Last post on Mar 29, 2007 at 5:33 AM
You are in the Toyota Tundra
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Tundra, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Truck
#749 of 2059 Re: On Paper...Maybe....but.. [jreagan]
Feb 22, 2007 (5:36 am)
Toyota does have a long way to go in terms of truck sales for sure; this isn't a segment that turns over quickly as people historically are loyal to their brand of vehicle.
But the association of sales with "best" is lost on me. More often than not, the best in sales is not because the vehicle is the best, it is because it is the cheapest or has the most incentive. If sales = best than companies like BMW, Audi, Porsche, etc. would be considered the worst vehicles.
I think that there are several characteristics that make a vehicle good (in no special order):
About half of those characteristics are going to be pretty subjective; moreover the weighting of what is important is going to vary a great deal with each individual.
Having said that, even though the new Tundra has not had the time to prove itself in some specific areas (i.e. reliability), its previous model and most of its other vehicles have been stellar in that department, though lacking in others (i.e. capability).
Every truck builder has had issues with quality, reliability and recalls -- the Silverado and Sierra had 4 each themselves last year (though 2 of those were pretty minor). [Edit: there were actually 7 recalls for the 2006 Silverado] But what sticks in the minds of many buyers that have left companies like Chevy and Ford, etc. are the times where they've had terrible experiences.
For me personally, that was with two of my cars and just about every available dealer for them. The combination of a bad vehicle and literally several bad dealerships turned me off from those companies.
Does that translate into the Silverado being a bad truck? Probably not, but the risk for me (and I think many that are in my shoes) is that any kind of problems that occur just make the experience of having to go to those dealerships a bad one; I don't want to deal with dealerships that treat their customers badly and having a history of that only reinforces my belief that it will happen again.
So, given the experiences of past Silverado/Sierra owners, Consumer Reports assessments and information from customers directly, coupled with dealership experiences only fuels the thinking that the Silverado has to be a LOT better than something like the Tundra to convince me to go back to buying from them. For most of the features above, it doesn't even match it, much less trounce it. Not that the Tundra trounces it either, but in most areas it is a better package.
Who knows, maybe we'll get some positive feedback from people that have had good dealerships take care of them when they've had serious problems with their trucks, I don't know. But most of what I'm reading is that you can enjoy the Silverado if it doesn't have to go to a dealership; that is, of course, impossible for any vehicle.
#750 of 2059 Re: On Paper...Maybe....but.. [belias]
Feb 22, 2007 (6:08 am)
Well, I bought my first GM truck in 1990, it was a 1989 GMC Sierra SLE 4x4 Reg Cab with the 350. I bought it from a local Chevy dealer, and had no issues with my dealership experience. Then, in late 1999, I sold it to a buddy and bought a brand new 2000 GMC Sierra SLE Z71 ext cab from Routson Motors in Stillwater, MN. I had only minor things the first few years that needed taking care of and my dealer was more than happy to care of me. They either gave me a free loaner or a ride (17 miles each way) to work without whining. I even had a non-recall issue with my rear pass (wing style) windows leaking air at highway speeds, they could have blown me off, but instead they replaced both windows...frame and all..for FREE. I have been to 3-4 dealers in town and have yet to have a bad experience. They all have exceeded my expectations and I am a VERY picky customer.
BTW, does the Tundra have "Auto-Trac" (automatic transfer case) or anything similar to it? I have that in my 2000 and think it is an awesome feature. I rarely use 4hi since auto-4wd is seamless and saves fuel. I cannot tell the difference between 4-hi and auto 4wd, even when accelerating on snow and ice, it is way quicker than my senses.
#751 of 2059 Interior comparison
Feb 22, 2007 (6:37 am)
I have sat in the Tundra and have sat in many (and driven) the Chevy/GMC and when it comes to the interior, I cannot see how anyone would prefer the Tundra's over the GM's.
