With the snow white 2011 Toyota Tundra Extended Cab pick-up truck in the "Drive...He Said" fleet this past week we hastily hunted for the last remaining mountains of snow here in the Chicago area. It was true. The colossal snow piles that were heaped onto Chicago on February 1st 2011 were melting and evaporating before our very eyes. WGN meteorologist Tom Skilling predicted right again. At an area forest preserve the big Tundra seemed in its element. So much so that at this photo shooting many a passerby in more pedestrian vehicles were transfixed, as if a polar bear had appeared for tourists in Chicago's winter tundra.
For the record that is almost a full foot of clearance under the Tundra. Yes we had to set the transfer case settings to 4WD-Low to make it up the snow berm.
The front double wishbone and rear leaf springs suspensions allow for that huge wheel travel off road. That translates into 5000 lbs of weight transferring into corners with a whole lot of lean. Still the chassis doesn't pitch quite as bad as full body on frame pick-ups of old. Good news in the friction department where the new for 2011 multi-piston front caliper brakes are more powerful than anything else this big bearing a Toyota "T" or Lexus "L" emblem on the hood. Contractors and tradespersons be forewarned: at $34,000 our Toyota Tundra Double Cab came with the standard bed which at 78.7" in length is more than a few inches shy from carrying a full 4'x8' sheet of plywood. There is always the "long-bed" option. But if the 19' in length double cab standard bed couldn't fit into most garages and parking spaces, good luck with the extra foot and a half that comes with the "long-bed" version.
The 4.6L V8's 310 hp won't pummel the occupants on board into their seats. Make that 5+1 occupants thanks to the front "bench" accommodations replete with steering column shifter (The front bench brought back memories of Dad's old Caddy Coupe DeVille.) An 8000 lb tow capacity is also good for class. You'll need a good tail wind to beat 12 mpg in heavy duty city driving...with the dual transfer case controls set to rear drive. The rounded back headlights and beveled hood now give Toyota's full size workhorse looks to go head to head with the class style-leading Dodge Ram. If only interior ergonomics matched advances in exterior styling. The 36" distance from driver's seat back to radio and climate controls means a lot of bending forward. And the column shifter blocks the 4wd transfer case settings dial.
Well here's hoping for some snow next winter for another Toyota Tundra Double Cab photo-op.
Oh wait! We spoke too soon! The weather forecast calls for up to 8" of fluffy white stuff by tomorrow!!