Toyota Tundra Custom
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Toyota’s Tundra remains an outlier in the full-size-pickup segment, a bit of an iconoclast’s choice compared with the entrenched domestic rigs from Chevrolet, Ford, and Ram. It is a nice product, however, with plenty of capability and a chunky, tough look. The truck’s primary weakness is in the low number of configurations offered, although this strategy makes sense given the Tundra’s minuscule relative sales numbers versus the segment leaders. Against the flood of different ways one can order an American truck, the Tundra offers a regular cab, a “Double Cab” extended cab, and a “Crewmax” four-full-door variant, each with a fixed bed choice except for the lower-grade Double Cabs, which are available in 6.6- and 8.1-foot lengths. The CrewMax can be paired only with the 5.6-foot bed, while the regular cab is long-bed only. Two V-8 engines are offered, a 310-hp 4.6-liter and a 381-hp 5.7-liter, and both come with a six-speed automatic transmission with your choice of rear- or four-wheel drive. For this review, we revisited the 5.7-liter engine in a 2016 Tundra 4×4 Limited.
Thanks to its 2014 update, the Tundra has a solid, battering-ram sort of countenance, and the interior remains logically laid out and well put together, with buttons and knobs large enough to operate with gloves; our Limited test model also had a touch-screen display. Upscale models, especially the 1794 Edition, feel like Lexuses inside, too. The interior is cavernous, even on our Double Cab, which is sort of a plus-size extended cab with four front-hinged doors. The rear doors may be stubby in appearance, but they open to a back seat that’s surprisingly spacious and with a bottom cushion that sits at a comfortable height and angle, unlike the rear seats in some other pickups.
The standard wheelbase is on the long side and it not only affords rear-seat passengers plenty of space—there’s even more room in the CrewMax—but it also pays dividends in the ride department. Broken roads, speed bumps, and errant road debris barely register through the structure, and there is minimal head toss over truly wavy surfaces. Power delivery is smooth, the 5.7-liter makes good noises when prodded, and the six-speed automatic is mostly unobtrusive in operation.