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Toyota Tundra vs. Chevrolet Silverado

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  • Before anyone concludes that a rigid, boxed frame is the best way to go in a half ton truck, review the F150 and Dodge Ram forums here on Edmunds. There are literally hundreds of complaints about random steering and chassis vibrations that no one seems to be able to either explain or cure. This problem is common across all iterations of the F150: Supercab, Crew Cab, short box, long box, etc. The only constant is the new and much more rigid frame. Ford apparently has thrown up their hands and calls it a design characteristic of the F150. From reading the Dodge forums, they also have the same problem, albeit not as bad.

    Speaking of boxed frames, is anyone old enough to recall back in the pre-war (a lot of people were busy doing other things once the war started) '60s welding plate onto the frame rails of '32 Fords to stiffen them?
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484

    Are you saying the HD Silvys and 1/2 tons have the exact same frames? Than why don't they have the same payloads/towing capacities?

    Hemi

    Another intelligent post. I guess this website has no clue either, as it chose the Tundra as the superior truck. PM as well. Why not just indict whoever disagrees with you as sub-human, and be done with it?

    Comparing these two can come down to priorities, at least we seem to agree that they are the top 2.

    Fully-boxed frames don't seem to help Ram or Titan much. The Ram can't move much, and the Titan's frame was picked on by C&D.

    This frame discussion is getting tired. It would appear there is more than one way to skin a cat.

    Toyota seems ready to bet their impressive name on this truck doing some very impressive things. I trust them.

    Bottom line: The Toyota will make the 6.2 break a sweat, just to keep up, and it has enough style to keep me interested. So if I were buying, it would have the clear advantage. Not to take anything away from the GM. Seems like a fine truck. But it is significantly slower, fewer gears, no Mega Cab, no 6.0 in RC, and little style outside.

    If I want a pleasant ride and a nice interior, I'd get a Camry. I want the best truck. I believe it's name is Tundra. The 4 tests I've seen haven't swayed that impression. Everyone who drives the Tundra gets impressed. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

    Seems like Toyota made this truck to appeal to the HD truck crowd, not the personal-use crowd. Their acceptance will filter down, so I hear. Seems tough enough to me. I wouldn't expect the competition to throw too many stones at it.

    Doubt GM or Ford will make a negative campaign against the Tundra's abilities, like Ford has done in the past.

    DrFill
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I know I've fought with this website for a month to try to understand it. I agree it's on the website in the specs and it's explained very well.

    It's also on the GMC website in the same way.

    But....

    In the Chevy 'Build/Price' Module you cannot spec out a 6.0L VortexMax with the Max Trailering Package. It's not possible.

    But you can spec and price it on the GMC 'Build/Price' module.

    This leads me to believe that GM Marketing has chosen to make the Silverado the basic working man's truck with average capabilities, while the Sierra is the upscale version with all the top capabilities.
  • "Then why don't they have the same payload/towing capacities?"

    Well, DrFill, there are many other variables involved: HP, transmision, suspension, wheels/tires, oil and tranny coolers, wheelbase length, drive train (4X4 vs. RWD), etc.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Good to know the 2008 Super-Duty, that tows up to 24,500 lbs, if Navistar ever delivers the engines Ford can't pay for, is basically an F-150 EC with more torque, a larger oil cooler, and some extra leaf springs.

    Frame is a frame is a frame. Now this is educational!

    Good job! I just needed it explained to me. ;)

    DrFill
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    We will see how strong the Tundra frame is when they hook up a Diesal with 660 lb.-ft of torque and tow 16,000 pounds with it. The GMT900 frame does this today.

    Now THAT is a valid point still to be proven.

    As to the other point of GM suddenly changing their 50 year old tradition and going to a f-b-f last Sept I ask again why didn't they do it back in 1980? Engineers surely knew back then that fully boxed would be stiffer. Why suddenly did they switch this year?

    I don't think this was an engineering Eureka moment. First Ford started it in 2004 so Gm had to wait until the new T900's came out. Ford's been able to beat this drum now for 3 years and frankly I don't think GM wanted to get into a beauty contest with Ford ( the leader at that time ) over the merits of the two types of frames. So GM followed. Case closed. Except suddenly Ford goes into a tailspin and the F150's are shown to be 1990-era trucks with huge massive frames that are becoming lot anchors at dealerships.

