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Alex Law
If you turn your head in the direction of the full-size pickup market and listen carefully, you can hear the unmistakable crackling and popping sounds that occur when a paradigm is shifting.

In a nutshell, this is what's happening: If the cabin packaging of the 2000 Toyota Tundra were as good as its powertrain, ride, handling and payload skills, this new US-built vehicle would be the best fullsize pickup truck on the market. Actually, it is the best fullsize pickup truck on the market for those buyers whose demands are limited to carrying two people who want to keep their luggage or their dog with them inside the cab. Going beyond those parameters you run into serious ergonomic issues in Toyota's second effort at a fullsize pickup, the first being the over-priced and under-powered T-100. But the volumes Toyota plans to produce at the brand new Indiana factory -- 5,000 for Canada and 95,000 for the U.S. at full capacity next year -- are small enough so there'll be more than enough consumers for whom that won't matter.

The people who do shop the two-seat pickup market in extended-cab layout (the normal cab only gets the V-6) will be knocked out by the 4.7-litre V-8 with the 4-speed electronic automatic transmission. In competitive situations against the Chevrolet Silverado, the Dodge Ram and the Ford F-Series organized by an outside agency on Toyota's behalf, the 4.7-litre engine delivers segment-beating performance.

In those Toyota-sponsored tests, a 4x2 Tundra with the 4.7-litre V-8 took 7.87 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h, versus the Chevrolet Silverado with the 4.8-litre V-8 (8.93 seconds), the Ford F150 XLT with the 4.6-litre V-8 (9.01), and the Dodge Ram ST with the 5.2-litre V-8 (9.37). Being a full second ahead in a
Alex Law
Alex Law
Automotive expert