Toyota Motor Corporation


The Toyota Tundra was the Japanese manufacturer's first full-size pickup and the flagship of its pickup range. The 2000 model was introduced for the first time in May 1999. It was also the first full-size truck with a V8 engine from an import brand, resembling American pickups.

It was immediately received with great enthusiasm in the USA and was also nominated for Motor Trend magazine's Truck of the Year award in 2000 and 2008. Toyota Tundra car parts were manufactured at Central Motors (a subsidiary of Toyota). The final assembly, however, took place in the Toyota plant of Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Princeton, Indiana.

The first Tundra prototypes and show trucks ran under the designation T150. However, Ford and various automotive experts felt that this name was too close to the market leader Ford F-150. Eventually, after a lawsuit from Ford, Toyota changed the name to Tundra.

As a tit-for-tat, Toyota sued the manufacturer Ford when they released the Lincoln LS. In Toyota's opinion, this name was too close to the Lexus LS and who can deny it?


Toyota Tundra - 1st Generation (1999-2006)

Toyota Motor Corporation


The first generation Toyota Tundra was larger than the T100, but still too small to be considered a serious competitor to US pickup trucks. Even its appearance was not nearly as impressive as the design of its successor.

Its appearance was rather harmless, but it still had a reassuringly clear structure - without a lot of frills, but still well adapted to its time. The half-ton full-size pickup Toyota Tundra was offered as a two- and four-door version, with different cabin structures, engines, and with rear or all-wheel drive.

The Tundra could also be ordered in three trim levels: Base, Limited, and SR5, all came with the same frame and wheelbase. A TRD Off-Road package was introduced in 2001, with updates to the V6 and V8 engines, as well as two new body colors and modified rear seats.

A year later, the SR5 models received new 16-inch wheels, while the V8 models were fitted with a limited-slip differential. In 2003, StepSide models added Sport Trim, along with standard ABS, updated interiors, and a revised grille.


Toyota Motor Corporation


2004 was followed by a new four-door double cab model with four normal opening doors, a long bed, and newly designed rear seats. This meant that the Toyota Tundra had a bed that was almost 125 mm longer than that of the competing Nissan Titan or Ford F-150. The double cab was also 330 mm longer and 76 mm higher than the normal flatbed truck and the one with the extended cab.

The interior of the Tundra Double Cab now also offered dedicated heating and air conditioning for the rear passengers. There was also optional rear-seat audio and DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones.

In 2005, in addition to various updates to the engines, the equipment level was also increased. This brought, among other things, new headlights, rear lights, a JBL audio, and GPS system.



Toyota Motor Corporation


The engines were all gasoline engines and ranged from 3.4 to 4.7 liters. They thus achieved an output of between 190 and 300 hp. With a curb weight of between 3935 and 4215 lbs, this was also absolutely necessary in order to achieve proper driving pleasure.


The engines in detail:

  • 3.4-liter V6 engine with 24 valves - 140 kW/190 hp and 298 Nm torque
  • 4.7-liter V8 engine with 32 valves - 180 kW/245 hp and 427 Nm torque


From 2002 to 2003, Racing Development (TRD) added a supercharger, increasing performance numbers to:

  • 3.4 liter V6 engine - 191 kW/260 hp and 350 Nm torque
  • 4.7 liter V8 engine - 221 kW/300 HP and 540 Nm of torque


In 2005 a new engine was introduced and the V8 received variable valve timing (VVTi):

  • 4.0 liter V6 engine - 174 kW/236 hp and 361 Nm torque
  • 4.7 liter V8 engine - 199 kW/271 hp and 424 Nm of torque


In addition, the manual five-speed gearbox was replaced by a six-speed gearbox, and the old four-speed automatic with a five-speed.

Despite its trailer load of 6790 lbs (double cab) or 7090 lbs (platform truck) - each equipped with a V8 engine - the Toyota Tundra could not yet compete with the large pickups of the "Big Three" (GM, Ford, Chrysler) and Nissan. American pickup fans therefore still refer to the Tundra as a 7/8 pickup.


Special Edition: Darrell Waltrip Edition

Toyota Motor Corporation


In 2006, the manufacturer Toyota launched a Darrell Waltrip Edition. This should remind us of the NASCAR star and his participation in the NASCAR pickup race. These models were equipped with various emblems and 18-inch aluminum wheels, among other things.

Only 2,000 examples of this special V8 double cab Tundra were made.


