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STYLING | 7 out of 10
44 different flavor choices
from the side, the Tundra looks disproportionate
The Detroit News
Attractive gauges are not as easy to read as they could be
Sporting the same aggressive exterior that debuted in 2007, the 2009 Toyota Tundra has changed little stylistically. After facing some criticism for the lack of true work capacity on previous versions, Toyota went back to the drawing board and unleashed a true, full-size Tundra.
Toyota offers "44 different flavor choices" for the 2009 Tundra, says Motor Trend. Thanks to a variety of cabs, beds, and trims, Toyota can compete with the full-size pickups offered by the Big 3. Motor Trend details the possibilities, writing that the 2009 Tundra offers "three different bed sizes, three separate wheelbases covering five different cab and bed configurations, combined with three different trim packages (Tundra Grade, SR5, and Limited)." No matter which configuration you opt for, the 2009 Toyota Tundra is characterized by "a sculpted hood, huge three-bar grille and oversized vented bumper" that The Detroit News says "combine some of the best looks of the American trucks," though additionally noting that while it "looks good," the Toyota Tundra is "hardly original."
The Detroit News reviewers feel that, "from the side, the Tundra looks disproportionate, especially when equipped with an extra long bed or largest cab," as the "front end looks too short and the four-door CrewMax cab looks too big." Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com, however, generally approve of the exterior styling on the Toyota Tundra, with Kelley Blue Book contending that the "2009 Toyota Tundra projects the assertive image that buyers of full-size pickups desire" on all trim levels. They also note that "for 2009, Toyota gives the lowest-cost version of the two-door Regular Cab model styling more consistent with that of a work truck," which Cars.com says is highlighted by "a chrome bumper and matte-black grille surround rather than a shiny black bumper and surround." Edmunds points out that "the standard-cab truck comes only in the Grade trim," though the two other cab options are available in all three trims. The one major knock against the Toyota Tundra's exterior is the profile view.
The Tundra’s interior receives mixed reviews, with some praising its functionality and others voicing disapproval of certain characteristics. On the positive side, reviewers at Consumer Guide laud the 2009 Toyota Tundra for its "large and well marked" instruments, along with the "generously sized and logically arranged" controls. Cars.com says the oversized gauges "are designed to be easy to operate with gloved hands," a critical feature for work sites. On the complaint side, Edmunds finds that the "attractive gauges are not as easy to read as they could be, due to the individual binnacle design," and some of the center stack controls are "quite a stretch to reach from the driver seat, especially in Tundras equipped with the navigation system." Motor Trend seconds that opinion, claiming that the navigation system is "almost out of arm's reach for the driver."
The styling of the 2009 Toyota Tundra gathers some of the best attributes from big pickups, but it’s nothing innovative.