Toyota Tundra Limited Double Cab: The Affordable, Every Person’s Truck
Boasting a perfect mix of niceties, ruggedness, and cabin space, our Tundra proved to be all we needed at the right price.
To understand the Toyota Tundra, you must go back to November 2006, when the very first second-generation pickup rolled off the brand-spanking-new, 2,000,000-square-foot plant in San Antonio, Texas. It was a special day for everyone involved, and a significant step forward for the Japanese automaker’s history in the United States.
Despite the overwhelming joy shared by dealers, suppliers and brand employees, there was a big question mark hovering over the factory at the time. How will the Tundra fare against the competition? Fast forward to 2017, and the question has been answered time and time again — and in a positive manner.
Toyota approaches the concept of a half-ton pickup truck in a simple manner, much like they do with their best-selling cars and SUVs. Given the fact that the state of Texas is the largest consumer of pickup trucks in the world, Toyota focused on the following: Make it big, make it comfortable, and give it some balls. In this case, reliability is a given, so no need to fuss with that.
At heart, the Tundra is American, or Texan, we should say — not Japanese. And as you know, Texans go big or go home. It’s a perfect way to describe the truck, really.
Our test truck came in a bright shade of Inferno Orange and sported a double cab in the Limited trim. The drivetrain mated the optional 5.7-liter V8 engine to a 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential-shift option, as well as an electronically controlled 4×4 system and automatic limited-slip differential with a 4.30 ratio.
Bonding the half-ton truck to the ground was a set of stylish 18-inch wheels wrapped in P275/65R18 Michelin rubber. Despite dropping in size from the standard 20-inch Limited wheels, this TRD 4X4 trim-specific set looks the business.
Inside, the Limited trim turns simple and purposeful accommodations into a refined place of work, pleasure, or a mix of the two. Leather-wrapped heated seats and surfaces, and an Entune 7-inch screen provide the right touch of luxury without taking away the utilitarian feel of the truck.
Should you decide to buy this truck as-is, it’d set you back $42,330.
Like all Toyota vehicles, the Tundra is easy to live with. While the truck itself is bigger and more “robust-looking” than the competition, its appearance doesn’t affect the driving dynamics. Ingress and egress are relatively simple for most (including kids) even without running boards.
Once on the road, the 381 horsepower of the mighty 5.7-liter V8 allows the truck to be as docile or brute as the driver may desire. Stab the throttle from a standstill and the engine roars to life with a sense of urgency, constantly teasing the traction control system — keeping the rear Bilstein shocks on their toes. Should the road surface be less than ideal, the multiple electronic driving aids keep the Tundra pointing in the right direction and the wheelspin in check.
During our weeklong test drive, we used the Tundra for just about everything, including school and grocery runs; a trip to the go-kart track; and the typical Sunday landscaping duties. While neither task was especially challenging for a truck capable of towing 10,500 pounds, the Toyota passed every phase with flying colors — each time highlighting that it could be equally or more capable and comfortable than the competition, but for a much smaller price of admission.
When it was all said and done, the Tundra delivered a combined average of 14.5 mpg after 400 miles of combined city and highway driving. It’s worth mentioning that the massive 38-gallon fuel tank will keep most folks away from the pump for at least a week — we hope. (Note: the photo showing 14.7 mph was taken prior to the conclusion of our test.)
Value, Value, Value
Getting a “nice” truck nowadays is difficult. Not because of a lack of options, but because of their price. Furthermore, customers looking for simple niceties like power seats and navigation are often pushed into more expensive drivetrains and cab configurations. Not Toyota.
Unlike Chevy and Ford, Toyota offers their high-end Limited trim and range-topping 5.7-liter V8 engine in double-cab configuration, and not just crew cab. This not only bodes well for truck owners with little interest in larger-than-life cabs, but aids sales figures by offering more value-packed options to consumers.
In other words, Toyota gives customers what they want and need without pushing them into unnecessary and pricey configurations.
At a tad over $40 grand, our test truck could very well be the best equipped, best looking, most affordable and versatile truck out there. It’s a true every person’s truck. It’s what a pickup truck is supposed to be: practical, utilitarian, and affordable. Sure, it’s got enough nice touches to make it extra-comfy — but there’s nothing wrong with that!
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