It seems like a very long time ago that Toyota introduced the Texas-made Tundra with the expectation that it would finally end American automakers' hegemony in the large-truck segment. Five years later, the Tundra struggles--and fails--to muster a sixth of the Ford F-series' sales volume. At the same time, Toyota has shifted much of its attention back to its cars, meaning the Tundra hasn't received as many updates as have its competitors. Still, the Tundra is a solid pickup truck. There are three engines, three body styles, two bed lengths, and a veritable laundry list of options. Things start off strong, with a base 4.0-liter V-6 that puts out 270 hp and a good midlevel option with the 310-hp, 4.6-liter V-8. Still, we'd say the 381-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 with variable valve timing best suits the Tundra's mission, especially if you'll be towing heavy loads; its maximum towing capacity is 10,400 pounds when properly equipped. Both V-8 engines team with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Tundra's only real shortcoming--aside from the fact that it's simply not exceptional enough to tear people from their Fords, Chevrolets, and Rams--is its ride quality. With an empty bed, it shudders and bounces more than its rivals. Its interior was truly exemplary when it debuted in 2007 and remains quite nice but, again, has fallen behind its American competition.
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