Ford, Chrysler Events Showcase New Cars, Trucks – Toyota Tundra Perceptions

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Last week, Ford and Chrysler invited Tim Esterdahl to check out their new products. During this time, he got the chance to talk to several representatives and drive several of their latest truck offerings. Here is what he found out.

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This Ram 1500 EcoDiesel was one of many trucks I drove at a recent media event at Chrysler’s proving grounds. It has plenty of low-end torque and sounds like a diesel. With a smooth ride, it is a good competitor in the full-size market. Does it make sense for every customer? Nope. The return on investment is going to be a tough sell.

Each year, manufactures like Ford and Chrysler invite journalists from around the world to check out their offerings. This years, thanks to eBay Motors, Tim Esterdahl was able to attend these conferences.

From Tim:

After a few evenings of hobnobbing with fellow journalists and manufacture representatives, I learned a lot about the direction the different manufactures are moving and how other journalists/manufactures perceive the Toyota Tundra as a full-size competitor.

Ford – Capable, Light-Weight Trucks

Ford’s event was held over the course of a day at their proving grounds in Dearborn, MI. This facility is pretty remarkable and the amount of testing they do is unbelievable. After seeing their engineers at work, it furthers my surprise when an automaker has to recall a product or misses an issue like the condensation issue on the EcoBoost.

A quick note on the condensation issue. I spent the week in Michigan and spent several days with my family. During my time there, it was (as usual) really hot and humid. The surprising part to me then, is how Ford missed the condensation issue. It must be a really hot and humid day for the trucks to go into limp mode. I’m not saying it can’t happen, it was just surprising with Michigan’s weather and how much Ford tests.

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Ford spent half a day showcasing their new Edge with breakout sessions and demonstrations galore. Did we actually get to drive it? Nope.

During the day, Ford unveiled their new Edge crossover that competes directly with the Toyota Venza. Ford has spent a lot of time on this vehicle and, frankly, it shows. The new Edge has a plethora of new technology offerings and includes a new 2.0L EcoBoost engine with a new twin-scroll turbocharger design. Ford says it will push out 245 HP with 270 ft.-lbs of torque. Fuel economy and pricing numbers are not being announced (of course).

After many press conferences about the new Edge, we hit the track only to be disappointed with their assortment of driving events. The events only consisted of a high-speed track (70 MPH tops), low-speed track (50 MPH), steering and handling loop (30 MPH or so tops) and an automated driving experience with a robot driving you around. For trucks, they really only had 250 and 350 F-series trucks on the high-speed track. A pretty big disappointment.

I did, though, get a chance to talk with a brand manager on the F-series and Raptor trucks. He is a true Ford fan who recently drove the 2015 F-150 with their new 2.7L EcoBoost. He remarked how well the truck did for everyday driving. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a chance to tow with it. He pointed out the only reason he didn’t tow was because of the shortness of the drive and lack of a bed. I’ll take him for his word on this.

Conversing for the better part of an hour, I come away with the following conclusions:

  1. Ford really did their homework, despite media reports to the contrary, before releasing the new F-150. They meet with dealers, consumer test groups, insurance companies and repair facilities. My sense is that yes, insurance premiums will rise with the new truck. Yet, with fuel economy getting better, it may offset a bit. I DON’T think it will offset all the increases in insurance premiums and savvy consumers will have a decision to make.
  2. Repair facilities take on aluminum seems to still be a bit of a mystery. While dealers will be ready, my sense is third-party vendors will mostly be not be ready. For them, they will have to make a large investment on a relatively new (yes, aluminum is used in the Range Rover), and unknown, as of yet, repair process. With the repair process still getting sorted out, there will be plenty of facilities not ready at the time of the truck’s launch. Is this a big deal? Probably not. But, it could cause some early customer complaints. You just don’t know.

During the week, Ford’s Americas chief Hinrichs told Autonews the F-150 was still on schedule and reports of its delay are unfounded. I found this statement to be odd since the truck has already been reportedly delayed from a 3rd Quarter launch. For most trucks and cars, you have around a 2 quarter time frame from the vehicles introduction to hitting the dealer lots. For example, vehicles unveiled at the January and February Auto Shows in Detroit and Chicago respectively, will hit the dealer lots in the fall. Those shows occur in the 1st Quarter and the vehicles go into production during July in order to hit dealer lots in the 3rd Quarter. This is similar to the Tundra truck and GM twins time frame.

