Toyota began building the first-generation Tundra in Indiana in May 1999; the truck went on sale 20 years ago this summer. Not surprisingly, Toyotaâs celebratory words as the Tundra turns 20 relate in large part to longevity: a million-mile â07 Tundra; an â18 driven repeatedly through a forest fire on rescue missions.
Itâs not as though Toyota is going to flaunt any newfangled technology or headline-grabbing capabilities. The Tundra is basically the same truck itâs been since production of the second-gen Tundra began in Texas in 2007.
Just as the truck fails to evolve, so too does its sales performance: the Tundra just keeps on selling.
Granted, Tundra volume is a pittance compared to the volume produced by Detroit brands. The best-selling Ford F-Series typically produces in excess of seven times the Tundraâs volume in the United States. Or you could think of it this way: Combined, the F-Series, FCAâs Ram, and GMâs Silverado and Sierra produced 2,251,445 sales in calendar year 2018 â marginally more than the Tundra has managed during its entire lifespan. This means the Tundra is left to basically fight for scraps; Detroitâs quartet owns 93 percent of the full-size market.
Yet the Tundra, soon entering its second generationâs 14th model year, is tracking toward what could be a 10-year U.S. sales high. 2019 is certain to be the eighth consecutive year in which the Tundra has sold in six figures. In fact, the consistency is almost eerie.
Toyota averaged 114,537 annual sales between 2012 and 2018; never straying any more than 4 percent higher than that average; never falling more than 11 percent below that average. At its current 2019 pace, Toyota will sell between 118,000 and 119,000 Tundras this year, just as the brand did in three of the last five years. The Tundraâs market share in Americaâs full-size pickup truck category has not fallen below 4.9 percent since 2004 and has not risen beyond 7.0 percent since 2008.
Only in 2007 and 2008, the first two years in which the Tundra was a properly full-size truck with an appropriately high-displacement V8 engine, did the Tundra ever report out-of-the-ordinary results. Nearly 9 percent of the full-size trucks sold in America in 2007 and 2008 were Tundras. 333,804 Tundras were sold during that 24-month period. The Tundraâs 2007 explosion â year-over-year volume jumped 58 percent to 196,555 â came during a year in which its Detroit competitors took a 7-percent hit.Aside from that brief outlier, the bizarre degree of Tundra consistency wouldnât be so eye-catching were it not for the truckâs relative antiquity. The Tundraâs cicada-like gestation is decidedly out of step with the modern pickup truck world.
Since the second Tundraâs launch, Ford has released all-new F150s twice, not to mention the steady powertrain upgrades that Ford unveils year after year after year. The arrival of new General Motors pickups in 2007 loosely coincided with the second-gen Tundraâs entrance, but GM then launched new full-size trucks in 2014 and again for 2019. Likewise, Ram has released two all-new pickup iterations since the current Tundra came into existence.
Nevertheless, despite appalling fuel economy (owners on Fuelly average less than 15 miles per gallon), max. towing capacities that donât come close to measuring up to the class leader, a dearth of configurations, cumbersome ride and handling, disappointing IIHS crash test results, and comical engine noise, the Tundra just keeps on ticking.
At the heart of its appeal is a reputation based on that very element: Tundras do keep on going, and going, and going. In 2019 Best Retained Value, for example, the Tundra is tops in its category. This has worked wonders for residuals â Edmunds honored the Tundra with its 2019 Best Retained Value award for full-size trucks.
2020, however, is likely to be the second-generation Tundraâs 14th and final year. Itâs finally time for the Tundra to change, although its inability to conquer great swathes of the full-size pickup truck market will presumably stay true to form.
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Driving.caÂ and the founder and former editor ofÂ GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.
Why should Toyota change it? This cash cow is the gift that keeps on giving. Ask any owner and they will tell you how great their truck is and why it is better than their previous IDH (insert domestic here). Never mind they guzzle gas with abandon, two neighbors have one (19 & 16) both report 12 MPG mostly city driving. I just can’t get over the large plastic nobs for the climate control, I inexplicably think of a Tonka truck tire when I see them.
