Toyota Tundra: 2008 Motor Trend Truck of the Year
By: Mike Levine Posted: 12-18-07 07:03 PT
© 2007

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Motor Trend Magazine has awarded the Toyota Tundra as its 2008 Truck of the Year, saying the Tundra, "is now ready to take on any American-made pickup truck on all levels."

In this year's Motor Trend truck comparison, the half-ton Tundra was pitted against all-new, heavy duty competition from Ford and General Motors. The other trucks included were Chevrolet's Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD, GMC's Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD, and Ford's F-250, F-350 and F-450 Super Dutys.

All the testing took place in Arizona. Performance metrics were gauged at Ford's former desert proving grounds (now owned by Chrysler) near Yucca, AZ. The 3840-acre facility has an 18-acre 'black lake' and more than 50 miles of test roads, ranging from smooth tarmac to rough gravel washes. The facility also enabled MT to hook up the contenders to 7,500 and 10,000-pound trailers to test their towing performance.

Real-world ride and handling was measured on an eight-mile loop near Kingman, AZ, where judges could evaluate each contender in stop/start traffic, on winding mountain blacktop, and on the freeway.

Judging criteria included:

1) Superiority: Engineering excellence, advancement in design, utilization of resources, and safety. Vehicle concept and execution were important, as were use or materials, packaging, dynamics, styling, and fuel consumption.

2) Significance: How well the vehicle did the job its maker intended it to do? And how did it impact or change its particular market segment, influence consumer perceptions, and transform product development trends?

3) Value: How did each truck compare against its direct rivals? A vehicle with a low sticker price might not be as good a value as a more expensive vehicle that delivers outstanding performance, quality, and functionality.

For the record, we're in agreement with the guys at Autoblog. All things considered, the Ford F-450 would have been our choice for truck of the year, too. We selected it as our 'Trailermate of the Year' during our 2007 Heavy Duty Shootout because the F-450 Super Duty is truly in a class of its own. And with its high market demand - despite diesel prices over $3.00 per gallon - and HUGE profit margins, you can bet GM and Chrysler are green with envy they don't have their own one-and-one-half ton F-450 class uber-puller to sell today.

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