2015 Toyota Tundra Lineup Goes All V-8

2014_Toyota_Tundra_Platinum_001 II

Toyota has announced it will kill its 4.0-liter V-6 option for the full-size half-ton Tundra. Officials at Toyota say the decision was made to kill the smaller engine option because the take rate (the number of Tundras ordered with the V-6) was "well below" 5 percent of all Tundras ordered.

This decision probably doesn't surprise anyone who's driven the relatively heavy Tundra with the less-than-exciting 4.0-liter V-6. Power ratings for the V-6 offered in the Tundra had lower horsepower and/or torque numbers than just about every other competitor in the class. And with the 4.6-liter V-8 offering solid power numbers, the decision to remove the V-6 was simple.

It's our guess that the higher-output 4.0-liter DOHC V-6 (270/278 horsepower/torque) that has been offered in the Tundra will be moved into the Tacoma for the next model year to replace the Tacoma's existing V-6 (236/266).

It's worth noting that all regular-cab Tundras (4x4 and 4x2) will come standard with the bigger 5.7-liter V-8, as will the new-for-2015 TRD Pro models (which are all 4x4). Chevrolet and GMC offer a V-6 and a choice of two V-8s, while Ram offers two V-6 choices (one an EcoDiesel) and one Hemi V-8. Ford's 2014 F-150 did offer two V-6 choices (one an EcoBoost) and two V-8 options; 2015 F-150s will have three V-6 choices and only one V-8 option.

Pricing for the 2015 Toyota Tundras will increase either $275 or $315 over 2014 models, depending on configuration, with the number of trim levels increasing by one (to six) with the entrance of the new off-road package. Trim levels include the SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition and TRD Pro.

To read the full 2015 Toyota Tundra press release, click here.

2015 Tundra prices listed below do not include destination.

Manufacturer image

2015 Tundra Pricing


Toyota's MSRP price seems the same as all other pickups, BUT Chevy is offering $8500 off MSRP and Ford is $7500 off.
What's the Toyota discount?

Reminds me of Ford back in 2009, when all F150s had a V8. Toyota might catch up one day.

Guessing that the dual VVTi motor will wind up in the Tacoma "next" year is a wild guess. Saying it will go there, because its not going into some 5000 Tundras is silly. The 2015 Tacoma product sheet shows the same single VVT-i engine as the 2014 model. http://toyotanews.pressroom.toyota.com/releases/2015+toyota+tacoma+product+specs.download
I would say it's questionalble if the 4.0L 1GR-FE will live past 2015 at all. With the next Tacoma well under way, there is a good chance that it will follow the industry trend of a 3.5/3.6 liter displacement with direct injection- 2GR-FSE. coupled with a 6 speed, it would make them compeditive. Springing for an 8-speed would make the Tacoma a rocket. Same goes for the smaller 4.6L V8 in the Tundra- Direct injection along with 2 more gears could really wake things up. But hey- at least they'll have the heaviest truck in the segment next year.

Makes since if no ones buying it kill it.

IMHO, only fleets and the absolute cheapest buyer go with the V6 or smaller V8.

It makes no sense if you actually work your pickup. It has been my experience that the larger more powerful engine will typically deliver better MPG when really working and obviously be more capable.

My brother bought a new Ram the same year I bought my Tundra--but he cheaped out and got the smaller engine. To be fair, his wife usually drives his pickup as a mommy-mobile. This summer, he was, gasp!, actually towing a trailer all the way from Alaska to Texas--and was whining to me how sluggish it was, how he was revving the balls off of the engine even on flat ground, and the MPG was abyssmal... .

Of course, now that he is back in San Antonio, I suggested he stroll down to the factory and buy a new Tundra!

Tom#3 - "What's the Toyota discount?"

Bonehead...their discount is called reliability and resale value!

I do think that car companies are being forced to downsize due to CAFE/emissions rules. As Dav has pointed out and others have pointed out in the past, in the real world once one puts a load on a truck the smaller engine is more of a liability.

