The Toyota Tundra is an alternative choice in the full-size truck segment that should make Camry buyers feel at ease. With a brawny V8 and brash styling, however, it aims for the heart of the truck market.
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2016 Toyota Tundra Overview
What's New for 2016
For 2016, even the base Tundra SR gets Toyota's latest Entune infotainment system, while the SR5 gets a navigation app in place of the Limited and higher's built-in navigation. SR5 and 1794 Edition models get a new front-end treatment as well.
Choosing your Toyota Tundra
The Tundra is available in three cab styles: Regular, Double and CrewMax.
- Both the Double and CrewMax have four doors and can carry up to six passengers, but the CrewMax offers full-width rear doors and more legroom in back.
- The Regular Cab comes only with the long bed (8.1 feet), while the Double can get either the short (5.5 feet) or long bed. The CrewMax is available with the short bed only.
|Regular Cab||Double Cab||CrewMax Cab|
The Tundra's 4.6-liter V8 is good for 310 horsepower, and the optional 5.7-liter achieves 381 horsepower. Four-wheel drive is available with either engine, and a six-speed automatic transmission is standard across the board. Towing capacity reaches 10,400 pounds with the larger V8.
Limited is probably the best bet for substantive equipment and a reasonable price, and the Double Cab and CrewMax styles are worth it if you carry a full cab of adults. The Tundra isn't as plush as the newer domestic rivals, although it isn't priced as high as those, either.
2016 Toyota Tundra Review
Toyota's resident full-size pickup, the Tundra delivers exactly what you expect in this class: rugged style, plenty of pulling power, and a slew of configurations. Despite its badge, the Tundra looks and behaves like a traditional American rig.
Pricing and Equipment
The Tundra covers a lot of market territory across its four trim levels:
- The work-oriented SR is available in Regular or Double Cab form with matte black exterior trim, heated mirrors, power windows and locks, a rearview camera, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player. Cloth seats and carpeting are also standard, but you can specify an all-vinyl interior instead. Prices start at $29,450.
- Priced from $30,450, the SR5 comes in Double Cab or CrewMax body styles with chrome exterior trim, expanded instrumentation, and satellite and HD radio. The CrewMax also gets a power rear window and overhead console. The SR5 Upgrade package ($1,220) adds front bucket seats with driver power, additional interior storage, and an alarm system. The TRD Pro version of the SR5 comes fully equipped for off-road duty for an additional $3,250.
- The $41,200 Limited builds on the SR5 with an upgraded interior featuring leather upholstery, enhanced chrome exterior trim, 20-inch wheels, and navigation. Safety assists such a parking sensors and blind spot monitoring become available at this level.
- The CrewMax-only Platinum ($49,080) carries more chrome, unique wheels, a sunroof, upgraded leather seating, and a JBL sound system.
- Equipped and priced like the Platinum, the 1794 Edition gets a Western design theme that includes silver exterior accents and a saddle-brown leather interior with faux suede trim.
Regular Cab models come with a long bed (8.1 feet) only, while the Double Cab can also get a short bed (5.5 feet). The CrewMax is available with the short bed only.
The standard 4.6-liter V8 drums up 310 horsepower. All models are eligible for a 5.7-liter V8 that achieves 381 horsepower. Four-wheel drive is available with either engine, and a six-speed automatic transmission is standard across the board.
Performance highlights include:
- Acceleration: Both V8 engines provide strong takeoffs and an abundance of passing power.
- Towing: You're good to pull up to 10,400 pounds with the larger engine.
- Ride Quality: The Tundra rides just as smoothly as the newest domestic pickups.
- Even with the smaller engine and two-wheel drive, the Tundra does no better than 16 mpg in combined city and highway driving. And there's no V6 available to help with efficiency.
- The six-speed automatic feels old-fashioned compared to the eight-speed units used in most competitors.
- The cab of the CrewMax is simply enormous. Five big adults can stretch out and relax.
- The ruggedly opulent interiors of the Platinum and 1794 Edition would look right at home in a luxury SUV.
- Some controls are oversized to a fault, making the dash appear busier than it should.
- The rear seat bottom sits close to the floor, so visibility isn't great for children and shorter folks.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The Tundra gives up nothing in terms of quality and comfort to newer, better-selling competitors.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
With a full bed or trailer behind it, the Tundra doesn't maintain the rock-solid feel we've come to expect in contemporary pickups. It can work, but isn't always confident about it.
The Bottom Line
Though it has some limitations, the Tundra can still compete with the best of its breed.
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