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Test Drive: 2017 Toyota Tundra CrewMax

stock photo of 2017 Toyota Tundra CrewMax

There are pickup trucks and then there are pickup trucks. The 2017 Toyota Tundra is a big and brawny truck with a surprisingly luxurious side. With a starting price of $30,120, this full-size pickup looks and feels as if it could eat smaller ones for breakfast, especially in its four-wheel drive, longer configurations.

As with any pickup, there are many configurations. (I counted 48.) All models are available in either two-wheel or four-wheel drive. There’s a choice of two V8 engines: a 310 horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8 or a 381 horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8, which has a 10,500-pound maximum towing capacity.

There are three cab styles and three pickup bed options: a two-door regular cab with an 8.1-foot-long bed; a four-door double cab with either a long or 5.5-foot standard bed; and an oversized four-door CrewMax with a 5.5-foot bed. There are six trim levels available: the base SR; the SR5 (the most popular trim); Limited (which offers more standard comfort features); Platinum (with luxury features); the Western-themed, luxurious 1794 Edition; and the off-road-oriented TRD Pro.

My test model was a CrewMax TRD 4×4 equipped with the more power 5.7-liter V-8 engine. Several options improved off-road performance and protected the underbody. The Entune Premium system included JBL Audio, advanced voice recognition and navigation with traffic and weather.

If all Tundra models feel like they could eat smaller pickups for breakfast, my test model was king of the road. By comparison, it was over 3 feet longer and nearly 20 inches taller than the Toyota Camry midsize sedan. Even with all this brawn, the Tundra was as easy to drive – although not as easy to park – as a car. It had a smooth, quiet ride with comfort features that put it on par with an entry-level luxury SUV, including leather upholstery, power front seats, a 60/40-split folding rear seat and an impressive 42.3 inches of legroom for rear seat passengers.

The test 2017 Toyota Tundra is priced at $49,218.

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