I have never owned a Toyota product, rented a few and found them to be meh.. considered buying a GS350 AWD until I drove it and the Buick Lacrosse AWD of the same vintage the same day. Bought the Buick, hands down a nicer car for 1/3rd less dough (pre-owned).
I didn’t get the love for Toyota until I had a co-worker with over 400k miles on a Camry. When it did finally die, naturally she never considered anything but a Toyota/Lexus. I also met another person over 400k miles on his Camry at the same place of employment. Toyota has one thing going for them. If they lose that reliability label they are doomed. At this point they are almost more American than the Detroit 3. And having driven about 15 Camry’s in the last year as rentals, I’d say they are just fine. But every time some reviewer of a Chevy complains about “hard plastics” or some such BS on the interior I ask myself what the heck is their daily driver, a BMW?? It certainly can’t be a Toyota.
I’m not arguing their reliability one bit! Honestly, the whole hard plastics thing eludes me. It seems like every car I have been in has hard plastics, this includes BMW.
For every 400k Camry their is a 300k Silverado, Suburban, F150, and even a Ram especially if it has a Cummins.
I don’t understand the whole “hard plastics” complaint either. Dumb. I grew up in pickups and cars with METAL interiors. Writers need to find something else to snivel about.
I drove 500 ish miles to Phoenix in a 2009 Journey. The plastics were hard as rock but you couldn’t even scratch them in 30,000 miles of fleet use.
The problem with hard plastics is they way they are assembled. They snap together and when taken apart like I did on Silverado to repair the stereo, they don’t go back together with the same authority. Then they start to vibrate. On my Audi I replace the ashtray with a parcel shelf. It was screwed together, firmly. Never had a rattle with that car.
I suspect you would see a similar graph with the 4Runner, except I think it has been increasing in sales the last few years despite no major upgrade since 2010. Strong following and fan bases for both it seems. If aint broke don’t fix it is the approach they are using I guess; works for the Dodge Challenger.
Rather than a behemoth trying too hard to be a road tractor, OR the way other Toyotas are just generically overstyled.
Tundra I don’t think they get many converts from the Big three. Alot of it is new truck buyers or loyal Toyota buyers. The MPG thing most likley does cause them to lose sales, but not so much as to be a big issue. Really they should pull a ram and offer a Tundra classic and a new Tundra that goes head to head with the big boys.
“While Americans canât seem to get enough of the mid-size pickups from Japanese automakers, they absolutely shun their full-size trucks. According to data from WardsIntelligence, the highest market share Toyota has seen with Tundra was 9.1% and that was in 2007. It currently hovers in the 5% range. Itâs even worse for Nissan. The best the Titan was able to muster was 3.5% of the market in 2005. Today itâs at 1.5%. With the Detroit Three commanding 94% of full-size pickup sales this year, it might almost make more sense for Toyota and Nissan to share a large truck platform.” Autoline
Alex on Autos had a Tundra TRD PRO and got THIRTEEN miles to the gallon during his week with the truck, that makes my departed 2004 F150 look good when it was getting around 16 mpg most of the time I had it.
The current Big3 will beat Tundra in the MPG department handily by far more than 2 MPG. Most are knocking on an 18 average and 20 or better on the highway. The current Tundra has more in common with a H2 than anything else in the MPG department.
I wholeheartedly agree. This version is classically handsome and utilitarian. Toyota has a habit recently of redesigning to the extreme and ugly. The Avalon and Camry are prime examples. Keep just the SR, SR5 and Limited trims. Knock off 5 to 10k and make a new fancy truck alongside
Id be inclined to think that the best thing about the Tundra is that it is almost never in the shop after purchase.
While my opinion on the Tundra (and 4Runner, Sequoia, Lexus variants) is pretty well known, I may end up getting another 5.7l Tundra in 2020. The main reason why is that the web forums and groups are strewn with a TON of reliability complaints about new trucks from the big 3. And they aren’t trivial reliability items either. 10-speed transmissions seem to be the problem of the day for at least two of the big 3. Turbocharged engine fuel injection and oil consumption is another one. All have problems with infotainment and electronics. Some have newfangled stop/start systems that are very problematic and replacement parts are hard to come by. Many of these problems strand the truck, requiring a flatbed tow.
