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Ford F150 Innovation Continues, Will Toyota Match?

Yesterday, Ford announced plans to produce an eight speed automatic transmission. According to Mike Levine of, it’s expected that the F-150 will receive this eight speed as soon as 2014. What’s more, Levine noted on Twitter that he expected “GM’s next-gen 2014 light-duty Silverado and Sierra will also offer an 8-speed transmission.”

We’ve been keeping a tally of possible and probable enhancements to the 2014 Toyota Tundra here, a list we’ve made based on comments given to us by sources, notes from news stories, etc. You’ll note that we don’t believe Toyota will be developing an 8-speed transmission for the 2014 Tundra, and quite frankly I’m not sure that Ford’s announcement changes this assessment. While 8 speeds are clearly better than 6, the relative improvements are small.

According to Ford engineer Joe Bakaj, an eight speed transmission boosts fuel economy “2 to 6 percent,” a substantial improvement to be sure, but is it worth the additional expense and complexity?

Tundra Wins JD Power Vehicle Dependability Award 6 Years In A Row

For the 6th time in as many years, the Toyota Tundra has won the JD Power Vehicle Dependability award in the large truck category. According to the JD Power website, the Tundra came in first with a rating of 4.5 out of 5, the F-150 came in second with 4 out of 5, and the Ram 1500 came in 3rd with a 3.5 out of 5 rating.

Amazingly, GM’s trucks had different dependability scores despite being essentially identical (the Chevy scored 3.5 out of 5, the GMC just 3 out of 5). It’s worth noting here that JD Power’s award is based on vehicle surveys, which, like any metric, has some limitations…but more on that in a minute.

Here’s a complete description of the JD power process, as well as some funny quotes from Ford, Dodge, and GM truck owners who just can’t accept Toyota’s dominance.

2011 Truck Depreciation Data and Resale Value Facts

Analysis Shows Tundra Biggest Winner, Titan Biggest Loser

Last week an automotive data company called VinCentric announced their 2011 Best Value awards. While Toyota was the big winner – Toyota models that won 9 segments – the Tundra was surprisingly shut out. Considering how well the Tundra has done in other value award competitions, this was a surprise.

VinCentric named the F150 the best full size pickup value, but when you read VinCentric’s explanation of the F150’s victory something seems wrong:

The victory was earned with low insurance costs, segment leading fuel economy, and the lowest depreciation rate in the segment

Lowest depreciation in the segment? That’s not right…is it? Here’s how we went about trying to prove VinCentric’s data:

2011 Tundra Gets 4 Star Overall Crash Test Rating, Tied For First In Segment

Last updated 3-17-2011

NHTSA has released their crash test ratings for many of the 2011 half-tons on the market – here’s a summary of the ratings.

So far, it looks like the 2011 Tundra is the safest half-ton on the market, with only the narrowest lead over the GM trucks as a result of the Tundra’s superior IIHS test results. The F150 and Ram come in to third and fourth place respectively (the Nissan Titan has not been rated by NHTSA, so it’s not included in our comparison).

TundraStop – DubzDirect Meet Up Next Saturday

If you live near Brea, CA, you might think about checking out the TundraStop-DubzDirect Tundra meetup next Saturday. The event starts at 11am and runs until about 5pm.

There will be quite a few companies giving away prizes, a raffle, and of course a whole bunch of Tundras.

UPDATE: See our TundraStop Meet-up coverage – lots of photos!