By KBB.com Editors
Given the hype surrounding the introduction of Toyota's all-new Tundra, you'd think Toyota's product team had discovered at least a cure for the common cold. A full-size truck from Toyota is big news and, after Toyota's two previous attempts at the full-size market (the T-100, introduced in 1993, and the first-generation Tundra, introduced in 2000), it does heighten expectations. The newest Tundra is not, however, the reinvention of the pickup. Rather, with its new Tundra, Toyota hopes to hit the sweet spot in the marketplace and, while not reinventing the pickup, its launch significantly raises the stakes in the full-size segment.
If in need of a full-size pickup for loading, towing or commercial applications, Toyota's new pickup won't disappoint, especially for those customers accustomed to Toyota levels of reliability and refinement. If that's the case, the new Tundra should be right up your (paved or dirt) alley.
If you're a Chevy, Dodge or Ford loyalist you'll probably not see the point of changing truck brands, especially when Toyota's entry offers nothing in the way of ground-breaking content. And, for those with heavy-duty needs, a three-quarter-ton or one-ton variant is still the province of the domestic brands.
With the exception of its 4.0-liter V6 and 4.7-liter V8, virtually everything is new on the all-new Tundra. That includes the chassis, the sheetmetal (a product of Toyota's Calty Design), the signature 5.7-liter V8 and even the main Tundra plant that was built on a green-field site near San Antonio, Texas. Rarely, if ever, has a vehicle built and assembled by an importer enjoyed the degree of American involvement in its design and engineering as the Tundra. And, given the number of cab, bed and model configurations (31) available to consumers, Toyota's expanded commitment to the segment is also all-new.
Driving Impressions With an all-new chassis and big-displacement V8 we were expecting a giant stride in the Tundra's ride, handling and driving dynamic, and the new Tundra doesn't disappoint. We found the...ride over uneven surfaces to be composed and controlled, while the big displacement V8 does your bidding in a way you'd fully expect from 381 horsepower. Although we didn't have a chance to sample either the V6 or 4.7-liter V8, those are known entities, and we'd expect them to perform appropriately in this new application. Towing a 10,000-pound test load over approximately sixty miles of highway was as non-eventful as Toyota claimed it would be, helped in no small part by the Tundra's accurate steering and four-wheel disc braking. When combining the 5.7-liter V8 with the regular cab/short bed you have a recipe for notable performance (assuming, of course, you're no longer towing 10,000 pounds).
Even in the context of a regular cab, Toyota offers a generous amount of interior storage. Two glove boxes (upper and lower) set the tone, while the center console provides storage for a laptop computer or hanging files. Each front door holds two 22-ounce bottles, while rear doors on the Double Cab each hold one bottle.
Spec your Tundra with the Navigation System and you'll enjoy the added benefit of a backup camera. In addition to its safety aspect, the camera makes it easy, even in low-light conditions, to line up the truck's hitch ball with a trailer's hitch, thus making connecting up to the trailer a true one-person operation.
We like the overall design and content of the new Tundra interior, while wishing the interior plastics provided a little higher impression of quality. Still, the ergonomics, design, generous space and seating comfort of the Tundra's interior should be more than enough for just about anybody except, maybe, a basketball star.Exterior
The Tundra's assertive shape is not for the timid. In a vein similar to the latest Tacoma, Toyota's design team has given consumers an overt expression of toughness and utility. From the in-your-rearview-mirror grille to flared wheel wells and expressive cabin, no one will confuse this Tundra with any previous iteration. We especially liked the simplicity of the regular cab and visual balance provided by the (four-door) CrewMax. The Double Cab, which replaces the previous Access Cab, offers a forward-hinged rear door, aiding access in tight parking spots.
Standard equipment on the Tundra includes an AM/FM/CD with four speakers and an audio input jack, dual-zone climate control, side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags, a 40/20/40 split-bench front seat and two 12-volt outlets. The running gear includes a 4.0-liter V6 engine, 18-inch wheels and tires and four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA).
