2014 Toyota Tundra: Challenging Detroit head on - Portland Tribune

Driving the large, powerful and supremely comfortable 2014 Toyota Tundra down the road, it's hard to remember that the company first broke into the American maker with a mini truck. It's a sign of how much the world has changed that Toyota now produces a full-size pickup that competes successful against those from Chevy, GMC, Ford and Ram, which everyone still calls Dodge. Toyota first shook up the pickup world with the Hilux in 1968. Compared to the trucks coming out of Detroit those days, it was incredibly small and underpowered, available only with a tiny 4 cylinder engine and 4-speed manual transmission. Whatever Toyota meant by the name Hilux (also spelled HiLux and Hi-Lux), it wasn't high luxury. The Hilux grew larger and got better equipped over the years, including redesigns in 1972, 1978, 1983, 1988. By the time American sales ended in 1988, it could be bought with extended and crew cabs, short and long beds, an automatic transmission,... That changed in 1995, when Toyota replaced the Hilux with the Tacoma, a midsize pickup. Then Toyota entered the full-size American pickup market with the T100 in 1996. Although larger than the Tacoma, the T100 was smaller than the domestic trucks and struggled to find customers. Toyota replaced the T100 with the larger Tundra in 1999. And it got even larger again in 2007 with a second-generation redesign that finally proved a match for the big boys from Detroit. Source: portlandtribune.com