2008 Toyota Tundra

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$22,390

starting MSRP

2008 Toyota Tundra

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • 5.7-liter V-8 performance
  • Roominess of CrewMax
  • Tailgate designed to be steady when lowered
  • Door handles big enough for gloved hands

The bad:

  • High hood restricts visibility

9 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2008 Toyota Tundra trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Choice of three engines
  • Laptop-storage feature
  • Optional rearview camera
  • Giant CrewMax cab
  • New Tundra Grade trim

2008 Toyota Tundra review: Our expert's take

By

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:


The August sales figures are in, and if you build pickups, the news is still grim: Toyota’s truck sales were down more than 17 percent compared with August 2007, reflecting a dismal year for every company that builds pickups.

This is not to say the need for pickups has declined, and last weekend I got that reminder when a friend called: He lives in a flood-prone area, and his garage was about to go under. We hooked up a trailer to this week’s test vehicle, a Toyota Tundra, and filled the truck bed and the trailer with — well, whatever he had in all those cardboard boxes.

There’s a reason — millions of reasons, actually — why trucks have long been so popular, but those reasons have been eclipsed by a single huge one: Gasoline prices. This four-wheel-drive Tundra, with Toyota’s biggest truck engine, a 5.7-liter, 381-horsepower V-8, is EPA-rated at 13 mpg city driving, 17 mpg highway.

The 3,000-pound trailer we hauled barely got the Tundra’s attention — it can tow more than 10,000 pounds. Drop the four-wheel-drive system into the low-range gearing, and you can pretty much go anyplace the big 20-inch tires can get a little traction.

But filling up that 26.4-gallon fuel tank — yeah, that hurts. No argument.

That’s pretty much the only knock against this Tundra, aside from the list price, and we’ll get to that in a moment. The Tundra is, of course, Toyota’s biggest truck, redesigned last year to take on the full-sized pickups from Ford, General Motors and Dodge. Toyota remains convinced they can sell 200,000 Tundras this year, and maybe they can, but it will be at substantially discounted prices.

The test Tundra is about as nice as a truck can get: A Crewmax Limited, it had a roomy rear seat, and even with a shortish 66.7-inch bed, the truck felt enormous. At 228.7 inches in length, it is, but you can get a Tundra that’s 247.6 inches long, and that one should include a ground crew to help you dock it.

The engine, thirsty as it may be, is superb and would be at home in any sports car. The same goes for the six-speed automatic transmission, which is very nicely matched to the V-8’s power characteristics. The ride and handling is on par with any pickup, though weighing in at more than 5,700 pounds, there’s no masking that heft on winding roads.

Inside, the Limited is loaded with leather upholstery, an excellent JBL sound system and power everything. Safety equipment includes stability control, traction control, side and side curtain air bags and automatic brakeforce distribution. Options included a navigation system, running boards, premium wheels, a bedliner and a few other features that raised the $42,070 base price to a sobering $46,196. Of course, Toyota dealers — like everyone else selling full-sized trucks — are willing to negotiate. A lot.

You can tap into the vast majority of the Tundra Crewmax Limited’s utility with a lesser, and less expensive, version of the pickup, but after a long day of moving — well, whatever was in all those cardboard boxes — I can’t deny how nice all those premium features were. High gas prices don’t make me appreciate pickups any less — they just make it harder to afford one.

Sentinel Automotive Editor

Steven Cole Smithcan be reached at scsmith@orlandosentinel.com, or through his blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/gasgauge.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.6
  • Interior design 4.4
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value for the money 4.5
  • Exterior styling 4.6
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews

4.6

Owned since new, never had an issue.

For the near 13 years of ownership, this truck has been a DD and work truck, never failed me. The MPG is not an issue to me since the truck serves without issue, puts the near 400hp down to the road well. Most reliable vehicle Ive ever had, never getting rid of it.

4.3

Nice truck

I was sceptical at first but as soon as I sat in the driver seat my scepticism started to fade. Great performance and handling. A bit overpriced but most trucks are. Pretty quiet for a full size truck. I like it.

4.8

We like the truck and purchased.

Comfortable stability comfortable for our needs. We love the truck. Bryan R. Great salesman. Next car be there. Thanks Driversway....He called to inform us the truck was available.

See all 90 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Toyota
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
7 years/less than 85,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12, 000 miles
Powertrain
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
160- or 174-point inspections
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

2009

Nissan Titan

$26,150

starting MSRP

2007

Toyota Tacoma

$14,180

starting MSRP

2010

Toyota Tundra

$23,455

starting MSRP

See all 2008 Toyota Tundra articles