By KBB.com Editors
The 2011 Toyota Tundra has dared to tread on sacred territory, namely the domestic full-size pickup market, and done so with surprising success. The Tundra matches or beats most of its domestic full-size competition when it comes to size, performance and price. The U.S.-built Tundra features standard side airbags, trailer sway control and electronic stability control and is the first full-sized pickup to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick award. The Tundra competes directly with full-sized pickups from Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, GMC and Nissan.You'll Like This Car If...
If you haul a lot of stuff and/or people, the Tundra is up for the job. Depending upon configuration, the payload can exceed one ton and towing capacity can reach 10,400 pounds. Pulling that load can be the available 5.7-liter V8 with 401 pound-feet of torque.You May Not Like This Car If...
Those who enjoyed the more nimble, economical Toyota pickups of the past may find the 2011 Toyota Tundra far too large. The Tundra's size means it can be challenging to maneuver in tight situations and, understandably, it is not particularly fuel-efficient, and there is no diesel engine option.What's New for 2011
For 2011, the Tundra's base 4.0-liter V6 receives dual variable valve timing for more power and better fuel economy (horsepower increases from 236 to 270), while trailer sway control is made standard on all models. Toyota has streamlined the Tundra lineup down to the 28 most popular configurations.Driving It Driving Impressions
From the driver's seat, there's no mistaking the 2011 Toyota Tundra is a very big vehicle. The tall seating position makes it easy to see the highway ahead, but its considerable size means the Tundra may require some concentration to keep it correctly positioned on narrow roads and in crowded parking lots. The available sonar warning system and backup camera will be welcome when parking, maneuvering off-road or connecting to a trailer. The Tundra offers excellent steering feel and a better highway ride than some of its competitors. This is thanks in part to its frame, which has a stiff fully-boxed front section, partially-boxed C-channel under the passenger compartment and more flexible open C-channel below the bed. The optional 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 will easily and comfortably accelerate an unloaded Tundra into fast-moving traffic.
Toyota offers a comprehensive assortment of more than three dozen dealer-installed items, including exterior and interior trim upgrades, cargo-bed accessories and performance and handling enhancements from Toyota's performance brand, TRD.
i-Force 5.7-liter V8
The Tundra's optional i-Force 5.7-liter V8 makes 71 more horsepower than the also-optional 4.6-liter V8, yet, with the technology of variable valve timing and the benefits of a six-speed automatic transmission, almost matches the fuel economy of the standard V6. Both the engine and transmission are built in the U.S.
Big jobs can call for several people and lots of stuff. Four-door versions of the 2011 Toyota Tundra accommodate up to six adults and have numerous storage areas and work surfaces. The Double Cab's non-adjustable rear seatback has more rearward inclination than those in most similar pickukps. Still, some may find it a bit too upright for long road trips. The rear seat in the larger four-door CrewMax is adjustable both for fore-aft positioning and seatback inclination. However, it doesn't enjoy the same ability to be quickly folded up as the rear seat in the Double Cab.Exterior
The 2011 Toyota Tundra projects the assertive image that buyers of full-size pickups desire. Its tall grille and hood and pronounced front fenders make it as imposing as any big truck. However, it retains its Toyota identity. A longer cab, larger rear doors and a shorter bed distinguish the CrewMax from the Double Cab. Toyota's lowest-cost version of the two-door Regular Cab model shares a toned-down version of the upper-end model's styling, though its appearance is still consistent with that of a work truck. A no-frills Work Truck package outfits the truck with vinyl seating, rubber flooring and a choice of V6 or V8 engines.
Standard equipment on the most basic Regular Cab model includes a V6 engine, limited slip differential, trailer sway control, dual-zone manual climate controls and an AM/FM stereo with a single CD player. The SR5 trim of the Double Cab and CrewMax includes power front seats, AM/FM stereo with six-disc CD changer and heated outside mirrors. The Limited trim level includes a billet-style grille, front and rear parking sonar, heated leather seats, a bedrail system and a JBL audio unit. With 270-horsepower, the standard 4.0-liter V6 is more powerful than many V8s of the recent past. Only those who regularly haul massive loads and tow large trailers will truly miss the extra power of the optional V8s.Notable Optional Equipment
Most optional equipment on the 2011 Toyota Tundra is packaged into either the mid-level SR5 or the up-scale Limited trims. One significant stand-alone option is a bundle that includes a DVD-based satellite navigation system, Bluetooth phone connectivity, backup camera and a JBL audio system. The two-door Regular Cab and four-door Double Cab are available in two bed lengths – six-and-a-half and eight feet – while the CrewMax has a five-and-half-foot bed. The Platinum Package available on CrewMax Limited trims only includes heated and ventilated seats, 20-inch chrome wheels, navigation, a power sunroof and wood trim interior. The 2011 Toyota Tundra offers a long list of dealer-installable accessories. These include remote engine start, 22-inch wheels, bed extender and numerous TRD items.Under the Hood
The 2011 Toyota Tundra offers three engine choices: The standard 270-horsepower 4.0-liter V6, a 310-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 or the 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8. The V6 comes with five-speed automatic with uphill/downhill shift logic, while the V8's are mated to a six-speed automatic. Since the 5.7-liter makes 71 horsepower more than the 4.6-liter and gets almost the same fuel mileage as the V6, the vast majority of Tundra buyers select the big engine. All three engines employ several technologies allowing them to produce both big power and reasonable economy. Variable valve timing optimizes engine performance for changing conditions and demands, and the V8's six-speed automatic transmission employs a low first gear to aid low-speed acceleration and two overdrive gears to maximize highway economy.
270 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
278 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/20
310 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
327 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20 (2WD), 14/19 (4WD)
381 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
401 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/18 (2WD); 13/17 (4WD), 10/13 (4WD, E85)
With more than 28 model variations (counting the Flex-Fuel models) the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the 2011 Toyota Tundra extends from around $25,000 for a two-wheel-drive V6 Regular Cab to just over $50,000 for a thoroughly-equipped CrewMax Limited with the Platinum Package. Dealer-installable options can push that far higher. To find out what consumers are really paying for this vehicle, check the Fair Purchase Price on kbb.com. Over time, the Tundra will hold excellent resale value.