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2011 Toyota Tundra

Posted: 07/18/2011 - 9:52 PM ET

The 2011 Toyota Tundra is one of those plagued models. Technically, there's nothing wrong with it. Although reviewers tend to complain about a tendency to under steer, overall the handling is still sound. It looks good, with beautifully rounded curves and a pleasantly aggressive stance. For its size and form factor, 16 mpg city and 20 highway is actually quite decent fuel economy. Sure, there aren't quite as many interior features, but overall the Tundra is practical with plenty of cab and engine options. So, what's the problem? Other trucks, notably the Dodge Ram and the Ford F-150 are just better.

With an MSRP range of $24,435 to $42,955, there are a number of full-sized trucks on the market that open at $2,000-$3,000 less. Both the GMC Sierra 1500 and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 potentially offer better fuel economy depending on configuration, and reviewers give the Dodge Ram higher marks for performance. And, since the 2010 is almost identical to the 2011 with just a one or two fewer safety tweaks, it's even a better value based on sticker price alone if you can find one on the lot.

The Tundra's standard engine is a 4.0-liter V6 with 270 hp and 278 lb. ft. of torque. Two additional engine options include a 4.6-liter V8 with 310 hp and 327 lb. ft. of torque, and a 5.7-liter V8 with 381 hp and 401 lb. ft. The standard transmission is a five-speed automatic on the Regular and Double 2WD models with an optional six-speed automatic, which is standard on the upper trims. With appropriate configuration the maximum towing capacity is 10,400 lbs., which is 300 lbs. better than the Chevrolet Silverado. Maximum hauling capacity for the Tundra is 2,090 lbs.

The interior is comfortable, but not so nice that owners won't be okay using the Tundra for a work truck. The regular cab has one bench seat with room for three. The Double Cab and CrewMax can seat six on benches upfront and in back. Standard features are limited to an audio system with MP3/WMA playback, tilt steering, and six cup holders for the Double and CrewMax (four for the regular.) Things like power windows and doors, and keyless entry are optional on the base, but standard on the DoubleCab and CrewMax. Buyers will drop $299 on Bluetooth, $449 on XM, and $299 on a navigation unit with iPod interface.

The 2011 Tundra is a perfectly capable truck, even with limited standard features, and it will certainly get the job done. The problem is that in this segment, there are too many worthy contenders. Toyota devotees will love the Tundra, and it's worth the time to test drive one. For many, it will be purely a matter of taste and there's very little negative to say about the Tundra, it's just up against a tough field of contenders.



More Toyota Tundra reviews:
2010, 2009, 2008, 2007
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