Toyota Tundra - 2nd Generation (2007-2021)

Toyota Motor Corporation


The second edition of the Toyota Tundra was first presented to the public at the Chicago Auto Show in 2006 and finally launched in 2007. The refreshed Japanese full-size pickup was improved in many respects and in some details resembled its smaller sister model Tacoma as well as the concept vehicle FTX from 2004.

The large Toyota pickup Tundra II (like its predecessor) was only offered on the North American market. Its final assembly continued to take place (until 2009) at the Toyota plant of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana in Princeton. After restructuring, the manufacturer finally relocated all production to San Antonio, Texas, where all Tundra models still roll off the assembly line today.

The second generation of the Tundra differed significantly from the previous model. The new edition was not only much more modern but also larger and more masculine. The technology and the little electronic helpers were state-of-the-art and well thought out.

In terms of drive, it also seemed to have learned its lesson from the first full-size pickup attempt. Equipped with new high-capacity engines under the hood, US customers were finally given what they had asked for.

At the market launch, the Toyota Tundra pickup was offered in no fewer than 31 different versions, which clearly set it apart from other truck manufacturers. Further individual configurations were also possible on request. So were on offer: three platform lengths, three cab versions, three wheelbases, and two types of transmission (5 and 6-speed automatic).


Toyota Motor Corporation


A new double-cab replaced the previous generation's access cab. The double cabin has also been replaced with a brand new CrewMax cabin. As a basic model, the Tundra II continued to roll off the production line as usual with the two-door single cab ( Regular Cab ).

While the Double Cab and Regular Cab versions could be ordered with a 2.0 or 2.4-meter long loading area, the CrewMax was only offered with a short loading area. Depending on the version, the lengths of the wheelbases were: 3,220 / 3,700 / 4,180 mm and their total length grew to up to 6,289 mm. But also in terms of payload and trailer load, they had topped up. The Toyota Tundra Gen 2 could now be loaded with over 900 kg and over 4.5 tons could now be hung on the hook.

The second edition of the Japanese full-size pickup was dominated by a powerful, towering front – with a three-slat, trapezoidal radiator grille. This was underlined again by the headlights pulled back and the thick front bumper. In addition, the almost two-ton Tundra had widened wheel arches, which were shaped like biceps and thus provided a typical US truck style.

Toyota tuned its second-generation Tundra better for construction site needs. For example, it had oversized door handles at the front that could also be operated with gloved hands. A rail system for the loading area, built-in towing hooks, extra-wide running boards (for large work shoes), and special headrests for protective helmets were also offered.

The standard equipment of the Tundra included a partially lockable differential (Auto-LSD),  Stability Control (VSC), Slip Control (TRAC), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BAS), Anti-lock braking system (ABS), and rear door assistants.


Toyota Motor Corporation


Other additional options were, trailer wing mirrors (for wider trailers), 100-lt petrol tank, 22-inch aluminum wheels, backup camera, Bluetooth connection, large center console, bigger brakes and 6-speed automatic transmission.

Depending on the cab version, the interior of the Toyota Tundra II offered plenty of space for the whole family or for a team of workers. While a fairly high center console separating the two wide front seats, three passengers could easily sit in the rear row of seats (CrewMax cabin) – without elbow contact.

And even the smaller Double Cab version offered more legroom in its rear row of seats than some other extended cab trucks. The design of the dashboard, on the other hand, took a bit of getting used to. This divided the center console into two halves and at the same time arranged the infotainment display outside of the driver's area.

The second edition of the Tundra had a base price of $22,390 when it was introduced. This put the Japanese full-size pickup Tundra higher than its US competitors ( Chevy Silverado: $17,860 / Ford F-150: $17,345).

In 2008, 13 more variants have been added (total now 44 versions). In addition, the models received extended standard equipment and the prices were also reduced. A new Tundra version ( Tundra Grade ) had also been introduced, which was below the SR5 line and was therefore cheaper.


Toyota Motor Corporation


2009 rolled around and all Tundra models with the 5.7 L V8 engine were now suitable for ethanol (E85) operation. A TRD Rock Warrior package was also added alongside an updated TRD Sport package. Model prices rose by 0.4 percent compared to the previous year.

In addition to a new grille and taillights, a new luxury package called "Platinum" was also added in 2010. Also, a new 4.6-liter V8 powerplant (mated to a 6-speed automatic) replaced the previous 4.7-liter V8 variant. Driver and passenger knee airbags were now added as standard and earned a five-star NHTSA frontal crash test score.

In February 2013, Toyota unveiled its refreshed half-ton pickup at the Chicago Auto Show (as a 2014 model). The redesign included various revisions that made the Japanese look even bolder and more American.

