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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
conspicuously quiet at highway speeds
laudably low wind rush
limo-like 44.5 inches of rear legroom
Competing head-on with the biggest pickups from Detroit, as well as the more personal-use-focused Nissan Titan, the 2010 Tundra is available in a wide range of body configurations: Regular, Double Cab, and CrewMax cabs, with three different bed lengths.
Of the three, the Double Cab is the choice for occasional backseat duty or kid-carrying, and it has a folding seat bottom for when it's not in use. The CrewMax is basically a roomy SUV with a pickup bed in back; two full-size back doors and enough sprawl-out space for adults make it a good choice for families hauling ATVs or work supplies.
The interior is at once comfortable and high-utility, with a very wide center console that's deep enough for a laptop; wide, supportive seats; controls that are designed to be used with gloves; and a tilt/telescope steering wheel. Our only repeated complaint with the interior is that its plastics—particularly those used on the instrument panel—feel flimsier and more delicate than those used by other truck brands.
The Double Cab and CrewMax both offer rear bench seating with ample space, though Kelley Blue Book thinks that the "non-adjustable rear seatback" in the Double Cab might be "a bit too upright for long road trips." The CrewMax corrects this by offering seats that are "adjustable both for fore-aft positioning and seatback inclination," says Kelley Blue Book. Seating capacity inside the Toyota Tundra ranges from three in the two-door Standard Cab to six in both the Double Cab and expansive CrewMax. ConsumerGuide reports that the front seats on all versions of the 2009 Tundra offer "generous shoulder space" and are "very comfortable, but are set relatively high so headroom ends up being tight beneath the sunroof housing." Edmunds adds that the "ample front seats are accommodating" on all cabs.
The rear seats of the Double Cab are also roomy, though ConsumerGuide characterizes it as "adequate" as opposed to the "expansive" legroom found in the CrewMax. A characteristic of the Toyota Tundra CrewMax that reviews read by TheCarConnection.com invariably mention is the incredible rear space, which Edmunds says is the "roomiest rear seat of any pickup truck," offering a "limolike 44.5 inches of rear legroom."
Relative to most other trucks, the 2010 Toyota Tundra's interior offers a lot of places to store small items. MotherProof reviewers rave about the fact that the Tundra offers "so much clever compartment space," including a "hidden shelf above the glove compartment" and "huge center console [that] includes space for a laptop and hanging files." Kelley Blue Book also mentions the "numerous storage areas and work surfaces" found inside the cabin of the 2010 Toyota Tundra, and the Detroit News points out that the interior can "serve as an office" while on the road.
ConsumerGuide lauds the 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."
Material quality is a continued area in the 2010 Toyota Tundra. It's not bad, but rival models have improved quite dramatically over the past several years. Edmunds appreciates that the designers "placed their emphasis on utility and durability," but one drawback to the functionality is that "soft-touch surfaces are rare," and the interior is bathed in "a large amount of hard plastic trim." ConsumerGuide agrees that "the overall quality of the interior disappoints," as "too many cabin panels ring hollow and are hard to the touch." However, despite the poor quality of the materials, Edmunds adds "build quality is tight," and the Detroit News points out that it's "thoughtfully constructed." Motor Trend concludes, "As it stands, the Tundra interior is intended to convey a sense of rugged simplicity, and it does that." But the reviewer also says that "we suspect there are buyers, especially those coming out of cars or SUVs, who would notice a lack of city-truck design features like soft-touch controls and more extensive wood trim."
Of the new Work Truck model of the Tundra, Popular Mechanics says, "Carpeting is gone, the upholstery an unabashed gray vinyl, the dashboard is mostly flat black plastic, and the windows roll up with six hand-wound turns of a crank."
ConsumerGuide praises the "laudably low wind rush," while Motor Trend declares that "cabin quiet ... is probably the Tundra's most impressive quality," claiming that "if there's a quieter truck out there, [they] haven't driven it." The solid, high-quality construction garners the reviewers' unanimous approval of the interior noise, or lack thereof, on the Tundra. Motor Trend also reports, "With the six-speed and the new 4.6, the Tundra's operation is conspicuously quiet at highway speeds."
The 2010 Toyota Tundra is a refined, comfortable place with a surprising amount of utility and interior storage, but its interior materials are quite stark.