2005 Toyota Tundra Review
2005 Toyota Tundra Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Smooth and refined V8, Toyota build quality and reliability, nimble off-road, most carlike of the full-size trucks.
- Lacks serious brawn for towing and hauling, narrow cabin, chintzy interior materials.
The base engine is now a 245-hp, 4.0-liter V6 that uses either a six-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic. The optional 4.7-liter V8 now makes 282 hp and is coupled with a standard five-speed automatic transmission. Two-wheel-drive regular cabs are now available with a V8 engine, while four-wheel-drive Access Cabs can no longer be equipped with a V6. Regular cabs equipped with the V8 get a color-keyed grille and chrome front bumper, as well as vinyl flooring and a cloth bench seat. Two new alloy wheel designs are available on Access Cab and Double Cab models, and all Tundras get new headlamps and rear combination lamps. Inside, new gauges and an available navigation system with JBL audio spruce things up a bit. In addition, Double Cabs can now get a 60/40-split bench front seat for true six-passenger seating. Front side-impact airbags and full-length head curtain airbags are now available on Double Cabs.
If you have to drive a truck everyday and heavy-duty towing isn't a concern, the 2005 Toyota Tundra should be in your driveway.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2005 Toyota Tundra 2dr Regular Cab Rwd LB (4.0L 6cyl 6M) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.11 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$239/mo for Tundra Base
Avg. Large Truck
The Tundra, Toyota's full-size truck, has been on sale since 2000. The Tundra competes against the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra twins, the Dodge Ram, the Ford F-150 and the Nissan Titan. The Tundra has been a successful vehicle for Toyota. But it hasn't always been this way. Toyota's first attempt at a full-size truck -- the T100 -- wasn't well received by the American public when it debuted in 1993. Upon introduction, the T100 was offered only as a regular cab without different bed lengths. It also lacked a V8, a serious shortcoming in the eyes of power-hungry, load-towing truck buyers. While the T100 continued to tank, Toyota engineers and designers began working on a better, more powerful truck that they thought would be more appealing to U.S. buyers.
Early on, Toyota figured out that a V8 engine was vital to any full-size truck's sales success in this country. They also discovered that many pickup trucks are actually used for serious work and play, meaning that payload and towing capacities had to be increased. Lastly, Toyota realized that consumers expect certain things when they buy a Toyota: excellent build quality, class-leading reliability and well-designed interiors. The 2005 Toyota Tundra meets those requirements, especially with last year's introduction of a roomy Double Cab version. Larger dimensions all around allow this four-door Tundra to compete favorably with the domestic competition. Its length of over 230 inches makes it six inches longer than Ford's SuperCrew. The Double Cab is also three inches wider and three inches taller than its regular cab and extended cab stablemates. The cargo bed remains the same size in length and width but Toyota made it 3.5 inches deeper for added capacity.
Inside, the rear bench is split 60/40 and there's 24 degrees of seat back angle for a more carlike feel. A unique feature on the Double Cab is a roll-down rear window at the back of the cab that further enhances the truck's spacious feel. At the end of the day, the 2005 Toyota Tundra still isn't as big as the domestic trucks or the Titan, nor does it have the usual mind-numbing array of features and options. But for many people, those extras could be superfluous. Toyota's first full-size truck is a very good one, especially for the general consumer rather than the contractor or construction worker.
Performance & mpg
Two dual-overhead-cam engines are available: a 4.0-liter V6 and a 4.7-liter V8. The V6 makes 245 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque, while the V8 musters 282 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. The V6 comes with either a six-speed manual or an optional five-speed automatic. The V8 is offered with the five-speed automatic only. Either engine can be had with four-wheel drive. Maximum towing capacity is 7,100 pounds.
The brakes -- discs up front and drums in the rear -- are equipped with standard ABS. Side-impact airbags for front occupants and full-length side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor are optional on Double Cabs. In government crash tests, the 2005 Toyota Tundra received a four-star rating (out of five) for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal impacts. The Toyota earned a perfect five stars for front-occupant protection in side impacts. The IIHS gave the truck a "Good" rating (its best) for frontal offset crashes.
The V6 is powerful enough for light-duty use, and the V8 certainly has enough oats for everyday driving and typical towing and hauling. Slightly smaller than other full-size trucks, the Tundra is more maneuverable in crowded areas. The standard suspension is softly tuned -- it's comfortable for commuting, but less suitable for hauling heavy loads.
The Access Cab's rear-seat area is useful, but it's smaller than the quarters in other full-size extended cabs. The Double Cab's 60/40-split rear seat boasts legroom on par with its domestic competitors and a reclined seat back for better comfort. Up front, the Tundra offers a typical blend of solid-feeling switchgear, though the materials used are often of mediocre quality, and overall style is bland.
2005 Toyota Tundra models
The 2005 Toyota Tundra is available in regular, extended (Access Cab) and crew cab (Double Cab) versions. Regular cabs come only in long bed form, while Access and Double Cabs come only as short beds. Access Cabs have two "suicide" rear doors for easier rear-seat access, while Double Cabs feature four full-size doors and, thanks to their longer wheelbase, equal bed length. There are also three trim levels: base, SR5 and Limited. Available only on regular cabs, the base trim's amenities are limited to antilock brakes, 16-inch steel wheels, a cloth bench seat and a CD player. The SR5 adds body-color bumpers, a chrome grille and air conditioning; V8-equipped models also get cruise control. Available with a V8 only, the Limited offers alloy wheels, an in-dash CD changer and power windows, mirrors and locks. Compared to domestic full-size trucks, the Tundra's options list is short. The convenience package for SR5 models includes full power accessories, cruise, a sliding rear window and keyless entry. You can also get a towing package, a cold-weather package, an off-road package and a sport suspension package. On Limited trucks, there are optional leather-upholstered captain's chairs with a power driver seat. A DVD entertainment system is available for Double Cab models. For added style, Toyota also offers a stepside bed on V8-powered Access Cabs.
