We've been fans of Toyota's full-size pickup for a long time. It is an impressive all-around truck, with excellent reliability, matched with a 10,500-pound max towing capacity, standard V8 power, seating for up to five and a plush, comfortable ride. With that tempting combination, selecting the Tundra as a Kelley Blue Book long-termer was an easy decision, and ours is a Certified Pre-Owned model, so we also will have the opportunity to observe the quality of Toyota's CPO vehicles.

To the Max

But which model was the best pick for our needs? Most truck buyers need their pickup to be more than the bare-bones work truck. It also has to be the family hauler, and may very well serve as RV tow vehicle while the cab is filled with relatives and their stuff. We selected the most family-friendly model, the CrewMax, for the most rear-seat legroom. If you’re shopping for a Toyota Tundra, you may be trying to decide which features to get--we opted to test out a wide variety of them by checking the box for the Platinum trim, which comes with niceties like heated/vented seats, moonroof, dual-zone climate control, 11-speaker Entune JBL audio, navigation and satellite radio.

The interior is posh and pleasant, but our Tundra is also set for work duty. The four-wheel-drive truck comes with a trailer brake controller, trailer sway control, and the 38-gallon fuel tank (standard is 26.4 gallons). The upside to that larger tank is longer range while running the 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 that's under the hood and 4.30 axles (better for towing, not as good for fuel economy). The downside is each fill-up may get a bit spendy, depending on the price of gas over the next year. The only extras we got were the spray-on bedliner ($579) and matte black "Tundra" tailgate inserts ($99), bringing the total price of the truck to $50,953.

We checked the value on KBB.com and found that the Fair Purchase Price for a similar Certified Pre-Owned Tundra CrewMax Platinum ranges from $41,847 to $46,386.

What the Future Holds

A comfortable ride, a crew cab, four-wheel drive and a nicely equipped cabin await us. That is a combination that should prove ideal for everything from trips to the storage locker to towing tests, family outings, the local home-supply warehouse…shall we say depot…and much more. We already have plans for our long-term Toyota. Follow along as we see what adventures are ahead with this pickup.


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