The full-size pickup Toyota Tundra is Motor Trend's
2008 truck of the year, the magazine announced Tuesday.
Motor Trend's editors said the Tundra is a match for Detroit
rivals the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge Ram in
dimensions and performance. The Silverado won the award a year ago.
``The question on everybody's mind was whether Toyota could use
its manufacturing and marketing muscle to compete with the big boys
on their home turf,'' Motor Trend editor-in-chief Angus MacKenzie
said in a statement.
``The answer can be found in one of the biggest and most capable
vehicles in the segment and one that can compete with any
American-made pickup truck, at any level.''
Featuring one V-6 and two different V-8 powertrains, the Tundra
showed impressive performance, load carrying and towing
capabilities, the magazine said. The Toyota Motor Corp. product also
impressed the judges with various options, such as different bed
sizes, wheelbases, cab designs and other packages.
The all-new Tundra beat out the Silverado Heavy Duty, GMC Sierra
Heavy Duty and Ford F-Series Super Duty for the honour. Each had to
be new or redesigned and released in the 12 months before Jan. 1,
2008 to contend for the honour.
Toyota has been trying to lure owners of Ford Motor Co.'s
F-Series pickup and the redesigned Silverado. Both American
companies have said they will continue to fight to hold their shares
of the truck market.
The announcement of the Tundra's win came four days after Toyota
said problems with a propeller shaft connected to the rear axle of
four-by-four versions of the 2007 Tundra was forcing it to recall
15,600 of the pickups in the United States.
The problem that prompted the recall did not show up on vehicles
tested by Motor Trend judges, MacKenzie said.
``Recalls are inevitable in an industry producing complex pieces
of machinery like cars and trucks,'' he said. ``We are satisfied the
company has moved fast to rectify the issue and that it does not
alter our view of the fundamental excellence of the vehicle.''
Motor Trend named the new Cadillac CTS its 2008 car of the year
last month and the 2008 Mazda CX-9 as its sport utility vehicle of
the year in October.