Auto review by Veeno Dewan
The hulking Toyota Tundra made a play upon its introduction for a position amongst the big three (GM, Dodge and Ford) full-size pickup market and has performed quite well judging by the number on the road. This handsome, full-size truck has just a few minor changes for 2013. Line-up wise, there are three body styles, three bed lengths and two trim levels available. Double Cab models also offer an adult-friendly backseat and front-hinged rear doors that make for easier access than the rear-hinged designs of competitors. The CrewMax Limited model with its huge rear cabin and superb luxury options is the one to get if you can run the tab. Other versions arrive in two-wheel-drive in SR5 trim, and 4X4 versions, three in SR5 trim. The other models vary from basic to top-of-the-line Limited trim.
Engine choices include three powerplants, including a 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 that allows the Tundra to tow trailers that weigh up to 10,400 pounds. The styling is generally very good with a snub nosed broad shouldered look and big ample proportions, The more upmarket levels offer more exterior trim and bling, whilst the cheaper model can look a bit utilitarian looking Opt for the Crewmax Limited and buyers – for a price gain such luxury amenities as dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated front seats and a 12-speaker JBL audio system.
Standard equipment on entry-level Regular Cab models includes 18-inch steel wheels, chrome bumpers, heated mirrors, full power accessories, a windshield wiper de-icer, a damped tailgate, power windows, dual-zone air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a 40/20/40-split bench seat, a tilt-only steering wheel and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.
The entry-level Double Cab adds intermittent windshield wipers, keyless entry, an eight-way manually adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split fold-up rear seats, carpeting, cruise control and two extra speakers. The CrewMax adds a power vertical-sliding rear window and a sliding, reclining and fold-flat rear seat.
Our SR5 edition Double Cab 4 X 4 tester featured the 4.6 liter i-FORCE V8 and included the premium package with 18-inch alloy wheels, a color-keyed front bumper, leather upholstery, heated power front bucket seats (10-way driver, four-way passenger), a power-operated sliding rear window a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, XM radio, USB input and Toyota Roadside assistance. CrewMax Limited models can also be had with 20-inch alloy wheels, running boards and a navigation system with a touchscreen interface, voice controls and real-time traffic. Want more? Then you can add a rear-seat entertainment system and a Platinum package that includes 20-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, perforated leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, driver memory functions and the navigation system.
Available tow/haul packages offer Tow package that bundle a stronger axle ratio, a hitch receiver, a transmission Tow/Haul mode, oil and transmission fluid coolers, a heavy-duty battery, upgraded alternator and a seven-pin connector.
Rear-wheel-drive Regular and Double Cabs are powered by a 4.0-liter V6 with 270 hp and 278 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard. A 4.6-liter V8 that produces 310 hp and 327 lb-ft of torque is standard on the SR5 CrewMax, four-wheel-drive and long-bed models, and available as an option on rear-wheel-drive Regular and Double Cab body styles. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. Top dog in the engine department is a 5.7-liter V8 standard on Limited trim levels and optional on the other models. It produces 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission as standard.
High point about the Tundra is definitely the interior space. A neat and tidy dash is well laid out with the controls and instruments neatly and ergonomically laid out. The huge interior space up Front and rear is impressive and the front center console itself is big enough to hold a laptop and has enough space below to store iPhones, cellphones, chargers, a note book computer and other odds and ends. If you want a travelling mobile office this is it!
The back seat in the Double Cab is also amply large with comfortable seats which also fold down to provide yet more impressive cargo area if needed. On the road, the Tundra’s high driving position and light steering make it an easy truck to drive despite its size and girth. Ride quality with no load or passengers make for a little harsher ride, but it is easy to navigate and drive with its responsive steering. The 4.6L i-FORCE engine produces very impressive torque at all speeds and is a strong smooth and responsive unit. On or off-road the Tundra performs well. Power gets to all four wheels via a 6-speed automatic with sequential shift and shift-on-the-fly capabilities. The transmission is also pretty seamless and you can shift from 4Hi to 2Hi simply by pushing a button. Once handy feature is the tow/haul mode that holds gears longer, both on acceleration and when going down hills.
Price wise the costs is good considering what you get for the money and even with over $7,000 in the premium pack option the final cost is still good considering the competition. All in all the big Tundra deliver the goods and is a very impressive full size pickup for work and leisure should you be on the lookout for one. Highly recommended. Autoreview by Veeno Dewan
2013 Toyota Tundra Double Cab SR5 4X4 Base price $36,235. Price as tested $45,890