Look at the Tundra forums and there is virtually no chatter regarding vehicle reliability. There are a few rants about MPG, but thats about it. I will trade 2-3mpg to have a reliable truck, and my first Tundra was dead on reliable.
For those who need a truck, this one checks all the boxes. It’s powerful, reliable, tough and simple. For those who don’t need a truck but drive one anyways, there are flashier, less reliable, less simple trucks to be swindled by.
I agree it’s a good truck but you can still order most of the American trucks to be simple, V8 work horse as well.
My Father in law has a Tundra he tows a 5th wheel with. it’s been fairly reliable (other then eating brakes). When he first got it I drove it and the ride was awful. But with the 5th wheel hitch in (even with out the camper) and 125k miles on it rides quite well.
But here we come to the MPG argument. For me I know from borrowing my Father in laws truck. that it can get 18MPG on a trip and would average around 14-15 overall. My experience with rentals and a friends 5.3 SIlverado show it’s possible to get 18 mpg average and well over 20 mpg on a trip. The math might not pan out to much but it’s mentally annoying if you drive alot. If I’m going just for capability get me a gas 3/4 or one ton reliability would be similar to the Tundra but with more capability.
So there really isn’t an unreliable fullsized truck. But yes, If having the absolute most reliable was at the top of my list, I’d consider the Tundra. If literally any other category was above it, you’d probably be happier with something else. The D3 are more capable in pretty much every other measurable and objective category. The Titan likely falls into that as well.
It’s a fine truck, but is the increased reliability worth the trade off in a segment were plenty of the other options are working for more than 250-300k miles as well. I think fleet usage tells the tale on that front, you know the folks who actually depend on their trucks running to make money.
I am generally a Toyota fan (as evidenced by my ownership of three straight Toyota/Lexus cars, including my current Highlander Hybrid) but if I were in the market for a truck, I wouldn’t consider a Tundra. It’s just too far out of date, whether you consider powertrain, features, or styling.
It’s the only one with a modern safety/sensor/convenience suite across the line…… Makes the Detroit 3 look woefully out of date, in a feature area which actually matters in practice.
It’s also the only halfton besides Ford which can be had in an an extended cab, long bed variant. And the only one whose reg/8, ext/6.5 and crew/5.5 all fits inside a regulation 19 foot long parking space. And it has a better wheelcut/turning radius per wheelbase than any of the others….. Despite coming with both bigger circumference tires, and more space for bigger still than any of the others… The Crew also has a genuinely improved way of doing a sliding rear window.
The Big3 do give better mileage. At least lightly loaded. And….? What else again???? A bigger Ipad in the centerstack? They also drive more like a car and less like a truck. Ram does have air suspensions and Ramboxes, which are both really nice, but mainly for less “trucky” buyers and usages. Ditto Gm’s funky tailgate, and Ford’s trailer backup assist tech. And GM does have the smallblock, which surely must count for something, no matter how nice of an OHC V8 Toyota manages to build :)
The Detroit 3 offer the same saftey features but you have the option of ordering a cheap truck without them. That’s more a difference in Philosophy, where basically everything is an option on big three trucks.
While they still offer the 8′ bed they don’t offer a crew cab 6.5′ which is one of the most popular configurations. I agree the rear window is awesome the Titan had something similar in a previous gen and I don’t know why no one else does.
Big 3 get you better mileage, more configuration possibility, higher towing, higher payload, much nicer interiors, better ride , the list kind of goes on and on.
Now I understand the value proposition on the Tundra it’s a pickup with the stuff you need in it that can work hard. I just think Toyota needs to look seriously at doing a redesign, the address some of the shortfalls. But if you want to stay with halfton, don’t care about mileage or the newest features, but want a truck that does truck stuff well and will last a long time, Tundra is a good fit for you.
I have driven my Father in Laws on long road trips, towing and empty and borrowed it a few times. It really is a good truck, but I don’t think it fits all use cases.
I wonder how much better the MPG would get if they simply added dual injection (DI/Port) to the engines and got a transmission with 8 to 10 gears?
They could probably keep the styling and interiors the same and gain sales with that if they promoted the heck out of the changes.