    But why did Ford go to the f-b-f? This is why...F150 IIHS crash test

    Note how the frame collapsed at 40 mph. This was right at the time of the Explorer fiasco too. The IIHS laughed at the F150 and recommeded that no one buy one until Ford made them stronger. In the face of the Exlporer msss they couldn't afford to have the NO 1 Selling Vehicle in the US being a safety catastrophe too.

    'Fix it and make it a tank. Then sell the hell out of it's strength.'

    Then Toyota has to go throw water on all the festivities. "Look the Emperor has no clothes.'
  • pmuscepmusce Posts: 132
    I can tell you why GM went with a boxed frame. This is from www.autofieldguide.com. Its an article about the GTM900:

    'While the GMT-800 shared its frame with both the truck and SUV variants, engineers on the 900 set out to devise a unique frame for the pickups, one that is more robust and refined. The move wasn’t without some controversy and challenge, as the decision to devise a separate frame wasn’t approved until June 2004. There was an enormous amount of study of the investment needed, not to mention the fact that engineers were ordered to make the changes without adding any mass to the vehicle. The rear section of the truck frame—measuring 42 mm higher than the on the GMT-800—features a fully boxed construction, which improves torsional stiffness by 234% and vertical bending stiffness by 64%.'

    And here are all the awards the Silverado had won so far:

    2007 Car and Driver 5Best Trucks Award
    Here’s just a little of what the March 2007 edition of Car and Driver had to say:
    "Put it all together, and pickups don't get any better than the Silverado in 2007." "The small block V8, now in its second half-century of delivering usable power, provides a strong combination of performance, fuel economy, and refinement."

    2007 North American Truck of the Year
    Here's just a little of what the panel had to say:
    "Chevrolet Silverado delivers significant leaps forward in interior design, craftsmanship and materials quality; ride and handling; NVH attenuation; and powertrain efficiency...In every Silverado I tested, I was knocked out by the classiness and high assembly quality of this truck’s interior." Lindsay Brooke
    Automotive Engineering International "Chevrolet Silverado - The best full-size truck on the market..." Michelle Krebs
    Freelance "Chevrolet Silverado has spared no effort in creating category standards for interior decor and exterior fit and finish. That this huge truck offers such a quality experience deserves high praise." Matthew Nauman
    San Jose Mercury News

    Kelley Blue Book"s kbb.com "2007 Best Redesigned Vehicle"
    Here's just a little of what kbb.com had to say:
    "The Silverado impresses immediately with clean, contemporary exterior styling and two equally smart-looking passenger cabin options" "Where the 2007 Silverado solidifies its case for Best Redesigned Vehicle, however, is on the road and the trail. Notably improved steering, braking, ride comfort, handling and power delivery combine in a vehicle that’s infinitely more satisfying in town and on the highway. Combined with the segment’s highest available (Crew Cab) towing capacity and...best available fuel economy, we think Chevy’s newest pickup is poised to make quite an impact in this era of tougher and more luxurious trucks."

    2007 Truckin' Magazine's Truck of the Year
    Here's just a little of what Truckin' had to say:
    "We might be making a relative judgment here. But in our opinion, the Silverado stands at the top of the heap." "...Silverado offers the widest range of capabilities on the freshest platform that exhibits the best-looking design for reasonable prices."

    Road & Travel Magazine's 2007 International Car of the Year Awards - Truck of the Year
    Here's just a little of what Road & Travel had to say:
    "...RTM editors made an obvious choice by announcing Chevrolet's full-size, next generation Silverado as winner. There's no confusing this pure pickup with anything of another genre. Looks alone — with hunky frame, broad chrome face and wideset, double layer headlamps plus pleasantly cushy interior — would be enough to set it above the pack." "When everything new is combined, what's the result? A well thought out, redesigned Silverado, with shoulders broad enough to accommodate its mile-wide smile. Now that's domination."

