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.You'll Like This Car If...
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.You May Not Like This Car If...
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.What's Significant About This Car?
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 It 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).Favorite Features
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.