2009 Toyota Tundra Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Trevor Wild Trevor Wild Author
February 23, 2009

The 2009 Tundra beats the Big Three in safety and matches them in capability.

TheCarConnection.com's editors drove the Toyota Tundra to help you decide which reviews to trust and where opinions differ. We provide you with the best information, impressions, and details. The truck experts at TheCarConnection.com also studied other road tests of the 2009 Toyota Tundra to put together this conclusive review.

Completely redesigned for 2007, the Toyota Tundra is now just as big and burly as the perennial class best-sellers, the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado.

The 2009 Toyota Tundra continues with its especially imposing outward appearance, with a prominent, upright grille, detailed headlamps, flared wheel wells, and just a few equipment changes for this year.

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The interior of all 2009 Toyota Tundra models feature a tilt/telescope steering wheel, big, supportive seats, controls designed to be used with gloves, and a huge center console capable of holding a laptop.

Although the Tundra isn’t available in quite as many models as its full-size competitors from Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, and Dodge, the Tundra still bewilders with sheer equipment possibilities; whatever the purpose, there’s a Tundra for it. To better compete with Detroit, the Tundra is available in a wide range of body configurations: Regular, Double Cab, and CrewMax cabs with 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.

Engine configurations vary from a 4.0-liter V-6 with 236 horsepower up to the 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter iForce V-8. In between is 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. In select regions, 2009 Tundra 5.7-liter 4x4 models carry flex-fuel capability at no extra charge.

In driving Double Cab and CrewMax models—both with V-8s—TheCarConnection.com finds plenty of power and torque in either the 4.7- or 5.7-liter engines. With the 5.7-liter and six-speed automatic (the 4.7 comes with a five-speed auto), the powertrain is especially responsive and smooth, with the combination offering both the mammoth torque off the line good for towing and the higher-rev pep that’s necessary for quick passes on the highway. Fuel economy is a low point for the Tundra, even when compared to its full-size peers; the EPA estimates with the 5.7-liter and 4WD stand at just 13 mpg city, 17 mpg highway, ranging up to 15 mpg city, 19 mpg highway with the base V-6 and 2WD.

A new TRD Sport Package, available on the 2009 Toyota Tundra 4x2 Regular Cab and Double Cab standard bed models, is optimized for an aggressive street appearance, while a new TRD Rock Warrior Package is specially tuned and ready (in appearance as well) for hard-core off-roading.

The 2009 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. The Tundra garners four stars in federal government frontal and side-impact crash tests, but it earns the top "good" rating in all of the insurance industry tests and a 2009 Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.

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