2010 Tundra New Car Test Drive
The Toyota Tundra is a serious full-size pickup, whether measured by dimensions, hauling capacity or towing capacity. The 2010 Tundra models feature a new grille design and redesigned taillights. Also new for 2010 is the availability of a smaller, more fuel-efficient V8. Refinements for 2010, including adjustable headlights, improve on an excellent truck.
We've found the Tundra to be a stable, comfortable truck for towing a 20-foot enclosed car trailer over long distances. Towing capacities top 10,000 pounds on some models, and maximum payload ratings reach 2,000 pounds.
Tundra comes in three body styles: Regular Cab with two doors; Double Cab with conventional front-hinged, secondary rear side doors; and CrewMax with four full-size doors. Seating is available for two, three, five or six. Three bed lengths and three wheelbases are available.
Trim levels range from basic Tundra Grade to luxurious Limited models with leather upholstery, and from the lowest end to the highest is a price differential of around 2:1. But even the base models are loaded with useful features, including tons of interior storage options, an easy-lift assisted tailgate and four-wheel disc brakes. High-end models are available with GPS navigation and a rearview camera, or a rear-seat entertainment with a 9-inch LCD screen. An available deck rail system in the bed anchors moveable tie-down cleats rated at 220 pounds each.
For 2010, a new 4.6-liter dohc V8 engine is available. Rated at 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque, and with EPA fuel-economy ratings of 15/20 mpg City/Highway, the 4.6-liter V8 not only has a lot more power than the V6, but better fuel economy, as well. As with the 5.7-liter engine, the 4.6-liter has dual Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i), which optimizes valve timing for the best combination of performance, economy and emissions. It is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission. Toyota expects the 4.6-liter V8 to offer the best combination of power and fuel economy of any standard V8 in the full-size truck segment.
The 5.7-liter V8 engine carries over. With 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque and a six-speed automatic transmission, Tundra boasts one of the strongest, most responsive powertrains in the class. The dohc 5.7-liter is an excellent choice for towing trailers, and has entirely reasonable EPA fuel-economy ratings of 14/18 mpg City/Highway.
A 4.0-liter V6 engine, with 236 horsepower and EPA ratings of 15/19 mpg City/Highway, is the entry-level low-cost choice. It's available only with two-wheel-drive versions of the Regular Cab or Double Cab, and it makes only slightly better economy than the 5.7-liter V8.
The 2010 Tundra offers two new trim levels, a Platinum Package and a Work Truck. The Platinum Package will be available on Crewmax Limited models with the 5.7-liter V8 and Flex Fuel powertrains. On the outside, the Platinum Package includes a billet-style grille, chrome bumpers, unique 20-inch alloy wheels and tires, daytime running lamps, door-sill protectors with a Platinum logo, and Platinum badging. Inside, it includes a power memory function on the driver's seat, outside power mirrors and puddle lamps, and a power tilt-telescoping steering wheel. Also included is a power moonroof, navigation, ventilated seats with a unique perforated leather surface, wood-trimmed shift knob and door switch plates, automatic up/down power windows, chrome accented vents, and headrests with an embroidered Platinum logo.
The Work Truck Package will be available with Regular Cab and Double Cab models, in two-wheel or four-wheel drive, and with standard or long-bed configurations, and with any of the three engines. It will have black bumpers and grille surround and power mirrors will be replaced by manually controlled outside mirrors. Inside will be washable vinyl seats and rubber floors, and several trim and convenience items have been deleted, including cruise control and remote keyless entry, and gauges will be replaced by warning lamps. The idea is to offer to commercial buyers a work truck at a reduced price.
For 2010, all Tundra models receive a new look with a freshened grille and taillamp design. All 2010 Tundra models will have driver and front-passenger knee airbags as standard equipment. Also new for 2010: height-adjustable headlamps, which addresses a gripe we had with previous models. Previous models did not allow any aiming of the headlights, posing a problem when towing a trailer or hauling a heavy load. A shelf to help organize storage space has been added to the lower glovebox, and a new seven-pin hitch connector sits above the hitch to help avoid damage when going over dips and bumps. Two new audio systems are available on 2010 Tundra models: The Tech Audio system features AM/FM/CD, integrated satellite radio receiver, Bluetooth, auxiliary and USB inputs and six speakers, while another system includes AM/FM/CD, auxiliary input, a backup camera and six speakers.