I was told Ford’s F-150 will hit dealer lots late 4th Quarter. For reference, it was unveiled in January. To be fair, the truck is using a dramatically different material than other trucks and production issues would seem normal. However, something doesn’t jive with me. If Ford spent all the time planning the new truck, why isn’t it coming to dealer lots in the fall? Also, why aren’t the pre-production models ready for journalists to drive. I’ve now spent several hours sitting in F-150s and have even listened to the engine run. Yet, they are still not ready for journalists to drive.

With the timing explained, you can see why there has been much discussion on the F-150 seemingly delayed. The reality is that the delay will ultimately be long forgotten after the truck comes out as long as the truck doesn’t suffer any quality issues. If it does, the question on using so much aluminum will haunt Ford.

In the end, I give Ford a lot of credit for many things these days. The new truck interior is just outstanding, the aluminum body panels are amazingly smooth and the whole truck looks sharp. I do have my concerns on the 2.7L EcoBoost, as far as, it being a “truck motor.” Also, I wish they would set aside their pride on the tailgate step, ditch it and incorporate GM’s bumper step or something else. It just doesn’t fit with the truck anymore.

It may sound funny to those who think I bleed Toyota, but I can’t wait to drive the truck and I hope Ford raising the bar will inspire Toyota to speed up development of new powertrains and innovations.

Ram Trucks Continue to Make Impression

Chrysler’s events were hands down way, WAY better than Ford’s and were well worth attending. Like Ford they brought the journalists to their proving grounds. Unlike Ford, they had a multi-day trip with a driving event and then a historic 100 years of Dodge event.

Ford, Chrysler Events

This monster Ram 4500 was available to drive with its front mounted snow plow and snow feeder. It was a big hit, even though, it was June and there was no snow. I offered to push a few Fiats around and was flatly told “no.”

For the driving event, in complete contrast of Ford’s scripted event, Chrysler simply said, “Enjoy your day” and had many different versions of all their vehicles. There had to be close to 100 vehicles to choose from.

Much like a “kid in the candy store” I had several different Ram trucks to drive, a large group of marketing reps to talk with and other journalists to share thoughts with. It was a blast!

Ford, Chrysler Events

No way could I pass up driving the Power Wagon on a very muddy off-road track. The beast’s 6.4L engine was so powerful it practically idled up most of the muddy hills.

For the event, I drove the new Power Wagon through a pretty intense off-road track with log steps, large rocks, muddy 40 degree hill descents, mud bogs with knee high water and other obstacles. The course was setup for Jeeps mainly, but they allowed the truck to go through as well with some guidance in the tight sections. The Power Wagon, of course, handled it all without complaint.

One funny story came out from the event with regards to the Power Wagon. Like I said, journalists were invited from all over the world with a large variety of common sense. One such journalists thought it would be a great idea to drive a Ram 3500 dually in the off-road course. Yes, the off-road course! The truck, of course, got stuck and had to be rescued by the Power Wagon. As it was brought back to the main area, the side rails could be seen bouncing up and down. Apparently, the truck had become high centered and the rails were holding the truck up. To their credit, Ram was able to bend the side rails back into place and the truck was left in use.

During the day, I drove a variety of other trucks including the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. For this truck, I drove it around a road loop that consisted of two lanes. One lane had smooth pavement and was meant to replicate “good roads” and the other consisted of many different varieties of pavement that were “bad roads.”

The EcoDiesel performed like you think it would. It sounded like a diesel and the acceleration pedal responded like a diesel. Honestly, I would have swore I was driving a 2500 or 3500 truck and not a half-ton. The ride handling, though, really impressed me. I had heard from several other journalists that the ride quality on the Ram was outstanding. I agree.

I also drove the dually, a regular cab 2wd 1500 and a crew cab 1500. The dually rode quite a bit harsher than I thought it would while the other Ram trucks rode really well.

One note on the half-ton Ram trucks though. I was really surprised on several things. First, I thought you could feel the transmission shifts points on the 8 speed a lot more than a 6 speed. Not a huge deal, it just didn’t feel as smooth to me like others have said it does.

Also, I was pretty surprised at how the rotary dial didn’t really bother me too much. Ram and Chrysler are using it on other products in their lineup and it is simply becoming a part of their lineup. I’m not saying, I am a big fan of it, it just didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.

100 Years of Dodge Celebration – Early Truck and Power Wagon

The next day, we meet at the Dodge brother’s mansion for a 100 years of Dodge celebration. This was simply an amazing event where we got the opportunity to drive classic Dodge products from their museum collection.

