is /not break/. Oddly enough, this isn’t really a valued virtue in this market: pickup trucks aren’t really expected to be reliable in the way that Corollas are. Low TCO? Yes. Durable? Certainly. Capable? Of course. Reliable? Well, no, not really that imporant, oddly.

    Toyota is going to have to spend years of time and tens of millions of dollars to eventually crack this market, get very lucky on a market sea-change, or one of the other OEMs is going to have to make a serious mistake. Ford and GM are basically iterating at this point and FCA has the “72-point chrome logo” market sewn up.

    What might help a little is rebadging Hinos as Toyotas. You tend to hear a lot of “Well, Toyota doesn’t sell a real truck”, which that would probably help with.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      They need to sell 3/4 and 1ton versions., very limited range by Toyota

    • 0 avatar
      andyinatl

      My brother in law owns 2008 model, and aside from stellar reliability (120K + with only oil changes, still on original brakes) there are no redeeming qualities this truck has that would make me buy it. It’s loud on the outside, it’s rough on uneven pavement (2000 Sierra that i once owned had very smooth ride by comparison), it guzzles gas like there’s no tomorrow, and it’s interior seems to have been designed by Rubbermaid. It’s complete and utter crap. But it’s super reliable.

      • 0 avatar
        Joe Btfsplk

        So you’re saying that it sounds, looks, runs and lasts like a TRUCK?

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Yeah, it took Toyota three tries before they could competitive…or have they? HDC is requested.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            NormSV650, sorry I missed the discussion. I just came back from 5 days in Wyoming.

            As to the Tundra, I never owned their first two tries. I reluctantly tried a 2010 to replace my 1988 Silverado and my 2006 F150. I was hooked! Too bad the dealer was too proud to sell me one.

            I bought a 2011 DoubleCab SR5 LongBed 2WD 5.7 instead.

            I was more than sold on Tundra, and especially that all-aluminum, DOHC, 32-valve, 5.7L V8, smooth 6-speed Lexus automatic, huge floating caliper disc brakes, and 10.5-inch ring gear.

            When it was introduced in 2007, the Tundra was light years ahead of Ford, GM and RAM. That’s all those three laggards could do was compare themselves to the 2007 Tundra.

            But Dan Neil is right. The Tundra of today lacks many of the millennial tweaks that Ford, GM and RAM need to sell their pickup trucks.

            But maybe to the buyers who choose a Tundra 5.7L, what Tundra brings to the market is all that matters.

            Not that fluff that Ford, GM and RAM need to get their fans to come back.

            Maybe the Tundra exists as an alternative for those who do not want to step down to an F150, Silverado or RAM.

            I am very well satisfied with the Toyota vehicles I currently own: my wife’s 2015 Sequoia 5.7L, my 2016 Tundra CrewMax SR5+ TRD 4×4 5.7L, and my old 1989 Camry 2.5L V6.

            It’s been a great ownership experience for me and certainly better than my previous ownership experiences with GM and Ford products.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        So, it’s like my SuperDuty except the engine isn’t a time bomb?

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Please don’t make excuses for Toyota with this “not reliable” crap.

      On The Truth about Cars, why wouldn’t we take Toyota to task for half-assing this segment just like a domestic automaker half-asses the midsize sedan segment?

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Oh no, no, no, no…I’m not touching this. Nope.

        You know why.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        It’s really more of a 3/4- or 7/8-assing. The Titan would be the half-assed version, inasmuch as it’s about as nice as the Tundra, only much less reliable.

        The Tundra is very much a Corolla writ (very) large. And while the Corolla isn’t a great car either, you can overlook it because it nails what economy car buyers want. The Tundra doesn’t hit it’s mark nearly as well–truck buyers aren’t economy-car buyers–and it does get taken to task for it.

        But it is reliable. It’s also crude and thirsty. I don’t think it’s giving Toyota a pass at all.

        • 0 avatar
          86er

          “No offense Homer, but your half-assed underparenting was a lot more fun than your half-assed overparenting”.

          “But I’m using my whole ass!”

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            About a year ago I had the chance to drive an all new (2015) SIlverado back to back with a Tundra. Both similarly equipped (Short box, crew cab, 4WD, leather).

            The Tundra has a beast of an engine and is reliable, but the Silverado walks all over it in terms of quality. The difference in interior quality is night and day.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Mandalorian, I think “quality” carries many different definitions. I think you’re referring to material richness type of quality “initial fit and finish” perhaps. People had similar praise for MK4 VW Jettas initially… There’s a good chance that the Tundra’s simpler interior will stay together and continue to operate longer than the Silverado’s, although who knows!

            But you’re right, the GM K2XX look to have some sumptuous interior appointments. A recent comparison test by a Russian mag of a Tahoe, Land Cruiser 200, and Explorer (don’t ask me how it got grouped in) put the Tahoe at the top in terms of interior design and comfort. Land Cruiser was king off road, Tahoe acquitted itself decently, and the CUV-ized Explorer as expected fell flat on its face.

          • 0 avatar
            86er

            “There’s a good chance that the Tundra’s simpler interior will stay together and continue to operate longer than the Silverado’s, although who knows!”

            You could say that; I couldn’t possibly comment…

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      psarhjinian – durability is important but loyalty trumps everything else when it comes to pickups.

  • avatar

    What they really need is a re-engineered ride and some cabin insulation. The Tundra rides like a tank, handles like a ’65 C-10 and is quite noisy compared to it’s American competition.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      Having had one in the stable, I can agree with the above but its not necessarily a bad thing. The Tundra is gargantuan all-around, and with the 5.7, has a lot more in common with a 3/4 ton truck than the other half-tonners. I was able to get a crew cab Tundra to fit in a standard garage with exactly 2″ on each side.

      The thing pulled like a bat out of hell and had no problem at all pulling heavy loads. It was solidly planted in the snow and had the super-sweet power rear window that I would love to see on every other truck. With the rear window down and sunroof open, it was almost like a giant convertible. The crew cab rear seating is best in class, and has reclining and sliding functionality.

      But I agree with the sentiment of the article. 15mpg is unacceptable in this day and age, even with a beast of a motor. The interior needs updating, and the infotainment stack pales in comparison to any of the big three. The handling is nowhere near the F150 or Silverado, and the lack of a backup camera in lesser models is appalling.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        “The crew cab rear seating is best in class, and has reclining and sliding functionality.”

        It was best in class. Toyota decontented that out with the 14s in favor of a very poorly done flip up design which doesn’t flip very flat with the back, exposes huge metal brackets when it does, and doesn’t have a flat floor underneath.

        “… the lack of a backup camera in lesser models is appalling.”

        That’s one thing that they fixed with the 14 refresh, they all have the camera now and more importantly even the cheapest work trucks have a 6″ camera display in the dash. The domestics stick you for another $500 for a screen big enough to see until you’re in the $50,000 trims.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I hope this comment actually goes to the correct comment!

