SEE ALSO: Toyota Buyer's Guide
SPECIFICATIONS Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price $ 27,830 Price As Tested $ 30,249 Engine Type DOHC 32-valve 4.7 Liter V8 w/SMFI* Engine Size 285 cid/4664 cc Horsepower 245 @ 4800 RPM Torque (lb-ft) 315 @ 3400 RPM Wheelbase/Width/Length 128.3"/79.3"/217.5" Transmission Four-speed automatic Curb Weight 4681 pounds Fuel Capacity 26.4 gallons Tires (F/R) P265/70R16 mud/snow Brakes (F/R) Disc/drum Drive Train Front-engine/four-wheel-drive Vehicle Type Five-passenger/four-door Domestic Content 35 percent Coefficient of Drag (Cd.) N/A PERFORMANCE EPA Economy, miles per gallon city/highway/average 14/17/16 0-60 MPH 9.0 seconds Maximum payload capacity 1406 pounds Maximum towing capacity 7100 pounds * Sequential multi-port fuel injection
(This week the Hagin father/son team of Bob and Matt are hitting the trail with Toyota's new full-size Tundra pickup. Matt says it's a nice dual-purpose stump-puller. Bob says that with this challenge to the big pickup market, Toyota's getting serious about the USA.)
BOB - The Tundra is an all-new model for Toyota this year and the company has finally produced a full-sized pickup to compete in the hottest segment of the American market. The best-selling "cars" in the U.S. aren't cars at all, since two of the domestic V8 pickups outsell every other type of personal transportation here. I'm surprised that it took Toyota so long to get in the game.
MATT - The Tundra is just a smidgen smaller than its domestic rivals and in standard form, it comes with a twin cam, 24-valve V6 that puts out 190 horses. But it can also be had with a V8 engine and I'm sure it's going to be the best-seller of the two since it's an upgraded version of the sophisticated powerplant in the big Lexus coupes and sedans. Toyota enlarged it a little, bolted on some high-torque heads and tuned it for more pulling power. It develops 245 horses with a booming 315 pound feet of torque and it's also used in the latest version of its sibling, the Toyota Landcruiser and its cousin the Lexus LX470. The Tundra that was given to us to review was the fully-loaded Limited model 4x4 with all the available bells and whistles.
BOB - The Tundra V8 engine uses high-tech stuff that's not found in other pickups and it really makes the Tundra move. This thing can hit 60 MPH from a dead stop in around nine seconds and that's pretty impressive for a big, tall truck weighing a little over two tons. The undercarriage of the Tundra uses a beefy ladder frame consisting of two huge side rails with no less than eight crossmembers. The payload capacity of the new truck is almost three-quarters of a ton and the towing capacity is over 7,000 pounds. That's not as high as some of the trucks in the Tundra's class, but it's pretty close.
MATT - The Access cab on our Limited sports two rear doors and I found them handy for hauling around my two little girls. It's really safe for them back there because in order to open the back doors, the front ones have to be opened first. It's a good thing the girls are small, though, since a long trip back there for an adult would be torture. Fortunately, it didn't bother them at all. The Tundra can be had with an eight-foot bed, but only if it has a regular length cab. The truck only comes in a single wheelbase length so the long-cab version has a shorter bed.
BOB - Ours was loaded with every conceivable luxury item including leather upholstery, but it didn't have an anti-lock braking system (ABS). It's an option that is packaged with daylight running lights. I think that all new trucks would profit a lot from ABS - if anything, at least on the rear wheels. It makes an unloaded pickup lots safer on slippery roads. The Tundra has an exceptionally smooth ride for a pickup due to its front independent suspension. It's a conventional short-and- long A-arm design supported by long coil springs. Traditional leaf springs carry the solid rear axle.
MATT - The big 16-inch alloy wheels help some, too. Our Limited model had a pair of Captain's chairs up front, but the three-across bench seat would have been more practical since the rear seats are too tight for adults. If this Tundra was going to be used for much backwoods traveling, an appropriate option would be Toyota's Off Road package. It come only with the V8 version, but it's available with either a standard five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. The Off Road kit has stiffer shocks, progressive-rate front springs, all-terrain tires and a bunch of cosmetic add-ons. It also adds fog lights, over-fenders and mud flaps.
BOB - Thirty years ago, we thought that the "invasion" of Japanese vehicles was a flash-in-the-pan that wouldn't last. But now that Toyota has come out with a big pickup powered by a big V8 engine, I guess that it's planning to stay.