2017 Toyota Tundra Introduction

The Toyota Tundra is a capable pickup. Introduced for 2007, then revised for 2014, it’s the oldest design of the full-size pickups. The 2017 Tundra adds new colors to the palette along with a power passenger seat, but otherwise it’s carryover from 2016 when there were some minor updates.

Primarily due to its age, the Tundra ranks at the bottom of a list of superb full-size pickups: Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500, Nissan Titan, and Ram 1500. Ram is almost as dated, but its replacement will be here shortly. Prices have been lowered on most 2017 Tundra models.

All Tundras come with a V8: the 4.6-liter with 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque, and the 5.7-liter rated 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet. Two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive are available.

Fuel economy isn’t as good as what some of the domestics offer. EPA estimates are 15/19 mpg City/Highway or 16 mpg Combined for 4.6-liter 2WD, 13/17/15 mpg for 5.7-liter 4WD.

Tundra may not offer as many configurations as the domestics but it offers the ones most people want, with a choice of three cabs, several bed lengths, and multiple trim levels. Regular Cabs seat two or three and come with a traditional 8-foot bed. Double Cabs offer 8- and 6.5-foot beds and feature rear-hinged rear doors and flip-up back seats. CrewMax models have 5.5-foot beds, four conventional doors, and a rear bench seat suitable for six-footers. Alas, here in Tundra-ville you’ll find no lockable storage within the cargo bed, no damped tailgate, no bumper steps, no tailgate-mounted walking stick.

Passive safety features are here, including eight airbags, but active-safety features, adaptive cruise control and forward-collision warnings are unavailable. Then again, we hate those features.

Crash-test scores are average. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the Tundra four stars overall (five for side-impact protection). Some versions get only three-star rollover ratings. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates Tundra Good, but only Acceptable in the small-overlap crash test.

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