Miles To Date: 7,000
Average Fuel Economy: 13.7mpg
Towing Fuel Economy: You don't want to know.
What's Hot: 5.7L V-8 pulls hard, plenty of interior space for both passengers and gear. The thing's huge!
What's Not: Dash ergonomics, odd window lock switch, fuel mileage, towing feedback, and the thing's ginormous!
Toyota Tundra CrewMax SR5 4x4
Driver: Brandan Gillogly
After spending a couple of months behind the wheel of our Tundra test vehicle, the strengths and weaknesses of the truck have really become apparent. We can't imagine driving this truck with the 4.7L V-8, and neither can Toyota, as a 4x4 CrewMax is only available with the 5.7L. We have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the big V-8. We love that it explodes from a stop with surprising ease, thanks to its 4.30 rear axle. The hate resides mostly with gas pumps, as the behemoth rarely cracks 14 mpg with our mix of commuting and highway driving. And let's not even mention the single-digit mileage we recorded when a trailer entered the equation. When we towed with the Tundra, both with a relatively light load (less than 2,000 pounds) and with our SSR project (around 7,000 pounds including trailer), the suspension responded with a porpoise-like ride, despite loading the trailer correctly. Capable? Yes. Comfy? No.
Inside the Tundra, the jumble of interior colors and textures still looks a bit off. We enjoy the huge center console and its ability to swallow tons of gear, and the rear seat video is one of the best you can get from the factory. Another plus is the quality of the Bluetooth cell phone integration. Calls come through the speaker with great clarity, and everyone we spoke to on the other end of the call was surprised to know we were using a hands-free device. One gripe we do have with the Bluetooth: calls are automatically transferred to Bluetooth when you approach the vehicle, without any prompt on the touch screen. Not a big deal, unless your passengers happen to be loudly singing along to the stereo, or your once-private conversation gets broadcast through the vehicle. One more complaint about the interior: locking the windows via the switch on the driver door also stops the driver from being able to lower any of the windows save their own. Weird.