While most of the modifications took place internally, the external changes were mainly limited to new front lights. While the Tundra Pickup was given improved suspension (with retuned springs), the engines stayed the same, starting with the 4.0-liter V6 and ending with the top-of-the-line 5.7-liter V8.

A new trim level (the 1794 Edition) was added to the 2014 Toyota Tundra Gen. 2, which from now on represented the luxury variant. The number 1794 refers to the acquired land (ranch) on which the Toyota plant is located. This is the oldest active cattle ranch in Texas, founded in 1794 by Spanish colonist Juan Ignacio de Casanova.


Toyota Motor Corporation


The Toyota Tundra II got a sixth trim level in 2015, the Tundra TRD Pro as part of the new TRD Pro family. A storage compartment under the rear seat bench was also added to the SR5 and Limited Double Cab models, and a 3.5-inch TFT multi-information display was now standard equipment. The previously used 4.0-liter V6 engine, on the other hand, has been removed from the range. The TRD Pro off-road package was a step above the standard TRD option package.

The SR5 and 1794 Edition models received a revised chrome grille in 2016. In the latter model, the front bumper center was also kept in Magnetic Gray. On the 5.7 liter, V8 SR5 models, a 38-gallon fuel tank (instead of 26.4 gallons) was included in the SR5 upgrade package. It was standard on the Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition, and TRD Pro. In addition, the 4×2 Tundra models could now also be ordered as flexible fuel vehicles (FFV).

An integrated trailer brake controller has been added as standard on all 5.7L V8 models. A blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert had also been made standard on the Platinum and 1794 Edition trim levels. With the SR5, the functions were only available in connection with the safety & comfort package, and with the Limited - the corresponding premium package.

Moving on to the entertainment system, it was upgraded to the Entune 2.5 system and the TRD Off-Road package was also made available for the 1794 Edition. Last but not least, the 2016 Tundra models shone in new colors.


Toyota Motor Corporation


In 2018, Toyota discontinued the Regular Cab model with the 2.4 m long bed. In addition, the Tundra received a small front-end update (including new grilles, halogen headlights and LED daytime running lights) and standard active safety equipment ( Toyota Safety Sense ). A revised instrument cluster with a larger 4.2-inch driver's display made its debut in the interior.

The biggest novelty here was the Tundra TRD Sport 2018, which was added as a new model in the TRD Club. This was a milder version of the factory-boosted, aggressively damped, full-size Tundra TRD Pro.

The second-generation Toyota Tundra was offered (depending on the model year) in the following trim levels:

  • SR with Regular Cab and Double Cab
  • SR5 with Regular Cab, Double Cab, and CewMax Cab
  • Limited with Double Cab and CewMax Cab
  • Platinum with CewMax Cab
  • 1794 with CewMax Cab
  • TRD Pro with Double Cab and CewMax Cab



Toyota Motor Corporation


The second-generation Tundra was initially available with the following engine options:

  • 5.7 liter V8 with 284 kW/386 hp and 544 Nm torque
  • 4.7 liter V8 with 206 kW/280 hp and 424 Nm torque
  • 4.0 liter V6 with 176 kW/239 hp and 361 Nm torque
  • All models were available with both rear and all-wheel drive.


A new six-speed automatic transmission (with torque converter lockup in fifth and sixth gear) was standard on the 5.7-liter V8. Thus, the Tundra made it from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds and covered the quarter-mile in 14.7 seconds.

All other models initially had to make do with a 5-speed automatic transmission as standard.

From mid-2008, the 5.7-liter V8 could be upgraded with a Toyota Racing Development (TRD) supercharger kit. The engine output increased to 376 kW/511 hp and 746 Nm of torque. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h was completed in 4.4 seconds and the famous quarter-mile was covered in just 13.0 seconds.


Protecting Your Toyota Tundra

Toyota Motor Corporation


The Toyota Tundra is a really reliable vehicle like all Toyota trucks. However, they need protection and care just like any other vehicle if you want to enjoy it for a long time. For your protection needs, you should trust no other than the Coverkingsince they are the official partner of most automotive manufacturers.

Check out the Coverking websiteand you’ll find car covers, seat covers, dash covers, etc. made custom for each and every model Tundra ever built! Just choose your vehicle’s make and model from the drop down menu above the site and see for yourself!




Tankut Basar

Tankut Basar is an ARA (American Rally Assoc.) Racing Driver and an FIA Bronze Category License Holder. His passion for driving began with karting like most racers. He started racing internationally at the age of 22. Tankut loves everything car-related and will keep enjoying the drive until the end.