Monday, March 19, 2018

IN THE DRIVEWAY: 2018 Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra Crew Max screams “one big tough truck” – and it is. Built in Texas and named after a freezing arctic region, the Tundra has proven it has what it takes to stand up to the full-size trucks America has to offer.

Just as Ford has the F-150 King Ranch (and now the Platinum), Chevy has the Silverado High Country and Ram has their Limited edition, Toyota is showing its luxurious abilities with the 1794 Edition Tundra. Named after the ranch in San Antonio, Texas where the Tundra's assembly plant is located on, the Tundra has bragging rights on being the first and only pickup truck built in Texas.

A fully loaded Tundra has always been nice, but the 1794 Edition elevates the Tundra to a new level. The interior is exceptional with its western styling and use of premium materials along with its numerous attentions to details such as the "1794" floor mats, emblems and special leather and suede.

On the outside, the 1794 is typical Tundra, which means it’s big. The Tundra's styling, while some say looks a bit exaggerated and puffy, makes the Tundra appear fresh and willing to take on any task thrown at it. Unique 20-inch chrome wheels and special badges separate the 1794 from lesser Tundras.

The 1794 comes only as the CrewMax - an extra-long crew cab, which translates into tons of interior room. Driver and all passengers are well-taken-of in the 1794s luxurious cabin which is very Lexus-like with plenty of amenities and features. Standard equipment on the 1794 are heated and cooled front seats, dual-zone climate control and a JBL audio system.

Offering the roomiest rear seat of any pickup truck, this Tundra is limo-like with its 44.5 inches of legroom. Along with generous room, the bench seat is made comfortable by being able to recline. A/C ducts can also be found in the rear of the CrewMax.

The Tundra 1794 comes equipped with Toyota's stout 5.7 liter V8 engine. Capable of making 381 horsepower and 401 foot-pounds of torque through a six-speed automatic, there is no shortage of power. Toyota’s part-time electronically controlled four-wheel drive system is optional  on the 1794 Edition.

For 2018, the Tundra is styling is refreshed - one that you may not notice unless you have last year's model parked right next to it. Other big news for 2018 is the demise of the standard cab model.

On the road, the Tundra delivers a smooth and quiet ride. Steering is very Toyota-like, meaning it is light and sensitive. This turns out to be a big asset for the Tundra, making it easy to maneuver in tight situations.

I'm not sure who is going to put a truck like the Tundra 1794 to work, but if they do, they will be pleased to know that it can tow up to 10,400 pounds and it has a payload capacity of over 2000 pounds. The frame used on the Tundra is a steel ladder structure with fully boxed rails, making it extremely durable.

Pricing for the 2018 Tundra Crew Max 1794 4x4 starts at $50,130. This weeks ride, a 1794 with the TRD Off-Road Package and other goodies like a TRD Performance Air Filter and dual exhaust has a price tag of $54,721. Hardly cheap, especially for a pickup. But this Tundra practically has it all. Think of it as a luxury vehicle with four-wheel drive, a lot of cargo space and some serious towing capabilities. What's missing?  Maybe a Lexus emblem.

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