Small V6 engines and turbo engines test well for the CAFE treadmill but often in the real world do not give much of a mpg advantage. The laws of physics dictate that to do a certain level of work requires the expenditure of proportional amount of energy.

The V6 turbo is better when under light loads because they do not have the same parasitic losses that a larger V8 under minimal load.

The problem with TTDI engines is that they produce as much fine particulate as diesels. Once the green weenie movement catches up to that fact we will see DPF/Urea after-treatment which will put them on par with current small diesels.

Great points Lou

To me, this move by Toyota indicates that they don't feel the Tundra is as important as other vehicles in their lineup.

Even though Toyota generally has better MPG averages across their vehicle lineup than other companies, they can't neglect the Tundra if they expect to sell it in the future.

The strategy that won't work is offering a diesel option several years down the road without any other changes like reducing weight.

its funny how Putc knocks the V6 mill but heavier with less power and it was still faster LOL.

Its comical on this site how everyone cackles about Toyota (the worlds largest auto manufacturer) is somehow behind..... I laugh because if you make that comment you dont understand the business at all......

Its called CAFE people and it drives EVERYTHING..... Toyota can Continue to provide a really capable LONG lasting pickup that tows well with modest Fuel economy ratings because they have no need to stretch the numbers to meet CAFE requirements...... they OWN the MPG wars in EVERY catagory that counts..... making them the most efficient and therefore they have CAFE credits GALORE that they let expire.......

THe other manufacturers wouldnt survive without their truck sales, PERIOD. IF they dont push the economy numbers they will fall under CAFE requirements and pay a penalty for every truck they sell or be forced buy credits from a manufacturer with extras (like Chrysler did from Nissan) funny Toyota wont sell theirs LOL....

So you guys that want to talk v6 turbos ect. are better they arent ESPECIALLY IF YOU TOW. all you do is add complexity with little to no gain.,.. so believe what you want and talk crap all you want but some of us know whats really goin on...

The laws of physics dictate that to do a certain level of work requires the expenditure of proportional amount of energy.


Yup, it's not intuitive but you're right. You'd have a hard time selling me a six in a half ton. Been there.

If your driving includes a lot of highway low-load driving such as Interstate commuting in a less hilly region, the sixes can shine, but only if the better transmission options are available in that trim level. Four speed auto, five speed... not so much.

@hemi lol
It's not the manufacturers faults that they have trouble meeting CAFE requirements. They are in business first and foremost to sell vehicles that people need. Generally speaking people drive the types of vehicles that they need.

Ford, GM and Chrysler have played a bigger part that others in the past selling full-sized pickups to those who need them. Why should they now be punished for it?

Government regulations don't always work in the best interest of business. The EPA and government think that it's all fine and dandy to create regulations left and right.

People need pickup trucks for their job or various activities. Does the act of imposing CAFE requirements on manufacturers reduce the need of pickups? The need and demand for pickups is not changed by government regulations. To clarify, I'm not talking about people who drive a truck but don't need it.

A certain percentage of people need a full-sized pickup, so somebody has to build and sell full-sized pickups. The way the market works now, those who build the full-sized pickups that people need are the ones who get punished in terms of CAFE requirements.

Toyota historically has been in the business of selling economy cars. Two completely different markets.

Perhaps in the US market they are more known for economcy cars, but worldwide, they pretty much own the rugged utility vehicle market. The current Tundra is based on the same platform as the 200-series LandCruiser.

The V6's were for base models for cheapskates and fleet buyers, who made up a small minority of Tundra buyers. Toyota should take the next step and cram that 4.6 into the Tacoma.

@HemiLol - I know you get sick and tired of the Toyota bashing but if you strip the anger from your post the basic answer is that when it comes to CAFE and Emissions requirement Toyota is in a position to sell credits for profit. They could make a 4 mpg truck with a 1000 hp and still be ahead of the CAFE game.