    Road & Travel Magazine's 2007 International Car of the Year Awards - Pickup Truck of the Year - Most Athletic
    Here's just a little of what Road & Travel had to say:
    "...Silverado Z71... It’s the model designed for true wilderness driving with special suspension requirements."

    2007 Detroit Free Press Truck of the Year
    Here's just a little of what the Detroit Free Press had to say:
    "General Motors has been promising the world for years. This year, it delivered." "Reasonably priced and offering useful and advanced technology, comfort, value and fuel economy..."

    Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Awards - Workhorse
    Here's just a little of what Popular Mechanics had to say:
    "When you're behind the wheel of a real pickup like one of the GMs, it's easy to think that you can haul just about anything. Too bad one of these big boys won't fit in my garage." "...the Chevy Silverado (is) all new from (its) fully boxed frame up. The light-duty model offer a long menu of engine choices, including a 4.3-liter V6 and a 6.0-liter V8 with active fuel management for improved economy."
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    'While the GMT-800 shared its frame with both the truck and SUV variants, engineers on the 900 set out to devise a unique frame for the pickups, one that is more robust and refined. The move wasn’t without some controversy and challenge, as the decision to devise a separate frame wasn’t approved until June 2004. There was an enormous amount of study of the investment needed, not to mention the fact that engineers were ordered to make the changes without adding any mass to the vehicle. The rear section of the truck frame—measuring 42 mm higher than the on the GMT-800—features a fully boxed construction, which improves torsional stiffness by 234% and vertical bending stiffness by 64%.

    It is definitely stronger and I'm certain that a lot of engineering went into it. But note the highlighted text. it goes exactly to what I was proposing...'..that engineers were ordered to make the changes without adding mass to the vehicle..' Nicely done by GM engineers. Who ordered them and why the controversy?

    It sounds like a normal Marketing/engineering/accounting clash.
    M: We gotta have this f-b-f because the F150 has it and we'll look weak in comparison.
    E: We can do anything but it's going to add weight, add cost, make fuel economy go down and reduce payloads.
    A: You cannot add cost,
    Management: You cannot reduce fuel economy ( CAFE ).
    M: No Way, we can't go lower than the F150 in Fuel Economy.

    Management to E: Solve the problem.

    Nice accolades on the Silverado.
  • I went to the local Toyota dealer this weekend and test drove the 5.7 Tundra. As the sales drone and I were walking out to the truck I noticed a some ford and chevys and asked if they were taking trades from the competition?

    He replied: "We bought those new so you could do a comparison test here. Which one you want to drive first?"