A 4.7-liter V8 is standard on the four-door CrewMax and optional on all others, while optional on all three cab configurations is an all-new 5.7-liter V8, delivering 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. In conjunction with this powerplant is an optional towing package, boosting towing capability to a segment-leading 10,800 pounds. If you want comfort and convenience to go with your power, Toyota's SR5 adds power seats, windows, door locks and mirrors, along with keyless entry and upgraded upholstery. The Limited brings dual-zone climate control, a JBL audio system and the availability of 20-inch wheels. Other options include navigation with rearview camera, rear-seat entertainment and a wide range of accessories available from your Toyota dealer.
As noted, Toyota rounds out the Tundra's performance picture with an all-new, big-displacement V8 of 5.7 liters Prodigious horsepower and torque, however, are only part of the storythe new powerplant also meets California's ULEV II emission standard, and is rated Tier2 Bin 5 by the federal government, making it easier on the environment.
5.7 liter V8
381 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
401 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/20 (2WD), 14/18 (4WD)
By Geno on Monday, November 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Drives great--very confortable lots of power"
Cons: "unreliable--design flaw that Toyota will not fix"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"These vehicles have a design flaw 2010-2013 models. The seals blow out prematurely on the power steering racks which they changed design/vendors in 2010. Mine just went out at 62k miles and it is $3100 to fix--I looked it up and there are numerous reports of this same problem. It is widespread and systemic. Toyota has done nothing to remedy the situation."
14 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By Rey on Wednesday, November 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Powerfull, Great ride"
Cons: "MPG. But was not my conern on a truck."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This is my second pick up truck. The first one was a Ford, good truck but had to trade it in for a family car. I was in the market for a pick up truck again in 2011 and my first instinct was to go with Ford. Fortunately, Ford did not have what I wanted (low inventory). Went to test drive the Tundra and was quite surprised at the ride. I decided this was the truck I want and closed the deal."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By big ken on Tuesday, November 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought it new and never had to take it back to the dealer for anything, Love it. Wish they built a 3/4 ton HD."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By woody on Tuesday, November 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought the Tundra new and have enjoyed driving it. I use it mostly for commuting, but it has seen plenty of use hauling lumber, drywall, dirt and gravel. The truck still looks great after six years and I plan on keeping it for several more years. Here are the low points/concerns: 1. Front brake discs look sturdy, but they still warped after only 22,000 miles. I had them turned and installed new pads, but that only bought me another 10,000 miles. I upgraded to after market, grooved rotors and get better braking performance with no issues after almost 30,000 miles of use 2. Front bearings rusted and needed replacing at about 45000 miles. The dealer did the work for free, but COME ON TOYOTA, what gives? 3. Seems to be a frequent issue in that the Anti Pollution pump failed at 55,000 miles. Once more, the dealer did the work free of charge; good thing because the darn parts cost about $2000. Things like the bearings and the pump concern me about keeping the vehicle for the long term as they're now out of warranty, but I'm going to stick with the truck for now"
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By BigKahuna on Friday, October 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Power and Torque"
Cons: "Feeding the kitty"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is a strong truck and not for little girls. A lot of torque and 381 horses to match. Don't be fooled, it likes to drink (gasoline) but if you want power, comfort, reliability, and power (I know I said it twice), this is a truck for you. Be careful; black, scratches easily and shows dirt readily, but it is beautiful when it is clean and freshly waxed. This truck rides well and is comfortable in the two front bucket seats. The radio (JBL) cranks and the memory stick interface lets you put your own music into the system seamlessly (on a memory stick- MP3). The back seating area has plenty of room (even at 6'5) and your knees don't touch the back of the front seat."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Bill on Thursday, October 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,200overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "price was right"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Exceeded all expectations. Retired and purchased to haul boat and fishing kayak. Enough power, adequate gas mileage towing."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful