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.
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.Notable Standard Equipment
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).Notable Optional Equipment
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.Under the Hood
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)
Base price of a two-wheel-drive V6 Regular Cab/Short Bed is $22,935, while the same truck equipped with the 5.7 liter V8 is $25,025. On the upper end, a four-wheel-drive CrewMax equipped with the 5.7-liter engine and Limited trim starts at $42,495. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Prices to see what others are paying for their Tundras in your area. All prices are in line with their domestic competition, as are the residualsa Double Cab SR5 is predicted by Kelley Blue Book to retain 47 percent of its original price after 48 months, while Nissan's Titan Crew Cab SE will retain 42 percent, the Ford F-Series SuperCrew 41 percent and Chevy's new Silverado Crew Cab 47 percent.