By Becky B.
Thursday June 28, 2007
Location: Dublin, CA
Conditions: Clear and breezy
This vehicle is HUGE compared to what I drive, but I had a blast driving it anyway. The engine is massive, so I wanted to get it up to speed and see how it handled out on the open road. I was very pleasantly surprised. Even though the iForce 5.7L V8 engine eats little engines for snacks, it still gets decent gas mileage compared to other rides of its size. Acceleration is intuitive, as is deceleration…very nice transitions from fast to slow. (Vehicle specs page has the observed gas mileage for the Tundra test drive)
The interior was roomy, leathery, cushy and plush. The instrument panel for the entertainment was smooth and easy to reach and to read. The stock stereo system put out a decent sound, and even though we didn’t have any CDs to play, the radio was fine. You can also hook up your Bluetooth device, MP3 player, XM radio, or any plethora of iPod situations if you want to. The overhead storage has all sorts of fun nooks and crannies for your glasses, business cards, gum etc. Then we get to the console between the two enormous front seats: WOW!!! This is built for the full on home office! Hanging file folders! That come out in their own separate container! If you’re a realtor or a contractor, this is definitely the ride for you. Everything you need is within easy reach, including adjusting all your mirrors, the steering wheel, an information button that explains gas mileage, trip info, direction, etc. and adjusting your seats, which of course are heated. The air conditioning worked smashingly on a day with plenty of wind but we used it anyway.
The windows operate effectively…but one feature that rocked my little world, and reminded me of my parent’s 1969 Toyota Crown Wagon, was the rear window. It rolls down, ALL the way! Visions of Country Squires too! How cool is that? I mean, it’s great to be inside a truck cab, but the open rear window makes you think you’re in a convertible. I really liked that.
The rear seats recline sweetly, which is unusual in the cab of a truck-type vehicle. I sat back there and there’s gobs of room. You can place your drink cup anywhere you please, because there’s at least 10 or so places to do so. The rear seats also lay down flat, and plenty of areas to attach child seats if necessary. The seats are a 60/40 situation, making it great to transport your stuff that needs that sort of room.
One thing I have always liked about larger vehicles is the way the door sounds when it shuts. Beefy. This ride has that, and I loved it. Giant door handles, that mean business about opening or shutting them. The tailgate was a work of art: pneumatic lowering AND raising. No more hinge issues because of slamming! That was a pretty sweet feature.
Exterior-wise, this Toyota has spiffy 20 inch wheels, a great Slate Metallic color, ease of entry and exit even though I’m pretty short at five foot three. If there were one thing I would change about this Tundra, it would be the sight lines around those huge side view mirrors. One would really need to pay attention to the outside lines when necessary.
Overall I was exceptionally and pleasantly surprised with this vehicle and all the accoutrements it has to offer. I had a great time driving it!
An appreciative thank-you goes to Stevens Creek Toyota for graciously providing the Tundra demo truck. This review would not have been possible without their unconditional support and help.