2009 Toyota Tundra Reviews
Toyota went for the jugular in the 2007 model year when it introduced the second-generation Tundra. It sported the most powerful V-8 engine of any mainstream half-ton truck — exceeded only by the special edition GMC Sierra Denali — and all cab/bed configurations could be equipped to tow at least 10,000 pounds.
The truck featured imposing size and styling to avoid any memories of the first-generation Tundra, which was referred to by many critics as a seven-eighths-scale truck. The Tundra comes in two- or four-wheel drive, and in three cab styles: Regular Cab, Quad Cab and CrewMax. The CrewMax is a few inches longer than most crew cabs, but it's not as big as Dodge's Mega Cab. The CrewMax comes only with a 5-foot, 6-inch bed, while other versions can be ordered with either a 6-foot, 6-inch or an 8-foot cargo bed. Trim levels include Tundra Grade, SR5 and Limited.
New for 2009
Toyota added flex-fuel capability to the 5.7-liter V-8 Tundra sold in select regions, including the Midwest, where most E85 stations are located. Toyota is also releasing two TRD option packages designed for off-roaders and street enthusiasts. The TRD Rock Warrior adds 17-inch alloy wheels, BFGoodrich all-terrain tires, Bilstein shock absorbers, a color-keyed front bumper and grille surround, bedside decals, and special interior trim. The TRD Sport also goes with a color-keyed appearance, 20-inch alloy wheels and interior upgrades. The Rock Warrior package is available on Tundra Grade Double Cab and CrewMax four-wheel-drive models with the 5.7-liter V-8 engine. The Sport package is available on Tundra Grade Regular Cab and Double Cab two-wheel-drive models equipped with a standard bed and 5.7-liter engine.
Toyota made sure this Tundra wouldn't have sand kicked in its face by designing a big, brawny pickup that looks like it could bully any truck on the market — at least from the front. A massive three-bar grille, sculptured hood and husky bumper present an intimidating head-on view. From the side, the Tundra is rather conventional. A deck-rail adjustable tie-down system is available for all cargo beds.
The Tundra's interior is designed to appeal to and accommodate working people. The control knobs are easy to grip, even in work gloves, and the gauges are easy to read at a glance. There are plenty of storage options, especially with a center console that can hold a laptop and hanging files. Even the Regular Cab has enough room behind the seats to hold five-gallon paint buckets. The Tundra Limited lacks some of the essence of luxury found in the new Dodge and Ford trucks, but the seats are wide, supportive and comfortable, and the ride is especially quiet. The available JBL sound system (standard in Limited versions) and DVD navigation system are particularly appealing, with 440 watts and 10 speakers (12 in the CrewMax).
Under the Hood
Toyota emphasizes safety with a suite of electronic braking technologies that help drivers avoid accidents. All are tied into the antilock braking system, including traction control, brake assist and electronic stability control. Toyota also has electronic brake-force distribution, which adjusts braking pressure according to cargo load. The Tundra doesn't hold back on airbags, with front seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags standard on all versions.
Of Interest to Truck Owners