        SSJeep. A 5.7 Grand Cherokee which is much smaller than a Tundra is using over 15 litres per hundred. That’s around 4 US gallons every 60 miles or around 15mpg.

        I think what most must remember is FE isn’t dropping as rapidly as horsepower increases.

        Even a Pentastar powered Wrangler here in Australia is using around 12 litres per hundred or 20mpg.

        The figures are not what people are getting either, but the manufacturers FE as displayed on the windscreen/shield.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I absolutely loved my underpowered ’98 Toyota T100. It was not a sophisticated piece of machinery by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a tough, no-nonsense vehicle. With a set of snow tires it was also a beast in the winter muck. It was a good usable size with a bed that was easy to use and get stuff inside with no step-ladder needed.

    It had 220K miles on it when I sold it a friend. It’s still rolling around being used by his wife as a daily.

    My co-worker is running around in a 310k mile first-gen Tundra. I’ve borrowed it to haul some stuff. It still feels “right” to me – primitive, but capable, which is exactly how I expect a truck to feel.

    *note, I haven’t driven a modern truck.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      dividebytube,
      It seems the Tundra does what many here ask for a honest truck not some overbreed fancy up truck that cost a arm and a leg that does not beak, does not have to much tech and gets the job done, it seems in reality they vote with their wallets and buy a different type of truck.

    • 0 avatar
      andyinatl

      ” It was a good usable size with a bed that was easy to use and get stuff inside with no step-ladder needed.”

      This! I don’t know what is the reasoning behind making beds as tall as they are today. Even in mid-size trucks. There used to be a time when i could just reach in and grab something from truck bed. Now you really have to get into the bed for same tasks.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Took me a while, but I finally found a not-quite-unicorn: T100 regular-cab, 4-cylinder, 5-speed, J-VIN, and an OBD2 port. 1-ton would have been nice, but I think those were V6 only.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        That T100 was a downstairs mixup on a JDM Hilux, and that’s why it was so good. The Tundra was always meh as it was designed specifically for America.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      W/T100 I never understood offering a bigger truck with a higher tow rating but optioning it with the exact same two engines as the compact. I had a ’93 Toy compact PU, 4X4, extra cab with the 3.0 V6/5 sp. That V6 wasn’t enough motor IMO for that truck w/3500 lb tow rating. I can’t imagine what it would have been like in the T100 trying to tow at it’s rated 5K pounds. Talk about can’t get out of your own way. The fact that they offered the T100 with the even smaller, less powerful, 4 banger was a complete joke. It should have come standard w/V6.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        A later T100 with the 3.4L 5VZFE is the one to get. Less headgasket worries, significantly more power and torque, and better fuel economy. On top of that, much simpler vacuum line routing and better overall layout in the engine bay. Win-win-win-win!

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Except for the frames :(

          • 0 avatar
            SSJeep

            At least Toyota took responsibility and fixed the frames, many of which were well into 6 figures of mileage. I still remember seeing 1st gen Tundras in the dealer bay completely separated from their frame with a new frame waiting in storage.

            That could not have been a cheap fix, and Toyota manned up in a shining example of customer focus.

          • 0 avatar
            agroal

            I agree. Toyota did the right thing with the frame rust issue. I paid about $19K new for my first new Tacoma back in 2000. In 2011 with 80K miles on it Toyota bought it back for $15,500. Eleven years and it’s actual depreciation was only about $3,500. One and a half times the best KBB value was what they based their buy back program on. I put the $15K towards a new 2011. I paid $27K and now five years later Cars.com and Ebay Motors are selling this same 2011 truck for near $25K. Insane resale value.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “A later T100 with the 3.4L 5VZFE is the one to get. Less headgasket worries, significantly more power and torque, and better fuel economy. ”

          I did test drive a newer compact with the bigger 3.4 V6. I think that was when they started calling their compact “Tacoma” and also up’d the tow rating to 5K. I liked my ’93 but wanted something w/more low end grunt. My seat of the pants feel after the test drive was that it pulled harder on the high end but still felt kinda gutless on the low end. I kept my ’93 (11 years & 197K) although I suspect it would have been a better truck for me but not enough to spend money on a newer truck. I do respect your opinions/posts when it comes to Toyota trucks, you obviously know your stuff.

          Your also correct about the vacuum lines. When they fixed my truck @92K due to the head gasket problems the “on demand” 4WD never worked after that. Of course the dealership looked at me like I was crazy when I brought it back in, but sure enough they came back 10 minutes later and told me it was fixed after they routed all the vacuum line correctly.

      • 0 avatar
        wstarvingteacher

        Have the3.0 in my 4Runner. 95 was the last year I think. The dudes on the forums call it the 3.slow for a reason. The truck will pull most anything but it sure gets slow.

        I always wanted a T100 but this is probably as close as I’m going to get. My gas mileage is bad enough on the 4runner (18-20) so don’t think I care to have a Tundra. I’ve had my Toyota for about 3 years now. A tuneup, battery and oil changes are all I’ve done. Reliability and durability are not overrated. Now I think they are spelled Toyota.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          wvstarving,

          I think the 3.0 gets a bit of an unfair rap. Once the headgaskets are replaced with a good updated design and headbolts are torqued correctly (not a terribly difficult job), the 3VZFE is a rock solid motor. Sure it lags behind the 5vz, but mated to a 5spd manual it gets down the road just fine and can even get palatable fuel economy. There’s much to be said for the durability of the 2nd gen 4Runners, which are based on a ‘true’ Hilux frame. Front suspension is likewise more durable (if not as good handling/riding/articulating) than the double wishbone setup on the 3rd gens.

          • 0 avatar
            wstarvingteacher

            Good info. When I bought it I checked the Toyota website with my VIN and there were no outstanding recalls. I think that means that the head gaskets were updated. Timing belt was changed a few thousand miles ago. Seems to me to be a keeper.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Wow, three whole years.

          • 0 avatar
            wstarvingteacher

            Well Jim I certainly wouldn’t brag about 3 years or 20k miles with respect to durability. It did 200k miles for someone else before I bought it. I will be 73 this year and figure it might be the last truck I have to buy. I am betting it’s durability will equal mine. It sure does everything I ask of it even if it is slow….. very slow.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I agree the range is too limited, and the whole thing is too old. They’re doing now what Nissan did with the Titan until this year. Not enough attention makes for a noncompetitive product.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    Toyota and Nissan’s difficulty in the fullsize truck market shows how different things could be if Detroit hadn’t opted to just phone-in their cars and small trucks from ~1972-~2007.

    The one market segment where the domestics focused their resources and bothered to build quality products is the one they still own 90% of. Go figure.

    Sure, the pickup market is inherently favorable to the domestics because pickup buyers tend to skew conservative/xenophobic/racist/irrational but it still demonstrates the value of actually having a good vehicle to sell.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Very large commuter/DD vehicles, is a segment where the import brands cannot apply much in the way of knowhow gleaned from their home market. A full size pickup simply makes no sense at all in Japan, and 90% no sense in Europe’s biggest markets. While in contemporary America, outside of larger cities, they are perhaps the most sensible DD vehicles on the road.

