Newly Redesigned for 2009. Toyota Tundra
The 2007 Tundra broke the truck market wide open. This newly redesigned Tundra available now for the 2009 model year is no slouch either. It offers extreme power available with a V8 engine and comfortable interior, very indicative of a Toyota. It might not turn any heads with its outward appearance but it is sure to please when towing heavy pieces.
The current generation Toyota Tundra is Toyota's third version of a full-size pickup. The 2009 Toyota Tundra is relatively unchanged. New for 2009 is a bench seat available on SR5 trim at no charge, four-door cabs receive a chrome front bumper and grille, the regular cab Cold kit adds wiper deicing, the Power memory Package is optional rather than standard on Limited, and in non-California emissions regions 5.7-powered four-wheel drives will be flex-fuel capable of running on E85.
Two new TRD packages are available for 2009: Rock Warrior and Sport Edition. Toyota Racing Development also offers supercharger systems that deliver near 500 hp from the 5.7. The high-torque, 381-hp 5.7-liter V8 and its standard six-speed automatic transmission make one of the strongest, most responsive powertrains in the class. Towing capacity reaches 10,800 pounds. In all, the 2009 Tundra is available in 45 different build configurations. Among it competition from Dodge and Chevy, there's no arguing the Tundra is a viable alternative to any half-ton pickup.
2009 Tundra Lineup
The Tundra Regular Cab 4x2 is powered by a 236-hp 4.0-liter V6, with 266 pound-feet of torque, a five-speed automatic transmission and the 6.5-foot, standard-length bed. The eight-foot long-bed is optional. Also optional is the 4.7-liter V8 or 5.7-liter V8.
The Regular Cab 4x4 comes standard with the 4.7-liter V8 and an electronically controlled, part-time four-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer case. The Regular Cab is the workhorse edition Tundra, with a fabric-upholstered, 40/20/40-split bench seat, vinyl floor covering, column shift and manual-crank windows. The standard wheels are 18-inch steel.
Double Cab Tundra Grade 4x2 comes with the 4.0-liter V6 and standard bed. The Tundra Double Cab features rear side door like on an SUV, and seats for as many as six. The 4.7-liter V8 5.7-liter V8 and long bed are optional on Double Cab models. The Tundra Grade equipment basically matches the Regular Cab, adding carpet in place of the vinyl flooring, a tachometer and outside temperature indicator.
The Double Cab SR5 4x2 and 4x4 add lots of standard equipment, including power front bucket seats, a floor-mounted shifter and center console, power windows and heated mirrors, central locking, cruise control, a stereo with six speakers and an in-dash six-CD changer, heavy duty starter and battery, and mud guards.
The Double Cab Limited 4X2 and 4x4 feature the most luxurious trim package. Both come standard with the 4.7-liter V8, the 5.7-liter V8 is optional .They are only offered with the standard bed. Standard equipment includes heated, leather-trimmed front buckets, JBL audio with 12 speakers, sliding rear glass, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and programmable garage-door opener and front and rear park-assist.
The CrewMax Tundra Grade 4x2 and 4x4 feature full-size rear side doors, more rear-cab space, and a sliding, fold-flat rear bench seat. They come standard with the 4.7-liter V8, but are only offered with a 5.5-foot short bed. The 5.7-liter V8 and six-speed automatic are optional. A CrewMax SR5 4x2 and 4x4 and CrewMax Limited 4x2 and 4x4 are also available. Standard equipment on each trim level basically matches that on the Double Cab models, though the CrewMax adds an overhead console and a vertical sliding power rear window.
Driving the Tundra
Ride and handling in the Tundra might be the best in class. Steering response is sure and certain. Toyota's suspension engineers have delivered a setup that leaves no doubt the driver is operating a truck, and yet by virtually every measure suggests the Tundra is anything but. As with most pickups, the ride gets bouncy on bumpy freeways with an empty bed. On the road, power delivery in the two V8 engines is linear, and commendably strong at low engine speed. This is especially so in the 5.7-liter, where 90 percent of the torque is on tap from 2400 revolutions per minute to 5500 rpm. Maximum towing capacity of 10,800 pounds applies to an unloaded Tundra regular cab with the 5.7-liter V8.
The 236-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6 with aluminum block/cylinder heads, dual overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder makes 266 pounds-feet of torque. The 276-hp, 4.7-liter V-8 with iron block/aluminum cylinder heads, dual overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder makes 313 pounds-feet of torque. Despite the engines' overhead-camshaft, four-valve-per-cylinder architectures, the Toyota engines tend to make their peak power earlier at lower rpm, where you want it in a truck, than most competitor engines.
Toyota Tundra Cabin
The Tundra's interior is designed to appeal to and accommodate working people. The cabs are roomy. Tundra CrewMax is the current leader in rear-seat legroom, offering more of it than it does front seat legroom. The control knobs are easy to grip and the gauges are easy to read at a glance. There are plenty of storage options, especially with a center console that can hold a laptop and hanging files. Even the Regular Cab has plenty of room behind the seat. The seats are comfortably cushioned but not too soft; with modest side bolsters in front. Visibility from the driver's seat is excellent. The standard mirrors are large, and can be adjusted to deliver a panoramic view all the way around the truck. The optional tow mirrors are also superb. The tow mirrors can be manually extended outward to help the driver see around enclosed car trailers and other big trailers. Fabric upholstery feels durable and the leather does, too. The Tundra Limited lacks some of the essence of luxury found in the new Dodge and Ford trucks, but the seats are wide, supportive and comfortable, and the ride is especially quiet.
Some of the details on Tundra's body add interest, and function. Deep recesses underneath make the beefy door handles easy to grip. The Tundra CrewMax has these big handles on all four doors, while the Double Cab uses vertical grabs on the back doors that are a bit snug for large hands. In the stylistic sense, the Tundra is big and burly by design. The grille pulls lines from the deeply sculpted hood into the front end. Some like the black piece of trim designed to look like an air inlet at the top of the grille, some don't; likewise some like the rounded lines and others call them inflated. A massive three-bar grille, sculptured hood and husky bumper present an intimidating head-on view. From the side, the Tundra is more conventional. A deck-rail adjustable tie-down system is available for all cargo beds. Opening and closing the tailgate is dramatically eased by the tailgate assist. The mechanism starts with a torsion bar in the hinge assembly to make the tailgate feel lighter, and includes a gas-pressurized strut, concealed behind the left taillight, to damp the lowering and assist in raising the lockable tailgate.
Toyota emphasizes safety with electronic braking technologies that help drivers avoid accidents. All are tied into the antilock braking system, including traction control, brake assist and electronic stability control. Toyota also has electronic brake-force distribution, which adjusts braking pressure according to cargo load. The Tundra includes front seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags standard on all versions.
The 2009 Toyota Tundra is a full-size pickup in every sense of the term. Toyota Tundra is a full-size, half-ton pickup that raises the competitive bar in its class. It's also built to Toyota's high standards of quality, durability and reliability. "Finally, a Toyota truck with no excuses. And it sure won't need any." says Car and Driver "The current Toyota Tundra, which came onto the scene in 2007 fresh from a redesign, matches or beats domestic full-size pickups when it comes to size, performance and price." adds Kelley Blue Book The Tundra is available in a variety of styles and trims. All have a manual gear-selection feature. Optional packages include the TRD Off-road Package, Sport Appearance Package and a Towing Package. Fuel economy is competitive, though EPA ratings are not best in class. It is estimated at 19 mpg Hwy, and 15 mpg City. The 2009 Tundra has an MSRP of $22,490 - $41,605.