January 2, 2008 > Auto Review
2008 Toyota Tundra Pickup Truck
The Tundra has an extensive set of choices that you can make to build your truck. There are 31 different model configurations. The first decision is between the number of doors and the size of the cab. One choice is the 2-door Regular Cab that has a normal sized cab for three people. Next up is a 4-door Double Cab that adds a nice sized rear seat. Then there is the 4-door Crew Cab Max that adds 10 inches to the back seat area to make a huge interior space for people.
The Regular and Double Cab versions get a choice of a 6.5-foot long bed or one that is 8.1 feet long. The Crew Cab Max only comes with a 5.5-foot bed.
The three engine choices include a 236 HP, 4-liter V-6, a 271 HP, 4.7-liter V-8, and the big 5.7-liter V-8 that puts out 381 HP. (The V-6 is not available in the Crew Cab Max.) The 4-liter and 4.7-liter engines get a 5-speed automatic transmission. The big V-8 uses a 6-speed automatic. To finish out the choices, there are 3 trim levels available and many options to choose from.
Our test truck was a 4X4 Crew Cab Max with a big V-8 and the base price of $33,985. It had the $1,090 TRD (Toyota Racing Development) off-road package. This included special Bilstein shocks, skid plates to protect the underside components, special wheels and tires, and other items. Other options and the delivery charge brought the bottom line up to $37,741. For the Tundra model range, the base price can range from $22,290 to $42,070.
Depending on your choices, the EPA numbers range from 13 mpg in the city test cycle and 18 mpg for the highway test cycle. The warranty is 60/60 on the power train and 36/36 on the rest of the Tundra.
The Tundra is one of the largest and strongest pickups on the market today. They are designed to work and play hard and last a long time. The high strength steel frame allows the large towing capacity of 10,800 pounds. This truck had a number of items that added to its potential to work hard. It had an automatic transmission temperature gage to tell you if the transmission was getting too hot. It also had a switch that changed the shift pattern of the transmission's operation to be more suitable for towing and hauling heavy loads. It came with a larger alternator, heavier springs, oil cooler, a hitch receiver, and was pre-wired for a trailer's wiring harness.
The interior of the Crew Cab Max was larger than almost any vehicle that I have been in lately. There was a huge amount of room in the front seats. There was a very large center console that could hold anything you might want to store. The back seat area was also very large as it was designed to carry work crews with all of the protective gear that they may need to wear.
If you have never driven a big truck before, your first drive may hold some surprises. Getting in means that you need to climb up into the cab and this may be tough for shorter people and kids. Once in, you can adjust the seats for comfort on long trips. Because the Tundra is so big, it takes some getting used to when driving in heavy traffic, because it takes up a large footprint of the roadway.
It's ride quality felt very much like a high performance sedan, a little stiff but not bad at all. My only complaint was that on certain sections of the freeway the suspension, speed, and wheelbase combined for a choppy ride. Slowing down or speeding up usually help with that issue.
So, would I buy a Toyota Tundra? If I were shopping for a full sized pickup, it would be one of the first ones I would look at.
By Dick Ryan
Freelance Automotive Journalist
Member of the Western Automotive Journalists