Our test vehicle's sticker wasn't a shock; a four-wheel-drive Double Cab V-8 pickup, reasonably equipped, seems like it should cost about $30K. Our tester had the new-for-2010 entry-level V-8 engine, a 4.6-liter unit that replaces the previous 4.7-liter but offers 34 additional horsepower and 14 additional lb-ft of torque. It also teams up with the six-speed automatic transmission that previously was offered only with the optional 5.7-liter V-8.
The smaller V-8 seems like a smart choice for the Tundra; it costs roughly $1300 less than the bigger V-8, depending on which of the myriad Tundra models you're talking about. It accelerates well, although not as effortlessly or as quietly as the bigger V-8; when you push the 4.6, you know you're pushing it. Yet the engine never seems unwilling or unreasonably taxed, and I had no problem piloting the Tundra at 70 to 80 mph on two-lane country roads.
The Double Cab's rear doors are a bit truncated, but they still provide decent access to the rear seats, which fold up nicely out of the way. Note: Toyota also offers a Crewmax model with a full-size rear door.
The Tundra rides pretty roughly, however, especially compared with the new Dodge Ram.
Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor