The American light vehicle market is a unique beast in the world. Nowhere else on the planet will you find so many full-size pickup trucks in use and representing such a large proportion of total vehicle sales. Through October, 2015, Americans bought 1.78 million fullsize trucks, 12.3 percent of the year-to-date total. It’s also the only market segment where the three Detroit based automakers have remained utterly dominant despite challenges from Japan. As the world’s largest automaker, Toyota looked at the profit margins that Ford, GM and Chrysler were pulling in on those trucks and it’s been trying to capture a piece of that pie for more than two decades with surprisingly limited success. In 2013, Toyota gave the Tundra pickup a major makeover and it’s better than ever – but is it good enough?
My first vehicle that I ever bought with my own money and had registered in my name was the direct progenitor of the most recent vehicle I’ve had a chance to drive. Just shy of 30 years ago as I entered the second half of my freshman year at was then GMI Engineering & Management Institute (since renamed to Kettering University) I bought an 18-month-old 1984 GMC S15 pickup. All these years later, the most compact pickup you can buy from GMC is now called the Canyon and frankly it’s not so compact anymore. Does this midsize pickup make sense anymore?