Toyota Tundra named Motor Trend's 2008 truck of year

Motor Trend named the full-size pickup Toyota Tundra truck of the year.

Motor Trend's editors said the Tundra is a match for Detroit rivals the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge Ram in dimensions and performance. The Silverado won the award a year ago.

"The question on everybody's mind was whether Toyota could use its manufacturing and marketing muscle to compete with the big boys on their home turf," Motor Trend editor-in-chief Angus MacKenzie said in a statement.

"The answer can be found in one of the biggest and most capable vehicles in the segment and one that can compete with any American-made pickup truck, at any level."

Featuring one V-6 and two different V-8 powertrains, the Tundra showed impressive performance, load carrying and towing capabilities, the magazine said. The Toyota Motor Corp. product also impressed the judges with various options, such as different bed sizes, wheelbases, cab designs and other packages.

The all-new Tundra beat out the Silverado Heavy Duty, GMC Sierra Heavy Duty and Ford F-Series Super Duty for the honor. Each had to be new or redesigned and released in the 12 months before Jan. 1, 2008 to contend for the honor.

Toyota has been trying to lure owners of Ford Motor Co.'s F-Series pickup and the redesigned Silverado. Both American companies have said they will continue to fight to hold their shares of the truck market.

The announcement of the Tundra's win came four days after Toyota said problems with a propeller shaft connected to the rear axle of four-by-four versions of the 2007 Tundra was forcing it to recall 15,600 of the pickups in the United States.

The problem that prompted the recall did not show up on vehicles tested by Motor Trend judges, MacKenzie said.

"Recalls are inevitable in an industry producing complex pieces of machinery like cars and trucks," he said. "We are satisfied the company has moved fast to rectify the issue and that it does not alter our view of the fundamental excellence of the vehicle."

Motor Trend named the new Cadillac CTS its 2008 car of the year last month and the 2008 Mazda CX-9 as its sport utility vehicle of the year in October.

Toyota shares rose 41 cents, or 0.39 percent, to $105.60 Tuesday.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova