At first glance, the Toyota Tundra has everything it needs to compete in the full-size pickup segment. It is a brawny truck that offers a choice of two V8 engines, just over one ton of payload capacity, up to 10,500 pounds of towing capability, three cab options, two wheelbase lengths and three bed configurations. Toyota offers a variety of models including stripped-down work trucks, high-end luxury trucks and serious off-roaders. Whatever you need a truck to do, chances are you can build a Tundra to do it.
But things change rapidly in the competitive pickup market, and Toyota hasn't made any major updates to the Tundra since this iteration was introduced in 2007. Competitors are now offering lightweight aluminum bodies, advanced turbocharged engines, fuel-efficient diesels and softer air-sprung suspensions. When it comes to these advanced features, the Tundra gets left out in the cold.
Toyota offers the Tundra with two V8 engine options: A 310-horsepower 4.6-liter engine and a 381-hp 5.7. The latter is required to reach the Tundra's maximum towing capacity. EPA fuel economy estimates for the two engines are pretty close. The 4.6 is rated at 16 mpg combined (15 city/19 highway) while the 5.7 is rated at 15 mpg combined (13 city/18 highway). These are for two-wheel-drive trucks. The four-wheel versions are slightly less fuel efficient. All Tundras have a well-behaved six-speed automatic transmission and a low-range transfer case is optional on four-wheel-drive models.
The Tundra is a pleasant truck to drive. Its front seats are roomy and comfortable. And the backseats of both Double and CrewMax cabs have plenty of leg- and headroom. The Entune touchscreen stereo isn't the prettiest to look at but it's easy to use. The Tundra rides on the firm side and handles, not surprisingly, like a truck. Some competing trucks offer superior ride comfort.
Toyota offers the Tundra in six trim levels: SR, SR5, TRD Pro, Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition. The SR is a basic work truck down to the optional vinyl floor and cloth upholstery, while the SR5 makes a nice personal truck for buyers on a budget. The TRD Pro is the serious off-roader. Limited and Platinum trims are aimed at buyers who want additional comfort and convenience features. The 1794 Edition is a Platinum truck styled to compete against the Texas-themed trucks offered by the competitors. Which truck is best? Let Edmunds help find the perfect 2017 Toyota Tundra for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.