I don’t know about improvement with the injection. They switched the Tacoma to the 3.5l V6 with D4S (port and direct injection) with a 6-speed auto (from the 5-speed) and only picked up 1 mpg in the highway cycle. Not much of an improvement considering how wheezy and gutless they are (yes, I’ve driven one) compared to the 4.0l in my 2013. An 8- or 10-speed might help.
I average 16.3 on the Fuelly app (277 fill-ups in almost seven years) in my Tacoma. Yesterday’s fill-up was 15.0, but that was 100% city, plus some idling with the a/c on. Part of the mileage I blame on having to use E10 all the time, the only option we have here in the DFW area.
x=gasoline y=ethanol 0.95x=0.9x+0.1y x=(0.9x+0.1y)/0.95 x=0.947x+0.105y 0.053x=0.105y x=1.986y Basically, the gasoline in E10 provides almost twice as much range per unit as the ethanol in E10. Meanwhile, the rent-seekers in the ethanol business claim its production is carbon neutral. If it takes a gallon of gasoline to produce a gallon of ethanol with half the useful energy of the gasoline, how is it anything other than horrible before you consider soil depletion, fresh water waste, and diminished food production for the developing world?
“I wonder how much better the MPG would get if they simply added dual injection (DI/Port) to the engines and got a transmission with 8 to 10 gears?”
Ford added all of that to their V8 in 2018, and the thumb in their customers’ eye of stop start besides, and the sticker payoff was 1 MPG. 2018s on Fuelly show an improvement of 0.4 mpg over the 15-17s.
The Tundra from the factory sits too high and doesn’t have any of the low hanging chin spoilers or adjustable grill slats of the domestics, comes stock with a 4.30 rear end, eschews cylinder deactivation and has the heft/build of something that can be approximated as a “5/8th” truck. If all that sounds like a good thing rather than a bad thing then the Tundra might be the truck for you, low MPG and all.
I’m not a “truck guy,” but I respect that the Tundra is what is – a truck, nothing more, nothing less. It’s not made to impress the neighbors with some kind of gee-whiz tailgate that will get used twice, or advertise how anti-PC the owner is, or masquerade as a luxury sedan – it’s a truck designed and built to do do a truck’s job, and it does it. I respect the 4Runner for similar reasons.
There isn’t much chance I’d ever buy a truck or a off-roader, but if I did, I’d shop these first.
I’m surprised at the number of GMCs I’m seeing, with the gee-whiz tailgate. I saw two just this morning, on the way to work. It’s like people see the “jaw drop” commercial and think, “Man, I gotta get me one of them things!”
I test drove a pre-owned 17 recently with the SR trim. I couldn’t see the dash with my sunglasses on. It felt like the brake pedal traveled a mile before the brakes started working. I didn’t like how it handles compared to my two Silveradoâs, I have had a 2000 and a 2012. (The 12 got rear ended and totaled) All I could think of is this thing will last forever and I will hate every minute of owning it. I threw my lot in on a 19 Ram classic with 13,000 miles on it.
An incredibly mediocre product that is almost always outclassed by everything else made in the segment other than the even more vaporous Nissan Titan.
I’ve often believed that Toyoduh could sell an Edsel that it manufactured and slapped its nameplate on the vehicle and it would sell 50,000 vehicles per year without a single change from the 1959 version. Toyoduh buyers have been led down the path that these vehicles are well-screwed together and that means they are great products. Most of the times the Toyoduh entry is hideous, trifling, and average in overall execution. But they are well screwed together until rust destroys them.
If this putrid truck were made by Ford or Ram and had gone through as little change to improve its mediocrity, automotive pundits would have been all over it. But because it is a Toyoduh, it gets a pass until its frame rusts and the rear suspension separates from the chassis.
Toyota has an efficient manufacturing process that allows them to make a profit on the 100,000+ they sell every year, and they do it in San Antonio. I had two Chevy’s and both cause me more trouble that they were worth. I would for sure try a Toyota if I ever wanted a truck again.
Huh? It’s a pretty nice sounding V8 to my ear. Certainly no worse than a GM/Ram cycling it’s cylinder shut off on-and off.
