2019 Toyota Tundra
With new full-sized pickup trucks coming into their respective showrooms, is there room for one that has been around for a long time that simply works.
The current Toyota Tundra has been around since 2014. It may seem “old” by today’s standards, it is still one of the hardest working pickups out there. Our time in the 2019 4X4 Limited Double Cab model affirmed its hard-working credentials with flying colors.
The Double Cab is Toyota’s “extended cab” model, with all four doors opening the front hinges. Access to the rear seats is not as tight as other similar pickups, and the rake of the rear window gives a unique profile for the cab. With the Double Cab, you only get a six-and-a-half-foot bed – a foot longer than the Crew Max model. For either the Double Cab and the CrewMax, the wheelbase remains the same.
The Limited trim features a handsome upgraded chrome grille with some additional chrome trim all around. The TRD Off Road package adds sporty 18-inch wheels, along with other suspension and protection add-ons to induce maximum capability.
Inside is a tough leather upholstery with two bucket seats up front split by a wide console. The rear seat is a full bench that offers adequate leg room for average-sized adults. Instrumentation is straight forward with dials that are readable and large. Both main dials are flanked by a TFT screen providing key information to the driver. You also get all four gauges, including oil temperature and battery charge.
Every control is familiar with a solid Toyota touch, including the cruise control stalk, climate, and steering-wheel controls. The audio system resides in the center stack with a seven-inch touchscreen powered by Entune, along with tactile knobs and buttons. You can connect your phone by Bluetooth, while using a USB connection to charge it up.
Our Limited tester came with a package that included several driver assistance features. These features include Front and Rear Parking Assist Sonar, Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. These features join the standard Toyota Safety Sense-P package, which includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, and Automatic High Beams.
Tundra Limited customers can choose between two V8 engines. The standard 4.6-liter iForce V8 has 310 horsepower with 327 pound-feet of torque. However, the best engine to choose in the Tundra lineup is its 5.7-Liter iForce V8 with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. With the Double Cab, the payload rating is 1,570 pounds with a maximum towing capacity of 9,100 pounds. The Tundra is capable of towing up to 10,100 pounds, depending on specification.
A six-speed automatic is attached to the big V8, which gives it smooth shifts and nice throttle response to go along with its power numbers. On the flip side, fuel economy is on the low side, with an EPA rated 13 MPG in the city, 17 MPG on the highway.
The Tundra offers a smooth ride overall, though it does its best to handle rougher roads. The leaf springs in the rear work hard to manage loads. One might say that the Tundra offers an “old school truck” feel that has been lacking in newer pickups these days. For truck people, the Tundra feels alive, just like a truck from an earlier era should.
The steering is a bit loose, but responsive when it needs be. On-center offers some play even at high speeds and you get to rudder a big, wood-and-leather trimmed wheel if it calls for that. Brakes have great pedal action while offering strong performance in both normal and panic stops.
The Tundra lineup is available only in the Double Cab or CrewMax and the choice of two V8 engines and two- or four-wheel-drive. You do get a selection of trim levels – SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, the 1794, and TRD Pro. Pricing starts from $31,420. Our Limited 4X4 Double Cab tester with the TRD Off Road Package came to $46,610. Similarly-equipped trucks can cost thousands more.
Toyota’s full-sized pickup has been proven to match its rivals square in the face. Those rivals include the new Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500, along with the Ford F-150 and the half-ton version of the Nissan Titan.
While newer trucks offer an almost-car-like experience with amenities to boot, the Tundra feels like the kind of truck that feels like it’s always ready to punch in a clock and go to work. However, it has key modern features to keep it safe and sound. For pickup truck lovers who want something that proven, strong, and fells like how a truck should drive, pick up a Toyota Tundra!
Story Credits: Carsoup Editors