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2011 Toyota Tundra Limited Double Cab.
EDITOR WES RAYNAL: I am surprised that the Toyota Tundra isn't selling better--that is, I'm surprised it hasn't cracked the Ford/Chevrolet and to a lesser extent Dodge stranglehold on the large-truck category. This is a good truck. But this is what, Toyota's third attempt at a big pickup?
It's robust, it rides and handles as well as the domestics, and it has a roomy (really roomy) usable interior with big well-marked switches and knobs. There's more than enough power from the 5.7-liter V8 and it makes all the right hot-rod-like sounds when you boot it. Arguably, the powertrain is smoother than that of the Ford or the Chevy.
And the price of this truck, as equipped, is more than competitive. Again, I liked it and remain surprised that it doesn't sell better.
NEWS EDITOR GREG MIGLIORE: I always like a weekend in a big truck, and fewer are more imposing or beastly than this monster rig known as the 2011 Toyota Tundra. The 381-hp V8 is a brute. There's so much grunt for all tasks, and the pull of the torque is evident even under moderate acceleration. This mill has an angry growl, and enthusiasts will find it more than pleasant to listen to. Merging, passing and launching are all easily accomplished.
It is a large truck, but it handles easily and spryly. Parking is no trouble, nor are most maneuvers. The steering is relatively light, but there is a bit of feedback upon turn-in. I took a long way home from the other side of town one Saturday morning, stopping for coffee and savoring the drive as the day grew brighter. The tall, commanding driver's position is enjoyable, and the seats are comfortable and supportive. I put plenty of miles on this truck during my weekend stint, and at one point my discerning father remarked on how large and agreeable the cabin was. It's a great expressway cruiser.
My only quibble is that the interior of this example of the Tundra lagged behind that of other large trucks I've sampled recently--most notably the Ram. The Tundra came across as rather plain considering it costs $44,000.
The suspension is comfortable and conquers road imperfections with ease. I would have liked to have gotten this TRD model muddy and splattered, but (sniff) it was not to be. On normal surfaces, the Tundra is well-mannered and maintains its bearing. The driver is never unsettled or nervous, despite the sheer size of this.
In the looks department, the flagship Toyota truck has really grown on me. The fenders bulge, the headlights stare and the body looks taut yet athletic. This is a solid effort by Toyota that's strong in nearly all areas.
INTERACTIVE ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: I had the luxury of taking the Tundra home at the tail end of an all-day spring monsoon. The Toyota had no trouble through the four, five and six inches of water I blasted through en route. Like Greg, I wish I had a bit more time to muddy up the pure white truck.
The Tundra attacked Michigan's postwinter potholes with gusto. I never had a fear for rim damage, even over the one road where you have to dart around to avoid the ruts. The Tundra has good-size rubber too, with taller sidewalls. Parallel parking was no problem with the trailer mirror, and there were no worries about brushing the tires on the curb.
The interior is fair but pretty plain. The seats are comfy and they heated up quick on my morning drive.
The engine in this truck is strong, allowing me to easily pull away from traffic off the line, and the sound it makes is sweet. There's serious rumble from the big hauler, as good as or better than that of the Ram.
This 2011 Toyota Tundra Limited is a good-looking truck all around.
2011 Toyota Tundra Limited Double Cab
Base Price: $40,895
As-Tested Price: $44,082
Drivetrain: 5.7-liter V8; AWD, six-speed automatic
Output: 381 hp @ 5,600 rpm, 401 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
Curb Weight: 5,460 lb
Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 15/13.8 mpg
Options: NV package including JBL voice-activated touch-screen DVD navigation system with integrated backup camera, AM/FM 4-disc CD changer with MP3/WMA playback, 10-speaker sound system, satellite radio, USB port, auxiliary jack with iPod connectivity with Bluetooth and steering-wheel audio control ($1,690); chrome tube steps ($534); power-adjustable heated outside tow mirrors with manual-extend, power-folding and turn-signal indicators ($200); carpet floor mats with door-sill protectors ($178); glass breakage sensor ($165); bed mat ($127); alloy wheel locks ($81); spare tire lock ($73); TRD off-road package including off-road tuned suspension, Bilstein shocks, unique 18-inch alloy wheels with P275/65R-18 BFGoodrich tires, fuel-tank skid plate, TRD off-road package graphics ($70); daytime running lights ($40); first-aid kit ($29)
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