The truck has several little details to make life easier. Large door handles can be opened with heavy gloves on. The tailgate has a lift assist, which also functions as a damper to keep it from slamming open. A lockable tailgate is standard. The bed has several cleats and tie-downs to secure cargo. The truck has a mind-boggling number of storage spaces.
Radio controls are also duplicated on the steering wheel along with telephone controls. Voice-activated GPS, radio and telephone controls are available. Heated outside mirrors with turn signals are an option. A power rear window helps the driver communicate with whomever is helping to hook up to a trailer. The backup camera was extremely helpful; it is an option I would certainly order.
The truck has an impressive dashboard. An information center is integrated into the lower part of the speedometer. It gives an all-time-average fuel economy readout and it has a bar graph of real-time fuel economy. An optional large GPS screen is in the center of the truck’s dashboard. It doubles as a backup screen when the truck is put in reverse. On models without GPS, the optional backup screen is located on one-third of the rearview mirror inside the truck. Sonar sensors front and rear beep when the truck nears an object. The beeping becomes faster and louder the closer you are to the object. At night the dashboard and the myriad of switches and dials surrounding it are lit in a red-orange color; it is a stunning display and reminds me of the cockpit of a jet liner on a night flight.
This truck is a nice dual-duty vehicle. It could serve as a car or a heavy work truck. The V-8 power is awesome. The 0 to 60 time for the 5.7 engine is 6 sec. For the 4.6 engine it is approximately 8 sec.
Toyota’s reputation for durability and quality is formidable. If you have any doubts, check Toyota’s Web site and watch the video “Tundra Deconstructed.” A Tundra was loaned to a 300-square-mile ranch in Texas, and they ran it 100,000 miles in two years time with virtually no problems. The rancher said no other truck has come anywhere close to holding up that well for him. Toyota engineers tore the truck completely apart and looked at each piece for wear or broken welds and found the truck to be in almost perfect condition.
Prices are a bit higher than those of competitors (see sidebar), but my local dealer said they are counteracted by the higher resale value of the truck at trade-in time. Fuel economy is no better than that of the competition.