The Toyota Tundra. The Dodge Charger. These two vehicles may seem dissimilar, but maybe they aren’t. Both are common enough, both robustly built. They have lots of room for passengers and cargo. Each feature impressive capability when properly spec’d. Yes, both are built for different purposes; however, there is one very important characteristic they have in common. Neither has changed much since the beginning of the last decade. Like, at all. Sure new trim levels have been introduced, new tech has been added, and, sure, there’s the Hellcat now, but take a look at these spec sheets for comparison—especially the Tundra.
The 2019 holiday season just concluded. You likely met with family and friends—some of whom you may not have seen in years. Was the phrase uttered, “you haven’t changed a bit”? Was that a good thing to say or hear? In many instances, it probably was.
In an age in which our relationships to each other are changing so much, sometimes it’s comforting to run into someone to find they are exactly as you remembered. The same can be said for cars. Screens creep into cabins in an ironic attempt to improve driver focus. Autonomy and other aids offer safety but take away our freedom as motorists. Designs evolve so rapidly and drastically that traditional economy cars like the Honda Civic are starting to make my craziest Hot Wheels from the 80’s seem tame.
While progress is good, change for its own sake can be daunting. These two awesome vehicles, the Tundra and Charger, remaining essentially unchanged for at least ten years can be comforting as well. Each has evolved slowly over time, incrementally improving.
Let’s study each vehicle’s apex. The Tundra TRD Pro is well equipped to tackle towing, hauling, and getting you deep into nearly any terrain you’d care to traverse. The Charger is surprisingly nimble for its size, its chassis well tuned for cruising and actually doing some cornering—especially in its widebody configurations. Both are big, comfortable, reliable daily drivers. Both have relied on relative simplicity in design and a decade of kaizen to become what they are today.
It’s New Year’s resolution season, and here’s a lesson to be learned from studying these vehicles. Maybe just work on being reliable and on steadily improving. No fad diets, no crazy new hairdo. Don’t change for its own sake. This is often unsustainable. Evolve. Challenge yourself to be a better version of yourself. Do it again next year. And the year after that. Like driving both these vehicles, the results may surprise you.