There’s just something about a truck, isn’t there? You feel different when driving a truck versus a sedan or even an SUV. Trucks are both comfortable and capable. They’re perfect for work. Just throw your gear and equipment in the back and head to your jobsite. It doesn’t take much to find something capable enough for your job—most truck models are comparable in payload and tow capacity. But when it comes to choosing your next fleet vehicle, look for something beyond just capable. Look for something with the details. Look for the 2020 Toyota Tundra.
IN THE DETAILS
Compared to my last review of a Toyota truck—the Tacoma in April 2019—the Tundra is most definitely superior in comfort. This is the truck I want for long rides to the jobsite. It’s spacious both in the front and the back of its Crewmax cab. At one point I had two men, both over 6-ft tall, sitting in the back, and both commented on the truck’s roominess.
Not only is the truck spacious, the engineers of the Tundra paid attention to the details and provided ample storage for your mobile office needs. The center console is large enough to store small laptops and large tablets or important paperwork that must be kept safe. Store small tools in the door pockets and on the passenger’s side of the console where a small pocket was added to make every inch of this truck functional. There is even a space to store smaller papers or a parking pass in an area near the sunroof controls.
More details include the technology inside the cab. The Tundra Limited Crewmax I drove featured the Premium Audio package with Dynamic Navigation. This package includes 12 speakers, an 8-inch touchscreen, AM/FM/HD radio, USB media, voice recognition, hands-free phone, Bluetooth technology, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa compatibility, WiFi connect, and more.
Details in the audio package, yes. But what about everything else?
No worries there. The Tundra Limited Package includes safety features such as front and rear parking assist sonar, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Glass Breakage Sensor, and engine immobilizer. You’ll also enjoy the comforts of leather-trimmed and heated front seats, a six-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, and a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat. With its storage solutions and technology aspects, it’s all in the details with the Tundra.
But this truck’s best features aren’t just in the details. The quality of the ride in the Tundra is remarkable. I put a good amount of miles on the truck in the week I had it and found it to be smooth on any road. Although its gears shifted a little slower than I prefer, I wasn’t jolted back and forth in my seat during the process. And as strange as it sounds, the ride was even smooth when taking the truck off-road.
To get a complete grasp of the truck’s 4×4 capabilities. I took the Tundra off the beaten path in an area that’s making a name for itself among off-road enthusiasts. I took it to the Talladega National Forest in East Alabama on County Road 600-1. I was quite impressed with its ability to crawl over rocks and mud as easily as it did—and the Tundra I reviewed wasn’t even a TRD, which is Toyota’s trim level specifically designed for 4×4 adventuring in its trucks and SUVs.
Yet although the truck wasn’t equipped with the suspension system of the TRD trim, the Limited Crewmax’s 4W Demand Part-Time 4WD with electronic controlled transfer case and A-Trac was just the right amount of off-road equipment to bound on 600-1 safely and efficiently.
This truck was equipped with a tow package featuring a TOW/HAUL mode and an integrated 4/7-pin connector as well as a trailer brake and trailer sway control. While driving up the muddy, rocky hills on 600-1, I envisioned the Tundra pulling a trailer of equipment and tools to a remote jobsite with a crew in the back seat. After all, it’s got the capability to do so.
Finally, we can’t have a truck review without showing you its power. The Toyota Tundra I reviewed featured a 5.7-L i-Force V8 dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) 32-valve engine with dual independent VVT-i. This Toyota engine pumps out 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. The Tundra had a 6-speed automatic transmission with Sequential Shift. It also featured a 4W Demand Part-Time 4WD with electronic controlled transfer case and A-Trac (Active Traction Control).
Even with the engine’s impressive features, the truck seemed a little sluggish to me, taking a while to get to 60 mph from a complete stop. But once it finally got up to speed, I had no issue maintaining it, even after letting off the gas a bit to cruise.
The truck’s Monroney label showed an average fuel economy of 14 mpg with 13 in the city and 17 on the highway. However, I drove this Tundra all over and averaged a little above 15 mpg. It wasn’t a huge difference—and the truck was unloaded—but I’m sure those who put multiple miles on their truck a day will appreciate that extra mile and a half.
WHAT YOU WANT
As stated before, light-duty trucks are comparable in terms of payload and capacity. Truck manufacturers constantly boast the highest payload and towing capacity with differences in mere pounds. When you pick a truck, you’re really deciding between the details. Choose to skimp on the details, or go all out. But with the Toyota Tundra Limited Crewmax, you’ll be sure you’re getting all the details and then some. With the Tundra, you’ll get what you really want in a fleet truck.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jade Brasher is the editor of Modern WorkTruck Solutions magazine. A graduate of The University of Alabama, Jade resides in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and enjoys writing about her town, travel, and of course, work trucks. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more about the 2020 Toyota Tundra, visit www.toyota.com.