      Cadillac should take that hint and apply it to vehicles besides the Escalade. Take the fight to where the competition has more trouble following.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    The Tundra, like most Toyota’s, is optioned poorly at any price point. The CrewMax bed is too small, the price is too high, and the dealers won’t deal. It was a star when introduced, but has fallen behind the times. Reliability is second to none, but many folks, myself included, wish Toyota had ALSO kept the previous smaller sized V8 Tundra. The Tacoma doesn’t cut it for those of us wanting a midsize with a V8.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The CrewMax bed is too small? It’s no smaller than any other manufacturer’s standard crew cab bed (about 5.5′). Or did you mean that they don’t offer a CrewMax with a longer bed like everyone else?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      The Tundra has stagnated but the competition has evolved.
      At one time Ford was the only one with a 6.5 bed option in crew cab 1/2 tons. Now everyone except Toyota has that option.

      A tundra has very little wriggle room on price. You wait a bit and you can get 8-12k off on Ford/GM/Ram.

      I liked the previous Tundra looks more than this one.

      • 0 avatar
        formula m

        Exactly. The reason why the domestics sell so much better is because they sell for -20% off. I like the new GM trucks better for my money, (own a 2006 Silverado reg cab 4×4 8ft box 4.3V6 auto) but the Toyota is second. I worked for Ford last year and to get leather you had to move up to a Lariat. $62-$67 before discount in Canada plus 13% tax. If they didn’t discount the domestics the Tundra would have a larger market share.
        If the Tundra is too big, too loud, too thirsty… Buy a Tacoma

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    “Technically advanced” is not a guarantee of quality or reliability. Rather, just the opposite as it means there is more potential for breakdown outside of purely mechanical wear.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Tundra is a profit center which produces a reliable product to a niche market, its really that simple.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Is 100K units annually enough to profit? Maybe HDC played full sticker and Tundra stays aflot that way.

      …awaiting Tundra auction numbers!

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        “Is 100K units annually enough to profit”

        Yes.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Doesn’t Tundra development also support the Sequoia? It’s not like the Tundra (and its engines and transmissions and transfer cases and frames and…) are stand alone items that don’t get spread out over another platform.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I don’t have the brain power for a full analysis right now, suffice to say new used its pulling around 70% (SR5/4×4 is around 40K in MY17) and old in rough shape it can pull 8-10. Toyota also doesn’t seem to put much on the hood of these or Tacoma, probably because it doesn’t have too.

        MY15 Toyota Tundra Double Cab SR5 4×4 5.7

        04/26/16 Manheim Orlando Regular $30,200 5,717 Avg WHITE 8G A Yes
        05/11/16 Manheim Minneapolis Regular $31,500 10,048 Avg BLACK 8G A Yes
        06/06/16 Manheim Ohio Lease $33,600 11,860 Above RED 8G A Yes
        05/12/16 Manheim Chicago Regular $33,250 12,955 Above BLACK 8G A Yes
        06/06/16 Manheim Ohio Lease $30,700 21,491 Avg BLUE 8G A Yes
        05/03/16 Manheim Ohio Lease $29,400 24,470 Below RED 8G A Yes

        MY08 Toyota Tundra Double Cab SR5 4×4 5.7

        05/20/16 Manheim Pennsylvania Regular $20,000 54,159 Above GREEN 8G A Yes
        05/18/16 Manheim Kansas City Lease $20,800 58,509 Above RED 8G A Yes
        05/26/16 Manheim Detroit Regular $18,400 89,999 Above SILVER 8G A Yes
        05/19/16 Manheim Albany Regular $12,700 120,736 Avg BLACK 8G A Yes
        05/18/16 Manheim Milwaukee Regular $13,000 129,883 Avg BLACK 8G A Yes
        06/07/16 Manheim Ohio Lease $8,100 130,763 Below BLACK 8G A No
        06/07/16 Manheim New England Regular $10,600 155,359 Avg SILVER 8G A Yes
        05/24/16 Manheim Denver Regular $13,900 161,249 Avg RED 8G A Yes
        06/07/16 Manheim Minneapolis Lease $6,000 180,851 Below WHITE 8G A Yes
        06/06/16 Manheim North Carolina Regular $12,700 194,761 Avg WHITE 8G A Yes
        05/25/16 Manheim Tucson Regular $10,100 211,072 Avg BLUE 8G A Yes
        05/24/16 Manheim Riverside Regular $6,300 211,349 Below RED 8G A Yes

        • 0 avatar
          olddavid

          Damn, an 08 Tundra with 59k will bring $20k? It shows they aren’t fleeting them to anyone. If I am reading your chart correctly. That’s astounding retention. I would guess that to be less than .5% per month depreciation. If you could use that factor on the front of a retail lease you could have $200/mo. payment on $40k cap – and make a killer profit. Time to go back to work, I guess.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            For the same price, you can get a similar year Land Cruiser with twice that mileage.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @olddavid

            I’d have to crunch the numbers but that sounds about right.

            @Corey

            I’m not sure what I’d rather have. Prob truck in your comparison, low miles FTW.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Hmm problem there is – you can get a very decent truck for occasional use for much less than $20, and it’ll still be nice. The same can’t be said for the LC, because the entry cost is always so high.

            I’m not big on trucks, really.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Corey, I’m scheming on test driving a ’10 Land Cruiser with 128k miles ($31k asking, been sitting on a lot for a long time) here locally, just as a point of reference in my perpetual SUV shopping cycle. Sold my little Civic for $11k cash this weekend so I’m extra motivated as of late. Also dabbling in GX 470 and early-year pre-predator face GX460, inspired by all the Prado 150s flying around my relatives’ towns. Driving to church in our old East side stomping grounds yesterday, I was reminded of just how useful a durable and cushy suspension is on a BOF truck, even here in the States.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            For use as everyday vehicle, I’m tending much more toward the GX – I think about this comparison too much. It’s as nice as the LX on the inside, fits the same number of people, has the same engine, and will give all but the most hardcore the same utility as an LX/LC for lower entry cost.

            They’re also easier to find in lower mileage, and are less likely to have done child haul duty.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Does the GX460 Premium get adjustable air suspension or some BS, where the regular version does not have it? I see there’s a set of switch blanks on the center console which are filled in on the Premium ones.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I recommend discovering the LC’s reconditioning costs (suspension, tires, brakes, fluids etc) before purchase. A great way to go car poor is get a big note and then have to shell out 5K soon after on wear items.

