One of the best things about being an automotive journalist in the U.S. is that you get the opportunity to drive just about every vehicle sold here. And when you finally decide to purchase a new vehicle (which doesn't happen too soon if you decide to stay in this profession), you have access to just about every vehicle that might be on your list. However, when you can combine your search for the right vehicle — in this case a pickup truck — and a review of the eventual winner of your decision, things can get a little mottled, as seen in this most recent Tundra review in the Wall Street Journal.
In this half truck review/half journal entry, author Dan Neil (a Pulitzer Prize-winning auto writer) ventures onto the slippery slope of pickup trucks, where he is admittedly "out of his depth." But that doesn't stop him from making some pretty silly comments about truck buyers and the competitive vehicles in the segment, as well as a few misstatements about Ford F-150 sales numbers and the Society of Automotive Engineers' J2807 towing standards and requirements.
Neil even criticizes truck buyers as being irrational, stating they have to depend much too heavily on marketing strategies and ad campaigns to make their truck-buying decisions because each pickup is practically identical. Then he seems to finalize his own full-size truck purchase decision (a 2014 Toyota Tundra) on much of the same manufacturer marketing and advertising information. You've got to love a writer who admits he's irrational, even if he doesn't have to be.
The Wall Street Journal doesn't review many pickup trucks (or write many articles about the people who purchase them), so we can forgive any technical/mechanical errors or stereotyping that might occur, but to imply that Neil made a reasoned choice is not clear at all from his article.
We should note we have nothing against Neil's Tundra decision (we also think it's a good truck and sounds like it could be the right pickup for him), but we do find the decision-making process described in the article an interesting mix of a tunnel-vision vehicle review and fearless acknowledgement of Neil's limited knowledge of pickup trucks.