If big towing and cargo is your priority, the Toyota Tundra is the truck for you
Not so long ago, there was a time that big pickup truck buyers would have never considered a Toyota Tundra as a viable alternative to one of the Big Threes offerings. But, like the small pickup truck offerings from the Japanese makers before, people were eventually won over by their quality and durability over the long haul.
Having worked a lot of construction over the years when writing was slow, I have had a lot of experience with all types and makes of pickup trucks. Even though the Tundra has been out a number of years, this is the first Tundra I have had the pleasure of driving and testing.
The first thing you notice when coming upon the Tundra double cab is the size. This is a full sized truck – not something small made to look like a full-sized truck. The test Tundra was the double cab version with 4-wheel drive and the TRD (Toyota Racing Division) off road package. The biggest visual difference with the TRD Package is the 18-inch off-road wheel and tire combination, which makes this pickup truck pretty imposing. Other TRD visual accessories were the skid plates, tinted windows, chrome bumpers front and rear as well as a chrome grill to name a few very nice visual touches.
The Tundra I had was equipped with the double overhead cam V8 5.7L engine with variable valve timing, giving the truck 381hp and a stump pulling 401lb.ft. of torque. This gives the Tundra a towing capacity of 9,900Lbs (4490kg) which allows it to easily handle trailers of many configurations. Making sure all is well when it comes to towing; the truck is equipped with all the standard towing extras so the engine will not be over taxed. In fact, single cab versions of the truck will tow up to 10,500lb. if you require more capacity.
The only transmission on the Tundra is a 6-speed automatic and to switch into 4-wheel drive was just a push of the button. Also standard on this version was an auto limited slip giving the vehicle better control in rain and snow as well as allowing you to get extra traction before switching into 4-wheel drive. In the short time I have with the Tundra, it was very competent on bad roads and made a newcomer to off-roading look like an expert.
With the TRD Package, it was a little more difficult getting in and out of the truck due to the high ground clearance. It even took me a day or two to get used to getting in and out easily, so I wouldn’t recommend travelling without a small stool to help people with mobility issues climb in. Once inside the truck, things are very pleasant with all the amenities you would find in any high-end car, like power windows, air conditioning, nice carpets and generally comfortable seats. Controls for the driver are much like a car in that every thing is effortless to use and get at. Bluetooth is standard on the model, making things easier for those constantly on their phones and other gadgets.
As this was a double cab, driving about on city streets took a little getting used to due to its length, so if you live somewhere with a lot of tight corners, extra care will be needed.
Long time owners of Tundras I know have been very pleased with the vehicle due to the excellent quality. So if big towing and cargo are a priority and service is key, the Toyota Tundra might just be what you need when buying your next truck
Price: $37,310 price as tested $45,992
HP. 381 @ 5600RPM
Torque: 401lb.ft. @ 3600RPM
Fuel Consumption: 17.2L/100km. city and 15.2L/100km. Highway