            Oh and FYI there was a rollover issue on I think the MY10 to 12 Lex GX, I think it was resolved through a computer update.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            28, you’re very right. As durable and long-lived as Land Cruisers are (25 year engineered lifespan), there’s no telling how the last 125k miles were spent. Judging by a few interior photos, it wasn’t the most babied thing in the world. I need to look at some parts catalogs to ground my ambitions :)

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Also, for same price as that LC you can get a pre-predator 1-owner GX460 with just 41k miles. And with brown interiorz.

            http://coasttocoastimports.com/details/2010_LEXUS_GX460_4DR%20SUV/JTJBM7FX4A5016536

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I was just eyeballing that one Corey. I’m looking at a silver ’10 GX with 68k miles for $28k at some point this week. We’ll see how far I take this extravagant car shopping before I come to my senses and buy something much cheaper ($20k ish). What I like about the older GX470 is that the third row is removable, yielding more trunk space, also smaller more meaty wheels. But the new trucks have nicer, more modern looking interiors and get better fuel economy out of a more powerful, chain driven motor.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            No timing belt FTW! That’s a big selling point to my eyes. The interior of the first model looks -quite- dated as well, both inside and out. It held onto those ’90s Lexus bits for far too long.

            I too think you’ll end up in something cheaper and less gingerbready.

          • 0 avatar
            fvfvsix

            @gtemnykh

            I got a chance to test drive a ’13 LC200 with around 40K on the ODO. It was an absolutely fantastic drive for such a large vehicle. I was in love with the truck, but not its $60K price tag. My other two choices were GX and 4Runner. I liked the 4Runner better.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            Buy that Land Cruiser from a Cruiserhead with a well documented maintenance history. They are like industrial equipment…when maintained by the book they run for a long time, but when not they get expensive and keep in mind that maintenance is likely to include stuff that normal cars don’t. For example the front end maintenance on my 93 was basically a front end rebuild at the wheels (axle seals, birdied joints, etc.) every 60,000 miles. My P.O. Skipped it so I dot to add ring and pinion to that. Also “hone cylinder bores” every 250,000 miles was considered maintenance so be advised that 400k life cycle includes disassembly of the motor as a maintenance item. And nothing is cheap…every damn thing on that truck was at least 250 bucks.

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            “Also, for same price as that LC you can get a pre-predator 1-owner GX460 with just 41k miles. And with brown interiorz.

            http://coasttocoastimports.com/details/2010_LEXUS_GX460_4DR%20SUV/JTJBM7FX4A5016536”

            Something is wrong with the front sunroof cover. Looks like a water stain.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    One of Toyota’s responses to the recession was to delay and reduce investment into these. Unlike the German OEMs, Toyota saw the recession as a threat rather than as an opportunity; the Germans probably had the right idea.

    There should be a new Tundra for 2018. That will provide an indication of TMC’s plans for the market: will it try to compete head-on or will it settle for fourth place and try to carve out a niche instead?

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      Why bother competing?

      The volumes are low enough that the bad FE doesn’t hurt their CAFE score and Toyota is doing very well on CAFE.

      The powertrain is fully amortized and most of the parts have to be amortized as well. They have the capacity in their truck plant and the thing is optimized for money – very little advertising, very few incentives, and it commands high prices because the residual value is so high. Also, they have pretty simplified configurations as compared to the domestic trucks.

      If Nissan can make money on the Titan, Toyota has to be making money on the Tundra.

      If I were Toyota, I’d just ride it out until FE was too bad or the truck becomes too unsafe. Trucks as we know it are going away in the next 10 years or so I would bet.

      • 0 avatar
        86er

        I don’t think the Tundra folks are going to use “Why Bother Competing” as their new tagline in future marketing.

        Crown Victorias also had fully amortized powertrains and chassis components.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Like Superboy deliberately getting straight-Cs in school, Toyota knows when to tone it down for the natives.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    It’s Toyota that’s phoning it in now. Instead of a redesign for 2014, they facelifted the existing truck. Maybe they’re content with a niche market. If they were really serious, they’d improve the trucks’ efficiency with a turbo diesel and/or boosted gas V6, offer competitive features like the other guys do, and actually release a true clean sheet redesign.

    As for the new Tacoma, I’m not impressed. It’s called a redesign, but most of the cab looks the same. It has a new frame but the suspension is carryover. They replaced a truck engine (the 4.0l 1GR-FE) with a car engine (the 3.5l 2GR-FKS), while the four-cylinder is a carryover.

    They’re selling, but read the complaints at the ToyotaNation and TacomaWorld forums, with the vibration some owners are experiencing with the 3.5l, and drivers’ hands and feet going numb. Toyota has told some owners, “We’re working on it”, but that’s about it. No fix yet, just occasional rumors that a TSB is coming. It has owners ready to sell their Tacomas, and current owners of second-gen Tacomas that learn about the problem won’t buy a third-gen one.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      That 3.5L is such a sweetheart of engine in the Lexus products, I’m really surprised it’s having issues in the Tacoma.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        There’s speculation that it may be the motor mounts, an exhaust pipe mount that hangs off of the transmission, or the torque converter. A few owners have had their vehicles driven by engineering folks from Toyota, and they admitted something was going on, but no fix yet.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      I’ve had the “opportunity” to take a couple of day trips in a TRD (non-pro) Tacoma with the V-6 and an automatic transmission. What an overrated vehicle! The new Atkinson-cycle engine is very underpowered and needs to drop down several gears just to keep pace on modest hills, and heaven forbid you want to execute a pass.

      The other thing I found shocking that would have people storming the grounds of Ford/GM/FCA with pitchforks and torches is how much the hood vibrates in the middle while rolling along at highway speeds. It’s truly distracting and not a particularly good indicator of overall quality if they can’t get a small detail like that right. I can’t even imagine what the Toyota apologists have to say about that.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        The 3.5l has more horsepower (in a truck? who cares?), but max hp and torque come at higher RPMs than before. They basically changed engines to pick up one more MPG. Whoop-de-do. They could have stuck with the 4.0l and hooked it up to the six-speed auto, and they’d have been better off.

        Second-gen Tacoma owners are generally underwhelmed with the third-gen model. A salesman at my dealer called me and asked if I wanted to trade in my ’13 for a ’16. I told him no thanks. I was actually looking forward to the ’16, but after all I’ve read, and after driving a friend’s ’16, I’m glad I have a ’13.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I don’t know why everyone needs to think that his / her choice in trucks is the best one and that all the others suck. But that’s part of truck culture, I guess. That’s the only part of it that’s competitive…being able to *say* you have the best truck. In truth, 95% of P/U buyers are going to buy X brand, and nothing you can say, do or throw huge cash incentives upon will sway them toward another brand’s truck. These automakers should honestly start targeting fleet customers, who *will* look for the best combination of longevity, thriftiness, durability and price.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      you should hang around motorcyclists. “Your bike sucks and you suck for owning it” is the most common mindset.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        You know when I was riding my scooter (Roketta) regularly, the friendliest people were the Harley guys. Crotch rocket owners put a lot of work into ignoring me.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          in my experience, the two worst cliques are:

          1) the “Sons of Anarchy” wannabes who buy completely into the Harley-Davidson lifestyle (but only ride once or twice a month at most) and

          2) the 18-23 year old sportbike a**holes who think they’re still invincible and treat interstates like a racetrack.

          and for #1 I’m not talking about the M/C crowd, those folks take riding *seriously.* and usually are pretty cool so long as you’re not deliberately trying to f*** with them.

          everyone else (adv bikers, Gold Wing riders, BMW owners, etc.) are pretty chill. the two groups above (especially #2) makes everyone else look bad.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            JimZ,
            Here in Australia there was an article on the geriatrics that are buying Can Hardly Davidsons to relive their youth.

