Such mass and brawn coupled with elegance and an affinity for its users, our 2016 Toyota Tundra Platinum CrewMax could've landed the male lead in Beauty and the Beast. For a full-size truck, the Tundra doesn't demand heart-seizing caution to maintain lane position or change lanes. Parking and navigating the big truck's corners is easy, but that's not the whole the story.

Our long-term Toyota Tundra's short, 5-foot/6-inch bed is partially to thank for this driving ease. If you plan to use the Tundra for hauling volumes or long stuff, however, we'd have to insist that the shortbed version of this or any other full-size truck is simply impractical.

A utility tale of beds and beds?

We confirmed this impracticality on a recent weekend when we had to donate a friend's old twin bed to the Goodwill or some other charitable organization. As the former owner of a compact 1980 Toyota SR5 longbed pickup, I was in for two surprises: First, neither Goodwill, nor the Salvation Army—nor any other donation center we could find—will accept beds. Why? Bedbug infestations make it a really bad idea for these centers to take used beds. That's pretty unnerving.

Also: Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2017

The second surprise was that the seemingly tiny truck bed in my old chocolate-brown compact Toyota pickup, at a little over seven feet, was much better at hauling longer items. I constantly had to keep an eye on the box springs overhanging on the five-and-a-half-foot truck bed. The Tundra bed is plenty wide, and bottomlessly deep, but it's short, so don't expect to be moving a lot of furniture, plywood or mattresses without some extra tiedowns. Instead, we'd recommend the 6.5-foot Standard Bed or, if you must, the 8.1-foot Long Bed.

Accommodating cabin

A longer bed on the Tundra also puts the truck's massive crew cab into perspective. That accommodating interior with generous first and second rows is made for tall people. Plus, the rear seats fold up neatly to welcome plenty of boxes or other cargo, and the center-console storage is big too.

If, on the other hand, utility for you means towing capacity, The Platinum CrewMax has you more than covered. Its 5.7-liter i-Force V8 accelerates the Tundra smoothly, easily away unloaded, and boasts better than 10,000 pounds of impressive towing power when pulling matters most.

If you're shopping Tundra, talk yourself into a version offering the Standard Bed. That extra foot of utility will mean a lot to you.

See past reports for our long-term 2016 Toyota Tundra…


Long-Term Update: Comfort


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