Our first driving impressions left us quite impressed. There are no squeaks or rattles and very little wind and engine noise in the cabin. The brakes are confidence inspiring awesome with good pedal feel. The TRD suspension has an excellent calibration out of the box and its big hit capability is very good–on par with a good aftermarket off road performance suspension. Cornering performance is surprisingly good considering the raised high clearance Rock Warrior suspension; firm with very little body roll. The turning radius is good considering the size of the truck.
The power is amazing, this is one fast truck. When towing our trailer, you literally have a hard time feeling that it is pulling something because the truck tows so well. In fact we found ourselves towing at over 80 mph a few times by accident. The truck easily holds 70 mph towing over the dreaded grapevine grade, never exceeding half throttle! Not even our Gale Banks equipped F250 can do that! Performance wise, we are stunned, no other half ton truck comes close to the mighty Tundra.
Not all is perfect; the TRD suspension can be harsh, especially for freeway hop at around 65 mph although it did break in and improve over the first 1,000 miles. Since we are used to driving firm riding cars like EVOs and WRXs this really isn't an issue and we prefer the Rock Warrior's firm controlled ride over a boat like soft one. The programming for the drive by wire throttle has an exaggerated torque hump on tip in making it difficult to drive the truck smoothly without burning out or chirping the tires from a dead start, thank God for traction control, it is always active. The heavy live axle has some characteristic leaf spring wheel hop even with staggered rear shocks. The worst part about our Tundra is our fuel economy. We average 15-16 mpg in mixed cycle driving. However this is not bad considering the size and capability of our 4X4. These complaints pale in comparison to the truck's virtues especially when compared to capabilities of its direct competition. So amazing is the Tundra, that we suspect a major new car book was paid off to rate another truck better in its highly publicized truck shoot out. We have driven both and we know the truth.
|A big heavy truck is hard to work on, good thing we have Technosqaure's well equipped shop!|
So how does MotoIQ improve upon near perfection in a tow truck? Since we drive Project Tundra on a nearly daily basis and heap abuse on it as it spends most of its life towing and hauling, for our peace of mind, we opted to pay extra for an all inclusive Toyota factory 100,000 mile warranty. We didn't want to void our warranty but wanted to further refine our Tundra. What to do? Our answer is to use TRD parts. For those who don't know, TRD stands for Toyota Racing Development, Toyota's factory high performance arm, much like Mazda's Mazdaspeed and Nissan's Nismo. The main advantage of TRD's parts is they are conceived using Toyota's superb OEM engineering and validation. This means that TRD parts fit exactly, are 100% street legal and do not affect the factory warranty!