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Ford's 2015 F-150 and Chevy's Colorado hit Toyota Tundra and Tacoma with one-two punch

Toyota's 2015 Tundra and Tacoma seem woefully unprepared for what Ford's F-150 and Chevy's Colorado are about to throw at them.

The new 2015 Ford F-150, now with all its shiny bits in aluminum, and the all-new compact pickups, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and its twin, the GMC Canyon will move Toyota’s cheese as the saying goes. In a few short months the world Toyota’s Tundra and Tacoma will be turned upside down. For the past couple years Toyota trucks have been on a steady incline in sales. Will that now be reversed given thse two new offerings in the marketplace?

The 2015 Ford F-150 May Steal Toyota Tundra’s Target Customers.
The 2015 Ford F-150 is coming to market with not just a new body made from a material that does not rust, it is also going to be dramatically more fuel efficient. Although the new Ford truck is definitely going to take some share from Ram and the Chevy Silverado, the Ford F-150 may be worse news for the Tundra.

Fuel economy in the 2015 Ford F-150 will increase in part due to the aluminum body weighing less, but also because it is going to also offer a new EcoBoost engine. The new, smaller, EcoBoost is a real gem according to Pete Reyes, the chief engineer for Ford’s F-150. Worse for Toyota, the engine will be targeted directly at those homeowners that do not use their truck primarily for work and for towing. It is easy to call that the Toyota Tundra’s primary market. By comparison to Toyota’s engines the Ford F-150 will offer better torque, better drivability, and much better fuel economy. The combination of these factors will be hard for Toyota to counter.

The 2015 Colorado and Canyon Will Challenge Toyota’s Tacoma
The Tacoma is a huge success for Toyota. One of the company’s leading selling vehicles, it is also the best vehicle in the US market in terms of resale value. Toyota accomplished this in a number of ways. A relentless pursuit of quality, durability, and reliability was the prime directive. However, Toyota also offered a more affordable, more reasonably sized vehicle for homeowners. When the new 2015 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyons hit the market they are going to offer buyers more everything. More Power, more engine choices, more room, more entertainment and information capability than the Tacoma, and a great new look that is “big-truck” cool.

The 2015 Toyota Tundra and the 2015 Toyota Tacoma will not be changing to meet the challenge of the two newcomers to the market. The Tundra was actually updated in 2014 and Toyota would have already announced the design updates. However, over the coming years Toyota will of course update the Tacoma, most likely with new engines like the 2.0 Turbo about to enter service in the Lexus NX 200t crossover. The real question is will Toyota be able to retain its loyal base of customers whole it prepares its response.

Related Stories:
Aluminum 2015 Ford F-150 not at risk from hail damage according to top engineer
Toyota Tacoma's two-step plan to match Chevy's 2015 Colorado


Robert (not verified)    June 23, 2014 - 2:29PM

If you drive a Tacoma, like I do, you are willing to wait to see what Toyota has up its sleeve. Now, with that said, for the first time in forever, Toyota better deliver, or they are likely to lose their loyal base of Tacoma faithful.

Not to start a flame war, as this is really an observation that some people feel this way and some don't, but it takes a lot to get some people out of a Toyota Tacoma for something like a GM product because Tacoma owners have all kinds of terrible things to say about any brand not Toyota.

Personally, I'm tired of hearing about R&D for a new truck when Toyota has milked the current model for a full 10 years now. That's 2 cycles for some high volume sellers. Surely, Akio and the boys have made their cash on the Tacoma/Hilux pair at this point?

It's also worth noting that with the current Tacoma already weighing less than the incoming GM twins, it's not like they have to start completely back at the drawing board for a "all new model." The cab needs some work with seating position for demanding American “high seat” drivers, and it might as well be updated while you are in there, but drivetrains are the big elephant in the room, and Toyota has to know that. They do know that, or their salesman do, because if you go to a lot to buy a Tacoma, their salesman often make the case for the model jump because “you get almost the same mpg” for a much bigger profit margin on their part.

