We all know pickup trucks have come off the range and into the suburban driveway. But don’t think that just because they’re outfitted with four real doors and the comforts of luxury sedans that they’ve forsaken their true calling-hard work. Case in point: the Toyota Tundra Double Cab. It marries the comfort of a full-size SUV with the towing and hauling strengths of a big pickup. And we mean BIG. The Tundra Double Cab rides on a 140.5″ wheelbase, weighs more than 5,000 pounds, has a bed that measures more than 6′, and has 240 horses of V-8 power to tow 6,500 pounds. To test its work ethic, we hooked up a 5,220-pound rig.
The Tundra Double Cab’s 4.7-liter DOHC V-8 was engineered for Lexus flagship duty, so what it lacks in punch, it makes up in poise. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph takes a long 18.9 seconds, but the run is smooth and quiet. At the launch ramp, the Tundra Double Cab demonstrates a competent blend of traction, torque, and gearing, and the four-speed automatic transmission helps the smallish V-8 yank a heavy load up a steep incline. An electronic traction control system stops tires from spinning long before they go up in smoke. And if that’s not enough, you can tap the 4LO button on the dash to increase the available torque.
When the Double Cab was added to the Tundra line, the brake system wasn’t upgraded from discs and drums to discs all around. The result of burdening this barely adequate system with a combination weight of more than 10,000 pounds is a lengthy stopping distance. Coming to a halt from 60 mph requires a nerve-racking 274′.
Ride quality is the area where the Tundra Double Cab shines brightest. Without a trailer, it gracefully dances across fractured pavement. But loaded to the gills, it’s a tough guy with more than enough chassis strength to keep a rambunctious trailer in line. Chalk it up to shrewd tuning and gas-pressure shock absorbers that don’t shirk their damping duties.
|Model: Toyota Tundra|
|Engine||4.7-liter DOHC V-8|
|Net torque (ft-lb/rpm)||315/3400|
|Suspension – Front||control arms, coil springs|
|Suspension – Rear||beam axle, leaf springs|
|Brakes (front/rear)||disc/drum, standard ABS|
|Tires||BF Goodrich Rugged Trail T/A, P265/70SR-16|
|Curb weight (lbs.)||5,100|
|Towing capacity (lbs., max.)||6,500|
|Payload capacity (lbs.)||1,635|
|Fuel capacity (gal.)||26.4|
|0-60 mph acceleration (w/o, w/5,220-lb. towed load, sec.)||9.6/18.9|
|60-0 mph stopping distance (w/o, w/5,220-lb.towed load, ft.)||146/274|
|Observed towing fuel economy (avg. mpg)||9|
|Price (as tested)||$35,000|
Last Word. A pickup truck worthy of a place on everyone’s SUV shopping list.