Crossing a walk-way bridge, we entered a courtyard filled with halfway new Challenger and Chargers. The other half was filled with Dodge concept vehicles. It was remarkable to walk around and see these vehicles up close.

After the presentation, we walked down through barn doors to find a selection of vehicles awaiting us. The “garage” area is where the Dodge brothers built their first cars. These were the cars we could drive and several journalists, including myself, were simply stunned.

Ford, Chrysler Events Showcase New Cars

This 1915 Dodge truck was the precursor to future Dodge/Ram trucks. It had wood paneling on the floor and ceiling. With a three-speed on the floor, it had lots of low-end torque. While the speedometer read a top speed of 60 MPH, it felt more at home at the 15-25 MPH mark. Dodge says delivery services like milk primarily used it.

The drive consisted of a 25 MPH loop around the property (we were supposed to go 25 MPH). While, the 1970 Dodge Challengers and 2010 Viper were great fun, I was able to ride in a 1941 Combat Carrier and 1915 Dodge Truck (precursor to the Ram truck lineup). Those trucks were really amazing to ride in and see up close.

Ford, Chrysler Events

This 1941 Combat Carrier was the precursor to the Power Wagon. What a fun vehicle to ride and drive!

In the end, these trips are great to learn more about the different manufacture’s strategies and plans for the future. And I hope, it helps you the reader to know, that I really do attend events with the intention of providing a broader picture of the full-size truck market. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, right now is an amazing time for full-size trucks with new technologies and products flooding the market. It is going to be a lot of fun over the next few years to see how everything unfolds.

Toyota Tundra Perception

I’ve spoken about this before, but I think it needs reiterating again. Most of the journalists and representatives I spoke with don’t talk a lot about Toyota. Essentially, they along with others, don’t see it as a big competitor to the other makers and there isn’t a lot to say. Back when Toyota took the world by storm, it was all the rage. Now, with the arguably, mild refresh, there isn’t that much discussion.

Most of the manufactures talked about how they give Toyota credit for their segment innovations like the large Crewmax cab and sliding rear window. Also, they talk about how Toyota has a great engine. Yet, the ride quality and lack of innovation on the 2014 model continue to be a hot topic. Most of the reps give Toyota lots of credit for their 2007 work and wonder where the innovation has gone.

Journalists largely share the similar message that representatives do. Toyota may have wanted to simply improve on what they saw as weaknesses in their products, not pushing the bar has hurt their perception. In this day and age, slight improvements don’t seem to cut it anymore. You go big or you go home seems to be the mantra.

Toyota has their work cut out to be relevant in industry insiders minds again. Whether they want that remains to be seen. The next few years are going to be really interesting.

Special thanks to Derek Mau of eBay Motors and Mark Williams of for their help with this story.

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  1. LJC says:

    Whomever is in charge of marketing for the Tundra is mostly to blame for the perception problem. Period.

    No Tundra Deconstructed 2, no more Killer Heat, etc., no exploiting of the fact that the Tundra was the first J2807 compliant pickup truck in the universe…

    Furthermore, Toyota has a truck heritage that virtually no one knows about. The ‘domestic’ three built their truck heritage here in the US. Toyota???

    The second problem is a lack of existing options for the Tundra. For example, no integrated brake controller, no selectable eLocker, larger fuel tank, key pad for keyless entry, etc. All this stuff currently exists for other trucks, but not the Tundra.

    The Tundra is not a car and should not be marketed like one.

    What’s more painful is I bet the Tundra is the most profitable per-vehicle product Toyota has and yet it seems to be treated like a second class vehicle.

    Here’s the sadest part of all this: most if not all posters on this site know more about the Tundra and have a passion for it than the marketing team at Toyota. That’s the truth–and we don’t get paid for it.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      I agree that the marketing efforts miss the mark by a large margin. It also seems like Toyota has “folded their cards” on competing with the Big 3 head to head. I think they feel like it is a waste of money and I guess I can see their point a bit. They spent a lot of money back in 2006-07 on marketing and were able to increase market share to a certain point. Adding more market share is a costly proposition. They are now playing the bean counters game in deciding how to move forward.

      Like you said, the fact is the Tundra’s list of features is starting to pale in comparison to other trucks. The new F-150 has made a large leap ahead in features and it will be interesting to see if/how Toyota responds.

      At the end of the day, you simply can’t follow the standard 7-year product cycle anymore and stay relevant. I look for Toyota to do something at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. I doubt it will be a big jump forward, but it seems they have to do something.