I wish Toyota would place the 4.5 turbo diesel in the tundra and be done with it

The V8 could end up being the new Tundra's 'small' engine once the Cummins is available in the "Tundra HD".

A V6 might not work well in a large and heavier new Tundra.

Also, the new Colorado V6 has just made the old 4 litre V6 obsolete in the Taco.

So, I wonder what will be available in the next Taco/Hilux? The 2.8 Cummins?

Ford and Ram have PROVEN that modern DOHC, Vari Timing, DI high output V6s whether diesel, gas, turbo or not have a place under the hood of a full size half ton truck. If Toyota doesnt have a new modern V6 around the corner for its trucks I think this move is a mistake.

Fix Or Repair Daily
I still wouldn't own a Tundra even if they were giving them away cause my local Toyota Dealer has the worst reputation in the area rejecting warranties, overcharging.
My Ford Dealer treats me good, only $35 for a complete service, found a bad tire and a heater resistor replaced under warranty, he gives me coupons for the local pizza place, free truck wash.
also he was correct when I complained about my poor gas mileage was to switch brands of gasoline.
I admit my F-150 has some flaws but my local Ford Dealer makes up for that.

@hemi lol,
Your comment is quite true. The Big 3 rely on pickups for their very survival. They can't survive without them at the moment.

I do think the next Tundra will come with a two engine choice, the V8 i Force and the ISV Cummins.

I also think it's pricing will be extremely competitive as well. If Toyota up their prices to match what I expect the next F-150 will be Toyota will maintain their Tundras with many less sales.

But, this might make them popular.

CAFE is screwing the Big 3 pickup makers. Ram has the better strategy. All Ram need is a smaller pickup to sell alongside the 1500.

It seems Nissan and Toyota are taking a different approach than Ford and possibly GM. Ram will be roughly similar to Toyota, except Ram don't have a smaller pickup. It will need one very soon.

I bet Ram is currently working on a smaller pickup.

I think the Big 3 over the next couple of years will eventually have a smaller percentage of the pickup market.

This would be good for the customer, but pickup prices will rise.


You may be right about the decision to drop V6 power from the Tundra catalog, however, take a peek at cars.com and see what happens to resale value for Tundra V6 trucks of any body style==they can't give 'em away. No demand.

Toyota's V8s are fine engines. Why go drooping around in V6 and still get lousy FE?

Next year Tundra is coming with the Cummins V8 diesel that will debute in the Nissan Titan at this year end.

@Tom#3. That can be said for Fiat dealers, or any brand, depending on where you live. The Fiat dealer near me was so shady and corrupt, that the state AG actually went after them and ultimately drove them out of business.

@H-M: Allow me to correct some statements here:

"It's not the manufacturers faults that they have trouble meeting CAFE requirements. They are in business first and foremost to sell vehicles that people need. Generally speaking people drive the types of vehicles that they need."
-- Replace the word 'need' with the word 'want'. The average buyer, based on the majority of comments on the PUTC threads, WANTS power over economy and this is exemplified by the ever-increasing horsepower numbers in modern engines with little, if any, improvement in economy. Even Ford's Ecoboost engine is more for power under load than economy when empty.

"Ford, GM and Chrysler have played a bigger part that others in the past selling full-sized pickups to those who need them. Why should they now be punished for it?"
-- Again the operative term is WANT, since the vast majority of pickup trucks on the road today never see a load worth speaking of in the bed until the second or even third owner.

"Government regulations don't always work in the best interest of business. The EPA and government think that it's all fine and dandy to create regulations left and right."
-- When those regulations are enacted to serve a specific purpose, then it IS 'all fine and danday to create regulations...'. Government is there to protect the best interests of its PEOPLE, not business.

"People need pickup trucks for their job or various activities. Does the act of imposing CAFE requirements on manufacturers reduce the need of pickups? The need and demand for pickups is not changed by government regulations. To clarify, I'm not talking about people who drive a truck but don't need it."
-- Yet again the operative term is 'want', as so many have claimed that an SUV will do anything a pickup truck can do, ignoring size differences. After all, a large SUV can replace a large pickup truck just as easily as a small SUV can replace a small pickup truck. No?

