Review: 2005 Toyota Tundra

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While it won't likely be the first choice for buyers in search of a good ol' pickup truck, the current Tundra provides a capable, refined, and safe compromise between mid- and full-size pickups. And though it's not as large as the behemoths from Detroit, the Toyota's maximum payload rating of 2,025 pounds (third in class, just behind GM's trucks) and its 7,100-pound max tow rating provide enough muscle for the occasional heavy-duty chore. Its reduced size also makes it much easier to maneuver through clogged city streets and into tight parking spaces.

Tundra buyers receive a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, as well as five-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage and a five-year, unlimited-mileage rust-through warranty. Plus, buyers have the satisfaction of purchasing a vehicle with a proven value track record, as evidenced by its Excellent IntelliChoice Cost Value Rating, ensuring a good return on investment down the road.

A well-refined truck, the Tundra's added muscle and Best Overall Value status make it a must for any smart truck shopper's list.

What's Hot

  • Refined ride
  • Toyota quality
  • More V-6, V-8 power

    What's Not

  • Not quite full-size
  • Ho-hum exterior design
  • Rear passenger comfort

    An all-new model is expected for 2007, but Toyota hasn't forgotten the current Tundra. For 2005, the company dropped the 4x4 Access Cab with a V-6 and added a 4x2 regular-cab configuration for V-8 buyers. Other notable changes include a front bench-seat option for Double Cabs, new head- and taillights, a redesigned instrument panel, and an available navigation system in Access Cab Limited and Double Cab models.

    Tundra owners who prefer a less beaten path will want to check out the available TRD Off-Road package, which includes 16-inch 265/70-series BFGoodrich tires, foglamps, and an off-road tuned suspension with Bilstein dampers. All buyers should be sure to select side airbags and stability control on the options list.

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