With more than four dozen possible configurations and a towing capacity of up to 10,500 pounds, the 2017 Toyota Tundra doesn’t do anything in a small way. Such is the case for this full-size pickup truck assembled exclusively in San Antonio, Texas. For 2017, the Texas-bred Tundra’s color palette includes Barcelona Red Metallic, Super White, Black, Inferno, and Quicksand. The Limited grade adds two new standard amenities: a 4-way power passenger seat to compliment the 10-way power driver’s seat.

The Tundra is powered by a V8-exclusive engine lineup and is offered in three cab styles: two-door Regular Cab, four-door Double Cab, and the super-sized four-door CrewMax. Within those configurations are six model grades: the high-value, hard-working SR; volume-leading SR5; comfort-focused Limited; two premium grades, the luxurious Platinum and unique 1794 Edition; and the off-road-astute TRD Pro.

The Tundra Regular Cab models, popular as work trucks, come exclusively with an 8.1-foot long-bed. Double Cab models, offered with either a 6.5-foot standard-bed or long-bed configurations, use forward-hinged rear doors, and offer 34.7 inches of rear seat legroom.

As its name suggests, the CrewMax prioritizes room for people. Its longer cab, larger rear doors, and shorter 5.5-foot bed make for a limo-like 42.3 inches of rear seat legroom. Limited trim Double Cab models come standard with a power sliding horizontal rear window, while all CrewMax models have a power vertical sliding rear window.

All Tundra beds are 22.2 inches deep and, when properly equipped, offer a payload capacity of up to 2,080 pounds. The lockable easy-lower-and-lift tailgate lowers slowly with no slam and can easily be removed. Carrying larger items is made easy with the available deck rail system and a spray-in bed liner. A potential money-saver down the road, the front and rear bumpers use three-piece construction for reduced repair costs.

Two V8 Choices

The Tundra can be powered by one of two available i-Force V8 engines. The standard 4.6-liter i-Force V8 produces 310 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 327 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,400 rpm. It is the 5.7-liter sibling, however, that’s the most popular, and ups the horsepower ante to 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,600 rpm. For 2017, 21 of those with the 5.7-liter V8 are certified Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) that can use up to E85 blend fuel (available in select markets).

Both i-Force V8s utilize an aluminum cylinder block, double overhead-cam heads with four valves per cylinder, Dual Independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), and an Acoustic Control Induction System for a broad torque curve. All Tundra models are equipped with a 6-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission.

The SR and SR5 grades feature a 26.4-gallon fuel tank, while the Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition, and TRD Pro models up that capacity to a stout 38 gallons. The 38-gallon tank is also available as part of an upgrade package on SR5 models.

Strength Everywhere

The foundation of Tundra’s strength and 10,500-lb. towing capacity (SAE J2807 towing standard compliant) is its TripleTech frame. “Triple” refers to the wide, full-boxed rails for the front portion, a reinforced C-channel under the cab and an open C-channel beneath the bed for strength, ride quality, and durability.

The double A-arm front suspension uses coil-over spring shock units, and a front-mounted steering rack enhances steering feel and response, while decreasing the overall turning diameter. In the rear suspension, staggered shocks mounted outboard of the trapezoidal-mounted leaf springs help improve dampening efficiency to better control the rear axle. Spring rates are tuned to provide a flat vehicle stance when fully loaded.

The Tundra SR and SR5 grades ride on 18-inch styled steel wheels, while the Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition feature 20-inch alloy wheels, each grade with its own design. Naturally, the Tundra has big braking power. The 4-wheel disc brakes use massive ventilated rotors front and rear: 13.9 inches front with segment-exclusive 4-piston calipers, and 13.6-inch rear rotors.

2WD or 4×4, Traction Galore

On Tundra 2WD models, the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system integrates traction control (TRAC) that enhances grip on or off-road. The system also incorporates Automatic Limited-Slip Differential (Auto-LSD), which provides better performance in deep sand or mud and on mixed-friction surfaces because it doesn’t restrict engine power. Compared to a conventional mechanical limited slip differential, the Auto-LSD system is often more responsive and has better wear characteristics, since it utilizes the vehicles brakes to limit wheelspin.

Tundra 4X4 models use the on-demand, electronically controlled 4WDemand part-time 4WD system featuring a six-pinion planetary reduction gear set to provide 4×2, 4×4 Hi, and 4×4 Lo ranges. The driver selects the drive mode using a dial located on the dash. With 4WDemand, Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) operates like Auto-LSD, allowing full, unrestricted engine output, transferring power to the wheel with the most traction on both the front and rear axles.

Tundra puts more control in the driver’s hands – or, more accurately, at the driver’s fingertips, via the mode selector. In normal mode, VSC and TRAC function to help enable traction and control capability. TRAC Off and Auto-LSD modes activate Auto-LSD to help extricate the Tundra from extreme conditions by allowing full, unrestricted engine output and transferring power to the wheel with the most traction. The VSC Off mode turns off all three systems.

Built to Tow

Towing claims can vary in the pickup truck realm. Yet one towing standard certification – called the SAE J2807 – stands out among the rest. The Toyota Tundra was the first to adopt this standard in 2011. With its standard Tow Hitch Receiver (new for 2017) and Tow Package (available on all grades), the 5.7-liter V8 Tundra offers a maximum certified tow capacity of up to 10,500 pounds (4×2 Regular Cab).

So equipped, the Tundra uses a one-piece towing receiver that utilizes 12 high-strength bolts, integrating it into the frame. The 5.7-liter’s Tow Package upgrades Tundra’s cooling and electrical systems as well. Integrated engine and transmission oil coolers, in conjunction with an added heavy-duty battery and alternator, help the powertrain handle the strenuous demands of towing under a full load. The 7- and 4-pin towing hitch connectors sit above the hitch to help avoid damage during high-departure-angle driving.

The Tow Package’s selectable TOW/HAUL mode adjusts throttle sensitivity and transmission shift control, favoring and holding lower gears when accelerating or decelerating to help enhance control and safety.

A function of Vehicle Stability Control, Trailer Sway Control can counteract handling forces that can cause trailer sway to help make towing safe. The Tundra also comes with an integrated Trailer Brake Controller, and the driver can view its status on the multi-information display screen.

All Tundra models come standard with a backup camera (viewed from the Entune™ Audio display screen or available navigation screen). On select 5.7-liter models, heated and power outside tow mirrors with turn signal indicators and manual-extend feature are available.

Big and Tough, and Soft Where It Counts

Even with all of its inherent toughness, the Tundra treats its occupants with the sort of smooth ride and quite cabin that is most often associated with luxury sedans, not full-size pickup trucks, thanks in part to extensive noise-control measures. Soft-touch surfaces, high-granulated paint on the center cluster, and unique seat stitching enhance interior quality and durability. Standard High Solar Energy-Absorbing (HSEA) glass helps to filter out solar heat and UV light energy that could potentially damage cabin materials’.

Gauges are grouped in a clear, easy-to-see design, and there’s a center-mounted multi-information display screen. The dash’s large knobs can be operated while wearing gloves, and the console offers multiple storage areas for personal items and electronics.

Double Cab and CrewMax models are available with bench or bucket seats for the front row, and rear seats in both cab styles can be folded up for additional cargo carrying resourcefulness. All Tundra models come with standard Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio streaming. All have a standard windshield wiper de-icer, front and rear mudguards, power windows and door locks, and heated and power outside mirrors.

The Limited grade adds leather-trimmed seating surfaces in Black, Sand Beige, or Graphite, with matching soft-touch door and console surfaces and wood-style interior trim. Amenities include dual zone air conditioning, a 10-way power driver seat and, new for 2017, 4-way power passenger seat, and available power tilt/slide moonroof with sliding sunshade (CrewMax only).

The exterior wears chrome door handles and side mirrors, 20-inch alloy wheels, and a versatile deck rail system.

Standard Entune® Multimedia

The Tundra’s quiet cabin is an ideal setting for enjoying the sound quality of the standard and available Entune™ Audio systems. The SR grade comes with Entune™ Audio featuring a 6.1-inch touchscreen display; AM/FM CD Player with MP3/WMA playback capability; aux jack; USB 2.0 port with increased charging capability and iPod® connectivity and control; hands-free phone capability; Siri® Eyes Free; advanced voice recognition, plus phone book access and music streaming via Bluetooth.

The SR5 steps up to Entune™ Audio Plus with the Connected Navigation Scout® GPS Link App and includes the Entune Multimedia Bundle with hi-res 7.0-inch touch-screen display; HD Radio™ with iTunes® tagging and HD Radio™ Traffic and Weather (metro areas only), and SiriusXM® satellite radio (3 month complimentary trial).

Standard on the Limited and TRD Pro grades, and available on the SR5, is Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite that uses a paired smartphone to provide access to apps including Slacker, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, Open Table®, Pandora®, Yelp and Facebook Places, as well as real-time traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports, and stocks – all through the Tundra’s touch screen.

The Platinum and 1794 Edition CrewMax models get the works: the Entune™ Premium JBL® Audio with Navigation and Entune App Suite. This package is optional for the Limited CrewMax.

Toyota’s STAR Safety System and Available Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert

The standard Toyota Star Safety System™ includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop (SST) brake override technology.

The eight standard airbags include driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, front and rear Roll-sensing Side Curtain Airbags, driver and front outboard passenger airbags with an Advanced Airbag System, and the segment’s first standard driver and front outboard passenger knee airbags.

A Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (available SR5 and Limited; standard on Platinum and 1794 Edition) is designed to detect vehicles in the Tundra’s blind spot. The Cross Traffic Alert feature warns drivers of cross traffic via indicator lights in the side-view mirrors, along with an audible warning buzzer.



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