Large pickup trucks were once the sole domain of domestic automakers like Ford and Dodge with their Ford F series and Dodge Ram series. It was virtually unthinkable, just a few years ago, that a Japanese automaker could make a truck that the average American buyer would think twice about. Oh how times have changed.
The 2010 Toyota Tundra, starting at $23,455, is Japan’s answer to the Ford and Dodge large trucks. The 2010 Tundra is a result of years of adjustments by Toyota to win over the American buyer. Its history actually started back in 1993 as the T100, as Toyota attempted to keep its loyal small truck buyers who needed something larger. The T100 received loads of successful reviews, winning J.D. Power and Associates’ Initial Quality Survey “Best Full-Size Pickup” award and the “Best of What’s New” award by Popular Science magazine. However, these critical reviews did not result in a huge sales success. Over the years Toyota adjusted its offering, including changing the name in 1998 to Tundra, in response to its customers desires. The Tundra is now a full fledged sales success as well as maintaining its critical success.
The 2010 Toyota Tundra is offered in three different models; Regular Cab, Double Cab, and CREWMAX, with 4 different engine choices, and the ability to have 4X4 or 4X2. All of these options add up to almost 40 different combinations, the 2010 Toyota Tundra is no cookie cutter vehicle. There are then the multiple interior options such as satellite radio, JBL upgraded radio, navigation system, rear seat entertainment package etc. The Tundra starts in the mid $20k range for pricing but optioned out it quickly explodes into the $40k’s.
The 2010 Toyota Tundra has a ton of positives to draw in and retain customers. The vast array of options and styles means almost anyone can customize their choice to something that fully meets their needs. The engine choices, ranging from a smaller V6 to a powerful 5.7L V8, meet 99% of the customer requirements and the engines themselves are smooth and quiet and have impressive towing capabilities. Attached to those engines is a smooth and new 6 speed automatic that improves fuel economy and performance. Styling, inside and out, is top rate and the quality is as expected from Toyota (top notch). And, as with all Toyotas, reliability is expected to be excellent for the Toyota Tundra.
As with many larger trucks the ride quality in the Toyota leaves a bit to be desired. Its suspension is geared towards working and towing meaning for normal duty the ride can be a bit bouncy and jiggling. Fuel economy is poor, compared to a normal car, but compared to its truck competitors it is certainly competitive.
Overall the 2010 Toyota Tundra is a strong vehicle and will continue the erosion of sales for American full size truck makers.