Funny story... the other day I was at Lifetime Fitness exercising and was running on a treadmill. Anyway, it has a large console/dash that is silver plastic and as I was running, it occured to me that it looked alot like the dash in the Tundra. I chuckled to myself. The Tundra dash IMO is very cheesy looking. Also, why are most of the controls closer to the passenger than the driver? It's not an airplane (co-pilot).
#752 of 2059 Re: On Paper...Maybe....but.. [jreagan]
Feb 22, 2007 (6:44 am)
Sounds like you've had better luck than me. My old Sunbird started falling apart not even 3 years after buying it. Dealership refused to replace wiring for passenger powered window even though it had cracked in half (in the gap between the inside of the door and the car itself). Little did I know that was the start of a slew of problems. The window problem, alternator, water pump -- all during warranty period were being refused by the dealerships. The excuse was that I was using the car "excessively". I'm not sure what they meant, but if they meant I was driving it hard, that is a laugh! The thing could barely do hwy speed with the pedal to the floor -- acceleration was not its strength, it was supposed to be a good, reliable, and inexpensive to operate. Soon the driver's door siezed (i.e. it wouldn't open -- had to go in through the passenger side), the passenger seat latch stopped working (so the seat slid back and forth on the rails whenver I would brake or accelerate), the key lock on the trunk stopped working (i.e. could not get the key in), and numerous other problems from brakes and brake lines to the transmission, etc. By the time I had approached 6 years on this vehicle, I couldn't even give it away. I had to spend $100 to have it towed to a scrap yard.
That was a 1987 model. Dealerships did not honor repairs under warranty at that time and I was too young to know and enforce my rights. I won't even get into MY experience with Dodge -- a complete nightmare! And after the way they treated my parents with their caravan, I had just about had with them (my parents on the other hand bought another Dodge from a dealer 4 hours away that treated them very well).
So, part of my reluctance in looking at Chevy again is this feeling that I'm going to regret my decision as I did before. As a vehicle, the Silverado looks pretty good to me -- the Denali even better (though I still have not seen it in person). But I worry about the history of recalls and problems reported by owners and the experience with dealerships and in particular GM's reluctance in general to resolve problems in a timely manner even when it is a serious safety issue.
#753 of 2059 Re: On Paper...Maybe....but.. [belias]
Feb 22, 2007 (7:16 am)
The 1987 Sunbird....ahhh, what a classic example of an awesome vehicle...hahaha I must admit that I am NOT a fan of that era GM or any American-made car (mid 80's-early 90's). But I would not judge GM or it's dealers based on 20 year old experiences. I am sure that not only the vehicles have improved, but customer satisfaction is a much higher priority in today's market than it was back then. Thanks in part to more competition from everyone, including Toyota. My mom owned a 1987 Olds Calais, and even though it was a reliable car that had few (if any?) mechanical issues. I drove it several times and even used it on my honeymoon trip (since it got better gas mileage than my 89 GMC and the wife owned a 1983 Cutlass that also had a V8. the car was a cheaply built, rattlebox 4-banger with no power. She has been a GM person her whole life, well, since her 1966 Impala SS days (the year I was born). I talked her into buying a Ford Taurus in 1995 because I thought GM's cars were junk. Turns out the Taurus was a piece of junk too. Now she drives a 2005 Chev Malibu and loves it.
The Toyota Camry is a very nice car, and because of them as well as other foreign brands, the American made cars HAD to get better, and did. Now I think the quality is equivalent across the board (in cars anyway) with the exception of Chrysler. But I am not a car person, I think trucks are a much better value. ALL cars, although more reliable than ever before, are a ripoff. They depreciate more and don't last as long. Even my wife's 2004 Impala LS (with 28K miles), as nice of a car as it is, and very reliable I might add, cost about $23K only 3 years ago and is now worth only a little more than my 2000 GMC with 90K miles on it.
