The current Tundra represents Toyota's first attempt at a full-size pickup that can compete with domestic trucks in terms of size, power and breadth of options and body styles. As such, it offers a rugged design, potent engines, plenty of space and myriad different configurations to choose from, in addition to the durability and quality Toyota has become known for.
Pickup buyers usually appreciate a strong motor, and the Tundra aims to please with an available 5.7-liter "i-Force" V8 that produces 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of peak torque. If fuel economy is a priority, the standard 270 horspower 4.0-liter V6 returns 16 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway, compared with 14/18 mpg figures for the big V8.
Splitting the difference in power between those motors is a 4.7-liter V8 with 310 ponies and 327 lb-ft of twist that still ekes out a 15/20 mpg rating.
Rear-wheel drive is standard on the Tundra, while electronically controlled four-wheel drive with low-range is available (the extra drive wheels sap one mpg from both highway and city ratings). A five-speed automatic pairs with the V6, while both V8s are mated to a six-speed auto.
Any doubts as to the Tundra's toughness should be allayed by the truck's TripleTech frame with wide, full-boxed rails for the front portion, a reinforced C-channel under the cab and an open C-channel underneath the bed to maximize strength, ride quality and durability. The double A-arm front suspension uses coil-over spring shock units, while a front-mounted steering rack helps enhance steering feel and response. The rear suspension uses staggered shocks mounted outboard of the springs to improve the shocks' dampening efficiency. Spring rates are tuned to provide a flat vehicle stance when fully loaded.
The Tundra's interior was designed for customers who use their vehicles as mobile offices. A "command and control" center provides a clear view of the road and dash panel, as well as keeping all knobs and switches within easy reach. A center console on bucket-seat models hides a storage bin with room for hanging files, as well as a laptop computer. Close the armrest over the bin, and a work shelf presents itself. A 3.4-liter upper glove box is large enough to swallow a standard Thermos bottle with additional space available in the lower 9.5-liter glove box.
Attention to detail is evident throughout the Tundra. Seeing that many workers wear protective clothing while on the job, the knobs, buttons and levers throughout the truck were engineered so they can be operated even while wearing gloves.
For the latest model year, the Tundra is newly available with Toyota's Entune multimedia system. Bundled with a navigation system, Entune offers apps like Bing search services, iheartradio.com and Pandora music and concierge services like OpenTable and movietickets.com.
For the latest model year the Tundra is offered in two grades (Tundra and Limited), three cab styles (Regular, Double Cab and Crew Max), three wheelbase lengths (126.8, 145.7 and 164.6 inches, depending on model and configuration) and three bed lengths (78.7, 97.6 and, for CrewMax only, 66.7-inches).
A Tundra Work Truck Package is aimed at commercial truck buyers or customers who need a tough, no-frills truck with exceptional cargo and towing capacity. The package features heavy-duty vinyl-trimmed seating surfaces, and heavy-duty all-weather flooring; it is available in Regular and Double Cab configurations with any of the Tundra's three engine choices.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Platinum trim level offers numerous luxury features, such as heated and ventilated front bucket seats with embroidered headrests, perforated leather-trimmed seating surfaces, power tilt/slide moonroof with sliding sunshade, and wood-grain-style interior trim.
The available TRD Rock Warrior Special Edition package combines a tough off-road look with increased off-road capability. Available only with four-wheel drive, the package includes Bilstein shock absorbers and 17-inch TRD Rock Warrior forged alloy wheels with LT285/70 R17 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO tires. For the latest model year, the package gets an auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated backup camera display, compass, and HomeLink universal transceiver.
All Tundra models come standard with stability control, traction control, ABS, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and smart stop brake override technology. Other features include standard front seat-mounted side airbags, and front and rear Roll-sensing Side Curtain Airbags (RSCA) in all models. Driver and front passenger airbags, as well as driver and front passenger knee airbags, are included too.
Those considering the Toyota Tundra should also research time-proven options like the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500, while the Nissan Titan is also worth a look.