"A certain percentage of people need a full-sized pickup, so somebody has to build and sell full-sized pickups. The way the market works now, those who build the full-sized pickups that people need are the ones who get punished in terms of CAFE requirements."
-- True. But that 'certain percentage' is likely about 20% or less of the total pickup-truck-buying population. The rest have them as status symbols.

"Toyota historically has been in the business of selling economy cars. Two completely different markets."
False. While it began that way back in the '60s, what's really made Toyota's name here in the States is its reliability and nearly everyone I've talked to who has bought a Toyota pickup truck swears by its reliability. The ONLY reason one person I know traded the Tundra off in less than a year was that his wife hated the looks and refused to even allow it in the driveway--on a farm. He loved it for its strength and reliability, but let his wife nag him out of it.

@Big Al from Oz
I dont think that Ram has the better strategy for cafe, than Ford and GM , rember the CAFE number it uses is from FCA. Remeber HD trucks are not counted in CAFE and Fords sells more HD F-serise than F150, in addtion the escape, exporer, edge , Flex, expadition , and thier Lincoln sibilings are all grouped in the light truck category, FCA, has RAM, Jeep, MiniVans and the Durango, In the Passenger car arena Ford sell alot of small cars, like the focus, fiesta, and the Fusion, this off sets the Mustang, GT/Boss302/GT 500 which are low sellers, and the Tuarus SHO , also a low seller, and the F 150 expidition, along with efficent "light trucks" like the escape, alows Ford to meet their CAFE targets. FCA has strugled to meet their goals, when the run commericals saying "yah its got a HEMI" and nearly every chrysler product you see has a HEMI thats not good for the CAFE numbers, the Fiat 500 and Dart dont sell in the numbers they need to keep their CAFE numbers up.
Remeber that CAFE numbers are not based on real world fuel economy and that the Federal government gives better CAFE number to manufcatures that offer features like e85 flexfuel engines. VW is notisably against CAFE agreements as they pienalize Clean Diesel vehicles while rewarding light trucks. the Eco Diesel makes sence for consumners who want a samll deisel powered truck, personnally i wish all manufactures would offer comparble engines in their half tons, but thatks to CAFE it actually hurts the CAFE number of an OEM that uses that option rather then helps them.

@ Lou_BC,
Agreed on the particulate emissions with them. That is why the automakers are looking for Ultra Low Sulfur for gasoline too just like they did for diesel. The claim I've heard is that it will allow them to get better fuel economy, of course it will add 10-15 cents per gallon USD to the price and increase complexity in aftertreatment systems...

@Tom#3, your extremely lucky you have such a good dealer. I would probably still be driving a dodge ram if i had a dealer service dept treat me the way yours does. The dodge dealers service dept here in tempe and nearby mesa az did bad work and just tried to rip me off. the service dept in mesa didnt want me talking to the mechanic either, god forbid you establish a relationship with the guy working on your truck. The toyota service dept here in tempe also has a lot to be desired with shoddy work and no attention to detail but i can get the oil changed at a place who cares and the tundra has never needed anything else but oil changes in 55K miles, oops the passenger side windshield washer nozzle required replacement just recently.

Yes an SUV can do alot of what a Pick up can do, they are typically just as big as the pick up they are based on and cost significantly more and are concidered more of a status symbol, than pickups are. Chevey Suburban 2015 LS 4x4 ( cloth Seats, few options, plus roof rack and trailer tow) $52,675 2014 Ford F150 SVT Raptor Supper Crew 801a luxary pkg heatted and cooled 10 power leather seats, Sony Audio, Nav, HID head lights, Remote Start power tilt and teoskoping wheel, Trailer break controler, etc.) $53,850. for esentially $1200 more you get a loaded Raptor that minus the 3rd row seat, and fuel economy does every thing better than a low trim level suburban. I'll eveon compare to another Chevy, the 2015 Silvarado High Country Crew Cab sb 4x4 MSRP is $52,045, The only one that has comparibly priced SUVs and Pickups are the 4runner and tacoma, the latter is concidered by many to be overpriced for what you get.

For those of us that need seating for 4-5 people and the ability to transport cargo in a secure way over unimporved surfaces, throught harsh conditions, and tow the occasional trailer, the pickup with bed cover/campershell is more bang for our buck than the SUV

Roadwhale: "-- Yet again the operative term is 'want', as so many have claimed that an SUV will do anything a pickup truck can do, ignoring size differences. After all, a large SUV can replace a large pickup truck just as easily as a small SUV can replace a small pickup truck. No?"

What is the purpose of replacing a truck with an SUV, besides eliminating the ability to carry a load in the bed or tow a goosneck/fifth-wheel? The big SUVs get the same mileage as the big trucks, so what gain is there?

The other issue with an SUV is the hard limit on cargo size. no option to have it go over the tailgate, above the roof, or, heaven forbid, out the back with tailgate dropped. Trucks are more utilitarian than SUVs. Do most people drive empty trucks most the time? SURE! Who is going to make sure that they have all 5-6 seats filled, have a ton of gravel in the back, and are towing a 5-ton trailer every time they commute to the office or get groceries? NO ONE! However, if the family of 5 wants to go tent camping for a week, or take their boat to the lake, or pick up that used bunk-bed from the guy across town a small (or medium) SUV simply wont cut it! so, as mentioned, unless you can drop 50+ grand on a Suburban (which has less cargo volume than a Honda Oddessy) you are better off with a pickup, and even a Suburban can't handle over-sized loads.

I understand some Toyota Dealers in different areas of the country treat the customer better than a Ford Dealer or visa-versa, but to me blood is always thicker than water, if I like the dealer, treats me good and fair I will buy that brand of vehicle he sells even if I don't like that vehicle.
I have second thoughts on the 2015 F-150 but I will buy it cause that dealer treated me good in the past.
That's why I am sooo hungry for information or reviews on it cause that's going to be my next truck if I like it or not.

I do think Ram has two problems with their pickups.

1. Low payload,

2. No smaller pickup offering.

The Ram upside is they will be conventional steel and they have a good range of engines, including the diesel.

It seems the Rams are very competitively priced and can continue to be so especially when Ford and GM convert to aluminium. A good strategy by Fiat.

Ford is the same and will be reliant on an expensive aluminium pickup.

GM's only saviour is the new US Colorado. The current steel GM pickups I do think will be a better vehicle initially.

It seems Toyota and Nissan will offer a small and larger pickup. The difference is their larger pickups will be a large 1/2 ton (work wise).

Also, I think Ford has the most to and will lose out. GM will improve numbers (not dollars). Ram will continue to improve.

Nissan and Toyota will also improve once they have released their newer pickups, small and large.

guys let me clarify something..... HEMI MONSTER basically you make it sound like i want CAFE. i HATE IT! I think the Government should have NOTHING to do with free trade. no need for them to meddle in that, its all big government control to make more money for the government to create more indirect taxing..........

My point was and (Lou BC) i didnt realize my post or retort sounded like it had hatred in it....... just get real tired of the blind bashing by people that think they know so much that in fact dont know so much at all...... my apologies if everyone read it that way.

Heres the thing, Toyota has ZERO problems making enough fuel efficient vehicles that people WANT to buy so they dont need to build a truck that "claims" false fuel advertisements to avoid paying the government a tax. they can simply build a good solid truck that is made to be put through the paces day in and out and the truck will last 200-500k without much problem...... everyone else should take note, some manufacturers are and some are trying to tread water long enough not to be put out of business like Ram...... they have NOTHING fuel efficient which is partly why you see a Fiat diesel in the half ton as they cannot afford to pay the royalties to Cummins for that engine as well. they NEED profits so that they can invest to create a fuel efficient car that people WANT to buy in order to offset their crappy CAFE position...

