The Old Horse
With the Big Three constantly reinventing themselves, is the Tundra ready to be put out to pasture? Review by Budd Stanley, photos courtesy of Toyota Canada
t feels odd to be calling the Toyota Tundra the “Old Horse,” but that is exactly what it is at this moment in time. In the past four years, Ford, Ram and the GM twins have been reinventing themselves, in Ford’s case, several times over. The times they are a changing, and along with them, the environment that these trucks have to contend against. When the Tundra first came out, it was all about who had the biggest truck, with as many conveniences as possible, fuel mileage be darned, bigger is better. Now, we’re in a completely different environment to what the Tundra was designed for; fuel is expensive and disposable funds are kept in check, yet the job still needs to get done. Ford and Ram have been right on top of the situation, both bringing a steady stream of new product to market with GM right behind, that adhere to what the modern customer needs - big truck capability with good fuel efficiency for a low price. A look at the Tundra sees very little development in the last six years, other than the addition of a 4.6-litre V8 added in 2010 to give the customer a less fuel-guzzling V8 option to the 5.7, but a weak effort in the days of EcoBoost and 8-speed transmissions. So, with the old girl showing her age, does this Beta version of the full-size pickup still count? Yes it does. It may not have twin-turbo technology, or complicated German gearboxes, or computer systems and layouts taken from the latest fighter jet; no, the beauty of the Tundra is in its simplicity. It wasn’t named Truck of the Year by several publications and associations back in 2007 for nothing. It still incorporates the same smart thinking that made it so good back then. The 18 Trucks Plus
FEB / MAR 2013
Despite being a better price than comparably-equipped domestics, the Tundra can still hold its own in both the payload and towing departments.