Dodge? I can't tell of any dealer experiences, but I will say I bought my wife a 1993 Plymouth Voyageur minivan in 1994. What pile of JUNK!!! Never again!!! Within the first year (and last year I may add, I dumped 12 months after buying it) and with only 34K miles on it. it had 20K miles when I bought it. It had the following problems:
Bad water pump, leaked and burned oil (excessively), Tranny leaked, rear window washer pump was bad, and several other minor issues were present. Although I could have had the dealer fix most of the major stuff since it was still under warranty, I traded that thing so fast it wasn't even funny. yes, that is an "old" experience too, but I have not seen much improvement from Chrysler's products since then.
I would buy a Tundra before a Ram.
#754 of 2059 Re: On Paper...Maybe....but.. [jreagan]
Feb 22, 2007 (7:39 am)
REGAN......Ya got to remember those vintage DCX vans used
the mitsubishi (spl) engine. They aged poorly...........
At one time Chrysler had the BEST auto. trans. in the business. Too bad they missed the mark on their frt.WD
Hands down GM units are the best...............
Check out the "transmission trauma" forums here at Edmunds.
The new camrys auto unit has several issues not to mention
the honda posts................
Will have to see how the tundra as well as the new GM 6
speed auto units fare in the world of truck usage......
#755 of 2059 Re: On Paper...Maybe....but.. [jreagan]
Feb 22, 2007 (7:53 am)
Yeah, I hear ya, I know that many of the domestics have gotten better. In fact a lot of them rank above even many German vehicles in terms of satisfaction and reliability. My most recent experience with Honda and in particular Acura have been fantastic! Going on 7 years with not a single problem! But, for the kind of work I'll be doing, I need a truck going forward. I originally tried to get a Yukon and then an Avalanche when I settled on the Acura. However, the Yukon was too pricey and I didn't like the interior, and while the Avalanche was almost exactly what I wanted, it ranked next to the Aztek in terms of looks.
So, I'm in the market again for a vehicle later this summer and having looked at the F150, the Silverado, and the Tundra, it looks like for me, the overall package favors the Tundra. Others will have criteria that are more/less important than mine, but I'm a big guy and am not going to try to force myself to fit into a vehicle anymore. I was set on the new Avalanche but disliked the dash plastic and overall lack of features for a loaded LTZ. Also, things like the column shifter, feel of the steering wheel and the big blind spots were just a little annoying to me (though not a deal-breaker). The ride was comfortable and the seats were pretty nice and overall it fit me well.
The Silverado was pretty much the same in almost every aspect except the exterior looks. Salesman said that the ride is comfortable but not quite as much as in the Avalanche. At $46K (before deals/incentives) the Avalanche was not a good deal (that is with the 5.3L) though not terrible -- I just thought I could do better.
My guess is that the Denali may be the answer in terms of comfort/performance. However, it will be more expensive than a loaded Tundra and there is no version that has as large a back seat as the CrewMax (which is essential for me in particular because I have two big dogs that I want to keep back there on trips).
If I were to load both the Silverado and the Tundra up, they would be roughly equivalent in price. But I would get only the 5.3l instead of the 6.2l in the Denali. I'm not confident in the 6.0l being advantageous because the 5.3l/transmission combo is proven. The idea of torque management on the 6.0l when other engine/transmission combos that are larger are available without it makes me think that GM is using this as a trial or perhaps a migration movement before a 5 or 6 speed heavier-duty transmission is offered.
Add to that the whole debacle with brake problems over the last few years with GM's SUVs and trucks, and I can't help but think of having to make trips back to the dealership.
So, it isn't as if I don't want to try to get something like the Silverado (or preferably the Denali), but given its history in the areas that are critical to my needs, it will be a tough sell -- probably have to be priced significantly less than the Tundra. Ultimately though, the Denali looks like the only other true option on the table that provides the combination of features required. I'll see what its like when it gets to the showroom floor!
#756 of 2059 Re: On Paper...Maybe....but.. [geo9]
Feb 22, 2007 (7:55 am)
Good point, knew that.
