2007 Toyota Tundra
2007 Toyota Tundra. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Paul Williams

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Photo Gallery: 2007 Toyota Tundra

Contractor’s viewpoint by Chris Fairbrother

Well, it’s here. The new 2007 Toyota Tundra “full-size” pickup truck is ready to elbow its way into the established fleet of big pickups, and is set to shake up a few preconceptions along the way. Although it doesn’t come equipped with actual firepower in the literal sense, you’d think from some of the media hype that this truck has the domestic makers (GM, Dodge, Ford) running for cover.

Certainly, they won’t give up ground without a fight, but it’s true that market share for the Tundra has to come from somewhere, and that’s got to mean from within the established brands. Even if existing buyers aren’t ready to switch brands en masse, new buyers will certainly look at the Toyota.

They have to, because in the Tundra, Toyota hasn’t just built a vehicle that looks like a truck. They’ve built a vehicle that embodies truck culture and truck capability from the ground up.

2007 Toyota Tundra
2007 Toyota Tundra. Click image to enlarge

One of the rumours heard about the new Tundra is that it’s nice, but very expensive. In fact, our SR5 tester, with a regular cab, eight-foot box, 4.7-litre V8 engine, standard four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, vehicle stability control, traction control, limited slip differential, heated mirrors, air conditioning, side curtain airbags, 18-inch aluminum wheels and chrome trim (among other “B” package convenience options) came in at $28,480, plus $1,390 freight and delivery.

Not bad, for a vehicle of massive stature, formidable utility and practical design.

The full price range for the 2007 Tundra is $25,255-$51,955, with 32 configurations available that blend various combinations of box size (5.5, 6.5 and 8.1 foot), cab type (regular, double, CrewMax) engine size (4.7-litre V8, 5.7L V8) and driven wheels (4X2, 4X4). The Tundra can be purchased as a basic (albeit well equipped) work truck in Deluxe or SR5 trim, through to a leather-appointed Limited version with DVD entertainment, navigation, premium audio and a back-up camera.

2007 Toyota Tundra
2007 Toyota Tundra. Click image to enlarge

As noted above, two “iForce” engine sizes are available. The 4.7L V8 makes 271 horsepower at 5,400 rpm, and 313 pounds feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. The new 5.7L V8 generates up to 381 hp at 5,600 rpm and 401 lb-ft torque at 3,600 rpm. Both engines feature dual overhead camshafts, 32 valves, and come with a heavy duty battery, starter and alternator. Both are designed with fuel economy in mind, and return 15.4/11.7 L/100km city/highway for the 4.7L engine, and 15.3/10.9 L/100km city/highway for the 5.7L engine.

A five-speed automatic transmission is fitted to the 4.7L engine, and a six-speed to the 5.7L engine. Although a manual transmission isn’t offered, both the five and six speed automatics feature sequential “shift-matic” controls to enable manual-like shifting operation, and both feature uphill/downhill shift logic designed to provide optimum shifting based on road conditions.

2007 Toyota Tundra
2007 Toyota Tundra. Click image to enlarge

Towing is rated at up to 4,895 kilograms (10,800 lbs) and can carry up to 865 kg (1,900 lbs). All Tundras come standard with a trailer hitch, four-pin trailer wire harness, seven-pin trailer wire harness and electronic brake control connector. Manually extendable heated towing mirrors with convex spotters and integrated running lights and turn signals are available.

The foundation of the Tundra is a chassis that was specifically developed for towing performance. The ladder type frame features a fully boxed front end, reinforced open C-channel in the centre, and open C-channel at the rear. Eight lateral cross members hold the frame together, with high strength steel used in the main rails.

Front suspension is double wishbone, specially designed to reduce the 2007 Tundra’s turning circle compared with the outgoing model. A heavy-duty hydraulic power steering pump is used.

2007 Toyota Tundra
2007 Toyota Tundra. Click image to enlarge

At the rear, the Tundra uses a solid axle with non-parallel leaf springs designed to enhance handling and stability when towing, or hauling heavy loads.

Our experience on the road with the Tundra included unloaded city and highway driving, and light duty load carrying. However, we did enlist a local contractor, Chris Fairbrother, to use it as his everyday vehicle for four days (see his comments below). For our part, several boxes and furniture items were delivered to a local charity, with the big, deep box swallowing up this load. The tailgate is damped, so it doesn’t drop suddenly when opened. The floor is high, so you need to be athletic to get into the box (or smart; I carried a step ladder).

