Trucks: New-generation Tundra

Toyota’s Tundra CrewMax, unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in January, suits contractors’ lifestyles and work loads with a logical blend of comfort and capability.

The production of the next-generation, full-size Tundra marks the first time complete responsibility of manufacturing a Toyota product has taken place in the United States. The result is a larger, tougher and more powerful pickup truck built specifically to tackle the heavy-duty pickup market.

This more robust design is apparent on the CrewMax, with options including a 4.0-liter V6 with five-speed automatic transmission or a 4.7-liter iForce V8 with five-speed automatic transmission. The ultimate power option is the all-new 5.7-liter iForce V8 with a six-speed automatic transmission, which boasts 381 horsepower and 401 feet-pounds of torque.

Maximum towing capacity on the CrewMax with the 5.7-liter V8 is 10,400 pounds and includes a tow/haul mode that enables the driver to be faster off the line. The towing package includes mirrors that manually telescope in width, a lower convex section for peripheral views and integrated running lights and turn signals on the outer mirror housing. An optional backup video camera located in the tailgate handle projects to a monitor in the cab, enabling the driver to hitch up with ease.

CrewMax’s roomy cab includes 44.5 inches of rear seat leg room, forward-hinged rear doors and sliding rear seats with storage spaces behind them large enough for a professional toolbox or 5-pound bucket. Toyota engineered handles and controls operable by hands wearing work gloves, so employees don’t have to remove safety gear to move around a jobsite.

“In the past year, concern about fuel economy has become more important, but it’s still not as important as the capability of the truck,” says Jim Lentz, executive vice president, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “Our target, however, is to be the most fuel efficient in the half-ton class.” As a result, Tundra clocks in with estimated fuel economy around 20 mph on the highway.

Tundra CrewMax model pickups will be available at Toyota dealerships nationwide beginning this month.