Of course, that might be the secret, Toyota will only address the Tacoma issue if GM gets some of its sales otherwise they are content selling a 10 year old truck to some people an dconvincing the suckers to get a higher priced Tundra.

Eric M. Vest (not verified)    June 24, 2014 - 5:14PM

In reply to by Robert (not verified)

The full size Ram with the Pentastar V6 (305 hp) and 8-speed transmission gets the same highway mileage (25 mpg) as the mid-size Tacoma with the 4 cyl. (159 hp) and 5 speed manual. The Tacoma is dated and not worth the money.

John (not verified)    June 25, 2014 - 4:36AM

In reply to by Eric M. Vest (not verified)

That's not real world mpg and you will spend more in repairs then gas savings.. I know my dad has one. The tacoma is a older design but it works and they know it. Every other manufacturer is on the super charge this turbo that and 8 speed trans kick. I want to see these designs last the test of time.. Toyota has never been the first to market company and more of small incremental reliable changes.

Eric M. Vest (not verified)    June 25, 2014 - 9:58PM

In reply to by John (not verified)

The last I checked Ford, GM, and Chrysler far outsell Toyota in pickup trucks and have very loyal customers. Also, most truck of the year awards are going to the Big 3. The Big 3 must be putting out good product or they would not be selling so many trucks and winning so many awards. The Tacoma may have a reliable drivetrain, but it is dated, inefficient, and they have been prone to rust. I see some older Tacomas on the road, but they are rusted and beat-up. They look like those dilapidated Toyota trucks that you see on TV that Al Qaeda is using.

John Goreham    June 26, 2014 - 9:44AM

In reply to by Eric M. Vest (not verified)

Excellent points. I do want to expand not to try to say you are wrong (because you are right actually), but to expand on the discussion. Ford, GM and Fiat (Ram) do make excellent products, and not just trucks. First a couple nit picking things. Chrysler does not build trucks anymore. The company went bankrupt twice or three times if you count the old days and was owned by Benz, then a holding company, briefly by the UAW and US government, now by Fiat (which is either based in the Netherlands or Italy depending on your view). Ram is the brand that makes what used to be Chrysler trucks. The "Big 3" automakers in the US are Toyota (1 or 2) Ford (1 or 2) and GM. In the world the big 3 are Toyota (1) VW (2 or 3) and whoever is closest to VW when you look.
I mention this because you bring up a good point. Seeing the Toyota truck (Hilux) on international TV, often driven by bad guys. Look more closely and you will see the UN, Red Cross, and many governments also use them and the SUVs Toyota makes. You will usually not see any Fords or GMs unless it is our (US) government. You may see some VWs.
You are right in my opinion about the drivetrains being outdated. They are inefficient, but not dramatically more so than the competition - so far. There were rust issues and recalls related to them. It is shameful, but Toyota did some elaborate things to address that.
I think your noticing that many of the 'Yoda trucks look outdated is actually a compliment. It means they last long enough to look that way. If all the other brands' trucks look shiny and new that should say something too. Toyota usually wins all the Quality and Durability awards. It does win all the resale value awards. The Tacoma is the number one vehicle in the US market (not just truck) for resale value. Thanks for your comments. I feel like they helped the story because if Toyota does not respond they are in trouble in terms of future truck sales (in my opinion).

Eric M. Vest (not verified)    June 26, 2014 - 12:15PM

In reply to by John Goreham

Chrysler went bankrupt once. Many people believe that bankruptcy was due to mismanagement by Daimler. Chrysler was very profitable when it was purchased by Daimler and they are currently the most profitable part of Fiat. Also, the U.S. year-to-date automotive market share percentages at the end of April 2014 are General Motors 18.3%, Ford 15.1% and Toyota 14.4%, so General Motors and Ford are still 1 and 2 in their home market. My larger point is that the Toyota has not been immune from quality and durability (rust) issues, the Tacoma’s drivetrains are dated and not as efficient as some of the competition, and that the General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler have closed the quality gap and make very creditable products, especially light duty trucks. Toyota certainly has its followers, but a sizable majority of the light duty truck buyers are buying trucks from Toyota’s competitors.

dwain (not verified)    February 27, 2015 - 12:07AM

In reply to by Eric M. Vest (not verified)

Lol.....the reason you don't see domestic trucks driving around rusted like " Al Queda " trucks is because they're usually in the junk yard waiting to be crushed up like Coke cans!

Ross (not verified)    June 25, 2014 - 12:49PM

In reply to by Eric M. Vest (not verified)

The tacoma while dated... is still well worth the money. I had to trade in my 2007 sr5 4x4 as i needed something bigger to hold my growing family and 3 car seats. I bought the truck loaded to the gills brand new for 28k in 2007. sold it with 60k miles, a cracked tail light and a dented tailgate for $22,200 in 2012. While the tacoma is mechanically outdated right now, you can't say it isn't worth it b/c it's resale is topped by very few. It's reliable and upfront a little pricey for what it is but you get that money back when you go to get rid of it.

Truck Guy (not verified)    June 23, 2014 - 4:55PM

Interesting, yet i doubt Ford or GM will have the reliability or resale of the Toyota counterparts. Toyota could readily offer an 'eco-boost' solution...i don't think it would take much to counter the ford or gm 'threat'... The article is pro GM/FOrd for some reason. Nobody with Eco-boost now is happy or seeing the mileage everyone is ranting about. It is sad that Gm and Ford can't build product that doesn't fall apart after warranty.

John (not verified)    June 23, 2014 - 9:43PM

If you buy a truck to repair and keep 3 years you buy a ford or Chevy.. If you buy a truck to last 10+ years and put 300,000 miles with minimum break fix cost buy a Toyota..

Mark (not verified)    June 24, 2014 - 1:53PM

In reply to by John (not verified)

Repair every 3 years? Sorry to say that both Ford products I have owned have made it 8-10 years without me repairing them. I traded them in without any issues. Also, my father-in-law just had 200k miles on his F150 and those were hard miles. He works in construction. Guess what...he traded it in on another F150. Where do Toyota owners get this idea that Fords have to be repaired every 3 years? This is not 1985. Hmmm Toyota quality: 10 million recalls in 2010, 7.4 million recalls in 2012, 2.1 million in Feb 2104, and another 6.39 million recalls in April?? That is some awesome QC! Keep up the great work Toyota!! LOL

CountryBoy (not verified)    July 11, 2014 - 9:47AM

In reply to by Mark (not verified)

Had a 2010 F-150 for 4 years, traded it in on a 2014 Toyota Tundra Rock Warrior and couldn't be happier! I had more issues with the Ford in 4 years than I've had with my 1988 Toyota Tacoma with 291K miles on it. And the Taco has been through the battlefield on the farm and still runs like a champ.

td0g (not verified)    October 1, 2014 - 8:22PM

In reply to by Mark (not verified)

I drive F150s at work and put about 100,000km a year on them, and they have the worst front end parts of anything on the road. I have NEVER replaced a ball joint or tie rod end in a Toyota, but have had to do it in every F150 and Ranger I have driven almost every year. The old F150 has terrible chronic intake and exhaust manifold leak problems. The new one seems better. People who say they never have a problem with a F150 have very selective memories. I've had major problems with Toyotas too, from the 3.0L head gaskets to the Tacoma frame. At least Toyota made an attempt to fix those problems. When the frame rotted through on my one year out of warranty F150, Ford offered to sell us another one, at full price.

Tom Bejma (not verified)    June 24, 2014 - 3:22PM

Amazing how the people that are so quick to knock GM and Ford quality and reliability are are the same people that quickly "forget" the major quality/reliability issues with the Tundra/Tacoma including the much publicized frame rusting, camshaft and brake rotor wear and several other recalls.

Robert (not verified)    June 24, 2014 - 5:13PM

In reply to by Tom Bejma (not verified)

Ya, I guess when the alternative is to a recall is NOT a recall and your GM having to spend time on the Hill, it makes sense to avoid the recall.