    Now that takes BRASS!!!
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Yes I read in a Dallas paper that a store there bought several Silvy's and F150's but also had the techs disassemble a GM, a F and a T in the showroom so that people could look at the guts inside.
  • pmuscepmusce Posts: 132
    Beefing up a frame and adding mass is the easy way out. There was nothing in the article about adding cost. Having a seperate frame for the pickups is more costly. So what do you suppose the Engineers were supposed to be told to do. Build a better frame and don't worry about weight and fuel economy? You have no clue how auto companies work if you think marketing runs auto companies. Do you think Toyota designed their frame without parameters or weight, cost and fuel economy goals?
  • beliasbelias Posts: 316
    Again, I think this goes to my comments earlier, the logic used here by people supporting the Silverado is completely flawed. The point of something being "better" is that it ACTUALLY does better. If I can produce a 3.2L engine that creates 500hp and 750 lbs of torque and is more solidly built then an engine twice as large, nobody is going to convince me that the "larger" engine is better simply because it takes up more space.
    We've gone over a 1000 posts here and I have yet not read any actual physical performance or capability numbers that the Silverado beats the Tundra on save one or two configurations. About the only thing that is legitimate is that base configurations are cheaper; but they also lack a lot of the equipment that comes standard with the Tundra.
    I think that what is happening is that, like cars, people have bought Silverados, Sierras, F150s, and RAM 1500s because up until a few years ago there was really no practical choice for a full-size truck. These are people that have had generations buy from the same dealer and just LOOKING at something else is a sin unto itself. The result? GM, Ford, and Dodge simply settled into their niche markets and have been content to do small incremental changes to each vehicle to outdo the next, but knowing nonetheless that in the end it wouldn't affect sales much.
    Look at the history of those trucks... Ford has been #1 forever, Chevy #2, GMC #3 (sometimes #2 and #3 would swap, but rarely), and Dodge #4. Thirty years people.
    jreagan is right when there is a "history" here with GM. But unfortunately convincing him that the Tundra is a better overall truck then the Silverado is next to impossible. He is loyal to GM and furthermore he has a Sierra, so there is no reason for him to think otherwise. And constantly posting numbers that exceed the Silverados does nothing except relegate the posts to "intangible" or subjective benefits such as the interior or frame talk. Fact is on all other relevant specifications the Tundra rules. When it comes to safety Toyota has proven itself over and over again. The Tundra leads in power, speed, capability, and even rear-seat room and interior features and amenities.
    But by the logic that some posters are displaying here, they're saying that this needs to be a full-size and "real" truck. So, the Tundra does better then the Silverado on almost every aspect of what a truck is and the argument goes that towing, payload, power, acceleration, braking, safety, handling, etc. are not important (you see because the Tundra is better at this), but hey... we have a FBF all the way through or those things can be trumped by the Silverado 1 ton. Well "d'uh", we're not comparing 1 ton trucks. And to those that somehow think that a FBF frame is even needed for those, most 3/4 and 1 ton trucks never had them and some still don't have them today. They did well in the past, nothing wrong with that. FBF ads "vertical" strength and rigidity.
    Nobody is saying that the Silverado is a bad truck. It is an excellent truck, but if you're going to claim "best" you have to be #1, you can't be middle of the pack. That means that all the things that people equate with being a truck and helping them do the things that they need in a truck are important. The Tundra has way more #1s in its column than the Silverado, no question. In areas that are subjective or provide some undetectable benefit, one can come to their own conclusions. Heck, I can argue that there is no grab bar on the driver's side of the Silverado and what the heck kind of truck is that? Dumb argument to make for sure, but I still bet that you would notice that a lot more on a daily basis then whether you had a FBF in your truck...
  • beliasbelias Posts: 316
    I hate to disagree with you here pmusce, but though marketing does not "run" engineering, they have about as much say in the vehicle that engineers do, they just don't have the technical design knowledge to produce it. But if you don't think that marketing puts restrictions on vehicles or determines how certain areas of a vehicle is to be built, then you're living in wonderland. If engineers were the sole deciders in building vehicles, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now... we'd be driving vehicles that are a lot better and a lot more expensive then what we have now. Marketing makes many of the requirements for a vehicle; engineering provides several implementations of the specifications to meet them and ultimately the two department heads and management decide on what to do and make adjustments here and there. That is a VERY simplified view, but just because marketing asks for something doesn't mean it won't be done. In most cases, if it can be done, it WILL be done, but there are often dozens of different ways to do it. Aside from physical safety, and design decisions, engineering has little leeway in determining the ultimate fate of a design.
  • beliasbelias Posts: 316
    I'm not saying that GM is required to do this in one year (though they could). What I'm saying is that they KNEW about their need a lot earlier -- its not like this was a last second decision. There is no incentive to kill themselves to rapidly produce a 6-speed transmission when they can get a price premium by offering it in more expensive vehicles first and then bring it down the lines. Most companies do this with their luxury brands... no biggie! It was a marketing/management decision. Not many people take well to the idea of a cheaper vehicle from the same manufacturer having more in it then their luxury brand...
  • beliasbelias Posts: 316
    jreagan,
    Not sure how this particular post got going, but you are correct; GM sells way more trucks than Toyota. I think that what kdhspyder was saying was that on a per dealership basis, Toyota outsells GM and he is right on that count. There are many more GM dealerships then Toyota dealerships. As a result they can sell their vehicles for less based on the volume the dealership moves. GMs advantage in volume is at the plant. At the dealership, there isn't as much room to maneuver because there is more of a propensity to competing with other GM dealers then in Toyota dealership's case. That is why there are more factory incentives from GM, they get their economies of scale from manufacturing, but the dealership itself has to consider how many vehicles they can sell that month and determine their cut. If they sell 1/2 as much per dealership as a Toyota dealership, then theoretically (all things being equal) they'll need to make twice as much per vehicle then Toyota.
    But again, its theory and you're right on this one... GM gives bigger discounts. But I would disagree with you on the "afford" aspect of it. If GM could really continue to "afford" to do this, they wouldn't have lost more than $10B last year. I think the situation was more that they had to do it to get vehicles off the lots because it prevented them from a much greater loss. Unfortunately Toyota can afford to discount significantly, but they won't do it. The only benefit is that large Toyota dealerships can (individual results will vary) discount more at the dealership if they really wanted to, they just don't do it. Their inventory management systems are much more controlled. So, realistically, none of us is going to get any kind of great deal from them. That is why I asked if you think that I could get a decent deal on the Denali. The reason being is that typically higher-end vehicles come with little in incentives (since their attitude is that if you can afford to buy it, you shouldn't have to try to get a discount).
    Getting a great deal on ANY vehicle is fantastic and I commend you on the great deal that you got! I believe that the only reason for anyone to ever worry about depreciation is if you won't keep the vehicle for more than 3 years. With few exceptions, that is unheard of in the truck buyer's market -- virtually everyone I know drives their trucks a lot longer then their cars and certainly even 10 years is hardly anything.
    So, let me know what kind of discount you think I can expect on a Denali. I doubt it will be as good as on the Silverado, but I'm a little concerned because a loaded Denali is looking like it may be closer to, if not cross the $50K threshold...
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    As I noted before I was a sole supplier of steel to all three back in the 80's and 90's. I am aware of how it works. And it is often the Marketing that decides what has to be done to remain competitive.