No kidding. I had a Hemi Ram rental last week and although I loved driving it, the switch from 8 to 4 cylinders (over and over again) was annoying. This truck had the dual exhaust, so probably more noticeable.
Well in their defense (and I agree with you on the inferior driving dynamics of some modern Toyota’s), they just got it right in the 80’s and 90’s and are still reaping the benefits of that reputation. The American makes just sat on their butts during this time and still haven’t seemed to recover. Heck it even seems that today the Koreans have surpassed the Americans in quality.
Bearing that in mind, your story sounds alot like the domestics sitting on their butts in the 70’s and 80’s after getting it right in the 50’s and 60’s. I do think Toyota is better positioned to ride out the wave of mediocity though…unlike the Domestics of the 70’s/80’s Toyota isn’t building any bad products…just meh. The Tundra is Meh.
I bought a 2001 Tundra when I needed 4×4 and ground clearance, primarily because my 1986 MR2 had 280K miles (it finally blew a head gasket at 473K) and no matter what I bought, I’d always have wondered what the Tundra would have got.
Just 123K now. Last oil change was a month ago, no oil loss since. 15 MPG on flat freeways, more like 12 usually because of mountains. Doubt I’ll buy the next one, this one is still fine.
It’s the Uncola of fullsize pickups. Tundra buyers aren’t looking to specify axle ratios, nor care about exact HP, mpg, towing, payload or whatever. Minutiae. What ever Toyota decided is good enough for them, Toyota knows best. My mom is one of them.
All Tundras come set up for max towing/payload (for your configuration) and obviously you can’t opt out. This oversimplifies the manufacture and clearly Toyota isn’t serious about truly competing with The Big 3, especially if they’re not willing to get down a dirty with fleets.
It looks like Toyota found a sweetspot that works for them, The Tundra line can’t come close to Camry, Corolla, or Lexus RX lines for profitability, but hey.
Toyota went all in with the 2007 Truck. There was about a short period that it was a class competitive, even leading truck.
As has been pointed out though, they didn’t follow the US model of multiple axle ratios, engine options, payloads, etc nor go heavy on selling to fleets. That hurt them because while that stuff is impoortant to individuals, it is vital to fleet buyers and they buy a ton of pickups.
Everyone talks about brand loyalty but in reality Toyota truck buyers are some of the most brand loyal buyers out there. You can argue that they have good reason, but I know many domestic buyers that have owned multiple brands. I personally have owned trucks from each of the big 3 plus Toyota, Nissan, heck even a VW in there.
The cold hard facts are Toyota misread the market. They thought every buyer wanted max capability all of the time and that the truck market was a you know what measuring contest. In reality most truck buyers are very educated about exactly what they need and buy accordingly. There are exceptions, many of which are Tundra buyers.
Having placed such a big bet on the Tundra and not hit, Toyota is content to milk the design knowing they have a loyal base that will continue to buy. But this is no different than the D3 offering noncompetitive cars which they keep around for too long because they know they aren’t competitive. Not a dumb buy, but not the fanatical smart buy that most Toyota fans like to proclaim it as either. Good truck, but far from the best at 99 percent of the things that matter to truck buyers.
It’s like the Apple vs Microsoft/Google thing. Googlesoft guy: “But I can spec mine exactly how I want and it’s way cheaper so I can have fun buying another one in a year or two!” Apple guy: “Why the F would I want to spec my own? THEY’RE the computer experts. THEY should just build it so it will do anything I want it to. And they should build it well enough that I don’t have to deal with buying one again for a while.”
I bought a new Tundra in the last month after I got fed up with endless repairs on my Ford F150. The D3 trucks are clearly better in every way except for long term reliability and repair costs. I keep my vehicles for a minimum of 10 years and that period between 5 and 10 years can get very expensive with a D3 truck. The last straw was when the cam phasors started failing for the second time and the truck would buck, shake and make very disconcerting grinding noises when idling. This is on a truck with just over 65000 miles.
The Tundra meets my needs – it tows my 6500 pound travel trailer just fine, it fits my wife and I along with a dog and a bunch of grandchildren, it’s comfortable enough for long distance trips, it carries everything I need and the price was reasonable.
It’s clear, not everyone cares so much about reliability. The difference is marginal anyway and it’s a trade-off like anything else. Fuel economy for example.
But it’s still a roll of the dice. My mom’s pampered since new, well maintained, garage kept, 46K original miles ’07 Tundra has had it’s share of problems. She was too terrified to drive it when it started stalling repeatedly/intermittent while driving. Of course it showed no trouble codes so the Toyota dealer just brushed her aside.
There’s no way she’ll get another one, watching me buy a new’05 F-150, proceed to drive it into the ground with high miles, poor service, and no problems to speak of.
Another time (under warranty) her Tundra wouldn’t come out of Park, it was a blown fuse and the Toyota dealer accused her of connecting the jumper cables wrong (it was never jumped), and denied the claim/tow.
Statistically speaking, cam phaser issues, spark plug and exhaust manifold cracking issues are the rule rather than the exception on that generation of Mod motor F150, whereas that ’07 Tundra of your mother’s looks like a statistical anomaly.
Yes the 3V 5.4 was prone to the oiling issues in the cam… infrequent oil changes was death for these engines.
It’s the 16 valve 4.6 V8. “Sweet 16” to me. No phasers. Actually I stopped changing it’s oil, completely, 90K miles ago, I’m going for broke at this point.
I did recently change its air filter, after not checking it in 100K miles or more. It wasn’t that bad, probably since it had a small tear in it.
The engine is unkillable, with more than 380K miles. Although I’m not totally crazy. I always warm it up, always Mobil 1 20W50 full synthetic (top off).
Yes, the 4.6 was pretty much anvil reliable, the 5.4, not so much. Even with the increased reliability I’m not sure the Total Cost of Ownership favors the Tundra given the discounts one can typically score on a D3 truck and the gas savings. Despite the luddite contingent’s worries, the modern truck motors from all 3 makes have done well.
Yes, in 2007 The Tundra was a safer bet, but time has marched on everywhere except for your Toyota (and Nissan if shopping midsized) dealer.
The thing that bugs me about the Tundra is that Toyota could do better but they are content to milk their most loyal customers. Same with not building a Supra (another loyal group) and the Toybaru twins. They seem to just be resting on their past success. It is very GM circa 1974. The products are better screwed together, but the apathy is there.
Skipping oil changes can definitely lead to chain tensioner failure and engine death in the 16-valve 4.6 liter as installed in Lincoln Town Cars. It can do it to cars that were regularly maintained until someone made a social justice hire of a fleet mechanic who only touched what was loudly broken, at which point they started failing in less than fifty thousand additional miles. It is possible that a few of the neglected engines lead long lives after they started receiving frequent oil changes again, but it took the failures of four engines in a matter of a few weeks for anyone to figure out what was going on and confirm that the service garage wasn’t using any oil or filters.
OTOH, maintain them properly and they’ll go 300,000 miles in the hands of an ever changing circus of non-owner-drivers.
I’m no authority on the topic, but if I’m wrong, the 2V 4.6 is as common as the GM 350 used to be (or still is) and probably as tough.
The (STX) truck has so little (scrap) value at this point, it no longer matters. It still looks/shines good (in bright red, and 20″ King Ranch/FX wheels, 33″ BFGs, leveling kit, etc), but why try to milk 500K to a million miles out of the poor thing?
Because for an extra $30 to $70 every 4,000 miles you won’t need to buy and register another truck? Seriously, you sound about as smart as a two-time Obama voter when you intentionally destroy something that serves your purposes.
Oil changes are overkill in my case, possibly yours too. Neither of us are scientist to know for sure what will happen by not changing the (full synthetic) oil, and just keeping it filled.
I’ve always been a gambler, but I only take safe bets. All the “experts” will tell you to error on the side of caution. Except a lot of them are oil salesmen or service techs. Who can you trust for an honest answer?
I’ll take chances that I don’t suggest other take, and I’m confident I know what I’m doing. I’ve never had carried home insurance, and just get base liability on brand new cars, trucks and road equipment, when I bought them outright. In other words, I self-insure.
You could say the money I save on oil changes, I put into an “account” in case I need a new (used) engine or truck. By my experience, I’ll end up pocketing the cash.
