Toyota Airing Second Super Bowl Ad for Tundra


We were mildly surprised yesterday to learn that Toyota is going to air a Super Bowl spot for its all-new Venza crossover. Today, we’re simply blown away that the company — which today will report its first annual net loss in history — is spending another $3 million on a commercial for its full-size pickup, the Tundra.

Two years ago, Toyota used the Super Bowl to debut the redesigned Tundra. The series of commercials were well-received, showing off the truck’s capabilities in extreme tests. However, the reality of dismal sales of the truck recently — and failure to make a significant dent in the domestics’ hold on the segment — make the idea of showing it off in a Super Bowl commercial puzzling, to say the least.

Titled “Killer Heat,” the ad will show the Tundra in more extreme circumstances. We’ll have a full wrap-up of all the big game’s best and worst car commercials Monday morning, so see if Toyota can score with its two spots.

By David Thomas | January 30, 2009 | Comments (0)

Toyota Shelves Diesel Tundra, Moves Ahead With A-BAT


Citing a lagging full-size truck market and the challenges of selling vehicles with diesel engines in the U.S., sources said it would put plans for a light-duty diesel version of its Tundra pickup on hold, according to our sister site,

The technical challenges of producing diesel engines that meet federal emissions standards, coupled with the high price of diesel fuel, forced Toyota's hand, although the automaker does think it could return to the idea if fuel prices drop and the market for trucks recovers — both big ifs.

Toyota has instead decided to go ahead with production of a vehicle based on its A-BAT concept (Advanced Breakthrough Aero Truck) that we saw at the 2008 Detroit auto show.'s David Thomas called it one of his favorite vehicles from that show, and with two fuel-efficient drivetrains in the works, Toyota may be working on a winner.

Check out the story on the A-BAT from last year, and watch a video on it here.

Sources: A-BAT a Go, Tundra Light-Duty Diesel Shelved (

By Stephen Markley | September 22, 2008 | Comments (0) Video Recap: 2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara, 2008 Toyota Tundra and 2008 Nissan Altima


  • 2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara: Senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder finds plenty of shortcomings in this offroad-capable SUV.
  • 2008 Toyota Tundra: Joe sees how Toyota’s well-reviewed full-size pickup stacks up against its competitors.
  • 2008 Nissan Altima: Editor Mike Hanley takes a look at a midsize family sedan that doesn’t sacrifice sportiness for practicality.
By Jennifer Newman | June 27, 2008 | Comments (2)

Toyota Plans Diesel V-8 for Tundra, Sequoia


At a reception for journalists in Detroit yesterday, Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe confirmed that the automaker would add a diesel V-8 engine for the Tundra pickup and Sequoia SUV down the road. Watanabe didn't elaborate on any specifics — neither would communications head Irv Miller — but the presentation backdrop, which showed the current Tundra and new-for-2008 Sequoia, suggests the engines will be available sooner rather than later, meaning before they get redesigned.

Though traditionally reserved for heavier-duty trucks like the Ford F-250 and Dodge Ram 3500, diesel engines have been all but promised for the F-150, Chevy Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500 within the next few years. What's more, Automotive News reported last June that Nissan may build a diesel Titan by next year. Thanks to the low-sulfur diesel available in the U.S. for more than a year now, the technology is clean enough to be certifiable in all 50 states. Diesel engines generate prodigious low-end torque, making them a natural fit for pickups, and the combustion properties of the fuel mean the engines get some 30 percent better mileage than comparable gas engines, according to some reports. The Sequoia and Tundra both use Toyota's 5.7-liter V-8. Do the math and a diesel could mean serious low-end grunt with highway mileage in the low 20s.

Along with the diesel announcement, Watanabe detailed a four-part plan Toyota calls "sustainable mobility." Among the highlights were plans to introduce two new production hybrids, one Toyota and one Lexus, at the Detroit auto show next year. Both will be "dedicated hybrids," which means they won't simply be hybrid versions of an existing car. Toyota is also pushing to extract E85 from wood waste rather than from corn — not unlike GM's plans announced yesterday — as well as develop high-tech lithium ion batteries for use in test fleets by 2010.

By Kelsey Mays | January 14, 2008 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2007 Toyota Tundra


More than 15,000 four-wheel-drive Toyota Tundra pickups are being recalled due to a faulty drive shaft that can separate at the joint. Only one incident has been reported, with no accidents or injuries, but because the potential problems from the defect are so serious, owners should get their trucks serviced immediately.

The recall comes amid numerous problems with Toyota’s redesigned Tundra, a vehicle the company hoped would take on Ford’s and GM’s stalwart Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado. While Tundra sales are improved from the previous generation, the company has said it will fall short of its first-year projections. Because of recent economic trends, it’s hard to say how much impact technical problems, like the one highlighted in this recall, have impacted sales. They certainly can’t be helping.

