Over the last couple of days, my wife and I have taken a fairly close look at the new 2007 Toyota Tundra. Before you say “oh no, not again”, we’re not shopping. I’ve just heard a lot of good things about it and wanted to learn more.
I’m not a qualified automotive reviewer, so I’m not going to run down all the specs, etc. but I wanted to share a few impressions. We visited a few different Toyota dealerships, and when we finally got someone to offer us a test drive, we were very impressed. According to the literature, the big 5.7L V8 puts out 381hp and the maximum trailer weight is 10600lbs. When we drove it, we had NO reason to doubt those figures! We tried out the Double Cab configuration, which is the smaller of the two 4-door choices, and it was plenty roomy and comfortable for us, even with a child seat. The new Tundra is the real full-size contender that the previous generation Tundra was not.
I guess, here’s the point. I’ve always held the opinion that American trucks were superior to the imports, and honestly, there haven’t been too many serious choices until recently (and in the interest of full-disclosure, I’ve owned three Dodge Dakotas). The new Tundra has changed my mind. It’s one heck of a truck: so much power, huge tow ratings, nice build quality and well-thought out design. Of course, it’s a Toyota, so it’s going to be much more expensive, right? Well… I priced one how I’d like it (big engine, tow package, double cab, 2WD) and did my best to build the comparable models from Ford, Chevy and Dodge. I wasn’t able to find an American half-ton that could match the horsepower or GCWR of the Tundra, but I got as close as I could. The Dodge was about the same price (I’m accounting for all rebates), while the Ford and Chevy cost a couple thousand MORE. Of course, with the big three, the prices are negotiable, but the salesman at Toyota assured me that they’re willing to deal on these trucks as well, hinting at their goal to get a lot of them on the road rather than maintain high margins.
If you’re shopping for a full-size truck, do yourself a favor and give the Tundra a look.