CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Wondering why you recommend a Toyota Tundra

By the way we love your show - listen when ever we can - both of us - my hubby enjoys your solutions he is quite a car mechanic him self - I love your sense of humor - just feel sorry for your poor wives!!

But listening today sat 03/17 you recommended a truck to the woman who was questioning why men always have to drive - we were surprised you did not recommend an American truck either the Chevy or GM - we are just curious?

Keep on trucking you guys are great!!!

Jonathan & Anna

The Tappet Bros. seldom if ever post here…But if you click on “topic index” , top left, you will find a forum devoted to “The Show” where these kind of things get discussed…

As for us regular posters…While I surely can’t speak for everyone…Only myself

Toyota Tundra makes and EXCELLENT truck.

According to Cars.com…the tundra is MORE AMERICAN then many American brand vehicles.

As MikeInNH implies the whole idea that there is an “American” or “Japanese” truck is long gone. Cars & trucks are global products of very large multinational corporations that have no allegiances to countries or anything else.

That said, frankly the tappet bros. constant love of Honda & Toyota gets on my nerves. They always put these things out there to the extent that I must wonder whether or not they don’t get something out of it every time its mentioned.

I think it reflects that fact that these guys probably haven’t actually done much work on actual cars since about the 80s. In the 80s Honda/Toyota worship made some sense, but all that lingers is unwarranted legend. These guys are more than happy to be part of maintaining the legend.

In the 80s Honda/Toyota worship made some sense, but all that lingers is unwarranted legend.

While Honda and Toyota don’t always make the MOST reliable vehicles ALL the time…They still seem to do it far far far more often then GM/Ford or Chryco. I’m still not convinced that the American brands have caught up. And in recent years the gap has actually widened.

Aparrently Consumer Reports is still impressed with Toyota as well, rating it tops in 5 out of 10 categories in 2012 models. No other manufacturer took more than one.

I buy older high mileage vehicles and make them even older with even higher mileage. Consumer Reports never has any info for me that is relevant to how I do cars. I can’t figure out how reviews of brand new models tell you anything about reliable & functional a car will be over time.

On the Honda/Toyota vs. other stuff issue, it comes up here plenty and I think its clear that people just have varying opinions about it.

I agree. We all have our bias, often based on past good or bad experiences.
That’s why I like Consumer Reports so much as a reference. While not perfect, they draw from by fare the largest data population and are as objective as is available. And they compare everything available in the general market.

I’m dying to have CR add a regular feature where they go out the used market, find cars with, say 8+ yrs and 150K+ miles on them that have been reasonably maintained - and then do a report based on those!

It can’t be as reliable given unknowns about history. But that one I’d read!

People who can afford a CR subscription usually are not looking for an 8+ years old car with 150K+ miles.

I agree…people have their own bias based on experience and friends/relatives experience.

Would you rather base your decision on your own experience and friends/relatives experience…or from someone in a forum like this that you don’t know and never met???

My problem with Consumer Reports in its pickup truck recommendations is that CR seems to want a pickup truck that drives and rides more like a car. That may be o.k. for someone who uses the truck like a car to commute to work, but that isn’t so great for heavy use. Each manufacturer will custom build a truck for a specific purpose. A 1 ton truck with dual rear wheels, diesel engine, etc. is a completely different truck than a half ton with a 6 cylinder engine and a short bed. When I had a place in the country, I had a 1 ton 1950 Chevrolet 3800 series pickup truck. I stretched wire fence with the truck. I bought hay right out of the field and hauled it home 50 bales at a time. I don’t think any half ton truck on the market today would be suitable for this. I would even be afraid to try stretching fence with even a heavy duty truck if it had an automatic transmission. On the other hand, the truck probably wouldn’t go faster than 55 or 60 and would be worthless as a commuter vehicle particularly on an interstate.
When I was a a kid, I thought that the really great pickup trucks were the Diamond-T and International Harvester makes. I remember when I was in junior high school and a friend bought a new 1954 Ford F-1 pickup. To me, it didn’t seem like a “real” truck–had a three speed column shift and rode much too smoothly and quietly. I always thought trucks should have a solid front axle and heavy leaf springs in the back. Now, pickup trucks have independent front suspension and I read where the Dodge has coil springs in the back. I think a person needs to list his/her needs in a pickup truck, talk to knowledgeable sales people about a truck that fits these specifications and then decide on the manufacturer.

Agree Triedaq, problem is so many nowdays think they need a pickup to go get a loaf of bread at the store and one or two weekends a year make a trip to the dump, or haul leaves in the fall. The rest of the time they use it like a family sedan, and don’t like the hard ride the trucks of yore used to give. Trucks today are not the workhorses they used to be.

I agree Mike, but it’s been my impression that most of the people who ask “what should I buy?” don’t have a whole lot of experience to draw from…or family or relatives that know much about cars.