      • Larry says:

        “One, I thought you could feel the transmission shifts points on the 8 speed a lot more than a 6 speed. Not a huge deal, it just didn’t feel as smooth to me like others have said it does.”

        You are right about this issue. Over the years, cars and trucks have removed almost all mechanical feel and feed back to the driver. I know most will like this smooth feel but for some of us it doesn’t feel right. Some engine vibration keeps me in touch with how the truck is running. I have driven some cars with automatic transmissions which have manual sport modes. As I slow down and need to shift, I really can’t feel when the shift is needed. We have reached the point where we need to run the vehicle by instrument only.

        I know it’s a silly statement but, when you run a Harley V twin, you don’t have to look at instruments to know when an up or down shift is needed.

        I also think you are correct in your comment about toyota not really needing to compete directly with the big 3. They have growing sales numbers, a solid product and loyal customers. With their production capability they just need to keep moving forward and in 10 years they will have the sales they need and want. The just need to avoid any major screw ups.

  2. Randy says:


    Your comment: “A quick note on the condensation issue. I spent the week in Michigan and spent several days with my family. During my time there, it was (as usual) really hot and humid. The surprising part to me then, is how Ford missed the condensation issue. The air temperature must have to exceed what occurs in Michigan and the humidity must exceed another high mark.”

    Remember driving at “dew point” conditions for over two hours really does not exist on a frequent basis in Michigan. Ford still does not test these engines for that environment and that is just “one” of the reasons they have failed to address this issue. For example; you can have a 90 degree day with 100% humidity and with a dew point of only 70 degrees there will not be enough moisture created after 5 hours of driving to have any noticeable effect on the engine. But driving in a temperature of 70 degrees with a dew point of 70 degrees and essentially any humidity level you want will create disastrous effects for the engine.

    For those that are very close to this issue; it has now become evident during the last 18 months that the more an EcoBoost is driven close to or at dew point, this process causes additional problems with the PCV system; that is, it is the interaction of crankcase vapors and water that prevent proper combustion and hence the plug failures, turbo failures and cat failures (all from the carbon build up) – the black tail pipes are the early warning signs.

    The real failure on Ford’s part is not standing behind their product and thousands of owners pushed beyond warranty coverage periods; because the problems are not routinely fixed beforehand….it cannot be with the current design. This is the “exact” same corporate policy Ford used in addressing problems for owners of the 6.0 diesel…the owners are left holding the bag.

    The Tundra Perception: Truck buyers that actually use trucks want a vehicle that is dependable and reliable on a long term basis. That and that alone is one of the key reasons the “growth rates” of the new Tundra is several times greater than that of Ford or GM. Real truck buyers that have been buying trucks for many years know either from firsthand knowledge or from friends and family that the Tundra power train is in a league all its own. Yes the Tundra needs further improvements, but I hope that Toyota does not take the Tundra down just another bag of marketing tricks like Ford and GM, filled with broken promises that are “never” delivered.

    Making a product that actually “works” has not hurt my perception of Toyota or Tundra at all. That is the type of truck I want. Overall, it is still by far the best half ton made today.

    Your recent visit to Ford and RAM, on the surface, indicate that Ford is up to their usual marketing tricks. Yet RAM appears to be serious. Perhaps they are making a serious truck for what truck owners want; only time will tell on that one. The new FCA corporate board could take RAM in any direction; they could become the leader in trucks or follow Ford’s and GM’s lead with only a bag of marketing tricks.


    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      Good comment! By the way, I reworded the sentence you quoted this morning. I wrote this story on the plane with about 6 hours of sleep!

      I concede I am definitely missing something about the condensation issue. It just seemed odd to me with all their testing for them to have missed this issue. Just unexpected.

      And yes, Toyota definitely has the market concerned on reliability and dependability. No way can anyone take that away from them. It would just be nice if they threw a little innovation in there as well.

      Lastly, I do think Ram (or RAM – I really need to clarify this!!), is trying really, really hard to increase their market share via their marketing. Consider this. Ford had a lame duck event, GM doesn’t offer such an event and neither does Toyota (to my knowledge). Ram is the only one who does and they roll out the red carpet. Will this translate into more sales? I want to say yes, but truck buyers are so brand loyal, I’m not sure.


    • breathing borla says:

      nice comments Randy!

      Just to provide a view point from the other side for grins.

      I really don’t see the tundra being the “best 1/2 ton by far” anymore. This is coming from a long time 3 time tundra and multiple other toyota truck owner.

      for what’s it’s worth, I have 22K miles so far and I don’t see anything on the 2014 tundra vs my current loaded Ram ZF 8, 3.92 that makes the tundra by far the better truck. Not everyone keeps these things to 200-300K, that’s where I would say that toyota still would have the edge. I won’t find out as I trade long before that. People just do things differently.

      we’ll see how it goes, but on a “so far” basis I’m glad I went with the new Ram, way more comfortable, way more storage, way more features, better MPG, more HP, more torque, way more options, etc.

      if it craps out then I may change my tune, but it feels pretty darn solid. Good luck with your rig!!

  3. breathing borla says:


    sounds like you can see why I went away from toyota after you’ve driven some of the new Rams. They are damn nice rigs and offer many things the others just don’t

    sounds like a fun event and nice article

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      I agree that the Ram trucks are a nice rig, but the 2015 F-150 could be a great truck as well. And Toyota’s new 2014 is really nice as is the new GM twins. Hell, I love all the trucks and can’t wait to drive them! They just dropped a 2014 Nissan Titan Pro 4x at my house and I am running out right now to play with it.

      It is such a great market and time to be a full-size truck fan.


      • breathing borla says:


        lots of nice rigs out there. One disappointment I have is ford doesn’t have a large V8 anymore. The whole turbo v6 thing just isn’t for me, but I understand those that like that.

        for example, I have a borla (LOL, could you guess) on my Hemi and I love the sound, love V8 rumble and that has to be part of my purchase. That’s just a me thing though

      • Larry says:

        Can you comment about the rear coils on the ram 1500?

        • Tim Esterdahl says:


          I don’t really have a lot to say because I didn’t get to tow or load any payload into the bed. I can tell you from driving around, it does have a smoother ride. Does it squat more? Maybe. I’m not sure.

          My sense is Ram gives up a bit of payload and towing prowess for better ride quality.

          Here is an interesting video. The guy is a bit too “gruff” for me and I wish he would just present his take without the nasty tone. But, it does provide good information.


          • breathing borla says:


            A ford lover video? That guy was kinda of a tool and a bit over the top with the ford loving.

            I have had the bed loaded tons of times and it’s fine, so he was exaggerating a bit with his “if you want to use it like a truck you can’t” crap.

            That said, it is the lowest rated 1/2 ton in most of the high trim models, no doubt about that, you have to decide what you want.

            and yes, they have lower payload to have a smoother ride. My max payload is between 1200-1300 lbs, which is probably the lowest of the crew cab 4×4 with the largest engine I would suspect. I also think they maybe underrated it a bit to keep the attorneys happy.

            there is a trade off for everything…

            It’s all I need to haul so I like the trade off of the awesome ride. If I needed more, then just go a class up 3/4 ton.

            What’s that guy in the video going to say now that Ram is using coils in the 2500 HD with airbags? LOL

            here is a guy who tried to test the limitations of the air suspension for grins


          • Tim Esterdahl says:


            You nailed it. There is always a trade off.

            And yes, I agree that guy is pretty over the top.


          • hemi lol says:

            i cant help but say that i cant stand the site of that MORON “truth about trucks” guy…….. IF fords leafs were so great why do they sag more than a tundra under the same load???? because they are weaker springs thats why. He mentions the spring being 3″ wide but thats ONLY on the HD tow package, to add to that they needed the wider spring because they parallel and will cause the load to sway easier.. The Tundra has its rear leafs toed out to add tons of stability the others dont have…… dont get me started on this guy, i would give ANYTHING to have an open forum debate with this guy on camera so i could make him look like the total moron he really is……… end rant 🙂

          • Tim Esterdahl says:

            LOL – good rant. Note to self: avoid this guy in the future. 🙂


  4. hemi lol says:

    Fellas some of your woes are answered. the 15 model WILL have a 38 gallon tank standard/available on most models especially with the 5.7. ALSO, a ITBC is standard on 5.7 models for the 15 model year. 🙂

    • breathing borla says:

      hey hemiLOL, long time no see.

      good additions,

      now, work on the storage. I’ll be back in the market in a few years so they can tweak for a few models then I’ll shop them all again.

      see ya around

      • hemi lol says:

        yes long time no see for sure! hope all has been well 🙂 what storage changes would you like to see? curious…..

        • breathing borla says:

          At a minimum, I would like to see them have first and foremost, some storage under the rear seats in the crewmax, add back the second glove box or other type of box in the cab. Then I would like to see some integrated bed storage like the ramboxes or quarter panel box like titan. great places to stash tie downs, ball mounts, etc.

          there are tons of cubbies, floor storage boxes, etc in my truck and I use them all. I just have tons of small stuff I carry around for work. Also, the Ramboxes I have are loaded with supplies for work. Than I have a full open bed for the bigger stuff without the small stuff rolling around or getting the inside of the cab dirty or oily.

  5. Art64 says:

    I don’t think Toyota (worldwide) is even thinking about the Tundra right now. The company has its priority on fuel cell vehicles which will be offered for sale in Japan in 2015. This is the major highlight for the company. Tundra will just have to wait.

  6. Randy says:

    Here is a little video my TiVo downloaded last night. Lots of fancy stuff about the 2015 Dodge Challenger and the SuperCharger. There are many interesting points about the engineering. Things like twin intercoolers. I did not understand if they are both on the top (no water build up) or if it is one the top and one behind the grill?

    But if you pay close attention there is mention of how they “reworked or redesigned” the PCV system to keep the oil from going into the engine. Obviously this is something Ford did not do!

    Speaking of SuperChargers; during the 90’s I owned three Toyota Previa vans (used in sales). I drove each over 100,000 miles in two years’ time. The last one I owned had the SuperCharger. The engine in those vans was a flat (laying on its side) 4 cylinder under the front seats. 90% percent of the driving was back and forth I-10….Houston, New Orleans, San Antonio, etc. Gulf Coast, etc. This included lots of pre-dawn driving “at dew point” miles. Honestly I do not know if the Previa Van had an intercooler or not? None of the vans ever broke down, never in the repair shop; they just ran like a top all the time.

    In a roundabout way the FCA may be genuinely serious about making quality and reliable products. To me it is much more impressive than Ford or GM. Of course no one really knows until you drive these things a lot of miles in a lot of different environments.

  7. Johns says:

    I was real excited for the potential of the 14 but turned into a refresh. The 15′ is really no different . Its Obvious that Toyota is pouring their capital into their Hybrid and Hydrogen vehicles . The Tundra and Tacoma are just not a concern to them and it really shows. I can’t see supporting or waiting for Toyota to show me a truck which isn’t 8 years old.

    Brand loyalty can only be stretched so far and for me I’ve built up enough aggravation in waiting that my new truck will not be a Toyota (My first non Toyota) Likely looking at a 15′ ram.

    • hemi lol says:

      give it another year John, more to come… drive a 14 or 15 before you judge it drives completely different

    • breathing borla says:

      That’s what happened to me.

      I have had tons of toyota trucks, but tried something else (2013 Ram) this time.

      so far, it’s been great.

      if you do go with a Ram, make sure to get the ZF 8, it makes the truck!!

  8. LJC says:

    It’s interesting how people/owners/analysts seem to overlook the quality awards the Tundra has won many times in its SHORT production life.

    When I shopped for a truck, QDR was top on the list. Why? It’ll make the smallest dent in my wallet during ownership.

    My perception of the Tundra and Toyota is quality. Can the same people honestly say the same thing about Ford, GM, and RAM?

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      Very true. Journalists and marketing representatives all suffer from the same “what have you done lately disease.” Honestly, it happens to me since I see so many different innovations and ideas. It’s hard not to be impressed by some of the features. I do often wonder, how you the reader and customers will look at it. Is it a big improvement? What is the long-term quality like? How does it impact the truck’s MSRP? Those are key questions that puts Toyota on top most of the time.

      BTW, I thought of you yesterday. I’m driving a Titan Pro 4x right now and it has a locking differential. 🙂


  9. […] sales improvements continue to surprise and they are certainly on a roll. Recently, I had the opportunity to drive one of their new EcoDiesel pickups and was really impressed with what it had to offer. However, long-term reliability continues to be […]

  10. mk says:

    I might have to go drive, dare I say, a Dodge ram with 8 speed tranny or the new ecodiesel although low end grunt and slower off the line is not what I would prefer but for 20 city and 29 hwy mpg with minimal cost to get the small diesel engine might be worth looking into if can get a huge discount on one new in the next few years.

    If GM got smart and offered their 6.2L engine in their 1/2 ton truck base or LT models without loading them up with leather and every other gadget in order to just get that powerful engine, that would be in the runnning as well. I guess the 6.2L engine is only about a 1K upgrade but then you also have to get the loaded leather LTZ model which costs another 4-5 grand and is out of my price range then.

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