When it originally debuted near the start of the new millennium, the Toyota Tundra was considered by many people to be the first import full-size pickup truck to truly go head-to-head against the trucks from domestic brands. In the Tundra’s favor were a refined V8 engine and Toyota’s reputation for reliability and durability. This Tundra, however, ultimately found more of an audience with recreational pickup buyers. Second-generation Tundras, however, are significantly bigger and more capable with three cab sizes, three bed lengths and a choice of three engines.
Second Generation Toyota Tundras 2007 – 2014
The current Toyota Tundra represents the second generation, which debuted for the 2007 model year. Models from 2007-’09 with the midsize V8 had a 4.7-liter V8 good for 271 hp. The 4.6-liter V8 with 310 hp arrived for 2010. That year also brought a couple new trim levels, as well as minor cosmetic tweaks and the addition of front-seat knee airbags. Also, prior to 2011 the V6 was less powerful (it made 236 hp). These Tundras also lack the 2014 model’s updated interior and exterior styling, and rearview camera.
First Generation Toyota Tundras 2000 – 2006
The previous-generation full-size Toyota Tundra replaced the unloved T100 pickup when it debuted for 2000. Production ran through the 2006 model year. Although it was available with an optional V8 and several configurations, it wasn’t large or tough enough to compete with its more traditional rivals when it came time for serious work-site tasks. Originally, the Tundra was available in regular and extended-cab versions. Regular-cab versions came only in long bed form, while the extended-cab models (Access Cab) came only with the short bed. The latter did include two rearward-opening doors for easier rear-seat access, but the backseat was cramped for a full-size pickup truck.
There were three trim levels: a sparsely equipped base trim, the midlevel SR5 and the top-line Limited. The base trim was available on two-wheel-drive regular cabs only. A 3.4-liter V6, making 190 hp and 220 lb-ft of torque, was standard on regular-cab Tundras and could be mated to either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. Topping the lineup was an available 4.7-liter V8 engine. This smooth-revving power plant made 245 hp and 315 lb-ft of torque and was available with a four-speed automatic transmission only. The big news for 2004 was the arrival of the Double Cab, a crew-cab version of the Tundra. Riding on an extended wheelbase and featuring a roomier cabin, the Double Cab added some much-needed variety to the Tundra’s lineup, providing a viable option for family-minded truck buyers.