This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Wed, Apr 13, 2011
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Living Large in the 2011 Toyota Tundra 4x4 CrewMax Limited By John-Fredrik Wright “This is like a living room back here!”, exclaims a friend of mine as he climbs into the back seat of the Tundra CrewMax Limited. He’s right, the rear seat is big enough for three people sitting comfortably, with their dogs lying on the floor in front of them. Maybe not St. Bernard dogs, but Labradors should fit. If you remove the dogs, the seats can actually be moved forward a bit, enabling the seats to recline. Reclining back seats in a pickup, you gotta love it! If you’re more of a straight-backed guy, by moving the seats forward you are also gaining storage room behind the seats, for those things that just don’t fare well outside in the bed. Moving forward, literally; the front seat has plenty of room as well. The seats are very comfortable (almost too nice; we are in a truck, right?) and there is enough room between the two front seats that my wife can’t reach to hit me if I say/do/think something stupid. Not that that would ever happen… Moving on.
Even if this is a truck that will most often get a remark in line with “that is a huge truck”, I do feel pretty sophisticated when in it. What I mean is this; when someone comments on the vast size of your choice of transport, it usually means that you are driving just that; a huge truck. In the ‘old days’, a huge pickup usually meant uncomfortable straight-back seats, a clunky feeling (both handling and riding –wise), and most often the interior of the truck is full of manly stuff with a weird odor that nobody can remember why it is there or where it came from. With the Tundra, however, I would expect the owner to keep it as nice as it was when purchased. The Tundra is more like a big car in the interior, so manhandling it to be more like a truck would just be wrong. As for the ride, the Tundra is fairly smooth. A pickup truck will bounce a little when the bed is empty, that’s to be expected. The Tundra does that too, but it was only noticeable on those freeways known for being rough. Cruising up and down the I405 was not bad at all; again, fairly sophisticated for a truck. As with most real trucks, the Tundra attempts to set records for the number of cupholders within reach; there are six for the two people in front. You’ll also find other luxuries, such as a butt-warming function in the front seats, as well as the standard USB and AUX inlets. Auto-up and down windows should be included, but they are not, so don’t get your hopes up; it unfortunately only has auto-down, and only on the driver’s side. I’m really hoping that this will be fixed in coming years, and that all manufacturers figure out that it is a nice, albeit cheap, feature.
Driving a truck this size, the back-up camera is a great help. The whole concept of moving a house-sized truck down the street takes some getting used to. The good news is that the driver enjoys a great view, sitting higher than many other vehicles on the road. The bad news is the blind spots that are created, but with a little clever mirror-setting that can be solved. Somewhat at least. Also, a great tip for future Tundra drivers, or drivers of anything this big, is to use the mirror-folding option diligently, it will greatly help avoid someone colliding with the mirror of your vehicle. The Toyota Tundra is a great looking beast. The CrewMax amplifies the hugeness of the truck, yet does not make it the longest Tundra available. That title belongs to the Tundra Double Cab with the Long Bed, measuring in at 246.7 inches in total length, versus the “measly” 228.7 inches the CrewMax boasts. Both options offer ample space in the truck-bed and there are also a great number of tie-downs available for securing that load. Either way, these are large trucks. The Tundra stands high and tall. A massive, tough looking truck with enough ground clearance to not have to worry about curbs (or anything else that size). Big and bulky, yet not too bad to drive after you’ve gotten used to it. The sonar system will chirp a bit in the beginning as you learn where the cars begins and ends. The hood of the truck is chest high for a full size grownup, and approaching a crosswalk too fast will scare even the toughest of pedestrians.
In summation, the Tundra CrewMax is a BIG car with truck bed attached, or, put differently, a pickup with a luxury car’s interior. With the reclining back seats(!), very comfortable front seats, ample cup-holders both back and front, a great sound-system (I mean the speakers, but yes, the engine sounds great too), and the easy-to-use Toyota GPS system, the 2011 Tundra CrewMax is a roadtrip-ready truck. Passengers will enjoy the ride, and they will have no problem bringing along all their toys. SIDEBAR COMMENT: We would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the Tundra as a truck. In workhorse mode, Toyota trucks are as tough as they come—utterly reliable, and with a life span that extends into the next universe. The Tundra is no different in this regard. We know Toyota truck owners, and we know what they do to their vehicles. The fact that such a workhorse can offer this level of comfort is commendable. Just be prepared to own the truck that will not die. It will, in all likelihood, last far longer that you want it to (see BBC Top Gear's “Killing A Toyota” video). – Roy Nakano For more information about Toyota products, go to toyota.com
SPECIFICATIONS: Name of vehicle: 2011 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 4x4 Limited Price: $42,455 (base) EPA fuel economy rating (miles per gallon): 13 (city) 17 (highway) Engine size and type: 5.7L DOHC 32-Valve i-FORCE V8 with Dual Independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i)
Horsepower: 381 @ 5600 rpm Torque: 401 pound-feet @ 3600 rpm Transmission type: 6-speed Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i), sequential shift mode and uphill/downhill shift logic, TOW/HAUL mode Drive configuration: Four-wheel drive Steering (type): Hydraulic power-assisted rack-and-pinion Suspension (front and rear): Front independent coil-spring high-mounted double-wishbone with stabilizer bar and low-pressure nitrogen gas shocks; rear live axle with trapezoidal multi-leaf rear suspension and staggered outboard-mounted low-pressure nitrogen gas shocks Brakes and tires: Power-assisted 4-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) 18-in. alloy wheels with P275/65R18 tires Dimensions: Length: 228.7 in Width: 79.9 in Height: 76.0 in Curb weight: 5645 lbs