            Apparently many of these people never rode bikes before in their lives.

            But, they are also killing themselves at an alarming pace.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @JimZ – agreed. Wannabe’s in any camp are the ones who project a poor image.

    • 0 avatar

      Fleet buyers don’t usually spring for all those fancy, profitable options, though. The money is in selling loaded trucks with leather, nav, shiny wheels, and fancy paint, not in selling white 2wd standard cabs with vinyl floors.

      I suppose part of the marketing is aimed at either buyers who are buying their first truck or who are unhappy with their current truck.

      • 0 avatar
        olddavid

        That was once the case with the big fleet guys. The last year I booked 400+ annual fleet sales to Johnson Controls and Schlumberger, everything had tilt cruise and a/c and usually an upgrade appearance pack the factory did almost for free to protect their residual. Have you seen a regular cab white pickup anywhere lately?

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          I think white regular cabs were like 75% of the Ranger’s last year of production ;)

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @olddavid – I see those all of the time. In Canada our tax laws treat anything other than a regular cab fleet truck as a taxable employee benefit if the operator drives it home at the end of the day.
          My brother doesn’t mind paying the taxes since it still is much cheaper than truck payments. He hasn’t made a vehicle payment in over 30 years and every 2 years has a new truck in the driveway.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      You’d get defensive too if your truck payments were 1/3rd of your after-tax income.

      I can’t imagine Sam Walton would get defensive about his truck. But my neighbor’s lawn guy almost cried when his mower shot a rock into his shiny red Ram.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      They all have their pluses and minuses.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Ugh, Dan Neil’s reviews are worthless. There’s an arrogant foppish graduate-degree-in-English tone to just about everything he pens, as if he set out for a career of creative writing but stumbled into professional car reviewing instead.

    This generation Tundra seemed like a decent effort when it debuted, but has been left a bit long on the vine and the truly ugly exterior refresh and 2008 Ford F150 carbon copy dashboard don’t make up for that. You can tell that, unlike the Big 3, Toyota’s profits don’t hinge solely on truck sales.

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      I agree on Dan Neil. He is well-spoken, but my opinion differed with his so often. I found that his ascot and color square were just too much for me when he joined Adam Carolla on The Car Show. Watching Neil on The Car Show was like forcing a Red Sox fan to watch Yankee’s broadcasts. I just became this seething maniac yelling at my TV. In hindsight, this could have been one of the underlying reasons for me cutting the cord over six years ago.

      On the Tundra, Toyota just seemed to feel self-conscious about their 7/8ths-sized first generation effort and made sure the ’07 lacked nothing in size. I was always surprised that nobody ever seemed to call them out on the fuel hog that the 5.7 is.

    • 0 avatar
      zip89105

      I like to hear a different opinion, whether it be Dan’s or yours.

      Interestingly, Toyota isn’t doing squat with the Sequoia either, because most of them are sold to Arab oil countries where gas costs $0.10 a gallon and money flows like oil. That’s why stateside Sequoia APR deals are few and far between.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I would bet the Big 3’s “Furniture Store” pricing model cuts deep into Tundra sales. Overinflate the MSRP and put them out at a huge “discount”. Why buy a Tundra when that domestic is just such a “good deal”?

    The Tundra is tough and very robust, but the newest iterations from the Big 3 (especially GM and Ford) are much more refined products.

  • avatar
    Bazza

    Slamming the Tundra for being the most “truck-like” is some seriously weak sauce but great for page views I guess. Out here in New Mexico…where truck owners need their vehicles to start and run every day…the Tundra is extremely popular and there are plenty of first generation models still going strong. Fuel efficiency is a massive WGAS with the bulletproof 5.7L. The real story of course is resale value and there are no deals to be had on the used market regardless of mileage. Nope, the Tundra is not an Ecoboosted magazine darling but it gets the job done without fuss.

    As something of a geek, I do appreciate the tech features available in Ford/GM offerings but not enough to override common sense when buying a TRUCK.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I think this cannot be overstated. In my opinion, the thirsty nature of the Tundra is more than made up for with absolute sterling drivetrain/powertrain durability, fantastic power that keeps the un-updated motor relevant even 9 years after release, and better than average resale that probably makes total cost of ownership lower than most rivals. Toyota also can afford this thirsty truck due to such a good overall fleet average bolstered by Prius and Corolla/Camry sales. They’re not forced to drop the bumper to ground-scraping levels either (sorry I’m such a broken record with that, but it irks me to no end).

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I agree. The Tundra isn’t the most fancy truck, but like anything else Toyota, it’s almost guaranteed to be in it for the long haul. And the 5.7-liter makes everything effortless.

        And, yes, those front air dams on the GM trucks look ridiculous and make the trucks less than functional for people who need added ground clearance. I’d remove mine if I had one.

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    It is very ugly… Looks like a cross between a pig and a bulldog…

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    I take delivery of my special-ordered 2016 Ram 1500 SLT Quad cab on June 18. I would not even consider any Honda, Nissan or Toyota truck. They are all back of book at best. This will be my first truck after owning 46 sedans, coupes, minivans and SUVs since 1978.

  • avatar
    Jonathan H.

    My company vehicle is a 2015 Tundra Limited with the 5.7 and extended cab. I never understood the complaints about ride quality or handling although I use mine as a truck and not a daily comuter-mobile. So as a truck used for truck stuff it does a fine job. Better fuel economy would be great. I drove to a job site in Mississippi from Kentucky the other day and averaged 16mpg highway which is pretty sorry. I also don’t think it’s optioned very well for a truck at that price point. It has leather and auto climate control above the SR5 model. The nit I always pick about this thing is the fact that only the driver’s window is one-touch down. My girlfriends ’14 4Runner has one-touch down/up at every door. Guess my boss should have flipped for the Platinum.

    I think Neil is being a bit harsh but if it came down to it and I was spending my own money I’d buy one of the Big 3 before I bought this truck.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      That’s a nice company truck, haha.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Jonathan H.
      When I was last over in the States a couple of months ago I rented a SLT Ram with a 5.7 Hemi.

      I averaged 14mpg and that’s empty and just myself.

      So, I really don’t believe the FE is that bad from your work Tundra.

      My friend where I was staying in Miami has a GMC that he said is returning 13mpg.

      I really don’t think much of the US FE numbers given by the manufacturers.

      I mean, even the 2.7 EcoThirst is not doing that well in the FE department nor is the Pentastar powered Rams that are averaging 16-17mpg in real life.

      These comments I read about the amazing FE figures from vehicles that weigh near on 3 tons is quite hilarious and entertaining.

      The odd thing about most any pickup driver is how great their FE is. They just aren’t being honest with themselves in most cases.

