Tundra models offer big cabs, off-road prowess

SHARE Tundra models offer big cabs, off-road prowess

About a decade ago, Toyota got serious about its full-size pickup truck, moving production to San Antonio, Texas and offering a completely redesigned Tundra.

The Tundra continues to be a brawny, well-made truck with a lot to offer, but it feels a bit dated when compared to its competitors. Rivals like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Ram 1500 continue to evolve and impress truck buyers.

And not much has changed for the 2017 Tundra. The 2017 Toyota Tundra is available in three cab styles: regular cab, double cab or CrewMax.

The regular cab is comfortable with seating for three. The double cab is spacious with seating for five or six (with bench front seat).

The massive CrewMax cab seats five or six (with bench front seat) and keeps with the theme that everything in Texas is bigger. The CrewMax offers the largest rear seating area in the segment.

The regular cab is only offered in base SR trim and only with a long bed (8.1 feet). Double cab models can be had in SR, SR5, TRD Pro or Limited trim levels with either a standard bed (6.5 feet) or long bed.

The CrewMax is available in SR5, TRD Pro, Limited, Platinum or 1794 Edition trim levels and only with a short bed (5.5 feet).

Pricing begins at $30,500 for a worker-themed SR regular cab 4×2 model. It includes a 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, 8-foot bed, full power accessories, remote entry, air conditioning with cabin air filter, six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, back-up camera, cruise control, Toyota’s Star Safety System and 10,500-pound towing capacity.

Fuel economy is not one of Tundra’s strengths. The SR regular cab 4×2 is rated for a dismal 13/18 mpg city/highway. Fuel economy for SR regular cab 4×4 models is 13/17 mpg.

A smaller-displacement, 310-horsepower 4.6-liter V-8 is available in double cab and CrewMax models, but it only offers marginal improvement: 15/19 mpg for 4×2 models and 14/18 mpg for 4×4 models.

If off-roading is your thing, Tundra reigns supreme with its TRD Pro 4×4 trim level (around $43,000–$46,000). The TRD Pro package looks tough and features upgraded suspension components, extended wheel travel, Bilstein high-performance shocks, front skid plate, specific leather-trimmed upholstery and more.

If you prefer a more luxurious ride, the Platinum or 1794 Edition (around $50,000) add specific styling cues, 20-inch wheels, power moon roof, Entune Premium JBL audio system with navigation, front and rear parking assist, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert and more.

My 2017 Toyota Tundra tester was a Limited Double Cab 4×4 model with the 5.7-liter V-8. The step up is high, but it offers a commanding view of the road.

The Limited provides leather upholstery and an upgraded sound system. The cabin is spacious, but the bed lacks some of the storage capabilities found in competitive models.

The 5.7-liter V-8 is very responsive and strong, and the six-speed automatic shifts effortlessly. The ride is on the stiff side, but that is to be expected from a 4×4 pickup.

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