Just like when a car is old, there’s little need for collision/comprehensive, overmaintaining can be a waste. YMMV.
Oil changes etc were done on time by the dealer, so we can’t blame poor maintenance. That also doesn’t account for the cracked manifold, multiple transmission leaks, faulty airbags and defective switches.
Individual experiences will always vary and some people will have good results with a D3 truck. An interesting question – for those like myself that have a bad experience with a particular vehicle, how long does it take before you will trust that manufacturer again?
Depends on the car. You have to do your homework and know certain issues. Sometimes you can avoid trouble-proned options and or powertrains. I’m not typically a GM guy, but pretty much anything with an LS/LT motor I would consider. My Fiesta would seem to be a loosing bet, but as 90 percent of the problems seem to be powershift and or sync 2 related I am mostly in the clear as I don’t have either. With respect to my wife’s meh Hyundai, honestly I’d probably still consider a G70 or a Stinger. A car would have to be like GM X Body bad for me to write it off for multiple generations.
Again, this is certainly an outlier (at least one), but my Land Cruiser was a pile. I have the tag that reads “Short Block Assembly, 1FZ-FE’ hanging from my tool box as a cautionary reminder. Second worse to only an Alfa that burned to the ground. If Toyota built something I liked I’d still consider it though. The Alfa has taken 20 years to rub off, but I really want a Giulia. I don’t care if it is just as bad and ends the same way. The quadrifoglio would be worth it. So I guess your answer is it depends on the car.
When I was a teenager, my next door neighbor bought a new W124 Mercedes-Benz 300E that was a lemon. Mercedes-Benz was at the absolute peak of its powers. Lexus hadn’t challenged their value proposition and the partitioned-Germany kept socialism-poisoned minds from destroying their sense of purpose. Still, there were all sorts of systems on that car which failed under warranty that Benz had been using since the start. Bearings, recirulating ball steering box, fuel lines, ignition, and countless other items failed that the original car company with the least compromising quality standards sold on their best-ever car at the peak of their story-arc.
I’ve seen Land Cruisers and LX450s with the engine you had to replace that have done exactly what one might expect them to do, which is stolidly rack up miles between the multiple homes of quiet status-signalers who matriculated from north eastern prep schools followed by Ivy League universities. Yours was a lemon. This is one of the bigger reasons why I don’t want any car company in existence doing my driving for me.
The Land Cruiser, at least through probably the 100 series are like industrial equipment. They have an indefinite lifetime when properly maintained. Mine had been neglected at some point. That accounted for things like the front diff needing rebuilt, and likely the transmission. The motor had been reasonably maintained, so I don’t get that one.
It had some “common issues” too though that you have to be active in the community to know about. The brakes were crap. They were just undersized for something that heavy. Additionally the frame cracked at the steering box, something else that wasn’t uncommon on rigs ridden hard on the trails. It was unstoppable offroad though, but if I just wanted something that was easy to fix and stone reliable a TBI350 powered rig might be my choice. I had a friend with an 80 series that ran a Cummins 4BT. Another ran an LS. Both of those were 3FE powered rigs though and they legitimately couldn’t get out of their own way.
The 200 has proven a good deal tougher than the 100. Almost literally the only common issue is a tendency for radiators to crack near the cap.
I was a big fan of the first gen Tundra. I sold a ’93 F150 Extended cab w/ 5.8l V8 for the new Tundra in ’00. The more miles I put on the Tundra, the better I liked it. At 220K I sold it and bought a new 2007 Tundra. I didn’t like the bigger truck as much. I put about 40K a year on each truck either towing a 7×14 enclosed dual axle trailer or with the bed full. I was mostly interested in the newer truck for the added power and braking, neither of which really made it worth the trade to the bigger, heavier truck. I also had a 4 door F350 powerstroke work truck at my disposal for when I had to pull horse trailers or other overweight loads. But that truck was just too big for me to drive everyday, yet it is dwarfed by today’s trucks.
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If I had to buy a truck today, the Tundra would still be in the running, but I would also seriously consider any of the D3. The fact that the Tundra is as old as it is, and my biggest complaint is the interior, is telling.
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