Toyota Recalls Tundra Pickups (Detroit Free Press)

Truck Outlook Gloomy, Tied to Housing Market (KickingTires)
New Toyota Tundra Running Into Engine Failures (KickingTires)

By David Thomas | December 17, 2007 | Comments (15)

Truck Outlook Gloomy, Tied to Housing Market


Pickup trucks are the lifeblood of the auto industry, contributing an estimated $5,000 to $15,000 to automakers’ coffers for each one sold.

But trucks are in need of a transfusion, and the outlook isn't very bright this year or next.

People staying put in their home — fearful of moving up in a dismal market — might have money to spend on a new car. But those who build homes can't afford to buy new trucks when there are no homes being built. 

General Motors has a 150-day supply of unsold Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups in stock, more than twice the normal 60-day supply. Dodge has a 120-day supply of unsold Rams, while Ford is at 91 days of F-Series pickups.

By Jim Mateja | December 7, 2007 | Comments (24)

Full-Size Trucks Get Full-Size Discounts


Trucks like the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra often hover near the top of's Top 10 incentives list, thanks to reasonable prices and large cash-back bonuses. This month, though, the Silverado and Sierra are joined by a host of other trucks offering thousands of dollars in customer cash back.

Toyota is offering region-specific discounts on its popular Tundra model, and we've seen as much as $4,000 cash back on the 2007 Tundra and $1,500 on its 2008 brethren. (Search for Toyota's offers in your area here by entering your zip code under "Find Local Specials.") Nissan has joined the party, too, with up to $4,500 back — plus a $500 holiday bonus available until Dec. 3 — on the 2008 Titan. Mitsubishi's offering $4,500 cash back on the 2007 Raider; Dodge is offering $4,500 on the 2008 Ram; Ford is giving up to $2,500 on the 2007 Ranger, up to $4,500 on the 2007 F-150 and $2,000 on the 2008 F-150 and, well, you get the picture. If you're in the market for a truck, now is the time to seize that long-awaited discount. Who says you never get anything for Christmas?

Check out's full list of incentives here.

By Eamonn Brennan | November 28, 2007 | Comments (3)

Toyota Adds 13 New Trims for 2008 Tundra


Covering trucks is a headache because there are so many cab and bed configurations on top of the standard trims, like Touring or Sport, that you see on cars and SUVs. That makes the 13 additional trims for the 2008 Tundra a bit dizzying. The reason Toyota is adding so many new offerings is to make the Tundra available at a lower price, thereby expanding its market share.

To that end, there’s a new “Tundra Grade” in double cab and CrewMax versions of the truck. These Tundra Grade trucks slot below the SR5 models. You can get a regular cab Tundra Grade 4x2 with the standard V-6 engine and five-speed automatic for $22,290, which is the same price as the 2007 model. The Double Cab Tundra Grade will start at $24,715 with the same equipment, and the CrewMax will start at $27,685 in Tundra Grade with a V-8 engine and five-speed automatic. 

The 2008 Tundras will arrive at dealerships later this month. We’ll have full pricing on all the trim levels on shortly.

By David Thomas | October 3, 2007 | Comments (34)

New Toyota Tundra Running Into Engine Failures


In some of the first 2007 Toyota Tundra pickups that rolled off the assembly line, optional V-8 engines are failing due to faulty camshafts. The company says the problem should only impact a limited number of the redesigned full-size pickups, but hasn’t yet figured out what that number is. The company sold 37,000 of the new Tundras with the powerful 5.7-liter V-8 in its first three months on the market.

The company is replacing the entire engine of any truck affected by the problem, which stems from a part built by an outside supplier. So far, 20 trucks have reported the engine failures, and Toyota is actively tracking down the vehicles at risk. When we get more information about the investigation, we’ll post it here.

Toyota Fixing Engine Failures in New Tundra truck

2007 Toyota Tundra Expert Review (
Cars.comparison: Full-Size Trucks (
Toyota Tundra Gets Top Frontal Crash Test Rating (KickingTires)
Revisiting the 2007 Toyota Tundra (KickingTires)
Toyota Offering $1,500 Rebate on All-New Tundra (KickingTires)
More Toyota Tundra News (KickingTires)

By David Thomas | May 29, 2007 | Comments (36)

Toyota Tundra Gets Top Frontal Crash Test Rating


Last month, we were a bit stunned when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the all-new Toyota Tundra a four-star crash test rating, instead of the highest 5-star rating. The testing procedures by the NHTSA are almost always more forgiving than the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which uses more extreme crash tests in their evaluations.

Today, we learn that the IIHS rated the new Tundra good, the group’s highest score, in frontal crash tests. Both a two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive Double Cab Tundra were tested.

Also receiving a good frontal crash test rating was the newly redesigned 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer.

Tundra Four-Star Safety Rating Not a Good Thing (KickingTires)
2007 Toyota Tundra Expert Review (
Cars.comparison: Full-Size Trucks (
2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Expert Review (

By David Thomas | April 30, 2007 | Comments (4)

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