(By Tom Lohnes) – After many teasers, the new Toyota Tundra is here, and it is controversial, to say the least.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room, the looks. The new Tundra is definitely an interesting-looking truck. It follows the Sienna minivan’s trend of mismatched designs, with the front being very angular and the rear being really swoopy. Of course, looks vary by trim level, but they don’t really improve or take away from anything. A lot of new colors will be available, including a bright orange if you want your new truck to stand out.
At the end of the day, the Tundra is a full-size pickup truck, so it can do truck stuff, right? Well, yes, and with flying colors. Every 4WD model, especially the TRD PRO is ready for the trail, dunes, or anywhere else you want to take it with 4-corner coil-sprung multilink suspension and a fully boxed frame. This new suspension setup should help the driving experience off-road as well. In terms of towing, a RWD Tundra equipped with the base 3.5L boosted V6 can tow 12,000 pounds. Numbers for the upgraded hybrid powertrain have yet to be released, but expect that it will be above 13,000.
Wait… a hybrid? Yep, the new Tundra completely omits a V8 in favor of two V6 powertrains. The Base iForce V6 is a 3.5L Twin-turbocharged unit that also lives in the Lexus LS500. Power numbers in Tundra tune are 389 horsepower (8 more than the previous 5.7L V8), and 479 lb-ft (78 more than the V8), which are very impressive for a base engine. Both V6 engines get a 10-speed automatic and a choice between 2WD and 4WD. Upgrade to the Hybrid, and you get a monstrous 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft, more than enough for anything.
Inside is where the old Tundra lacked most, and Toyota definitely addressed that. With a full digital gauge cluster and a massive 14.0-inch center screen available, the Tundra is definitely up to date. There are a variety of interior colors and materials available, my favorite being the red camo-Ish pattern in the TRD PRO.