The Ultimate Toyota Tundra Page

Since 1999, the Toyota Tundra has enjoyed a coveted spot in the automobile industry. When it burst onto the scene, it was recognized as being a Japanese manufacturer's first foray into giving North American people what they wanted most in a truck: size and strength. Its reception from consumers was legendary, and the truck continues to be a show-stopper. The Tundra has frequently topped best-of lists throughout its lifetime, and those distinctions are a testimony to its popularity and performance among picky truck enthusiasts.

Up to Specs

While in a class of its own, the Tundra took a few very liberal cues from earlier Toyota models during its initial development. Like other Toyota pickup models, the Tundra had a 3.4-liter V6 engine, with its second engine being a 4.7-liter V8. These impressive specifications signaled to the automobile industry that Toyota was serious about offering a powerful competitor to the pickup truck market. Its size specifications in particular lent the truck credibility throughout its lifetime.

Toyota Tundras underwent a few changes in size throughout the years. Between 2000 and 2004, the Tundra was 217.5 inches in length, with its Double Cab being 230.1 inches long. In 2005 and 2006, the length was 218.3 inches. Widths remained constant throughout the first generation's history, with the standard version being 75.2 inches, the Double Cab and Limited versions clocking in at 79.3 inches, and the Limited Double Cab boasting 79.7 inches.

Heights for the first-generation four-wheel-drive Tundras showed the most variability: the SR5 V8 four-wheel-drive was 71.1 inches, with its sister SR5 Access Cab four-wheel-drive measuring 71.5 inches tall between 2000 and 2004. The SR5 Stepside Access Cab four-wheel-drive was 71.3 inches, the Limited four-wheel-drive came in at 71.7 inches, the Double Cab four-wheel-drive reached 74.4 inches, and the Double Cab Limited four-wheel-drive shot up to 75.0 inches. Two-wheel-drives included the modest Limited two-wheel-drive at 70.5 inches, the SR5 Access Cab two-wheel-drive measuring 70.7 inches, the Limited two-wheel-drive reaching 70.9 inches, the Double Cab Limited two-wheel-drive measuring 74.6 inches, and the Double Cab two-wheel-drive standing at 74.0 inches. Its weight fluctuated between an impressive 3,935 and 4,215 pounds.

Second-generation Tundras were a bit more uniform in their dimensions. The Regular Cab with the 6.5-foot box was 209.8 inches long, and the Regular Cab with the 8-foot box, the Double Cab with the 6.5-foot box, and the CrewMax with the 5.5-foot box were all 228.7 inches in length. The exception was the Double Cab with the 8-foot box, which came in at a whopping 247.6 inches. Heights were also close in measurements: the Regular Cab four-wheel-drive was 76.2 inches tall, the Regular Cab LB four-wheel-drive and the Double Cab four-wheel-drive were 76.4 inches in height, the Crew Max four-wheel-drive reached 76 inches, both two-wheel-drive versions of the Regular and Double Cab were 75.8 inches, and the CrewMax with two-wheel drive was 75.6 inches. Second-generation Tundras were 79.9 inches long.

Initial Introduction: The First-Generation Tundra

The first generation of the Tundra was sold from 2000 to 2006. Toyota's 2000 Tundra was an instant hit and set a milestone within the Toyota company, notching the most out-of-the-gate sales in company history. Perhaps this had to do with the engines available at the time: Consumers had the choice between a 24V 3.4-liter V6 engine with 190 horsepower and 220 pound-feet of torque and a 32-valve 4.7-liter V8 engine with 245 horsepower and 315 pound-feet of torque. For consumers who wanted even more power in their vehicles, a supercharger was introduced through Toyota Racing Development (TRD), which had 3.4-liter V6 and V8 engines as part of the 2000 to 2003 range of models. While the V6 engine is still in rotation today, the V8 engine was discontinued and a 4.7-liter engine equipped with VVT-i technology replaced it.

For a few years, the Tundra experienced a few modest updates, including a new grille for the 2003 model and a Stepside bed for specific Access Cab versions of the truck. Double cabs were incorporated into Tundra models relatively late in 2004, which made the truck 13 inches longer and 4 inches wider; even the wheelbase saw a growth of 12 inches. A few major changes were ushered in in 2005, including new engines, such as the 4.0-liter V6 with 236 horsepower and torque of 266 pound-feet. Soon, advances in the company's VVT-i technology increased engine horsepower and torque. Meanwhile, the Tundras began boasting six-speed manual and five-speed automatic driving capabilities.

From Then to Now: The Second-Generation Tundra

Since the first generation was considered by some to be lacking in power compared to other full-size trucks, Toyota released the second generation with an eye toward market competitiveness. It had three engines from which to choose: the old 4.0-liter 1GR-FE V6 engine with 236 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque, as well as the new 5.7-liter V8 engine with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque and a 4.7-liter 2UZ-FE V8 engine with 276 horsepower and 313 pound-feet of torque. In addition, this new version of the Tundra had two transmission options and three bed length selections with the same number of cab choices and even wheelbases. The standard cab sizes saw a shakeup, as Double Cabs replaced the Access Cabs and the CrewMax replaced the previous Double Cabs. A six-speed manual transmission was a revelation for consumers who wanted more control of their gears; it featured a torque converter that could switch into manual shift mode.

It's been suggested that second-generation Tundras targeted construction, industrial, and manual-labor workers as their main customer base. Many of the features included in the second-generation Tundra, including integrated towing capabilities, extra traction reassurance, large door handles that could accommodate gloves, and interior room for a hard hat, among other special features, seemed to be particularly beneficial for workers in those industries. The 5.7-liter Tundras even had coolers for engine oil and transmission fluid and a towing capability of 9,000 to 10,400 pounds, potentially offering extra help to workers who had to travel and haul heavy cargo across long distances. A deck rail system, stability control, and a variety of safety braking mechanisms further made it appealing to blue-collar workers.

Recognizing its popularity, Toyota added 13 more potential variations to the Tundra by 2008. These included a more affordable version of the Tundra that hit the market with many bells and whistles. Adventurous consumers were given the option to choose between TRD Sport and TRD Rock Warrior packages in 2009. The 2010 saw modest upgrades in the exterior grilles and tail lamps, and a luxury trim package was also offered to consumers. The standard engine became a 4.6-liter V8 coupled with a six-speed automatic, and more safety features, like airbags for lower parts of the body such as the knees, were added as well.

Special Editions

Toyota manufactured the T3 Special Edition of the truck to coincide with the marketing and release of the movie Terminator: Rise of the Machines. As shown in the movie, the Tundra was made with a TRD package. A NASCAR Darrell Waltrip Edition was also released, and mirroring the power behind the actual racer, it featured a V8 engine and the Double Cab. Both special editions were notable for their unique exteriors, including distinctive trim and grille features.

Other special and limited editions marketed toward off-roading enthusiasts included the Ivan "Ironman" Stewart version, the TRD Rock Warrior, and the TRD Pro. The 1794 Edition was created to appeal to consumers who wanted to invest in a premium package and a sophisticated ride. In addition, enhancements made in 2014 and onward guaranteed that the Tundra remained modern and competitive with other premium trucks. These changes affected everything from the trim to information panels, as these trucks began gaining ground on the market and the Tundra became ubiquitous in both pop culture and current events. When a Tundra famously towed the space shuttle Endeavour in 2012, it may have finally made its mark on history while becoming a ubiquitous part of American culture.

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