Hopefully that makes everyone understand better what im saying and where i was coming from with my statements.

OH PS everyone.....................

CAFE is why the Ranger was discontinued AND the same reason why the Dakota was killed. its harder on CAFE for a small truck than a full size truck (UAW helped full size with that). SO if you just kill the small truck and focus on the big truck you dont pay nearly the penalty for CAFE. Why do you think the Explorer, Durango, Pathfinder no longer have frames? Why do you think Trailblazer and Envoy are gone replaced by the Traverse and Acadia that also dont have a frame and true 4x4 rear wheel drive based................ Notice Toyota STILL builds the 4 Runner, FJ Cruiser (until the end of this year) and Tacoma? Because they can afford the CAFE hit thats why..... Its ashame but true.................... Without some of the new offerings from GM and the Volt (they have to basically give away) they couldnt afford to bring back the Colorado and Canyon.

Hemi LOL is correct about Toyota and our stupid Corporate Average Fuel Economy requirements. The key words are corporate and average. Toyota sells so many high mpg cars that they have zero need, from a regulatory standpoint, to increase fuel economy in their Tundra or Tacoma. They will wait and do that to meet customer demand, not Federal requirements.

Part of what makes life so easy for Toyota with CAFE is the Prius. It was the 13th best selling car in the US in 2013 at 234,288 units, about half way between RAM and GMC Sierra. It was the best selling vehicle in California last year, easily beating the F150, which ranked sixth.

Combine that with the fact that the fairly economical Camry was the number one selling car in the US last year, and the Corolla was number five.

Taking just Toyota's extreme economy cars, Prius, Corolla, and Scion sales totaled 604,789 vehicles for 2013, or about half way between F150 and Silverado. That many cars that get 30-50 mpg is why Tundra mileage is no concern to Toyota.

By the way, one place to easily retrieve auto sales figures is goodcarbadcar.net

@hemi lol (and RoadWhale)
I wasn't saying that anyone wants CAFE requirements. I'm sure most here are on the same page regarding CAFE.

Before I reiterate my initial argument, let me say this: there are two types of truck buyers, those who need a truck and those who want a truck. Automakers have to sell trucks to both groups of people.

Truck buyers are unique because it often is quite obvious what type of truck a person needs. For example if a person hauls drywall on a regular basis, then they need a truck with an 8' bed given the size of a standard sheet of drywall. If someone tows a 16k lb 5th wheel, then they definitely need a 350/3500 truck. The needs of a truck buyer are somewhat apparent compared to buyers of other vehicles.

A car buyer does not have such clear needs. Say a family wants a 4 door vehicle and has no needs but that it can carry the family. A compact could do the job, a mid-sized sedan would do the job, a crossover would do the job, etc. Toyota sells vehicles to people who do not have such obvious needs. A person interested in a Camry could easily get put into a Prius instead. On the other hand, someone who tows a 16k lb 5th wheel cannot cross-shop between classes of truck. They only have the choice between brands.

Now here is my gripe that spawned the original comment I made. People tend to promote the image of Toyota being this "humanitarian" kind of company while putting down the others who build bigger vehicles. I'm not saying that you (hemi lol) push that, because I don't believe that you do, but whenever the topic of CAFE and Toyota come up, the debate always tends to lead down that path.

My argument was addressed to the general populace who may feel like automakers who have a poor CAFE across the bpard are somehow doing something wrong. They are doing nothing wrong in certain respect. Different people have different needs in vehicles. Just because the government passes a regulation doesn't eliminate people's needs of larger vehicles. The only ones who can downsize are the people who wanted a larger vehicle but didn't need it.

People who use trucks for real needs generally have a static need for a certain sized truck capable of performing what they need it to. Those needs don't change when the government passes a law saying that trucks must meet certain FE requirements. As Lou pointed out, trucks will be trucks and FE is limited by the laws of physics.

We need more discussions like this on PUTC. Guys talking trucks, expressing opinions and clarifying points of view.

