Toyota Tundra gives buyers a full-size ute with luxury.

Story By Matt Raudonikis

Full-size, heavy-duty pick-up trucks are the domain of the big three American car makers Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. Despite the popularity of utes here, these vehicles have been in very limited supply in Australia due to little interest from local car companies. Aussies prefer their utes to be locally made or, in the case of four-wheel-drives, from Japanese companies, more often than not wearing a Toyota badge on either a LandCruiser or HiLux.
However, Toyota has its own full-size, heavy-duty pick-up truck in the Tundra. It’s American-made for the US market only, but thanks to the clever lads at Gympie’s Performax International you can now have your own Tundra here. If you’ve always wanted a big US-style pick-up but don’t think the quality of American brands is comparable to the likes of Toyota, then this is the truck for you.
The Tundra CrewMax 4WD is 5.81 metres long, 2.03m wide and 1.93m high. Compare that to a double-cab HiLux SR5 and it’s 55 centimetres longer, 27cm wider and 20cm taller or, 56cm longer, 60cm wider and 45cm taller than a LandCruiser 200 Series wagon. Sure it’s big, but the Tundra is also a lot more truck than any other Toyota or ute available.
The best feature of the CrewMax Tundra is its combination of passenger accommodation and load-carrying ability. Unlike the double-cab utes commonly available here, the back seat in the CrewMax is huge. The seat cushion slides forward to put more rake on the seat back, giving comfort not usually afforded in a ute of any kind. Leg room is also better than in many 4WD wagons.
Up front is just as comfortable and spacious. The top-of-the-range Platinum model is more comparable to a Lexus or LandCruiser Sahara than anything else. The power-adjustable, heated and cooled leather seats are like lounge chairs. Dual-zone climate control airconditioning, satellite navigation, sunroof, a premium JBL sound system and power everything are hardly features you expect in a ute or truck, but the Tundra is loaded with them. Sat-nav is an optional extra.

This Story is from Issue #88

Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2013