- iForce and six-speed automatic are excellent combo
- Plenty of storage spaces inside--including huge center console
- More standard safety features than other pickups
- CrewMax is unmatched for backseat roominess
- Instrument-panel design is unduly complicated
- Fuel economy is unimpressive
- High ride height obscures visibility
- Formerly more sensibly sized, it's now another monstrosity
The 2008 Tundra takes on the Big Three, matches them in capability, and beats them in safety.
After being completely redesigned for the 2007 model year, the Toyota Tundra returns for 2008 with only a few minor changes. While the previous Tundra had been slightly smaller than full-size best-sellers such as the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado, the new Tundra grew significantly and gained more assertive styling, including the very prominent upright grille, more detailed headlamps, and flared wheel wells. And going along with the new, bigger packaging, it's now made in Texas.
Engines range from a 236-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6 up to a new 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter iForce V-8. In the middle, there's a 4.7-liter V-8 making 271 horsepower. The iForce comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, but other engines get a five-speed auto. When properly equipped, the Tundra can tow up to 10,800 pounds.
Just like its Detroit competitors, the Tundra now comes in a wide range of body configurations, with Regular, Double Cab, and CrewMax cabs and three different bed lengths. The Double Cab has small rear doors and enough seating space for children, with a folding seat bottom when it's not in use, but the CrewMax has full-size back doors and enough space in the backseat to compare with the second row of full-size SUVs.
Inside, the cabin has big, supportive seats, controls designed to be used with gloves, and a huge center console that can hold a laptop. All models have a tilt/telescope steering wheel.
Ride quality varies greatly on pickups depending on towing- and payload-related options, but in general, the Tundra handles surprisingly well for such a long, heavy, and cumbersome vehicle. The Tundra has a special rear suspension design that can keep the ride height, whether with a full load or unladen.
The top-of-the-range Limited includes quite a few standard features that could be referring to a luxury SUV, such as a powerful JBL sound system, dual-zone climate control, and heated power front seats. All models have a tilt/telescopic steering wheel. Major options include a screen-based navigation system with rearview camera and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. A TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Off-Road Package is also offered.
The Tundra was given four stars in federal government frontal and side-impact crash tests, but it earned the top Good rating in all of the insurance industry tests; it was named a 2008 Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. The 2008 Toyota Tundra certainly has more standard safety features than most of its competitors. Front-seat side airbags and roll-sensing side-curtain airbags are standard across the line, along with anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes and electronic stability control.