When you think heavy-duty, tough and able to pull about anything you hitch to it, you probably don't think about a Toyota. Think again.
Toyota Tundra has been redesigned, retooled and ready to take on all the other full-sized pickups. According to Toyota, it's the biggest U.S. Toyota introduction ever, even surpassing that of the Camry.
“It's our most important launch in 50 years,” says Jim Lenz, executive vice president, Toyota Motor Sales. “Full-sized trucks are the No. 1 opportunity in the U.S. for Toyota.”
I had the opportunity to put some miles on this new vehicle and was impressed. Of course it handles well and has a quiet ride. Toyota is known for that. But now, get ready for the power and ruggedness you're used to from your domestic pickup.
Larger in dimension than the model it replaces, the 2007 Tundra is available in 31 model configurations and with a choice between 4×2 and 4×4 drivetrains. It also offers three cab styles, three wheelbases, three bed lengths, three engines and three trim levels.
The Tundra offers a new 318-hp, 5.7-liter iForce V8 engine teamed with a new six-speed automatic transmission. This engine is available in every model configuration and comes with 401 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,600 rpm.
In the Regular and Double Cab models, a standard 4.0-liter V6 with 236 hp is carried over from the previous Tundra. The mid-grade option for these models —; and standard for the CrewMax models — is an enhanced version of the previous Tundra's 4.7-liter iForce V8 producing 271 hp.
The new Tundra has a North American stamp on it throughout. For example, this is the first time the complete responsibility of a Toyota product has been outside of Japan. Also, the Tundra will be manufactured in two production facilities, one in Princeton, IN, and the other in San Antonio, TX.
To handle the tougher on-farm and ranch jobs, the Tundra is built on a new frame with three wheelbases: 126.8 in. for Regular Cab/standard bed models; 145.7 in. for Regular Cab/long bed, Double Cab/standard bed and CrewMax models, and a massive 164.6 in. for Double Cab/long bed models.
Over the former Tundra, the new model has more reinforced areas, increased high-strength steel, increased steel gauge and higher-rigidity suspension mounts.
Wheels come in 18 × 18 in. with 255/70R 18 tires. As an option, Limited models can be outfitted with factory optional 20-in. alloy wheels with 275/55R 20 tires.
A 4-wheel disc brake system uses large, ventilated rotors front and rear. Front rotors measure 13.9 in. in diameter and 1.26 in. thick with four-piston calipers. Rear discs measure 13.6 × 0.71 in. and use two-piston calipers.
When it comes to towing ability, no problem. Besides driving an off-road course, I got to pull a trailer loaded with 9,500 lbs. and the Tundra never bogged down.
The optional tow package for the iForce V8 models has a towing capacity of up to 10,800 lbs., depending on the model and drivetrain. It even stays level with 1,000 lbs. of tongue weight or payload.
The truck bed comes in a standard bed (78.7 in.) or long bed (97.6 in.); the CrewMax comes with a short bed (66.7 in.). In all models, the bed measures 22.2 in. deep. Also, the lockable all-steel tailgate has tailgate assist that can effortlessly open and close with just two fingers.
Inside, besides being cushy, the Tundra has a 3.4-liter upper glove box that can hold a standard Thermos bottle, with extra space in the 9.5 liter lower glove box. Plus, the center console on bucket-seat models can hold a laptop computer or hanging file folder storage — a pickup first. And it comfortably seats someone 6 ft. 3 in. tall. I know.
The new Tundra is backed with Toyota's 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle limited warranty. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60-months/60,000 miles and corrosion perforation for 60 months with no mileage limitation.
For more information and pricing, see your local dealer or log on to www.toyota.com .