I hope PUTC keeps the trolls at bay.

@HemiMonster - Toyota does have a huge advantage in terms of CAFE and emissions. Chrysler in terms of CAFE is behind. This deficit is a legislated one and not one based on consumer demand. The problem is we are stuck with the rules we have. I doubt that an election changing the guard would have much affect on emissions and CAFE.

Hemi Monster, Toyota a "humanitarian" company? If only. They are in a fortunate position regarding CAFE, but I would attribute that to some combination of shrewdness and luck rather than a desire to make the world a better place.

The problem for the big three is they have a hard time building high mpg cars that anybody wants. With the Fusion, Fiesta and C-Max combined, Ford sold 401,563 econo cars in 2013. With the Cruze, Sonic, Spark and Volt combined, Chevrolet sold 391,094 econo cars in 2013. The problem is, they sold more pickups than all their economy cars combined.

And then there's poor Chrysler/Fiat. All they've got is the Chrysler 200, which at 22-28 mpg isn't much of a high mileage car in the first place, and they only sold 122,288 of them last year. That's one econobox for every three pickups. That's the real reason for 8-speed transmissions and miniature diesel engines. RAM is in serious peril from CAFE.

You expressed the point I was trying to make. To clarify, I'm not saying that Toyota is by any means a "humanitarian" company, but that image is what is pushed by the media and is what makes Prius drivers feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

CAFE disregards the facts that not everyone can drive a high FE vehicle. Yes, Toyota is in a good position. I give them credit for what they have done to get themselves in the position that they are today. After all they did build quality vehicles at a time when the American companies had some sketchy products out there.

The thing with large vehicles like SUVs and pickups is that they are always a target and get labeled as "excessive". Sometimes they are when people drive one regardless of need, but quite often a person has a need to be driving one.

Unfortunately Ford, GM and Chrysler are being forced to build vehicles people may not even want. There isn't really a solution, because it's all just government regulations.

@HEMI MONSTER - the reason why trucks and SUV's got larger was to cheat mpg and emissions. It started in the 70's when pickups and anything considered a truck did not need to meet car mpg/emissions rules.
Minivans, BOF SUV's, vans, and pickups were all exempt due to being classified as trucks. As rules changed emissions became more weight/size based.
What did Detroit do? Raise GVW classifications to stay emissions free or emissions "lax".

The UAW and other lobby groups saw most cars in that era get built by non-union transplants so they lobbied for various exemptions or breaks for trucks and SUV's.

The Japanese threw a monkey wrench into the machine due to VRA's and the chicken tax. They used to eat the chicken tax because VRA's did not cover SUV's and min-vans due to the truck designation. When the Japanese set up shop in the USA and the Yen affected exporting from Japan they were selling less vehicles than the VRA cap. They then disputed "the minivan and SUV as truck rules" to maximize profits. They won and this had a profound effect on the SUV market over time.

The entire USA truck and SUV market has been shaped by regulations and exploitation of loopholes. Emissions and CAFE are prime examples that people complain about but most do not complain about import tariffs or technical barriers to trade like differing safety standards.

USA companies focused on big vehicles because they provided maximum profits for minimal development and were sheltered from global competition.

Traditionally Chrysler had the smallest global footprint so were the most reliant on traditional USA products like big vehicles. 2 bankruptcies and getting screwed over by DaimlerBenz did not help.

Toyota being global first and foremost as well as never being reliant on big vehicles easily meet current and future guidelines. Each company has different market bases and different foci hence different product mixes and CAFE averages. Toyota never had to grown into CAFE since globally they were already there.

Yes, I do agree with you that Detroit bears much of the blame. I also realize that over the past 40 or so years, all kinds of crap has gone on behind closed doors that we don't want to know about.

I think CAFE is the easiest regulation for us to target, because it is really easy to see how it affects the market. Your comment does put a good perspective on things, one that I hadn't thought about, and I hope others would address it also. The "size" difference between import and "American" vehicles has always been noticeable more or less.

