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2019 toyota Tundra

Although Toyota recently redesigned the full-size Tundra, the truck features essentially the same mechanical components as its predecessor. This means that a comfortable ride, respectable power and relatively precise handling remain Tundra hallmarks, but the competition has pulled ahead in terms of interior quality and fuel efficiency.

Overview
Styled at Toyota's Calty design center in California, the Tundra's exterior is marked by rugged lines and an enormous - some might say overlarge - front grille. The bulky front end likely does the Tundra no favors in the realm of aerodynamics, although a raft of fins scattered throughout the body do help to cheat the wind and increase efficiency.

Still, fuel economy is something of a weak point for the Tundra compared with its domestic competitors. Two V8 engines are available, both of which boast class-competitive output but are relatively thirsty.

The entry-level engine is a 4.6-liter V8 with 310 horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque. It's rated at 15/19 mpg with RWD and 14/18 mpg with optional 4WD. Finally, the top-spec 5.7-liter V8 churns out an impressive 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque but ekes out just 13/18 mpg and 13/17 mpg with RWD and 4WD, respectively. Both V8s team with a six-speed automatic.

On the plus side, the Tundra is a capable towing machine, with the 5.7-liter V8 model maxing out at 10,400 lbs. when equipped with an optional tow package. Furthermore, the Tundra's tow ratings are devised using the demanding SAE J2807 standard - other automakers use internal testing criteria to determine towing capability, making independent verification impossible.

The latest Tundra continues to make use of the previous model's robust frame, which, instead of being fully boxed, actually allows some flexing around the cargo bed. Instead of being a liability, Toyota claims that this feature actually helps to better accommodate heavy loads.

Thanks to a retuned steering rack and revised shock absorber valving, the Tundra builds on its predecessor's handling and ride comfort strengths. For a pickup, it possesses capable dynamics and a laudable ability to swallow up potholes and other road imperfections.

Specifications sheet
The Tundra can be had in three bodystyle configurations - the Regular Cab (single, row seating, two doors), the Double Cab (two row seating, back-hinged rear doors) and the Crew Max (adds front-hinged rear doors and additional rear seat space).

When it comes to bed size, there's also three choices - 78.7, 97.6 and, for CrewMax only, 66.7-inches.

Depending on trim level, the Tundra can be equipped as a spartan work truck, a leather-lined luxury pickup or anything in between. The cabin has been restyled for a more attractive appearance, and, as 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.

Material quality inside generally lags behind what rival pickup offer, although the ritzy Limited and 1794 Edition models close the gap by adding premium perforated leather upholstery, soft-touch plastics and a long list of goodies like heated/ventilated seats and a JBL audio system with navigation. Even base Tundras come well-equipped with a rear parking camera, Bluetooth with audio streaming and Toyota's Entune touchscreen infotainment system.

Standard and optional features
The Tundra is available in SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, and 1794 Edition trim levels.

The SR comes standard with a 6.1-inch touchscreen audio display, an AM/FM/CD stereo with USB and AUX inputs, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, power windows and locks, cruise control, A/C, two 12V power outlets and 18-inch styled steel wheels.

Tundra TRD Pro
Designed to make the Tundra even more capable once the going gets tough, the TRD Pro Series package adds Bilstein remote reservoir shocks matched with TRD springs, resulting in a two-inch lift.

Visually, Tundra TRD Pro Series stands out from its stock sibling thanks a black grille that evokes classic Toyota truck styling cues and skid plates that protect the underbody. You can get the TRD Pro in any color as long as it's black, white, or the new Inferno red. Black 18-inch alloy wheels are unique to the series. As is the custom, TRD logos are are plastered liberally throughout the vehicles, from tailgate to floor mats to shift knobs.

Occupant safety
All Tundra models are equipped with dual front, front side, full-length side curtain and segment-exclusive front-knee airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems.

Available on Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition models is a blind-spot monitoring system with a rear cross traffic alert feature that warns the driver of potential collisions during backup maneuvers.

Key competitors
The Tundra squares off against the best-selling Ford F-150, which offers a potent yet relatively efficient EcoBoost V6 engine; the Ram 1500, with its class-leading interior refinement, available diesel and sophisticated eight-speed transmission; and GM's highly capable Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.