      Even my 3.2 diesel midsizer is averaging 24mpg, it weighs 2.2 tonnes or 2 1/4 US tons.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        “The odd thing about most any pickup driver is how great their FE is.”

        Yeah, some of ’em.

        My SuperDuty gets 13 on the highway if I baby it, 10 in town likewise. Dead on for what’s expected out of an almost 4 ton monstrosity with a cargo rack and canopy.

        (The new engine helps; it was getting about 1mpg less before the old one blew up.)

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        22 Al from my 2.7 crew cab in now 13,000 miles of ownership. Bout 500 of those miles pulling a 5100 pound travel trailer. That is per the trip computer and spot on with my math.

  • avatar
    shedkept

    Here’s something worth studying before anyone throws Toyota under a bus.

    http://longtermqualityindex.com/index.html
    http://longtermqualityindex.com/reports/Toyota.html

  • avatar
    Coasthunter

    I have ’13 Tundra double cab with a 6″Fabtech lift/bagged and 20″ Fuel Nutz wheels with 38″Toyo MT’s. I just bought a ’16 Lance model 650 camper and absolutely love the set up, hauls it great. Yes, fuel milage sucks but I didn’t buy it for its fuel economy. I had a ’14 Rubicon lifted and loaded that drove like a tank compared to my Tundra..I know , different vehicles. My Tundra has plenty of power, killer brakes and simply looks better than the other 3 competitors IMO. I almost got a Dodge but couldn’t see dropping 60k when I got a capable, good looking rig for 25.

  • avatar
    George B

    The Toyota Tundra is fairly common on the streets here in the suburbs of Dallas. Not as common as the domestic pickups, but there are usually one or two in any large parking lot. Cars rarely rust around here so the Tundra frame recall wasn’t a big deal. Toyota should offer the 8 speed automatic used in the Lexus LX 570 in the top trim Tundra.

  • avatar
    Paul Alexander

    Apropos of not much, but I heard Jack on a podcast make mention of Dan Neil in an unflattering light. So I proceeded to listen to another episode of the same podcast featuring Dan Neil. 5 minutes in, I went to my OED, flipped to the word ‘insufferable’ and lo and behold, a picture of the Pulitzer Prize winner!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Toyota commercials and light trucks are built using the proven formula, then Toyota add their unique “Toyota Tax” on top. This is working for Toyota and Toyota seems to be profiting from this formula.

    Toyota is also living on it’s past reputation a little as well. There are many avid Toyota fans in Australia and it’s understandable, except for the prices being asked for the vehicles.

    Just look at the 70 odd Series Landcruisers. Exceptionally reliable, agricultural with little to offer in the form of tech and creature comforts. Even the “infotainment” system is a Radio/CD unit from a base Corolla. To get into one of these you will pay up to $80 000 AUD ($55 000USD), yet they are popular.

    Yet this vehicle retains value like no other vehicle. It has a low powered V8 diesel which puts out power and torque very similar to a Ranger 3.2 diesel and it chews up the diesel at a handy pace.

    But these vehicles are regarded as the toughest, most capable, reliable vehicles for Outback touring. But they are a handful on the road and a pig to drive around an urban environment daily. As many on this site revere the Wrangler, a 70 odd Series Landcruiser will out anything a Wrangler.

    The only tech you need in the Outback is a sat phone, as UHF and normal telecommunication networks are thousands of kilometers away.

    How good is tech out there? A person after reliability is prepared to pay for it rather than pay for tech.

    But, there will come a time in a couple of decades when what is on the road today will be regarded as reliable and old tech.

    This is the way of the world.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      Yeah, bet it won’t out crash test a Wrangler. The bones of the 70 series date back to 1984 IIRC and the ones I have driven lacked some pretty basic safety features despite being 2013 models.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The 70 series would get zero NCAP “Stars”, but comically, it’s judged TODAY by 1984 crash standards!

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        The 76 Series has a 3 Star ANCAP rating in 2015. This surprised me. It will be 5 Star ANCAP very soon. Here in Australia there has been a big push to clean up commercial vehicles in crash testing over the past decade. I hope this keep up.

        The Wrangler has a 4 Star ANCAP rating. So unless the next Wrangler cleans up it’s act the 76 Series will be “safer”.

        http://www.caradvice.com.au/384934/toyota-landcruiser-70-series-safety-upgrades-coming-in-2016/

        https://www.ancap.com.au/safety-ratings/jeep/wrangler/a661ee

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Oh, right now the 70 Series is a safer vehicle than the Wrangler. Wow, talk about misconceptions!

          That’s even using “1984” test standards for both vehicles :)

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Is it repairable with a doubler?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            All Toyota 70 series would have “Zero Stars” if judged by current standards, if not negative stars! Right, it’s stupid ANCAP rates cars on the crash standards of when first introduced, even if that’s 1984..

            That’s a scary!!

            The Wrangler gets “4 Stars” based on 2007 standards, while the 76, all 70 series are judged by 1984 standards!! We’re getting an all-new Wrangler this year, btw.

            Absolutely, “5 Stars” of 1984 standards means something completely different than “5 Stars” of the last 10 years or newer, crash standards.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Big Al from Oz,
      Comparing a Wrangler versus a 70 Series? Pretty different classes. Wrangler is a toy, with terrible ride , reliability, and Zero payload

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Robert, I absolutely adore Land Cruisers, but there is NO WAY that a stiffly sprung LC70 that’s designed with an ungodly payload in mind rides better than a much softer sprung Wrangler that has been fine-tuned for a wider non-utilitarian audience.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          I have extensive experience with both and that is a correct assumption. IIRC the LC70’s we had were 2013 models and had rear leaf springs to boot (They were troop models so not all of them may). Not that that is a bad thing in that truck and I am a giant 70 series lover as well and would take one all day over a Wrangler BUT if we are talking ride quality alone the two aren’t even on the same planet…the Wrangler wins hands down. The Wrangler rides better than my 80 series did and it had 4 coils and was known as the softest by far of the solid axle cruisers.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Daesh it seems agree with Dan opting for Hilux and Four Runner.

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    Friend of mine has a 2010. Frame cracked 30 km after the warranty ran out but it was in for a major service before that and the dealer didn’t notice or ignored it.

    It was in for occasionally seizing steering while driving – it would lockup and couldn’t change direction. They replaced the entire steering system until they found the problem and I mean everything – rack, pump lines, steering column, the whole system. Frame cracked at the front, so the techs should have been all over it changing out the rack.

    Toyota told him to pound sand, warranty was over. Needless to say, his next vehicle won’t be a Toyota product, despite having 3 Toyota/Lexus now.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      My FJ80’s frame cracked at the steering box. Wonder if this was a Toyota thing as it remains the only rig I’ve ever had a frame issue with.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Optimism at it’s best ….. or you drive like an old fart and a pain on the road.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          I don’t drive like the gas pedal is an on-off switch and perhaps I was a little optimistic…I hadnt looked in a while and it read 21.8 today. Still vastly better than the little Frontier it replaced. But you know best because you read $h1t on the interwebs!

