Toyota Tundra Performance
Automotive journalists say that the 2015 Toyota Tundra has controlled handling and a firm ride. The off-road-oriented TRD Pro trim earns praise for its off-road prowess, and some reviewers add that it is one of the more comfortable Tundra trims on pavement as well. Test drivers like the Tundra's responsive steering and powerful 5.7-liter V8. However, the Tundra uses more fuel than most rivals, and some critics say that the Tundra doesn't drive as well as they would like.
- "On road and off, Toyota's full-size truck is still formidable." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "As for the ride, if anything it's smoother than that of the regular Tundra, thanks to the ultra-absorbent TRD Pro shocks and springs. Imagine that: a factory-prepared desert racer that's equally confident on concrete." -- AutoTrader (TRD Pro)
- "While manufacturers in this class typically try to one-up each other with claims of 'most horsepower,' 'most torque,' 'highest payload capacity,' 'highest towing limits,' or 'best-in-class fuel economy,' Toyota doesn't really play that game. The Tundra is competitive but not class-leading in these areas, and for most buyers, that's plenty good enough." -- Consumer Guide (2014)
- "Overall, we wished we were equally as smitten with this Toyota's driving dynamics as we were with its updated cabin, but that isn't the case." -- Autoblog (2014)
Acceleration and Power
The base Toyota Tundra comes with a 4.6-liter V8 engine that produces 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque. A 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque is optional. A six-speed automatic is standard on all models. The base 2015 Tundra gets an EPA-estimated 15/19 mpg city/highway, which is low for the class.
Reviewers report that the Tundra's optional 5.7-liter V8 is responsive and has ample power. They add that it is well-paired with the automatic transmission, which shifts smoothly. However, some critics comment that the eight-speed automatic found in the Ram 1500 is more refined.
- "Under the Tundra TRD Pro's hood resides one of my favorite engines in any vehicle: Toyota's 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8, the original engine when the current-generation Tundra debuted back in 2007. I'm here to tell you that it hasn't aged a day. Throttle response is quick and emphatic, and there's some serious midrange torque on tap when it's time to haul the mail." -- AutoTrader
- "This has to be one of the smoothest large vehicles I have driven, period. I'm not sure how or why the 5.7-liter plays so nicely with the six-speed auto, but this is Toyota Avalon-slick (yes, that's a compliment)." -- AutoWeek
- "The Tundra's 6-speed automatic transmission is smooth, though not as buttery as the Ram's 8-speed." -- Kelley Blue Book
Handling and Braking
Reviewers say the 2015 Tundra has a stiff ride and controlled handling. Some also comment that the Tundra feels smaller and is easier to maneuver than it looks. Test drivers like the Tundra's communicative steering, but caution that the brake pedal is overly sensitive.
- "It's got an old-school feel that I appreciated -- the steering is light, maybe even over-boosted, but not in that increasingly common synthetic drive-by-wire way. It'll hold a corner surprisingly well, even while communicating road imperfections through the wheel." -- AutoWeek
- "Toyota's half-ton truck isn't exactly nimble, but it drives smaller than its dimensions suggest." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Like every big truck, except the RAM 1500 (with its controversial coil-spring rear suspension), the Tundra's ride is a bit firm and jittery when the bed is empty. Recent updates help the truck's case, but it's still a full-size pickup truck, after all." -- AutoTrader
- "Toyota engineers retuned the damping rates, making for a more controlled ride. On the highway, the Tundra feels secure. … On back roads, you might even call the 5000-pound rig borderline sporty." -- Motor Trend (2014)
- "On the road, the Tundra drives a little smaller than it is, which is a compliment. The brakes are a bit touchy, but the steering is precise and its feedback appropriate, even on four-wheel-drive models. ..." -- Car and Driver (2014)
Towing and Hauling
The 2015 Toyota Tundra can tow up to 10,500 pounds and haul up to 2,080 pounds. Some auto journalists comment that a Tundra with the 5.7-liter V8 has ample power for any job thrown at it, but others write that the Chevrolet Silverado inspires more confidence when towing heavy loads.
- "The 310-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8 is totally adequate for lighter duties, while the 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 is up for almost any task (yes, it even pulled the Space Shuttle over a bridge)." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
- "It's hard not to recommend the Tundra, but the Silverado does feel a little more surefooted when towing close to its maximum payload." -- AutoTrader (2014)
Four-wheel drive Tundras with the TRD off-road package, as well as the TRD Pro trim feature off-road components that include unique wheels and tires, skid plates and shock absorbers. Test drivers agree that the Tundra TRD Pro can climb up and down steep grades and ford water with ease.
- "The Tundra does not offer a locking rear differential, but the big truck had no problems when we drove a 4-wheel-drive (4WD) TRD edition up muddy embankments, crawled down steep hills and waded through water. With TRD Pro Off-Road models you can tackle even more, including small jumps without fear of bottoming out." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "It's hard to believe, but this Tundra feels better the faster I go. At 50 mph, I'm gliding serenely over ruts and rocks that felt treacherous at 20. We're at a Toyota-sponsored event in middle-of-nowhere Nevada on some pretty gnarly terrain, and the Tundra TRD Pro isn't even breaking a sweat." -- AutoTrader
- "Where we felt the instinct to slow down to save the front end, this new spring and shock pairing just swallowed the ruts right up. After a while, our speeds picked up to 10, 15, and 20 mph faster than when we started. We were increasingly impressed that the setup was able to absorb so much nastiness and at the same time keep all four tires on the ground." -- Boston Globe
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