Toyota Tundra Performance
The 2007 Toyota Tundra offers a new, more powerful V8 engine and reviewers are impressed by what Edmunds calls its "class-leading output." However, Motor Trend says, "Keeping in mind that this is a big, tall, heavy vehicle, its handling is no better than any other big truck."
In an attempt to make the Tundra competitive with trucks from the big three Detroit automakers, Toyota has given it a new 5.7-liter V8 engine, and reviewers largely agree that this makes the Tundra's engine the one for other large truck manufacturers to beat. "In the world of half-ton pickups," says Car and Driver, "the Tundra's new 5.7 V-8 rules, and that rule is absolute." But once they've finished praising the V8's power and acceleration, they find little else to get excited about in the Tundra's performance. "The Tundra has decent handling if not pushed too hard and is fairly easy to maneuver," says the . "But it's no sport truck with either the 18- or 20-inch wheels -- not even with the TRD [suspension] off-road package which my test Tundra had."
Acceleration and Power
Previous models of the Tundra came with a choice of a 4.0-liter V6 or a 4.7-liter V8, both of which the Cars.com finds the 4.7 liter paired with a 5-speed automatic shift "more than adequate in a Tundra Double Cab 4x2." These engines are still available, but most reviewers ignore them in favor of praising the new 5.7-liter iForce V8. "My test Tundra with the 5.7 V8 was the fastest full-size stock half-ton pickup I've driven," says MSN, "doing 0-60 mph in 6 seconds flat with its considerable torque and quick-thinking automatic transmission." Motor Trend says that "[t]he new V-8 is as smooth and powerful as the best of its competitors." And the says, simply, "The engine is superb." A rare complaint comes from Consumer Guide, which notes that "either V8 [the 4.7-liter or the 5.7-liter] can seem slightly slow to deliver muscle in highway passing situations, even unladen."dismisses as "anemic choices for hauling or towing," though
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Tundra with the 4.0-liter engine at 15 miles per gallon in the city and 19 on the highway, while the 4.7-liter model scores 14 mpg in the city and 17 on the highway and the 5.7-liter V8 is rated at 14 in the city and 18 on the highway. Reviewers aren't thrilled. calls the fuel economy "unimpressive" and the reviewer for the exclaims, "Wow, I'd sure hate to buy gas for this thing." The thinks Toyota is being hypocritical: "Toyota skeptics would like to point out that although the company is proclaiming itself as the savior of the planet, it is building ever more monster pickups and SUVs. This is a fair criticism." But MSN notes that "[t]he engines all use 87-octane fuel, which is a plus with prices for even regular grade gasoline topping $3 per gallon in many areas of the country as of this writing."
Reviewers like the standard 5-speed automatic transmission and the optional 6-speed automatic, with the latter garnering particular praise. "All that horsepower," says the PickupTruck.com says, "We also like the shifting of the six-speed tranny. It was smooth and quiet, and perfectly matched to the 5.7 V8.", "is shipped through a six-speed automatic transmission that turns what could be a herky-jerky amalgam into a smooth ride up and down the gears."
Handling and Braking
The 2007 Toyota Tundra is a large, heavy vehicle and reviewers don't expect it to have snappy handling. "This is a big pickup," says Car and Driver, "and it responds like a big pickup, which is to say deliberately. No one will confuse it with a sports car." Nonetheless, reviewers aren't complaining. 4-Wheel & Off-Road says that "[t]he Tundra's road manners are first-rate. Only when traffic lanes (or brushy trails) got narrow did we feel its bulk." The Tundra's trucky handling mainly becomes a problem when the driver attempts to park it. "[W]hile those in small cars complain when trying to back out of a parking space with a full-size pickup parked alongside," says the , "those in a Tundra have to attempt slipping into a parking space when any vehicle is parked on either side. Not quick and easy to do when maneuvering a land yacht." Fortunately, the Tundra comes with a backup camera. "It helps that there's a small screen above the rearview mirror," continues the , "so the backup camera in the rear bumper can show you any person or thing in your path."
Most reviewers find that the Tundra's independent double wishbone front suspension and rear leaf springs produce an acceptable ride. "We found the ride over uneven surfaces to be composed and controlled," says Kelley Blue Book. Newsday, however, disagrees: "The ride is choppy and bouncy." But then they add that "the Tundra's suspension does a good job - as do those of competitors - in keeping the tires in contact with the pavement." Cars.com observes that "[t]he new Tundra Double Cab and CrewMax ride well with an empty bed -- the worst-case scenario. There's some shudder in the structure when rolling over bumps, but this is common among body-on-frame pickups, and it's not excessive here." The felt that the ride was "not particularly smooth, but not punishing." And the goes so far as to say that the Tundra's "nearly 5,300 pounds rolled with silky smoothness...The Tundra's suspension swallowed the jolt of potholes, with only the sound reaching the interior cabin."
Several reviewers note that the Tundra's power rack-and-pinion steering is "numb." Consumer Guide feels that the Tundra "[d]isappoints with slow, numb steering feel, lazy reactions and some noseplow in quick changes of direction." MSN feels that "[t]he steering is quick enough, but also somewhat heavy and numb." Car and Driver reports that "the tactile information coming through the steering wheel is as vague as a government communiqué." But Edmunds says that "we have nothing but praise for the steering, which has precise feel and direct response." Truck Trend says that "[t]he light steering that turns tighter is welcome in urban and backing situations." And the raves, "Steering was amazingly responsive."
The word "numb" also comes up several times for the Tundra's braking. "[F]or all the system power," jokes Car and Driver, "brake pedal feel is as numb as your tongue in the aftermath of a root canal." Cars.com says, "In normal driving, the brakes did their job, but the numb pedal feel left plenty to be desired. The Silverado has a real edge here." But otherwise the brakes are well reviewed. "As stunning as it was to feel this big truck moving so fast," says the , "it was equally stunning to feel how quickly the big, four-wheel, ventilated disc brakes slowed it down or brought it to an abrupt stop." And PickupTruck.com calls the Tundra's braking "outstanding." Antilock braking is standard on the Tundra.
Reviewers are impressed with the Tundra's towing capabilities. Edmunds says that "this configuration achieves another best-in-class: a tow rating of 10,800 pounds." notes that "[t]he Tundra tows well, returns a respectable 11.4 mpg while doing so and has plenty of power in reserve."