  • avatar
    Fred

    I had 2 unreliable Chevy pickups. That’s the sort of thing that can force a guy to look at Toyotas. Unfortuantly for them I’m no longer interested in pickups.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Well, at least the Tundras spark plugs don’t fuse to the engine (ya, ya, ya, that’s been solved, like the AFM lifter failures in the Vortec 5.3 at GM…)

  • avatar
    InsideMan

    My apologies if this has already been stated, I didnt read the 100 comment string in its entirety… For Toyota to even try to get serious about the 1/2 ton truck market they would need to get the production capacity constraints addressed in San Antonio (or add a plant). Imagine for a minute they had the best truck on the market period (I know what youre thinking, but just imagine). They literally cannot produce any more volume out of that plant as it stands now. All they can do currently is shift the production ratio between Tacoma and Tundra… no additional units. Adding a 3rd shift scares them because of the unionization potential. Adding an additional production line scares them because San Antonio was only open for a year or two before the market tanked. The Japanese beat the North Americans for years after the billion dollar investment became a parking lot during the economic crash.

    After each allocation (happen twice a month for Toyota) we had dealers screaming at their District Manager for more trucks. The dealer council was always working their political angles to get more production. Ask someone in the know for a copy of the National dealer council notes, I promise it was on there for the past 3-4 years and probably still is currently.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I like your post as you make good points, but from the Toyota standpoint increased production does not necessarily equate to increased sales or marketshare. The way it stands now they sell every one they build at or right around msrp and they still have significant retail demand both new and used. Increased production may allow a slight bump in marketshare but it also means they may oversupply their market niche and outstrip demand, which is what the competition does, and may have to resort to fleet, bigger incentives, etc to move some excess. Why do this if you have both dealers and buyers right where you want them: paying a premium for a niche model?

  • avatar
    cartunez

    I have a 15 Tundra Platinum 4×4 exactly the same color as the picture for this article. Regarding FE I just returned from a trip from Jacksonville Florida to Kansas City Missouri and was showing 16.5 mpg not great compared to my Accord Hybrid but very good for me since I stayed between 78 and 85 most of the way there.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      My Silverado averages 19mpg in similar driving conditions on 87 octane.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        In mixed driving my 2004 F150 with 4.6 V8 gets 16 mpg usually. Not great for a mere 230 hp.

        If you bought a truck for the fuel economy you bought it for the wrong reason. Its like the prospective owner of a 1972 Galaxie or Impala asking the salesman about fuel economy.

        • 0 avatar
          Frylock350

          @PrincipalDan,

          What’s wrong with wanting the best possible fuel efficiency from your truck (especially if there is no sacrifice in power to achieve it)?

          I don’t care much about absolute fuel economy; but I do about relative economy. Averaging 16mpg vs 19mpg is a big difference over time. I drive about 18,000 miles a year these days. That’s a difference of 180 gallons of fuel a year which works out to $500 – $600 annually depending on the price of gas. That’s two truck payments! Its also nearly $3000 extra over the time I expect to keep the vehicle. Incidentally this is also basically the premium paid to use 91 octane fuel. I drive a full size truck and accept that none of them will ever get truly good economy, but why should I piss away extra money on fuel that I don’t have to?

        • 0 avatar
          cartunez

          Exactly. I bought the Tundra cause I loved the looks, the color, the equipment, and lastly the reliability. My Accord Hybrid is for when I care about FE.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    The Tundra’s problem is that it doesn’t offer anything you can’t get from the domestics.

    Ford, GM and Ram also all use highly effective “furniture store” pricing models. They have a high MSRP and then “discount” it. That way all customers think they’re getting a deal. Toyota doesn’t. They evidently try to sell the Tundra like it was a Corolla. That doens’t work with truck buyers. Toyota has traded on reliability to sell milquetoast Corollas and Camrys and its worked. The Tundra is reliable. However F150s and Silverados are also very reliable. The reliability sales pitch doesn’t work for them in this market. When reliability is off the table the Tundra has little to trade on. Its rip snorting 5.7L neither rips nor snorts anymore. A GM 6.2L or Ford 3.5L will massacre it in a race while using LESS fuel. Ford and GM’s midlevel motors (2.7L and 5.3L) will match the performance and use far less fuel. The interior is a knockoff F150 design from two generations ago. The exterior is a frowny-faced Ram.

    When you have a market and the market leaders are very good products its difficult to dislodge them. If Toyota really wants a bigger chunk of this market they need to undercut Ford and GM pricing. They also need to get the trucks into the hands of fleet buyers (not rentals; contractors). Ram did just that and they’ve carved out a bigger chunk for themselves.

    That said I’m sure Toyota is happy with the chunk of the market they have and the ROI on their investment.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      I’ve driven a new Tundra back to back with a new Sierra Denali 5.3. The 5.3 isn’t in the same class with the Tundra’s 5.7. I don’t know about the 6.2, but good luck getting a truck with one. The 4×4 Tundra crew cab 5.7 liter was about $31K. Sure, it is stripped. It has vinyl seats and the door opens with a key. That’s austere. OTOH, what is the cheapest GM pickup with an engine that can touch it? As for Fords, they had science fiction failure modes back when they were as simple as their repeat buyers. Spark plugs blown out of their tubes? Got it! Galvanic corrosion? Why not! I’ll leave their current CAFE wagons for the people that voted for them.

      • 0 avatar
        Frylock350

        @ToddAtlas,

        What year were both trucks? What rear gears did the Denali have (3.08s suck, 3.42s don’t)? Did you compare same cab/bed combos? The Tundra does feel faster as it has the goliath 4.10s and less TM than the GM trucks. But objectively its not faster. Fortunately I have statistical impartial data from Car and Driver. Take reviews for similarly equipped trucks (Silverado CCSB LTZ 4×4 3.42, Tundra Platinum CCSB 4×4). The Tundra’s 1/4 run is identical (15.3 @ 92mph).

        http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/2015-chevrolet-silverado-vs-2015-ford-f-150-2015-ram-1500-2014-toyota-tundra-comparison-test-2015-ford-f-150-vs-2015-chevrolet-silverado-1500-2015-ram-1500-2014-toyota-tundra-final-scoring-performance-data-and-complete-specs-page-6

        http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-chevrolet-silverado-1500-53l-4×4-crew-cab-test-review

        The option box for the 6.2L was on the order form for my Silverado. I didn’t check it as I refuse to pay the ridiculous markup for 91 octane fuel; $0.70 to $0.90 over 87 near me.