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4.75 out of 5 stars
Solid since New
2005 Toyota Tundra 4dr Double Cab SR5 Rwd SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A)
I purchased my tundra new in 2005. It has been regularly serviced and to date I have had no issues outside of regular maintenance. Currently I have 69,000 miles and still have the original Dunlop OEM tires. It is about time to replace, but not bad for a truck. The interior is "ok", but the drivetrain is as smooth as silk. Mileage could be better, but it is a truck. Love the Limited … slip diff, as well as the roll down rear window.
4.75 out of 5 stars
2005 Toyota Tundra 4dr Access Cab Limited Rwd SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A)
Bought new. Excellent quality, fit and finish. It looks and drives pretty much the same as new. Really enjoy driving it. One issue: Toyota dealers trying to "service" the truck far in excess of what's needed per the factory (examples: Toyota dealer in MDR, CA refused refused to do anything other than a "package" service with all sorts of costly extras; Toyota dealer in Burlingame, … CA refused to replace front brake pads w/out machining the rotors despite the rotors being even and smooth). When that happens, find another Toyota dealer (example: the Toyota dealer in North Hollywood, CA was happy to do exactly what Toyota specified and no more -- saved me money and my truck runs great).
5 out of 5 stars
Reliable, reliable, reliable. And comfy.
2005 Toyota Tundra 4dr Double Cab SR5 4WD SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A)
The best vehicle I've ever owned. Smooth, powerful, comfortable, and above all else, RELIABLE. Quietest cab I've ever ridden in. I've got 114,00 miles on this 8 year-old truck, some of which have been very hard miles. Like 2 yards of concrete in the bed kind of hard. (I've got air springs in the back, increasing payload and improving handling). There's not even a rattle in the cab after … 8 years. Tight as a drum. This thing has never needed anything more than standard maintenance. Ford, GM, and Dodge can say they have the better rig, but read the comments on those used trucks on this very website. You won't want anything but a Tundra when you do. [non-permissible content removed] **UPDATE @ 150K MILES: Still a turnkey truck. Zero issues that weren't self-inflicted. Still exceptionally quiet. Truck is now 11 years old and no rust evident despite being in a road salt environment most of its life. Recently pulled 7000 lbs of trailer and equipment 1000 miles with it and it performed like a champ. Braking could have been better, but that's what you get with drums in the back. Only complaint at this point is the MPG could have been better with these engines. 17MPG highway at BEST isn't great for a "small" V8, particularly when Toyota's 5.7L with 100 more HP gets the same mileage. Progress, I guess.
5 out of 5 stars
Last of the V6 Tundras
John Stanley Ho, 10/04/2018
2005 Toyota Tundra 4dr Access Cab SR5 Rwd SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
The V6 is no slouch having as much horsepower as previous years V8's. The value is in the fuel economy with a solid 17 city and 20.5 highway miles. For me in Southern California, good highway mileage is essential. I needed the 6.2 ft bed for moving the longer outboard engines in my business. My towing is limited to boats weighing less than 2500 lbs. So the v6 is plenty good with decent … power when necessary and the 5 speed auto trans is always looking to minimize rpms and maximize mpg. I figure the V6 saves me about $350 every 10,000 miles over the V8, so over 50,000 miles, $1750- nothing to sneeze at. All the while never lacking in power with 245 hp- 285 ft/lbs torque. Love the ride and the height of the truck. The simplicity of the bed and layout. The terrific accessible room in the engine bay with the V6. The bigger interior front seating with the possible 3 person bench seat makes it feel old timey comfy! I bought mine used in 2018 and the frame looks new like it was replaced under warranty. Love 4.0 V6 since it has a timing chain and no need to worry about timing belt replacement. Engine mighty smooth. Did transmission flush with synthetic fluids at 88,000, since it was recommended to establish a new baseline for maintenance. Was originally going for a V6 Tacoma, but Tundra bigger and SR5 Access moidel 2005 only 300-400 lbs heavier so Tundra it is. Tremendously satisfied with this truck. Some say its a 7/8th full size pickup. To me a perfect cup of tea. Now 20,000 later, still very satisfied. A great truck that does everything well. Now that so many new trucks are V6 powered I don't feel like an outlier. The gas mileage is only 1 mpg less than my old trusty Volvo rear drive wagon that I drove until 445,000 miles. I am hoping for 300,000 with this. And if the starter ever goes out on the V6 its so much easier to change out than the V8 Tundra. Again, love there is no timing belt to ever worry about. 2 years gone, 25,000 miles and smooth sailing. Can pull a 3000lb boat no problem. Tight and nice. Did put Bilsteins on and like the dampened springiness. Upscale replacement headlamp assemblies that were first rate and crystal clear really made an improvement in appearance and lighting. Great truck. Only criticism is the Sheetmetal dents and creases very easily. But it rolls great. Outstanding value
2005 Tundra Highlights
|Combined MPG||16 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$239/month|
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Max Towing Capacity||4,800 lbs.|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver4 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5PassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRolloverNot RatedDynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested