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The Tundra (along with the Dodge Ram 1500) was also awarded CR’s coveted “Recommended” honor and received a predicted reliability rating of "Very Good".

It may be unclear how the all-new Tundra, and its new 5.7-liter motor and six-speed gearbox, received a predicted above average reliability score – especially after camshaft issues could still impact some of the first built 5.7-liter V8 trucks - while the redesigned Silverado 1500 is considered too new to forecast.

Mr. Fisher says the predicted reliability rating is based on Toyota's long history in CR reader survey results showing all Toyota cars and trucks, including the Tundra, consistently achieving above average reliability. Consumer Reports holds the same expectation for this version of the pickup.

Mr. Fisher adds that if Chevrolet cars and trucks had received similar high marks in past CR reader surveys, the Silverado also would have been given a predicted reliability rating of above average, like the Tundra.

Consumer Reports also tested heavy duty pickups for the first time, and once again brought the Tundra into the equation.

Mr. Champion says, “at 10,300-pounds, the Tundra’s towing capacity rivals that of the heavy-duty diesel trucks."

You might think so too after looking at the tow rating of the Tundra versus the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD.

In the performance, specifications, and safety data table published with CR’s story, the Silverado is shown with a max tow rating of 9,800-pounds. That figure would be correct - if the Silverado had a 353-hp / 373 pound-feet of torque 6.0-liter gas engine under its hood instead of the 365-hp / 650 pound-feet of torque 6.6-liter Duramax V8 Consumer Reports tested.

The diesel Silverado 2500 actually tows up to 13,600-pounds, or 3,100-pounds more than the Tundra. And other heavy duty pickups, like Ford's F-450, can tow more than twice as much as the Tundra.

Consumer Reports says they'll print a correction for the Silverado HD towing capacity in the next issue.

The Tundra beat all the heavy duty diesel pickups in CR’s 0 to 60-mph acceleration tests towing the 7,400-pounds trailer. The three-quarter-ton acceleration tests appear to have similar results to what we found during our recent Heavy Duty Shootout, which was done testing one-ton diesels.

The Chevrolet Silverado 2500 was determined to be the best heavy duty pickup over the Dodge Ram 2500 and Ford F-250 Super Duty. But like the light duty pickups, towing acceleration performance 0 to 60 did not play a role in the scores.

All of the diesel engines tested are new or significantly revised this year, because of strict new federal emissions regulations. The Silverado 2500 is also an all-new pickup and the Ford F-250 received new sheetmetal, frame changes, and interior upgrades. CR doesn't assign predicted reliability ratings for either of these heavy duty trucks.

The Dodge Ram 2500 6.7-liter Cummins I6 diesel receives a predicted reliability rating of “Average”, based on past data collected by CR in its reader surveys. The previous 5.9-liter version of the Cummins was rated with above average reliability in CR's 2006 reader survey, while the rest of the truck's design has remained the same for 2007. This is why CR assigned a rating to the Ram, even though it has an all new powertrain like the Chevy and Ford pickups, according to Mr. Fisher.

It’s easy to sit back and Monday-morning quarterback vehicle testing and analysis. But there’s a special responsibility when it comes to pickups because of the dizzying array of configurations and engine choices available. Get one component wrong and it may no longer be an “apples to apples” test. That’s ok, as long as the story is up front about where the differences are between the trucks.

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