First, I'm not saying Toyota doesn't have issues. They do. I am one of the people that believes the heights that terms like "Toyota quality" have achieved can't possibly be reasonable. They do. Anyone who mass produces anything, much less something as complex as cars have become is going to, but...

Let's not pretend like a recall is a terrible thing. The 2 companies last year to have the most recalls were also the 2 many long consider the standards for quality (and value retention) in Toyota and Honda. Recalling is a product of a commitement to quality. Just ask Mary Barra. She would rather deal with the initial blow of all these recalls and in 5-7 years when everyone is still happy in their cars of someone is happy with their "new" used car, sell more GM products than have you be upset that your car isn't functioning properly because the manufacter decided to abandon its product.

Eric M. Vest (not verified)    June 24, 2014 - 4:45PM

The previous generations Tundra and Tacoma had rust problems so sever that Toyota bought vehicles back from the customers or replaced the frames. Toyota engines have had suddent acceleration, sludge, and oil usage problems. That does not sound like quality or long term durability to me. I bought a 2000 Corolla new and always kept it washed, waxed, and garaged. The rear quarter panels started to rust out after ten years and 100K miles of use. My Ford, GM, and Chrysler products held up better than this. Toyota is over rated and many Americans are catching on to this.

Robert (not verified)    June 24, 2014 - 5:41PM

In reply to by Eric M. Vest (not verified)

Here’s the thing, Toyota is not “overrated” per se. It does receive historical accolades for the 80s and 90s when they were light years ahead of anyone else. That’s exactly how the Lexus brand works. It’s supposed to be luxury you can count on. Lexus would have NEVER taken off if it weren’t for the weaknesses (whether real or delusional) of German quality.

Now, let’s not talk about any car from the mid 80s to the late 90s. If you think today’s cars are anything like those then you really need to review the bulk of junk that was sold during that time. Your Corolla may have looked like crap, but it ran, and even though you only burdened it with 10k miles a year, that’s still an accomplishment when you consider other cars from that period.

The problem with Toyota is, and I think Akio knows this, other companies have closed the gap in manufacturing. Toyota can no longer build a reliable boring car. When guys like Alan Mulally are heading up Ford, you can’t sit on your laurels. No one (in their right mind anyway) would drive a Corolla over the Focus hatch in my opinion, but that’s because one has a soul and the other is an appliance.

I have always driven Fords up until my current Tacoma, and they were usually old school body on frame SUVs or a Ranger, but I strayed and bought a 2005 mustang brand new because I was a young and stupid kid. That car gave me 7 years and 150k of the roughest miles you could possible imagine. I ran over things, into things, and generally treated it like a truck because that was all I had ever driven. 7 years later it was still chugging along, although it did need a new thermostat, and I got 4k for the thing with hood jacked up from something I had hit and just never gave a crap to fix. Built Ford tough means something to me, and I’m sure it means something to those other people who are honest when they say they were not kind to a Ford at some point in their life.

Finally, sadly, it just isn’t true that Americans are starting to believe Toyota is garbage. The new Fusion is sex on wheels, and the Camry is still king. I know Ford considered upping production to dethrone the Camry and then decided keeping profit margins high was better than volume, but let’s also not forget the PR joke they would have had to deal with to make a true run at the Camry and come up short. Ford’s playing a hell of a long game here, and if they’d bring the global Ranger stateside, I might go crawling back to them. Hell I might even ask for forgiveness, but until then, I love my Tacoma even with all the problems you are convinced it has.

John Goreham    June 24, 2014 - 5:12PM

Excellent comments by Mark, Eric and Tom. Is Toyota quality overstated? Does Toyota have more recalls per mile than other brands? Are recalls bad or good? GM is getting slammed for not doing a recall right now. Anyone care to comment?

