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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
POTENT TUNDRA TOUTS TOW, CARGO CAPACITY

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
THE RIDE: Four-door, up to six-passenger 2018 Toyota Tundra 4X4 Limited CrewMax full-size pickup.
DOWN THE ROAD: The retained power train continues to offer a composed ride while absorbing the bumps of rough surfaces with skill and sure-footedness.
TECH & PERFORMANCE: A 5.7-liter DOHC V-8 engine, which is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, cranks out 381 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 401 pounds-feet of torque at 3600 rpm. Suspension is handled competently via an independent double wishbone front and a trapezoidal live axle rear. The hydraulic power rack-and-pinion steering has a solid and communicative feel, making the pickup easy to place at sharp curves. Tow capacity is an astonishing 9,800 pounds.
LOOK & FEEL: The slightly restyled Tundra portrays a more chiseled exterior appearance with a squared-off and chrome-surrounded silver billet grille and black lower end caps. Also up front are LED headlights with LED accents and a matte black lower front bumper. TUNDRA stamped in all caps in the rear is an instant giveaway that this is indeed a large truck. Climb into the cabin and you will not find a reason to complain about space, which is abundant starting with 10-way power driver and 4-way front-passenger seats. Traditional gauges for speedometer, tachometer, voltmeter, coolant temperature, fuel and engine oil pressure are easy to read. The center stack of audio and climate knobs is within convenient reach of the driver. A dial on the dash offers the option of 2WD, 4X2Hi and 4X4Lo. There also is an adjustable tie-down cleat 5.5-foot-long bed that can haul 4-by-8 plywood sheets. Other customary amenities include dual auto a/c, four-spoke leather steering wheel and seats, 7-inch touchscreen for nav, phone and audio controls, 60/40 fold-up rear seat, power vertical rear window, new matte-finish wood trim, easy lower-and-lift tailgate and overhead console.
SAFETY FIRST: Dual front airbags, side curtain airbag, front knee airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, stability, traction and trailer sway controls, rearview camera, smart-stop technology, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system come at no cost. New for 2018 is the Toyota Safety Sense, which includes a pre-collision system that detects pedestrians, lane departure assist and dynamic cruise control.
OUT THE DOOR: $45,300, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges.
BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, P275/55R20; wheelbase, 145.7 inches; length, 228.9 inches; weight, 5,680 pounds; fuel capacity, 38 gallons; city, 13 mpg; highway, 17 mpg; Web site, www.toyota.com
WHY DIG IT: This no-frills ride offers a powerful performance, imposing tow and cargo capacity, and a cavernous cabin. But gas mileage, especially in city, is a huge letdown.

CALLING ALL TOYOTA DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com