2010 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 4X4Posted on January 30th, 2010
Full-sized pickup truck for active families
By Nina Russin
Not all horses are created equal. Neither is all horsepower.
Horsepower is a measurement of an engine’s ability to do work. Originally one horsepower equaled the strength of a single horse: 33,000 ft.-lbs. of work per minute.
Horsepower can make a vehicle very fast, or capable of towing heavy loads, depending on its application. Full-sized pickup trucks are the Clydesdales of the car world. Large displacement engines such as the 4.6-liter V-8 in the Toyota Tundra combine horsepower with low-end torque, giving these vehicles exceptional hauling capability. The 5550-pound Tundra tows up to 10,100 pounds: twice its curb weight.
What distinguishes the Tundra from many of its competitors is performance: strong acceleration and surprising agility on challenging roads. One could say that the Tundra combines the strength of a Clydesdale horse with the grace of an Arabian.
The CrewMax model holds up to five adults. Its versatile, well-equipped interior makes it equally adept as a work truck and active lifestyle vehicle.
New iForce engine
This year, Toyota engineers introduce a new aluminum, 4.6-liter V-8 engine to the Tundra line-up. The new engine bridges the gap between the 236-horsepower V-6 on regular and double-cab models, and the optional iForce 5.7-liter V-8. The 4.6-liter block produces 310 horsepower. The engine reaches peak torque, 327, ft.-lbs., at 3400 rpm. Its ability to develop torque at low engine speeds gives the Tundra excellent low-end acceleration as well as good towing performance.
A standard six-speed automatic transmission enhances fuel economy and minimizes shift shock. Fuel economy for the four-wheel drive Tundra with the 4.6-liter engine is 14/19 mpg city/highway: two miles-per-gallon better than the 5.7-liter block on the highway. Average fuel economy for my 150-mile test drive was about 18 miles-per-gallon.
All models come with an independent front suspension and live rear axle. The solid rear end improves the Tundra’s towing performance, without noticeable chatter. Four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with four-channel antilock braking give the Tundra firm, linear stopping power.
Excellent steering response
The Tundra’s low-end torque and excellent steering feedback give it ride and handling characteristics similar to a passenger car. My test drive included both four-lane highways and some faster two-lane roads, with corkscrew turns and 3000 feet of altitude gain. I also spent some time in dense traffic, to assess visibility around the vehicle, and maneuverability.
Despite its wide track and long wheelbase, the Tundra is easy to drive on surface streets. The abundance of low-end torque translates to excellent acceleration in the 20-to-50 mile-per-hour range. Once on the highway, the Tundra can pass slower vehicles with ease.
My drive through the eastern Arizona mountains was a good test of the Tundra’s low-end power. The engine downshifts on steeper grades, but shift shock is minimal.
On-center response was excellent when I simulated an emergency evasive maneuver. The Tundra handled decreasing radius and corkscrew turns with aplomb.
Engineers did an excellent job of minimizing noise and vibration inside the passenger cabin. Despite its high profile, there is no noticeable wind noise around the side mirrors or front glass.
Visibility is quite good to the front and sides. I was able to see lower-profile vehicles in the adjacent lanes, and monitor traffic several lanes to my left.
An optional rear back-up camera displays an image in the rear-view mirror ($345). Due to its small size, the image is harder to see than cameras that use the optional navigation screen. Still, the less expensive option enhances the driver’s ability to see objects around the back of the car.
The Tundra’s upscale interior includes standard leather upholstery, heated front seats and dual climate controls. Designers made the control knobs on the instrument panel large enough to manipulate with work gloves on.
The passenger cabin has a plethora of storage areas, including a large, locking glovebox, and a center console bin big enough to hold a small pack. A hanging file folder in the center console bin adds extra versatility, as does a shelf for small electronic devices.
All four doors have map pockets with bottle holders. There are small covered bins next to the armrests on the front doors. Four covered bins in the overhead console hold sunglasses, garage door openers and other small items.
Both front and rear passengers have access to twelve-volt power points. A USB port up front allows passengers to plug in a thumb drive. Controls for the four-wheel drive and tow/haul mode are within easy reach. Redundant audio and Bluetooth controls on the steering wheel minimize driver distraction.
I found the gauges easy to read in a variety of lighting conditions. A digital display in the gauge cluster adds odometer, trip meter, driving range, real-time and average fuel economy readings.
Grab handles on the A and B pillars make it easier to get in and out of the car. The second-row seat holds three adults. The 60/40 split bench seats move back and forth ten inches to maximize legroom. Small items can stow underneath the seats.
Dual overhead reading lamps up front and a dome lamp in back illuminate the interior at night.
All models come with front, side, side curtain, driver and passenger knee airbags. Toyota’s star safety system combines antilock braking, stability and traction control functions in a manner that’s invisible to the driver.
An optional off-road package adds a uniquely tuned suspension and a fuel tank skid plate. Daytime running lamps are a stand-alone option.
Base price for the Tundra CrewMax 4X4 is $40,885, not including an $800 delivery fee. Toyota builds the Tundra at its assembly plant in San Antonio, Texas.
Likes: A powerful, versatile full-sized pickup with towing capacity over 10,000 pounds.
Dislikes: High base sticker price may put the CrewMax out of reach of some customers.
Model: Tundra CrewMax 4X4
Base price: $40,885
As tested: $43,405
Horsepower: 310 Hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque: 327 lbs.-ft. @ 3400 rpm
Antilock brakes: Standard
Side curtain airbags: Standard
First aid kit: N/A
Bicycle friendly: Yes
Fuel economy: 14/19 mpg city/highway.
5 responses to “2010 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 4X4”
I was pretty impressed with the Tundra when I test drove it too. The blind spots were good except for directly behind the truck and small vehicles on the right side, but as you said they did a good job decreasing these with blind spot mirrors and a camera. I was also impressed with all the storage, I have so much clutter in my car, I was very happy to see these.
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