Russell Stevenson (not verified)    June 24, 2014 - 8:42PM

I jumped on the Toyota bandwagon and bought not one but two new vehicles. 2014 Rav4 and and and a Tundra Crew with a 5.7 liter. With hopes of supercharging my Tundra for performance I later found out that the vehicle has issues with full throttle acceleration. Any hard 1/2 shift, any bump in the road, any sideways movement the computer pulls back the engines power and literally puts me in danger of getting ran over. Bought the truck to have the 380 HP on tap so I could hopefully use it when I wanted, Toyota cannot figure it out, they basically told me I was crazy. Even my wife can see the problem when I prove it to her. These will be my last Toyota vehicles, if they will not stand behind the product they are selling I am done. Put 167,000 on a used Chevy truck, my father had 315,000 miles on his power stroke. I am going back to Ford at my earliest convenience, in the mean time I hope the Toyota gets stolen and never returns. The truck is for sure not what is all cracked up to be.

John Goreham    June 24, 2014 - 8:47PM

In reply to by Russell Stevenson (not verified)

Thanks for sharing. Hope it gets sorted. Sounds to me like the stability and traction control is too sensitive and is retarding the spark thinking the vehicle has lost traction. I've noticed exactly what you are talking about on some vehicles when I both corner and accelerate and hit bumps. When I listened to the chief engineer for Ford talk last month about the new lighter F-150 with the new smaller EcoBoost I could tell he was speaking fro the heart. That new truck is going to be sweet. Maybe wait until that comes out before you jump.

Gary (not verified)    July 7, 2014 - 1:01AM

I traded a worn out 5 year old Dodge for a Tundra in 2001 and still drive it every day. I can say it has been the best truck I have ever owned. I have owned Chevy and Ford as well. I will most likely trade the Tundra in 2016 and will certainly look at all the players once again to see who wins. Whatever I purchase, I will expect it to last for 20 years with general scheduled maintenance.

Tony (not verified)    July 10, 2014 - 3:31PM

In reply to by Gary (not verified)

I had a 2002 Chevy 1500 and pulled a 18' enclosed trailer for 5 years. Loved the ride. Never put a dime into it other then schedualed maintenance. We live in the flat midwest and HATED the constant up/down shift every little hill! Traded it in as soon as it was paid for for a 2008 Dodge ram 6.7. Love the monster puling power! set the Cruise at 80 and don't look back!! The problem I have is I have put over $8000.00. in it since the warranty ran out. Complete front end at 37000 and 58000 miles. The bed rusted after 2 years. Now at 56000 starting to bubble again. Radiator lost its seal at the seam. Clutch fan locked up breaking wires putting hole in radiator. I could go on but to save you and I more wasted time on talking about Dodges poor Quality. (Not nocking Cummins it has no issues to date). I was always brand loyal to Chevy until my dodge. All I want is a truck that will do what it says and not break or rust out in 10 years with regular maintenance????

Tony (not verified)    July 10, 2014 - 3:30PM

I had a 2002 Chevy 1500 and pulled a 18' enclosed trailer for 5 years. Loved the ride. Never put a dime into it other then schedualed maintenance. We live in the flat midwest and HATED the constant up/down shift every little hill! Traded it in as soon as it was paid for for a 2008 Dodge ram 6.7. Love the monster puling power! set the Cruise at 80 and don't look back!! The problem I have is I have put over $8000.00. in it since the warranty ran out. Complete front end at 37000 and 58000 miles. The bed rusted after 2 years. Now at 56000 starting to bubble again. Radiator lost its seal at the seam. Clutch fan locked up breaking wires putting hole in radiator. I could go on but to save you and I more wasted time on talking about Dodges poor Quality. (Not nocking Cummins it has no issues to date). I was always brand loyal to Chevy until my dodge. All I want is a truck that will do what it says and not break or rust out in 10 years with regular maintenance????

td0g (not verified)    October 1, 2014 - 8:11PM

Does the interior of the Canyon look like it's from 1993 for retro effect or is GM just really bad at this? Whty did they even bring back a name that belongs to a truck that will go down in history as having one of the worst engines that Chevy ever made and contributed heavily to their bankruptcy? It's mind boggling.