Why Kelley Blue Book Gave Toyota Best Overall Truck Brand

Toyota is again winning awards and rave reviews for its truck lineup. This time, the accolades are coming from Kelley Blue Book. The company recently gave Toyota praise that is sure to have marketing executives toasting their success. 

What is the Kelley Blue Book brand image award?

A red Toyota logo with Toyota written under it on a white background with a clear sky in the background.
Toyota logo | Getty Images

Kelley Blue Book is mainly known for its valuation of vehicles, which helps buyers and sellers negotiate prices based on reliable data. Howerver, that’s not all the company does. It also offers different sorts of awards, including its Brand Image award. 

As Kelley Blue Book explains, the Brand Image Awards “recognize automakers whose model lines of cars, trucks, and SUVs create enthusiasm among shoppers. Brand image isn’t just about consumers being aware that a brand exists. The automakers that are awarded… have brand images that can excite and attract new car shoppers.”

In all, Kelley Blue Book selects 13 Brand Image Award winners based on data from its annual Brand Watch Study. Awards are given in categories such as Best Overall Brand, Most Trusted Brand, Best Styling Brand,, and more. 

Toyota trucks are this year’s winners for Best Truck Brand

Given the popularity of pickup trucks in the U.S., it’s not surprising that Kelley Blue Book has a category for Best Truck Brand as part of its Brand Image Awards. It’s also not surprising that this year, the company selected Toyota as the winner of that award. 

As Kelley Blue Book announced the winner in this category, “Toyota trucks are known for excellent reliability, capability, and resale value.” Indeed, Kelley Blue Book has long been a fan of Toyota trucks. 

The midsize Toyota Tacoma, for example, has repeatedly won the company’s award for the best pickup in its class. In 2022, it won both first and second place in that category for the access cab model and double cab model. Kelley Blue Book especially praises the Tacoma for its reliability and toughness. 

A look at some Toyota truck specs

The Tacoma is one of Toyota’s more popular pickups. Consumers interested in the truck can choose from two engine options. There’s a 2.7-liter inline-four capable of producing 159 hp and a much more powerful 3.5-liter V6 capable of  278 hp. Kelley Blue Book favors the latter for the power that it offers. 

The Tacoma also has the advantage of offering the choice of a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. This is a real feather in the model’s cap since automatic transmissions are becoming harder to find these days. The base Toyota Tacoma trim, the SR, starts at $33,415, while the most expensive, the Limited, goes for $42,980. 

The Tundra is another trendy pickup model in Toyota’s lineup. It comes with a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine capable of 389 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Its transmission, a 10-speed automatic, is even more impressive. In terms of fuel efficiency, the Tundra is pretty similar to the Tacoma. In four-wheel drive, the Tacoma gets 20 mpg combined, while the Tundra gets 19 mpg. 

Given the Tundra’s horsepower, it’s no shock that its tow rating puts that of the Tacoma to shame. The Tundra is rated at 12,000 lbs max, while the Tacoma comes in at 6,800 lbs. 

Despite these differences, both the Tacoma and the Tundra have remained steady favorites with consumers. For this reason, Kelley Blue Book chose to honor the manufacturer with the award for Best Overall Brand.  

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