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2007 Toyota Tundra - First Drive

Front View Blue
Drew Hardin
| Contributor
Posted March 1, 2007
Photographers: Courtesy of Toyota

Finally a Fullsize

For 2007 the Toyota Tundra finally delivers the goods as a fullsize pickup. Toyota has had a toe in the fullsize truck water since it introduced the T100 in 1993 and the first-generation Tundra in 2000.

But both were criticized as less than fullsize in size and capability.

That changes with the new Tundra. As you can see in the accompanying spec box, the Tundra matches or exceeds its 11/42-ton competition in size, power, payload, and tow capacity.

Like its domestic rivals, the Tundra is available in a number of configurations-up to 31, says Toyota-starting with three cab layouts: regular, four-door Double Cab, and the CrewMax with four fullsize doors. They can be combined with three bed lengths: the shortbed (66.7-inch) on the CrewMax or the standard (78.7-inch) and longbeds (97.6-inch) available with the regular and Double Cabs. Three engines are available: the 4.0L V-6 (for 2WDs only) and 4.7L iForce V-8 we're familiar with, and an all-new 5.7L iForce V-8.

Three engines are available in the new Tundra, but this is the one you want: the 5.7L i-Force V-8, with more power and torque than even the mighty Dodge Hemi. There are no official fuel economy numbers yet, but we expect them to be on par with other engines of this size.

The new 3UR-FE engine is based on a cast-aluminum block with a long, 4.02-inch stroke to aid torque production. It features alloy heads with four valves per cylinder and dual overhead cams on each cylinder bank. Each cam is fitted with a variable-phasing gear to maximize power production throughout the engine's speed range. On top of the engine is an intake manifold with different runner lengths that open or close, based on throttle angle and rpm, for best torque production.

Yes, "four-valve" and "dual overhead cams" usually translate to high-end power, not low-rev grunt. But the 5.7 flat works. It's quick off idle and, with 381 hp, plenty fast. Plus, with 90 percent of its 401 lb-ft of torque available between 2,400 and 5,500 rpm, there's guts to pass big rigs at any speed.

The new 5.7 is mated to an equally new six-speed automatic transmission with a 3.33:1 First gear and two overdrives. You can choose to leave the shifter in D or slap-shift to pick the gear you want, a feature available with either the floor-mounted console shifter or the column shifter in bench-seat models.

Toyota calls the Tundra "the most American vehicle in Toyota history." It was developed and designed here in the U.S.; engines are built in Alabama; transmissions in North Carolina; and the trucks are assembled in Indiana and Texas.

Four-wheel-drive Tundras get a new, part-time JF1A transfer case with a 2.62 low range that's nominally lower than the previous 2.57. (No 4:1 crawl box here.) The trucks also are fitted with new rear differentials that include a hefty 10.5-inch ring gear for the 5.7 models. The standard gear ratios for the 5.7 are 4.10s; 4.30s come with the tow package.

As you'd expect from Toyota, the Tundra is equipped with an alphabet-soup bowl full of computerized traction and ABS controls. There's no electric rear locker, though, like you find on other Toyota 4x4s. We hope that changes on future models.

The Tundra's ladder frame, 6 inches wider than the previous model, uses double A-arms with coilover springs in front, leaf springs with outboard-mounted and staggered shocks in back. A TRD Off-Road package swaps in stiffer coils and mounts Bilstein monotube shocks.

Engine Peak HP @ rpm Peak Torque (lb-ft) @ rpm
Toyota 5.7L V-8 381 @ 5,{{{600}}} 401 @ 3,600
{{{Ford}}} 5.4L V-8 {{{300}}} @ 5,000 365 @ 3,750
GM 5.3L V-8 315 @ 5,{{{200}}} 338 @ 4,400
GM 6.0L V-8 367 @ 5,500 375 @ 4,300
{{{Dodge}}} 5.7L Hemi V-8 345 @ 5,400 375 @ 4,200
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