The 2010 Toyota Tundra comes in three body configurations, three wheelbase lengths, three cargo box lengths, with three engine choices, with two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, in various trim levels and option groups, offering a multitude of available features, convenience items and other accessories, so there is no way to cover every possible combination of Tundra or to cover all the prices. Among the highlights:
The base Tundra Regular Cab 4x2 ($23,155) is powered by the 4.0-liter V6 with a five-speed automatic transmission and the 6 1/2-foot standard-length bed. The eight-foot bed is optional. Also optional is the 4.6-liter V8 or 5.7-liter V8.
The Regular Cab 4x4 ($27,405) comes standard with the 4.6-liter V8 and an electronically controlled, part-time four-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer case. The Regular Cab is the workhorse edition Tundra, with a fabric-upholstered, 40/20/40-split bench seat, vinyl floor covering, column shift and manual-crank windows. Standard equipment includes a four-speaker, AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary audio input, manual dual-zone air conditioning, tilt steering and Toyota's gas-boosted, tailgate-assist system. The standard wheels are 18-inch steel.
The Double Cab Tundra Grade 4x2 ($25,495) comes with the 4.0-liter V6 and standard bed. The Tundra Double Cab features rear side doors like on an SUV, and seats for as many as six. The 4.6-liter V8, 5.7-liter V8, and long bed are optional on Double Cab models. The Tundra Grade equipment basically matches the Regular Cab, adding carpet in place of the vinyl flooring, a tachometer and outside temperature indicator. The Double Cab Tundra Grade 4x4 ($28,690) adds four-wheel-drive and the 4.6-liter V8.
The popular SR5 option varies slightly, but adds cruise control, remote keyless entry, power mirrors, an engine skid plate, and SR5 seat fabric.
The Double Cab Limited ($35,270) and 4x4 ($38,320) feature the most luxurious trim package. Both come standard with the 4.6-liter V8; the 5.7-liter V8 is optional. Standard equipment includes heated, leather-trimmed front buckets, JBL audio with 12 speakers, sliding rear glass, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and programmable garage-door opener and front and rear park-assist.
The CrewMax Tundra Grade ($28,465) and 4x4 ($31,515) feature full-size rear side doors and more rear-cab space, with a sliding, fold-flat rear bench seat. They come standard with the 4.6-liter V8, but are offered only with a 5.5-foot short bed. The 5.7-liter V8 and six-speed automatic are optional. A CrewMax SR5 4x2 ($29,265) and 4x4 ($32,470), and CrewMax Limited 4x2 ($37,809) and 4x4 ($40,855) are also available. Standard equipment on each trim level basically matches that on the Double Cab models, though the CrewMax adds an overhead console and a vertical sliding power rear window.
Options include navigation system with back-up camera, rear-seat DVD player, cold-weather features, off-road packages, and 20-inch aluminum wheels. There are few factory-installed stand-alone options, but dozens of dealer-installed accessories, such as bed liners.
TRD's Rock Warrior package adds color-keyed body trim on the front and a flat-black bumper on the back, fog lamps, black cloth manual seats, Bilstein shock absorbers, and 17-inch forged aluminum wheels with BFGoodrich All-Terrains for traction, ride and rim protection. It's available with four-wheel drive only, and in Black or Super White.
The TRD Sport package adds color-coordinated trim including bumpers, grille, mirrors and door handles, fog lamps, manual cloth bucket seats, and 20-inch five-spoke machined-face alloy wheels. It's available with two-wheel drive only, and in Black or Radiant Red.
Safety features that come standard on every model include front- and side-impact airbags for driver and front passenger (the latter with an off switch in Regular Cab models), side-curtain airbags with rollover sensor, driver and passenger knee airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, electronic stability control with traction control and a limited-slip differential.