If Lexus Were To Build A Pickup
Everyone on staff loves the Toyota Tundra Double Cab. It is hard to fault the big guy that does just about everything well. Now, three-quarters of the way through its stay with us, the Double Cab has racked up almost 24,000 miles, which is saying something, considering most long-termers only acquire about 20,000 miles after a year in our stable.
This quarter, the Tundra has seen a lot of road-trip duty, mostly because of its roomy accommodations, respectable fuel economy, and smooth and quiet ride. Trips have taken the Tundra from rainy freeways to snowy slopes, and nothing seems to unsettle its confident road manners. Testers who have enlisted the Tundra for towing chores still comment that the adequate-around-town 4.7L iForce V-8 feels a bit overmatched when hitched to a trailer. Although we should note that Toyota has addressed this concern for the 2005 model year with the addition of VVTi, boosting the engine's output to 282 hp, which helps, but still doesn't give you the low-down grunt of extra cubic inches.
With the miles piling on, we turned to Keyes Toyota in Van Nuys, California, for a 20,000-mile service, along with a recommended front brake job. We asked for an alignment after noting the BFGs were showing some irregular wear, only to discover that the big Double Cab wouldn't fit on their alignment rack. Along with this quarter's service, it was time to erase a few of those hard miles by giving the Tundra a thorough cleaning. Thanks to Autowerkes Inc. of Huntington Beach, California, who worked their detailing magic to remove carpet stains and desert pinstriping, our Tundra looks brand new, inside and out.
Other than an intermittent rattle around the B-pillar, our Tundra still feels as tight and solid as it was when we first took delivery, and the staff continues to fight for the keys. Sadly, only a couple months of Four Wheeler service remain for the Tundra Double Cab, and Toyota is going to find it hard to convince our staff to hand over the keys when the time comes.
Previous report: Oct. '04, Mar '05
Base price: $32,600
Price as tested: $38,262
Four-wheel-drive system: Pushbutton-activated two-speed transfer case
Miles to date: 23,932
Miles since last report: 7,320
Test Average (mpg): 12.8
Best tank (mpg): 16.5
Worst tank (mpg): 9.0 (towing)
Problem areas: Door pillar rattle
MAINTENANCE20K Service, Tire Rotation, Front Brake Pads: $251.10
WHAT'S HOT, WHAT'S NOT
Hot: The armrests are perfectly placed for road trips, and we applaud Toyota for including no less than three 12-volt power outlets for the front occupants. The roll-down rear window is still a conversation piece for those not in the know.
Not: The 4.7L iForce needs some more cubes for that off-the-line grunt, and with the giant sunroof, interior lighting at night suffers. Hang on, we're still thinking ...
* "The ABS is too sensitive off-pavement."
* "I love the three 12V sockets in the front."
* "Even with the tire wear, I didn't have any traction problems in the snow."
* "The Tundra is well-mannered on the highway, great for long trips."