    Just think this through. Until Sept 2006 GM never used f-b-f. Suddenly for the GMT900's they decide to do it.

    Where did the genesis of this idea come from. Seriously did an engineer wake up one morning? Did Management look at the F150 and say 'We cant let them get an advantage on us'. Where did the idea come from since they never did it before?

    If you've never been in a typical Marketing/Engineering/Accounting meeting then you've never seen how Marketing wants everything - damn the cost. Engineering can build whatever is needed - but it's going to be costly. Accounting/Management doesn't want to spend any money ( or as little as possible ) to do it. Finally a compromise is reached.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Toyota knows what the competition has. Their cards are on the table.

    Does anyone think Toyota hasn't torn apart several F-150s? That they don't know the pros and cons of fully-boxed frames?

    The Ram has the lowest capacities in the class, and it's fully boxed.

    C&D chastised the Titan's shaky structure. Isn't it fully boxed?

    All of these trucks, and makers, have checks and balances.

    Some people still bring up gap tolerances on the Tundra. Toyota virtually coined the phrase when Lexus was conceived. They know the gap tolerances for every vehicle in the class.

    Maybe Toyota uses a higher grade of steel?

    My bet is this all comes down to design and execution. Is the fully-boxed frame the end of truck evolution? Maybe. Maybe not. This wasn't an oversight by Toyota.

    If you can't execute, it doesn't matter what your design is.

    Believe Toyota towed 12,000 lb trailers for millions of miles before giving the truck a 10k tow rating.

    DrFill
  • pmuscepmusce Posts: 132
    belias, Marketing does not have any say in how vehicles are designed. I'm thinking when you sat Marketing, you mean beancounters or upper management. These people certainly do but they are not marketing. Marketing departments do not control budgets. I do understand that engineering does not make sole decisions on products.
  • pmuscepmusce Posts: 132
    Where your argument falls through is that is was MORE expensive for GM to go with a fully boxed frame since this meant a different frame than the GMT900 SUV's. I'm sure if the Accountants had their say, the frames would have been the same. I believe this is a case where the engineers won.
  • pmuscepmusce Posts: 132
    There is no excuse for the large gap tolerances on the Tundra. Higher grade of steel? Give me a break. I've read on these forums how great Lexus is because of the gap tolerances they have. GM has upped the standard with respect to gap tolerances in the full size truck market and you can't bring yourself to acknowledge that.
This discussion has been closed.