Visibility is excellent in the cab, which is roomy and functional. Knobs and switches are big and chunky, making them easy to operate wearing gloves. A big, A-pillar mounted, grab handle on both the driver and passenger side helps to haul you up and in.

2007 Toyota Tundra
2007 Toyota Tundra. Click image to enlarge

Steering has good feel; it’s neither too light nor too heavy, and maneuverability is better than expected from such a big vehicle. A U-turn can be made in surprisingly tight conditions. We really benefited from the traction control and stability control in some very bad weather experienced during our time with the Tundra, although it was wearing Blizzak winter tires, which certainly enhanced control. Fact is, the Tundra was reassuringly controllable, and we didn’t slide around at all.

In all conditions, even over severely broken pavement, the Tundra was poised and rigid. Nothing seemed loose and no unusual noises were generated no matter what the terrain. The “carved out of a solid block” metaphor is becoming really tired, and I apologize for using it, but that’s what the Tundra feels like, so there you have it.

2007 Toyota Tundra
2007 Toyota Tundra. Click image to enlarge

The 4.7L engine found in our vehicle turns at very low rpm’s on the highway, and its operation is hardly discernable in the cab. Wind noise is also low, enabling the standard and quite acceptable AM/FM/CD audio system to be easily heard. Those who use iPods or similar devices will appreciate the standard auxiliary jack.

The cabin is filled with compartments, work surfaces, containers and storage spaces, which along with the overall practical layout, is a testament to the work done by Toyota in consulting with truck owners before they built it, and determining key desired features. The windshield washer/wiper system was particularly notable.

And as far as looks are concerned, the Tundra turned heads in every location where trucks are typically used. Even die-hard domestic truck fans had to give a grudging nod to the Tundra as it rolled by. Designed and built in the U.S., it’s definitely the real deal.

Second Opinion: A contractor’s view of the 2007 Toyota Tundra

By Chris Fairbrother

Chris Fairbrother of Chris Fairbrother Design in Ottawa runs a company that specializes in building, renovating and restoring homes.

2007 Toyota Tundra
Chris Fairbrother with the Tundra. Click image to enlarge

I have to say I like the new Tundra. It is a genuine full-size truck, the obvious equal of the established North American makes. It looks good, too!

As a contractor, my chief concern with any truck is strength and durability and in this I was immediately reassured. The chassis and suspension, even on the basic rear-wheel drive model I drove, is rock solid. That comes through in the ride and is confirmed by a glance underneath. In my view, this truck is built to take it.

The Tundra I tested had a deep and pleasingly square eight-foot box, with liner and adjustable rail-mounted tie-down cleats. The latter is a truly smart feature for securing loads. Seating position is comfortably high, vision from the cab is clear, dash layout uncluttered and functional. Road noise, with heavy duty tires, is minimal.

2007 Toyota Tundra
2007 Toyota Tundra. Click image to enlarge

The 4.7-litre steel block V8-engined Tundra is gutsy, quiet and surprisingly light on gas. The engine is quite adequate power-wise, but I question whether cam belts on hard working engines in our Canadian climate will hold up. Time will tell, I guess. Again, as a contractor, my concern is strength and durability. So for me, the optional 5.7-litre aluminum block V8 engine with chain driven cams would be the choice, period.

I was disappointed to learn that easy-to-clean vinyl flooring and seats are not available on the Tundra [depending on the model, carpeting is optional: ed.]. Manual shift models are also not available. Why not? I suspect many potential buyers would be interested in such a trim level.

2007 Toyota Tundra
2007 Toyota Tundra. Click image to enlarge

Over the years, I have owned Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge trucks; I currently drive a 2003 Dodge Ram 4WD. Soon I’ll be out there looking for a new truck. My job defines my truck needs: my truck is like any other tool I use, so it is essential that it fit my work style and in this, the Tundra is a definite contender. As I said, I like the new Tundra very much. It is stronger and better built than most trucks I have come across. My dilemma is that of many customers looking to replace their old trucks: can I get a truck that gives me the options I want at a price I can afford? If I can order pretty much the same truck I tested, but with the bigger engine for somewhere in the low $30K range [he can: ed.] I’d be interested for sure.

These reservations aside, I believe the 2007 Tundra has what it takes to do the job.

Pricing: 2007 Toyota Tundra SR5 Regular Cab


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