Jason Lancaster is the editor and founder of TundraHeadquarters.com. He has nearly a decade of dealership experience buying, selling, and maintaining vehicles, and much of that time was spent working at Ford and Toyota dealerships.
Imagine if someone could track your truck’s every movement, every second of the day, no matter where you were driving in the world. Not only that, but imagine if they could keep a complete record of where you had been and for how long. It sounds like something out of a science-fiction movie, but thanks to GPS technology, it’s a reality for any driver.
GPS stands for Global Positioning System, which uses a network of satellites orbiting the earth to provide detailed location information to those with a receiver that can access their data stream. Initially put into place by the US military decades ago, GPS can be used to pinpoint a location with a startling degree of accuracy. Most people are familiar with the use of GPS as a navigational aid, in the form of hand-held or vehicle-mounted systems that combine the positioning service with mapping software to help keep drivers or hikers from getting lost. GPS is also a boon to marine navigation, providing a much more foolproof method getting from point A to point B on the ocean when compared to standard charts. However, GPS can be employed in a few other functions, some of which are fairly cloak and dagger.
Most popular car magazines/publications – such as Motor Trend, Car and Driver, and Consumer Reports – are oriented towards cars. Not trucks, not SUVs, but cars. These car publications often evaluate trucks and SUVs completely incorrectly. Rather than talk about a truck’s towing and hauling capabilities, these publications emphasize “cabin noise” and “ride quality.” While these are reasonable criteria worth discussing, the fact is they’re not that important for your typical truck owner. We’re looking for something that hauls the mail, not something that hauls “the ladies that lunch.”
Don’t get us wrong here – comparisons are best when they evaluate a lot of criteria. However, any reviewer that says quote “Several logbook scribes thought the Tundra was just too big” has no business reviewing trucks (from Car and Driver reviews the Tundra long-term). If you think a truck is bad because it’s big, you don’t get it.
This past Sunday Edmunds.com published a balanced and reasonable review that evaluated trucks on the important stuff – hauling, towing, and overall performance. While we dont’ agree with their conclusions (the Tundra placed 2nd behind the less-than-utilitarian Ram), we appreciate this opinion:
For me, trucks are about utility. I wouldn’t own one unless I had to perform heavy towing and large payload-hauling as we did in this test. Everything else — and I mean everything — can be done with another kind of vehicle. For this reason, I can’t help but evaluate trucks without placing significant weight on those abilities.
That’s a quotation from Josh Jacquot, Senior Road test editor for Edmunds.com. While Josh isn’t a “truck guy” – admittedly so – he understands the criteria that trucks should be judged by. Kudos. This might be the first Edmunds.com review we’ve ever seen that doesn’t make a ton of ridiculous comments about trucks being “too big” or “beastly.”
Here’s what we saw that we liked:
When people think of fine Italian products, the list looks like this:
- Magnificent sports cars
- Men’s suits
- An assortment of wines and cheeses
Please note that “truck” and/or “pickup” don’t appear on that list. Considering that Fiat is going to be a major stakeholder in Chrysler when the company emerges from bankruptcy, it’s time to consider Italy’s contribution to the truck world and what we can expect from a Dodge Ram crafted by Italian engineers.
We’re often accused of bashing Ford Motor Company here at TundraHeadquarters, but let’s be clear – Ford is a solid company. We predicted Ford stock would go up this year (so far it has…big time). We’ve always said the F150 was a good truck in both of our Tundra vs F150 comparisons, and despite our recent lambasting of Ford’s SFE F150, we’re usually on board with every marketing move Ford makes.
The latest move – offering to make a $20 donation to the Susan G. Koman foundation for each person that test drives a Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury product between now and July 1st – is unadulterated genius.
Picture this: You’re in the market for a Toyota Sequoia. You’re at the dealership. The salesperson throws you the keys and says “take it for a spin.” You go to open the front door and you notice something moving at your feet. Startled, you lean forward to take a look and BOOM! An 8 and a half foot alligator!
“I’d like to see the Sequoia *without* the alligator option please.“