Americans have been more or less "pushed" into vehicles that were probably more than they actually needed. In my earlier comment I tried to distinguish between what people need and want, but sometimes that isn't even clear. Americans are used to full-sized trucks so they may feel that they need one even though they don't.

I know that in other countries people are forced to get by with much smaller vehicles and I'm sure they manage just fine. So what is it that determines the size of vehicle or truck a person needs?

I know I'm preaching to the choir, but I certainly feel the auto market should be allowed more freedom. Given gas prices, it doesn't take much for people who can downsize to make that move. People aren't opposed to getting better FE.

When there are lots of choices in trucks, size, powertrain, capability, etc, I think people will be drawn to what they need above what they want.

A full-sized top trim level pickup is a status symbol. A mid-sized or compact truck is seen as a "lesser" truck. If Americans can get past such clichés, I think the market would move in a direction that favors the consumer.

"I know that in other countries people are forced to get by with much smaller vehicles and I'm sure they manage just fine. So what is it that determines the size of vehicle or truck a person needs?"

This quote of your might not be as accurate as you state. Your quote is a very idealised view in the US. Everyone else is less fortunate than us.

I really don't think so.

The same could be said that the "US is forced to buy larger vehicles".

As Lou pointed out the design of the chicken tax, orginal CAFE and EPA regulations, etc made is possible for Detroit to manufacture low cost, and relatively low tech vehicles for the US market.

Whilst other markets like the EU were forced to design vehicles with great FE. The EU is more than 15mpg above the US in average FE. The US will continue to import EU vehicle tech whilst the EU has this advantage.

As most of you state on this site "Why would you buy a midsizer for nearly the price of a full size?". This alone support the view that the US large pickups and SUVs have had it good.

This is currently changing.

The comment regarding the use of a pickup for work like hauling drywall sheeting or whatever also is quite limited in scope.

You don't have a Ford Transit with a 10' flat bed that can carry 5 000lbs of plywood or whatever. And this with the 3.2 diesel can give you mid 20s in mpg.

These trucks aren't traffic light dragster, but they will sit above 70mph on the highway all day, and that is with a 5 000lb load.

The US is heading that way. Full size pickups will gradually become a too expensive option for a work vehicle. It is almost transformed into a SUV.

Just restricting the US population to them without reasonable competition only hurts the US consumer.

Full size trucks will not vanish. But I do believe other vehicles will come into their place in some instances, like work vehicles.

You can see this now with the 'experimentation' of those small FWD vans. These are a midsize pickup replacement for most small business activity.

The size of full size pickup sales in comparison to the overall increase in vehicle sales shows that full size pickups aren't as popular as they once where.

The full size pickup sale increase in 2014 is a fraction of overall vehicle sales improvement.

I do hope another pickup/truck can be found that appeals more than the full size to some potential customers.

I do think they are called CUVs. They have made most of the sales improvements, not just in the US, but globally.

I agree with the feeling that Toyota is not putting much energy into the Tundra. I owned a 2007 (and put 121, 000 trouble free miles on it). I now own a 2012 with 45, 000 trouble free miles on it. Both SR5 models. We use the Tundra for everything including towing our travel trailer. What has annoyed me most is Toyota decontenting over 20 things over the past few years that have made a difference between a Toyota and other trucks. Toyota started with the assist handle on the driver side door post, the dual heating system, the door pockets in the rear doors etc. None of these changes have improved gas mileage, but what made the truck a technology leader when it was introduced, as the other truck makers have adapted many of these little, but noticeable features and Toyota continues to cheapen up and delete them it looks like Toyota doesn't really care much
about the Tundra. Hopefully they won't abandon one of their last and important features, reliability.

The V6 should have had the 6 speed automatic from day 1.
Toyota should have simplified axle ratios for the Tundra. 4.1 for 4x2, and 4.3 for 4x4 (across all three engines)

For 2015 Toyota should have upgraded all engines to an 8 speed automatic.

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