        Switch the fuel to E85 and the Silverado will drop 0.4 – 0.5 in the quarter and to 60. The current prices by me are $2.80 for 87, $1.80 for E85. Lingenfelter has documented tests proving this.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          The Tundra is a ’14 and the Denali is a ’16. No idea on the rear gear, and I bet the owner doesn’t know either. I suspect he didn’t request the one that sucks on purpose, provided that there’s one that doesn’t. The Denali has a small bed and a four-door cab. The Tundra has a four-door cab and an 8 foot bed. The Denali has a nice interior, and will do precisely no work while its original owner has it. The Tundra sometimes tows trailers with multiple pallets that exceed it’s maximum rated towing weight by over 100%. It’s only around a warehouse yard, but it’s more than the Denali will do until its registered in Mexico.

          It’s a shame about your fuel prices. I’m paying $1.99.9 for 87 and $2.24.9 for 93 octane, both Tier 1 E10 from Costco. Last time I saw E85 advertised here, it was more expensive than E10. That makes sense, since somebody has to pay for the ethanol cartel. Altfuelprices.com lists one station offering the stuff in my zipcode today, for $2.89.9. Throw in single digit fuel economy, and I don’t care how fast Lingenfelter accelerated a limited production non-sucking GM pickup with it. Tundra 5.7s run on cheap gas, they’re readily available, and you can’t option one to suck no matter how hard you try.

          • 0 avatar
            Frylock350

            @ToddAtlasF1,

            I’m impressed he found a Denali sans a 6.2L. Most near me were equipped with it. That said it’s astonishing someone would look at a $50k+ truck and not educate themselves as to its capabilities, options, and equipment.

            The truck Lingenfelter tested was a bone stock 14 5.3L CCSB LTZ 4×4, probably the most popular configuration of the truck. I’m not sure about lower trims (I was shopping LTZ), but the majority of the LTZ trucks had the superior 3.42. The 3.08 is an EPA gear. I imagine that Toyota doesn’t have to care about EPA gears as they don’t have nearly GM’s volume. I’d wager though just due to sheer sales volume that there are more 3.42 Silverados available than Tundras period. Anyhow; the truck saw an improvement of 0.5s to 60 and 0.4s in the 1/4 just by switching fuel to E85. I was just pointing out that if a few tenths actually matter to you; there a change of fuel away.

            http://www.lingenfelter.com/forum_lingenfelter/forum/lingenfelter-forum/general-motors-suv-trucks/1245-2014-1500-silverado-with-5-3l-l83-engine-work-begins

            Apply the same factor of improvement to the 3.42 equipped truck C&D tested and you have a truck with slightly better performance than a Tundra with nearly identical EPA ratings (12/17/14 for ’15 Silverado on E85 vs 13/17/15 for ’15 Tundra on gas).

            My original point still stands though. The Tundra 5.7 runs a dead heat with the Silverado 5.3 given similar equipment on 87 octane. Keep in mind the 5.7 is Toyota’s top dog motor, the 5.3 is GM’s midrange economy motor.

            If Toyota made say 3.30s an option on the Tundra fuel economy should improve by 1-2 mpg and performance wouldn’t suffer significantly (probably 0.5s to 60 and in the 1/4). Its impressive acceleration is due to those 4.10s; but so is its terrible fuel economy.

            Fuel prices near me suck. It wasn’t always this way. 15 years ago it was just a $0.20 premium for 91 octane. Now its nearly $1 more! I vote with my wallet not to support that kind of nonsense. I also vote to support E85 (another plus for GM, they have the best E85 economy) as I think biofuels are important.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “If Toyota made say 3.30s an option on the Tundra fuel economy should improve by 1-2 mpg and performance wouldn’t suffer significantly (probably 0.5s to 60 and in the 1/4). Its impressive acceleration is due to those 4.10s; but so is its terrible fuel economy.”

            The Tundra has a much taller transmission than the domestics, the 4.30 axle actually works out to be equivalent to a 3.55 in a Ford or 3.73 in a GM. I certainly wouldn’t want to go taller than that.

            The terrible mileage isn’t the gearing. It’s the biggest and heaviest truck in the class with the heaviest running gear, the most ground clearance, 32″ AT tires, and no snow plow blade hanging off the bumper to push the air out of the way. No engine does well pushing a truck that big around.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      It’s definitely dated now but it’s not like they were selling well 5 years ago when they largely led the class either.

      Dated and all I still would have bought one last year if Toyota had had their act together on getting the 39 gallon tank in. I could live with the marginally thirstiest but I can’t live with 300 mile pit stops.

      • 0 avatar
        Frylock350

        @Dan,

        GM is guilty of using a far too small gas tank as well (which I find hilarious because they have a parts bin bigger tank for the Suburban).

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          For many years GM made the larger gas tank an option on the trucks, has that gone away?

          I’ve noticed that many of the manufactures in the last 2 decades have tired to make their tanks good for 300+ miles at highway speeds.

          • 0 avatar
            Frylock350

            @PrincipalDan,

            My 15 half ton didn’t have a bigger tank anywhere on the option list. Maybe its not available for CCSBs or for 1/2 tons? It does easily get over 300 miles out of a tank, but my previous Avalanche did better on range (400+) despite worse fuel economy due to its vastly larger fuel tank.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          As if the smallest tank in the thirstiest truck weren’t bad enough, on top of that Toyota calibrates their gage for the needle on E with the warning light on at upwards of six gallons left. Boneheaded beyond belief.

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    I was truck shopping 3 months ago, drove all 4 of the major brands and got a Tundra crew max. Now my test was of midlevel trucks with the big motors not those loaded with leather and fake wood.

    Chev, rode nice, steered nice, interior a cave and didnt feel like it would last, motor and tranny sub par. Lease was 4k more than tundra.

    Dodge, best motor and tranny by far, the rest felt like a 2000 jeep liberty,Lease 4k more than the toyota.

    Ford, there is a reason why its the No1 seller. Felt and rode like a limo, steered nicely as well, was quiet etc, more like a really mercedes big car than a truck, you wanted to be in it, steered nicely too, lease 5k more than the toyota.

    Tundra, best real tow rating than the others by far(my main reason for a truck), steerign feel of a 70s cadillac, rode like a truck but tolerable, feels anvil tough, great transmision, its ride and handling drawbacks irelevant on the highways, backseat, two teenagers and their girlfreinds could spend a weekend back there and not rub elbows, lease was 4-5k less than the others, and I negotiated hard everywhere.

    Of the others I would take the Ford over the toyota even for 2k more. The ford felt nowhere near as durable though, and for me the truck has to actualy be a truck.

    Lots of people love wranglers and old land cruisers because despite their crudity they are tough and tough feeling, same with the tundra. But yeah for Urban cowboys not on a budget there are better choices.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      I shopped the whole field last year and agree with your takes 100%. Liked the Toyota the best but couldn’t live with the tiny gas tank, didn’t like the Chevy at all, liked the Ford but the 15s were brand new and priced like it, and bought the Dodge because they were practically giving them away.

  • avatar
    baconpope

    “In a historic context, the 106,000 Tundras Toyota USA is on track to sell in 2016 represents a 46-percent decrease from 2007, when the Tundra was new.” The context is historical, not historic–at least not from Toyota’s perspective–though it may prove to be historic if it causes the demise of the Tundra model.

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