Tundra Traction Control Comparison Videos – A Tale of Two Agendas

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the world of viral video, a YouTube link can spew forth opinions at a rate many times that of a single photograph. There’s no denying the power of a well put together video, especially in the automotive world where many drivers adopt the attitude of “seeing is believing” when it comes to performance.

Unfortunately, just because a video has been produced in a professional and well-executed manner, there is no guarantee that the information presented is impartial. Promotional videos released via thinly-disguised publicity campaigns which adopt an air of third-party legitimacy are inherently deceptive. This is just as true in “political action committee” TV ads as it is in the hotly-contested full-size pickup truck market, where so much emphasis is put on comparing and contrasting the capabilities of the offerings from Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge and Toyota.

What you’re about to see is two different videos, each of which claims to do the exact same test…but with very different results. [Spoiler alert: GM lied about the way their trucks compare to the Tundra.]

The following video clip pits the Toyota Tundra versus the Chevrolet Silverado in a series of low-traction situations in order to evaluate their respective traction control systems.

YouTube Preview Image

From the even tone of the narrator and the on-screen results, it would appear that the Silverado is clearly more capable than the Tundra when it comes to using its traction control system to get through difficult situations.

How can it be, then, that the next video essentially proves the opposite point of view?

YouTube Preview Image

Again – a slick and professional-looking test performed with high production values imparts a great deal of weight to the claims made by those on-camera. However, the results of the test directly contradict the findings of the previous video. They can’t both be right, can they?

No, they can’t.

But then again, what each video is “right” about is perhaps not as directly comparable as it might seem at first blush. It is very difficult to accurately evaluate two different traction control systems without using carefully-controlled, lab-like conditions and the same skilled drivers in each test. This is why when pickup trucks are developed, they are put through their paces by professionals who have access to extensive testing facilities that offer the chance for repeatable results – not by magazines or PR firms with video cameras, mud bogs and running water.

While it’s always a good idea to get information from more than one source, this seems like a situation where GM’s thinly veiled promotional video was – at best – misleading. At worst, it’s an outright lie. PickupTrucks.com used a real-world test and came up with a much different result…which makes you wonder just how legit the first, manufacturer-arranged video is.

NOTE: Special thanks to Danny for bringing these two videos to our attention. Great work!

Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com


RSSComments (10)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Josh says:

    yeah I saw that a while ago when I first bought my Tundra. it was a time when all ther other new pickups where threatend by the Tundra. That whole shootout is really interesting, especialy when they do the tow test and the Ford f150 “best selling truck in america” blows it lol.

  2. Mickey says:

    Very comical of Chevy. Personally I would be worried about the headliner and the tail lights coming off. I wouldn’t put it past Chevy for doing that. With that said I’m sure all manufacturers would make a video to show their vehicle being the best.

  3. mk says:

    I still think GM’s rear locking differential is far superior to our tundra’s limited slip in my circumstances I drive in. I have in 2wd pulled up to a curb with snow ONLY on the right (passenger) tire along the curb in my former chevy silverado vs. my current tundra and with the left wheel on the street no snow and not slippery, the chevy easily locks the rear wheels and transfers the power to the left tire to easily get me going. The tundra always needed to put in 4wd since the left wheel that is on dry pavement never helped and still stuck along the curb.

  4. Jason (Admin) says:

    mk – I think you hit the nail on the head when you say “in the circumstances I drive in” – I agree that a true LSD is a better device than Toyota’s electronic alternative, but only in certain circumstances.

    Regardless, there’s no discounting the fact that GM’s “arranged” test was designed to paint the Tundra in a negative light.

  5. Danny says:

    Ironically, the independent study that was beneficial to the Tundra and F-150 was filmed and tested at the General Motors Millford Proving Grounds.

  6. Justin says:

    Interesting video. But I would say that traction issues are quite different in off-roading conditions than compared to icy/snowy roads. Also, the tires involved make a huge difference as well. These items may be why different results for each video.

    Josh: You are correct, in the 2008 pickuptrucks.com shootout, the Tundra bested the F150 in nearly every category under the towing segment. But you also have to consider, the F150 bested the Tundra in nearly every other aspect of the test, except 2nd row room and tailgate assist. The F150 was also considered the winner of the shootout, and that was with the trusty old 5.4L. I’d like to see how the F150 fairs now in the towing segment with the new 5.0L, EB 3.5L & 6.2L powertrains.

    Mickey: All manufactuer’s already do and say so. Each truck has its goods/bads, so it may all depend on what your wants/needs are that determine the best truck in the consumers eyes.

  7. Josh says:

    Justin: I thought the F150 winning was kinda BS. The F150 had a nice ride but towing was junk…well you buy a pickup to haul and tow stuff! The Chevy, Toyota, GMC all towed better but finished behind the F150? Pickuptrucks.com has been known to be a little bias towards Fords before. The F150 won cause of ride, fuel eco and features…well I guess I could have thrown the Toyota Camery in the mix cause apparently towing and power figures are not important in a pick up (sarcasm).

  8. Justin says:

    Josh: Towing isn’t always about 0-60 and 1/4 mile speed. If you notice under one of the towing figures, they rated “unloaded” 1/4 mile time, which means “empty”. And of course the F150 with its 5.4L is going to be behind the crowd, giving up so much displacement and 80+hp to those competitors. Also many times it’s about how the vehicle controls the load as well, and they marked the F150 as handling the load the best. So while the “get up and go” aspect is a factor, it’s not the end all be all you want to make it out to be. Just because a truck is quicker towing a load, but falls short in nearly every other category, doesn’t make it the best “overall” truck. That’s the main item of this article you reference, and my point since I’ve posted on this site. It’s not about who’s best at one or two items, it’s about who’s best “overall” in the segment. And that’s what this article pointed out. The F150 may not be best at certain aspects, but it holds its own in those categories and is superior in other categories.

  9. Josh says:

    Justin: “Get up and go” is important because if a motor is having to work too hard to pull a load up a hill or just to get moving for that matter, you are reducing the life of you drive terrain. And I’m not just defending the Tundra I’m even going as far as defending the GM’s. all you have to do is look at the numbers they gave the Ford in some areas; “Driving Impressions loaded” the for d pulled a 6 while chevy, gmc, Toyota and Dodge pulled a 3? And “tailgate functionality” ford pulled a 3 and everyone else across the board pulled a 1. So they went by what they FELT the trucks should get on those tests but all the power tests were done by flat numbers 1-6 based on what place they came in. so the chevy was bested buy the Ford by 3 points and the Tundra 5 points. Yeah really non bias and the ford was the best all around, right…

  10. Jason (Admin) says:

    Danny – That *is* ironic! LOL Thanks again for sending this my way.

    Justin and Josh – Great points both. I talk to Mike at PickupTrucks.com somewhat often, and I don’t think he’s biased even a little bit.

    I also think that anytime you try and compare two vehicles, you have to start by acknowledging that some of your criteria are arbitrary. My issue with the 2008 PickupTrucks.com test was that it gave equal weight to unequal characteristics…the F150 gained 6 points in the comparison because it had a trailer brake and sway control, yet one of these options is a convenience and the other is only a safety net. This is more than half the number of points that Toyota got for superior performance.

    Are a trailer brake and an electronic nanny more than half as valuable as a superior drivetrain? I don’t think so, but the counter point is that Ford deserved credit for being innovative.

    The other issue I have is that the GMC somehow performed differently than the Chevy. Those trucks are identical.

    Ultimately, I think the 2008 PickupTrucks.com shootout shows that all trucks are pretty darn good (well, at least the Ford, Silverado, and Tundra).

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Email -- 0 Flares ×