2010 Toyota Tundra 4.6 Double Cab SR5
2010 Toyota Tundra 4.6 Double Cab SR5. Click image to enlarge
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2010 Toyota Tundra

Oshawa, Ontario – Truck philosophy used to be simple: if you wanted more power, you bought a bigger V8 engine. And if you were concerned about the price of gas, you settled for a V6.

Now, new technology coupled with the volatile price of fuel has resulted in smaller engines that can do the work that previously required a larger powerplant. At Toyota, that means a new engine for the 2010 Tundra: a 4.6-litre V8, coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the 4.7-litre used in 2009.

The company says that, at 310 horsepower, the new engine is 12 per cent stronger than the old engine, but with a fuel economy improvement of 11 per cent. Torque, the more important number in a truck, rises from 313 lb-ft to 327 lb-ft. The 4.6-litre is available in Regular and Double Cab configuration, and with 4×2 and 4×4 drivelines.

The 5.7-litre V8 carries over, and is also found in the Regular and Double Cab, as well as being the only engine used in the CrewMax. They’re the only two choices for Canada. U.S. buyers can also order a 4.0-litre V6 that’s no longer available in the Tundra here (we still see it in the Tacoma), but the question might well be how long that will stick around south of the border: the gap in fuel economy has become small enough that most buyers probably opt for the extra cylinders. Ford has dropped its V6 engine in the F-150 as well.

2010 Toyota Tundra 4.6 Double Cab SR5
2010 Toyota Tundra 4.6 Double Cab SR5
2010 Toyota Tundra 4.6 Double Cab SR5. Click image to enlarge

Tundras packaged with the 4.6-litre range from $24,995 to $29,060 for Regular Cab models, and from $31,725 to $35,790 for the five-passenger Double Cab, which features independently-opening, front-hinged rear doors. The 5.7-litre models start at $28,600 in Regular and $35,700 in Double, while the CrewMax models range from $37,315 to the new-for-2010 Platinum trim line, at $51,705.

Other changes to the 2010 models include a standard driver’s knee airbag on all models, upgraded navigation system, and a new Leather and Navigation package on the Double Cab SR5, which adds 20-inch alloy wheels and heated leather seats. The company has also broadened the number of models that receive fog lamps, towing mirrors, and driver-adjustable headlight levelling as standard equipment. That last one, fitted to my 4×4 Double Cab SR5 tester, should be on every truck. It’s more often found on higher-end cars, which are far less likely to have a load in the back or a trailer attached that’s got the headlights pointed skyward and blinding everyone in oncoming traffic.

My tester was further optioned with a TRD Offroad Package, which added an odd mixture of Great Outdoorsy rough-and-tough outweighed by numerous city slicker options: Bilstein shocks, bed rail tie-down system and clearance sonar, plus power driver’s seat, power sliding rear window, auto-dimming rearview mirror, garage door opener, satellite radio, Bluetooth, USB port, and the adjustable headlights. All added considerably to the truck’s appeal, but I couldn’t figure out the moveable cleats in the bed rail system. The triangular-shaped cleats had only one hole available for attaching a tie-down strap, and that was mostly filled with the big plastic knob that you unscrew to move the cleats around.

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