When it emerged for the 2000 model year, Toyota's Tundra was the first full-size Japanese-brand pickup truck, and it offered a V-8 engine option.
For 2005, an improved 4.7-liter V-8 produces 282 horsepower (up from 240 hp) and 325 pounds-feet of torque. A new 245-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 replaces the previous 3.4-liter V-6. A six-speed-manual gearbox replaces the five-speed unit, and a five-speed automatic edges aside the former four-speed. Seat-mounted side-impact and side curtain-type airbags are now available in the Tundra Double Cab. A new base V-8 model joins the lineup.
Tundras come in three trim levels: base, SR5 and Limited. Tundra pickups serve as the basis for the company's Sequoia sport utility vehicle and are built at the same plant in Indiana.
Toyota's Double Cab truck has four conventional front-hinged doors. The (extended) Access Cab has two rear-hinged back doors that can't be opened until the front doors are open. Unlike some extended-cab models, the narrow rear doors have exterior handles. Regular-cab models have a 98.2-inch cargo bed, while Double Cab and Access Cab trucks carry a 76.5-inch bed. Regular-cab and Access Cab body styles ride a 128.3-inch wheelbase and stretch to 218.3 inches long overall. Double Cab models ride a 140.5-inch wheelbase and measure 230.1 inches long overall.
An optional TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Off-Road Package features progressive-rate springs, Bilstein gas shocks, all-terrain tires on 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, overfenders and mudguards.
Tundras can be equipped with either a pair of front captain's chairs or a front bench that holds up to three occupants. Access Cabs add a three-place 60/40-split backseat with a folding center armrest. Double Cab trucks have a split folding rear bench. A navigation system is newly optional.
Under the Hood
A new standard 245-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 teams with either a six-speed-manual or five-speed-automatic transmission. The optional 4.7-liter i-Force V-8 develops 282 hp and teams only with the automatic. The V-8 Tundra's Touch Select four-wheel-drive system can be shifted into or out of 4WD High on the move by using dashboard-located buttons. Towing capacity tops out at 7,100 pounds when properly equipped.
Four-wheel antilock brakes are standard. Side-impact and side curtain-type airbags are optional in Double Cab models. Vehicle Stability Control is also optional.
More refined than typical domestic pickups, the Tundra produces a satisfying ride without much excess bouncing or harshness. Other than a little engine drone, it's also quiet for a pickup. Energetic performance adds to the pleasure. The seats are comfortable in the roomy cabs, and the available StepSide cargo box adds extra flair.