I have stated the two things needed when moving into a new home are a truck and your mother. A truck – bigger the better – is a necessity to haul items to your new home and also trash to the dumpster. And moms lend support while organizing your closet and furniture. I have no plans to share my mom for your next move but I can give some advice on a truck that works hard on every occasion, the Toyota Tundra.
Over 100,000 Tundras were sold in the U.S. last year and the 2018 model is on pace to break that number. There are not a lot of changes to this year’s version though watch for an all-new Tundra in 2019.
It is a big vehicle with a large, double-walled bed that can hold (yes) a bed along with headboards, mattresses and most large household items. All Tundras are powered by V-8 engines; a 310-hp 4.6-liter is standard on the SR and SR5, while a muscular, 381-hp 5.7-liter V-8 comes on all other models.
Depending on configuration, the trucks are rated to tow as much as 10,300 pounds and a gross combined maximum towing rating of 16,000 pounds. That should be enough to tow a good sized trailer full of furniture and clothes. A big 38-gallon fuel tank is standard on most trim levels. SR and SR5 trims come standard with a 26.4-gallon tank.
I tested a Platinum version which has a lot of bells-and-whistles including a chrome step tube, LED and a manly grille. I found it to be very roomy; easily holding five adults with a 60/40 split rear seat that folds up if needed. The front seats are leather-trimmed and perforated with hear and air vents. The driver can adjust the seat 12 different ways while the passenger seat has 6 different movements.
The typical Toyota Entune system is here with either Audio Plus or Premium JBL Audio, depending on the build. There is touchscreen navigation and all the usual apps – Bluetooth, HD Radio, Satellite, and even a CD player.
Safety is one area where the 2018 Tundra is ahead of the game. Every trim comes standard with automatic emergency braking and the Toyota Safety Sense P package. This package pairs radar with an exterior camera to provide advanced collision avoidance features.
A rear backup camera, blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, 8 airbags, lane departure alert and dynamic radar cruise control are here to give you all the assistance you need to check your surroundings and alert you to safety issues.
There is a lot of muscle under the hood and that causes the Tundra to get just average fuel economy. The 5.7 liter V-8 is rated at 13/18/15 mpg with rear-wheel drive. A four-wheel drive is even thirstier at just 13/17/15. But the V-8’s run on regular unleaded and are even offered in an E85-capable model.
All told there are 5 models to choose from with 33 different builds and trims. Pricing for the Tundra is a strong point. The entry level with extended double cab will get you in for about $31,120. The Platinum beauty I tested topped out at just over $47,000, so choose wisely.
No matter how you use the Tundra – whether moving into a new place or commuting to work – you are sure to be as safe as possible. Just make sure to buckle up and kiss your mom goodbye.