And why do you call me Regan? It's Reagan. No offense taken, just wondered why you left out the A.
#757 of 2059 Re: On Paper...Maybe....but.. [belias]
Feb 22, 2007 (8:28 am)
So, were you looking at the new body style Avalanche? Coincidentally, I was shopping the Avalanche last summer because I think they look alot better that they did last year. They look basically like a Tahoe. But, after researching and learning that I could ONLY get the 6.0 with 4.10 gears, I decided to wait. Also, I thought they were too expensive and questioned how much I would use the whole mid-gate transformation do-hickey stuff. I am guessing it would get seldom used and would just add to the rattle factor. I ultimatelt decided to wait until the new trucks came out. which was a wise decisin, although they are'nt much (if any) cheaper than the Avalanche, which I was told they would be.
As for the 6.0 in the trucks, I still think it is a good value over and above the power issue. For only $1000, you get the bigger engine. SD Tranny (much heavier duty), engine oil cooler (a must have IMO), ext tranny cooler, larger 9.5" rear end and 4 wheel disc brakes. Heck, if they offered all of this with the 5.3l as an option for $1000, I would take it. But the 6.0 is a better, stronger engine. based on what I have read about it. Deep skirt design, 6-bolt mains, etc, etc. Way more power and torque than I need for my useage. Better to have more than you need than not enough. I only put on about 10-12K miles per year, so gas mileage isn't a huge factor. And I do need a truck.
Nice to hear you want your dogs to be comfy. My current 2000 GMC is just an Ext cab 3-door, and the back seat is plenty big enough for my 2 daughters, but the 4 real doors will be nice. I never liked the rear doors on ext cabs. Personally, i never ride back there, so I only care about the driver's seat..haha.
Brake problems? the only complaint I can think of for mine is the rotors were rusted and needed replacement. But that was at 72,000 miles and the entire cost to replace 4 rotors and brake pads was only about $600. Not bad. Otherwise they have been flawless. The days of turning rotors are gone, they make them "disposable" nowadays. I suppose to keep the weight down. Also, in 2004 GM went back to drums in the rear on the half-tons only. Have asked several salesmen, techinicians, etc and have not gotten a good answer as to why yet. I do not believe cost is a reason since they still use discs on the HD's and drums actually have more components to them. Also, the cost to changeover and maintain 2 production methods has to be more than using a common design. Still waiting for a legit reason on that one. Part of the reason I went with the 6.0.
The idea of torque management on the 6.0l when other engine/transmission combos that are larger are available without it
Keep in mind that these larger engines/tranny combos either use a 6 speed tranny (Denali 6.2) or a 3/4 ton duty (Allison in the Diesel) tranny. Also, the Denali is AWD, not 4WD, so traction from a dead stop is always there. They figure that without the 4 sec closed loop delay at WOT from a dead stop, you would just burn up the tires anyway, so what's the point? There is still plenty of torque available for towing. Otherwise it wouldn't have the 10,500 lb tow rating (with 4.10's). People need to understand torque better and how it is used and when it's available, etc. If they did, they would realize that this is really a non-issue. Unless you are stoplight racing. Even then, traction is still necessary to transfer that torque to the road.
I would at least drive a GM a few more times before making your final decision later this summer. More info will be available on both by then as well as far as initial quality, etc.
#758 of 2059 Re: On Paper...Maybe....but.. [jreagan]
Feb 22, 2007 (8:40 am)
Yeah, I probably will wait a little for the Denali and see how things pan out with owners of the first round of 07s.
As for the brake problems, I wasn't referring to your previous posts, I was referring to the recalls GM had a couple of years ago that made the headlines. I don't remember all the details, but I think there was a serious image problem for GM because they left some states out of the fix and were late to fix the problems or even admit a problem for many years. Here are a couple of links:
Consumer Affairs Link
NHTSA Gov Link