The SR5 is the least expensive trim ($32,480 for 4×2 4.6 L V8) in the Tundra CrewMax category, but whichever Tundra you choose, whether the road—paved or not—leading to the job site, lake, or mountain home, Tundra is ready to go.
The cabin of my test model was spacious, with backseat large enough to accommodate a large dairy herd. When you shift into reverse the 7-inch touch screen displays the clearest image of any camera I have ever used, allowing you to perfectly see what is behind you. This wonderful innovation is especially helpful when hitching a boat or trailer.
There were three inside features that helped me enjoy the drive and added comfort and safety. Large buttons and knobs carry out your command for various tasks on the dash. HVAC and radio are just two of the controls on the dash made easy. Single-zone climate control with convenient and reachable controls keep the cabin comfortable and driver more focused. Power door locks, windows and heated mirrors make it easier to isolate yourself inside or reaching for the outside while offering better visibility.
The interior also includes a 40/20/40 split fold-down, 4-way driver and passenger adjustable front bench seat and 60/40 split fold-up rear seats.
The centrally located armrest and large storage compartment underneath made the perfect place to store valuable items like phone and laptop that might need to be retrieved quickly.
The test SR5 CrewMax had a powerful 5.7 L i-Force aluminum V8 with a Dual Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i). It produces 381 hp at 5,600 rpm and 401 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 rpm. For my week of driving I averaged 17 mpg.
Tundra had a whole repertory of features when it came to safety. The Toyota Star Safety System included items like Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-lock Brake System, and Electronic Brake-force Distribution. Those items along with an eight-airbag system helps to keep you on the road and moving steadily, providing the power to stop when needed, and protect the occupants should a collision occur.
Outside, the Tundra had a 66.7-inch x 50.0-inch double-walled bed with rail caps, power vertical windows featuring privacy glass, and easy lower & lift tailgate.
Rain has come down in buckets the last few weeks in Texas. Dallas alone has received around 40 cm for May and over 76 cm for the year. Low areas are flooded and thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed completely throughout the state.
It rains as I write this column (Friday, May 29), with emergency sirens going off nearby.
The community of Van, just east of Dallas, was destroyed last week by a tornado. Over a dozen twisters have been sighted on the ground or in the air the last two weeks around Dallas. Canadian, a town in the Texas panhandle, was ravaged by a tornado two days ago.
Wimberly, southwest of Austin, saw scores of houses wash away from a flooding Blanco River. Along the Texas Coast over 28 cm of rain has fallen in a 24-hour period. Some parts of Houston and Galveston are hit badly, I understand.
This week I had a strong vehicle to drive. Numerous cars were swept away by the flooding, folks still in their vehicles, but the Tundra managed through water up to the doors and never faltered.
I am told some people have been stranded for hours on Highway 30 and Loop 12. There go the emergency sirens again.
Durhl Caussey writes an auto column read around the world. He can be reached at this paper or firstname.lastname@example.org