2007 Toyota Tundra

2007 Toyota Tundra 2007 Toyota Tundra
First Drive Review

Toyota calls it "the single most important product in its history," which may seem like a stretch coming from a company that sells over 400,000 Camrys every year in the U.S., four times the volume of its full-size pickup sales.

But of course "full-size pickup" and "100,000 sales" are two elements of Toyota's U.S. product portfolio the corporate product strategists wish to redefine.

Before we get into the few specifics we can relate, though, we must first tell you about the Byzantine rules governing what we can't mention. In order to attend Toyota's official hands-on first-look first-drive preview held recently in Louisville, Kentucky, we had to swear a blood oath to maintain secrecy regarding many aspects of the Tundra family.

For example, although we drove several different Tundra models, we are sworn to secrecy regarding driving impressions - until January 8. That's when Toyota will officially and publicly unveil the production Tundras at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, with sales due to begin in early February.

You may wonder how some mention of the Tundra's dynamic traits could compromise that presentation, which will be held in the confines of Detroit's Cobo Hall. We can't imagine either. But we know that if we utter one word about ride quality, acceleration, braking, or transient response before January 8 Toyota might have us shot. And even if that didn't happen, we might be required to shoot you. Can't have that, right?

Right. So here's the info we're at liberty to reveal.


4.0-liter V-6 (236 horsepower, 266 pound-feet of torque). Shared with the mid-size Tacoma, this robust six will be the standard engine in the regular cab Tundra.

4.7-liter V-8 (271 horsepower, 313 pound-feet of torque). The strongest engine available in the current Tundra, the 4.7 will become the middle offering in the new truck lineup.

5.7-liter V-8. Sorry, this falls under the Louisville Official Secrets compact. We can tell you this all-new engine will deliver a level of grunt that will rank at or near the top of the half-ton truck charts, with work ratings-payload, towing (Toyota is willing to go on record with "over 10,000 pounds)-that will be ditto. It will also show up in other future Toyota/Lexus truck products.

Two transmissions will be offered, both automatic-the five-speed auto employed in the current Tundra, and a brand-new six-speed gearbox to go with the new 5.7-liter V-8. The latter will be unique in the full-size pickup world, at least for the time being.

As you'd expect, four-wheel drive will be an option.