2007 Tundra New Car Test Drive
With the 2007 Tundra, Toyota has decided to get serious about the light-duty truck market. Gone is what some derisively called a '7/8s' pickup. In its place is an honest-to-goodness, full-size, half-ton pickup that raises the competitive bar.
Other than some basic, no more than skin-deep styling cues that keep an appropriate modicum of faith with what has gone before, everything about the 2007 Toyota Tundra is new. From mundane features like four-wheel disc brakes to a cost-is-no-object, all-new 381-horsepower V8, from a re-configured assembly line in Indiana to the costly construction of a plant in Texas, Toyota has pulled out all the stops. That thinking extends to the number of variations offered.
The 2007 Toyota Tundra comes in three body styles: a two-door Regular cab; a Double Cab with front-hinged, secondary rear side doors; and a four-door CrewMax. It's available in three bed lengths and three different wheelbases. There are three engine choices, a V6 and two V8s, and a choice of five-speed and six-speed automatics. Rear-wheel drive is standard, four-wheel drive optional. Three trim levels, DX, SR5 and Limited, offer seating for two, three, five or six. In all, Toyota says the '07 Tundra has 31 different build configurations.
Payload ratings range from 1410 pounds to 2060 pounds. An available deck rail system in the bed anchors moveable tie-down cleats rated at 220 pounds. Maximum towing capacity tops out at 10,800 pounds, at launch best in class.
A DVD-based, GPS-linked navigation system with backup camera is available. So is a state-of-the-art, rear-seat entertainment system with a nine-inch LCD that's the equal of anything in the class. With the front bucket seats comes a center console storage system that's as close to a mobile office as any honest pickup should be.
Fully contemporary suspension design smoothes the ride and gets some interesting, geometric tweaks in the rear that improve stability and steering response. Standard electronic stability control, plus traction control and limited slip differential, adds a comforting level of occupant safety.
Clearly, the full-size pickup market is undergoing dramatic change. Nissan led the way with the Titan, but has been hampered by a limited lineup. Toyota wasn't about to make the same mistake, and it obviously hasn't, whether in a variety of models, powertrains, trim levels or interior features.
If Ford, Chevrolet (and GMC) and Dodge think they're hearing something behind them and are worried it's gaining, they're right. They are, they should be, because it is.
The 2007 Toyota Tundra lineup comes in five different setups. The Regular Cab offers only storage space behind the front seat, and either the 6.5-foot standard bed or the 8-foot long bed. The Double Cab features rear side doors, forward-hinged like on an SUV, and seats for as many as six; the Double Cab comes with the standard bed or the long bed. Then there's the CrewMax, with full-size rear side doors, and the short bed.
The base engine is a 236-hp 4.0-liter V6. Next up is a 271-hp 4.7-liter V8. At the top is a 381-hp 5.7-liter V8. The 4.0-liter and 4.7-liter engines come with a five-speed automatic, the larger V8 comes with a six-speed automatic. All have a manual gear-selection feature. Electronic, part-time, four-wheel drive is offered on V8-powered Tundras.
The base Tundra DX is a the workhorse edition and only comes as a Regular Cab. A fabric-upholstered, 40/20/40-split, bench seat, vinyl floor covering, column shift and manual-crank windows are standard. So is a four-speaker, AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary audio input. The manual air conditioning is dual-zone, though, and the steering wheel tilts. Toyota's unique, gas strut-boosted, tailgate assist is standard, too. Steel wheels wear P255/70R18 tires.
Options include a Cold Weather Package, with heavy duty battery and starter and heated, power outside mirrors; a Tow Package with integrated hitch, four-pin and seven-pin connectors, trailer brake controller connectors, supplemental transmission cooler and, on the 5.7-liter V8 models, manually extendable towing mirrors incorporating turn signals and running lights. The SR5 package includes chrome bumpers and grille surround; power windows, door locks and outside mirrors; cruise control; variable intermittent wipers, and upgraded upholstery fabric and carpet.
SR5 trim is available in all three cab configurations. The SR5 fabric front bench gets better quality upholstery and eight-way driver and four-way passenger adjustments, both manual. Other driver-assist and creature-comfort upgrades include power windows, central locking and outside mirrors; cruise control; keyless remote; two more speakers, for a total of six; a third power point; carpeted floor mats; and rear seat heater duct. Exterior trim is upgraded with chrome bumpers and a chrome grille. The V8 towing package is standard on the Long Bed. The multi-function mirrors come standard with the 5.7-liter V8.
Additional options include a JBL AM/FM/CD stereo with six-disc, in-dash changer, 10 speakers, Bluetooth and leather-trimmed steering wheel with redundant audio controls; DVD-based navigation system with backup camera; and running boards. The TRD Off-Road Package for an SR5 short bed V8 engines includes a specially tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks, P275/65R18 tires on unique, aluminum alloy wheels and fog lamps.
The Limited trim features leather-trimmed front bucket seats with seat heaters, 10-way power adjustable for the driver's side, four-way power adjustable for the passenger's side; floor-mounted shifter and center console; automatic dual-zone climate control; the JBL AM/FM/CD audio setup but with 12 speakers; tilt/telescope steering wheel; sliding rear glass; and auto-dim inside rearview mirror with compass and programmable garage/gate remote. Outside, the front bumper is color keyed, while the rear bumper remains chromed, as does the grille surround, although now the grille bars get chrome, too. The outside mirrors upgrade to chrome, heat, auto-dimming and integrated turn signals. Fog lamps, engine skid plate and bed-mounted, deck rail system with adjustable tie-down cleats are standard, too. P275/65R18 tires on aluminum alloy wheels are standard, P2275/55R20 on alloy wheels optional.
The CrewMax comes in SR5 or Limited trim. Features and options pretty much track those of the Double Cab, but with a few additions: a vertically sliding, power rear window; a slide-and-recline, three-passenger, rear bench seat; and an ov.