Our test fleet recently grew by two, and this is an introduction to our latest acquisition. We ordered a new Tundra from Toyota Motor Corp., using its bitchen website, www.toyota.com, and plan to flog this thing for a year, while testing as many bolt-on mods as possible. Along the way, we'll review parts that make the 5.7L V-8 run harder, slap on new suspension pieces that'll make it look and handle better, and try out a few new products that will create an extremely user-friendly fullsize truck.
We've put a few thousand miles on the Toyota so far and tested a new air intake from Airaid. Look for that story elsewhere in this issue. Here are our initial driving impressions, as well as two artist renderings to give you guys some ideas for modifying your own Tundra and what it could look like with a bit of hard work and some cold, hard cash.
The MSRP for our 4x2 Double Cab Tundra was $35,490. The sum netted us a truck with a 10,600-pound tow capacity and 1,665-pound payload. Those figures stem from the 381hp, 401 lb-ft of torque, DOHC 32-valve V-8, and six-speed automatic transmission. The tranny features a sequential shift option for banging through gears between stoplights or holding the perfect gear when climbing a hill. A tow package with seven-pin connector and pre-wired trailer brake connector, tranny cooler, 150-amp alternator, Class Three hitch receiver, and 4.30 rear differential gearing is standard. The chassis is fully boxed up front, a reinforced "C" design under the cab, and an open "C" design beneath the bed. The frame design, combined with a coilover shock, A-arm front suspension, and live axle, multi-leaf spring rear suspension give this truck a smooth, car-like ride. Our truck rides on 20-inch alloy wheels and P275/55R20 Bridgestone Dueler rubber, which is a $920 add-on.
Inside the cab, we opted for leathertrimmed bucket seating, with a center console up front and a folding bench seat in the rear. The Toyota comes with dual-zone climate controls, and we opted for the JBL in-dash CD-changer and a 10-speaker sound system with powered subwoofer. The sound system with steering wheel controls and in-dash navigation system with back-upcamera added $1,650 to the price tag. All of the controls and accessories are powered in the Tundra, including the heated side mirrors and auto-dimming rearview mirror. There were a couple additional items that Toyota dinged us for, including a front license plate bracket at $13 and daytime running lamps for $40. Those charges struck us as odd. We also added all-weather floor mats, which cost $99 more. The total sticker price for our truck was $38,647, which is not cheap, but after sliding behind the wheel for a few weeks, we quickly gained an appreciation for the truck and its capabilities, which makes the price tag easier to swallow.
Behind The Wheel
This is a big truck, not only in size but also in ride height. A 3-inch lift up front is all that's required to slap a set of 35-inch off-road tires under the front end, so as you'd expect, getting in and out of the truck is a bit of a chore, even for our 6-foot 1-inch testdriver. Once inside, though, this truck feels like home. The power adjustable leather seating is extremely comfortable, even on long road trips. There are a ton of places to store your cargo inside the cab. The center console is large enough to fit a laptop inside, and you can place two drink containers in each door panel pocket and four more in the console. The overhead console offers room for several pairs of sunglasses and garagedoor remote controls.