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The First Generation

The Toyota Tundra was released in 1999 for the 2000 model year. It was unprecedented, largely because there were no Japanese full-size trucks capable of competing with Ford's, GM's, or Chrysler's in the North American market. Toyota labeled it as a full-size pickup despite the fact that it fell a little short in width and height compared to the Big Three's models. This did not hinder the Tundra's success as it went on to win the North American Truck of the Year award for the 2000 model year. The 3.4-liter V6 engine capable of 190 horsepower, and the optional 4.7-liter V8 engine with 245 horsepower probably had something to do with it, along with an extended cab that could seat three on the rear bench seat, rear-wheel drive with a four-wheel drive option, mid and high-level SR5 and Limited trims, decent handling, comfortable ride, and spacious cabin. The optional anti-lock brakes became standard on 2003 models, along with an optional side-step on the cargo bed. Toyota increased the cabin size with a four-door cab for the 2004 model year, and a year later the 2005 model offered an all-new 4.0-liter V6 with 245 horsepower, while the V8 increased in horsepower to 282.

Tundra Today


The current and second generation debuted with the 2007 model. It grew in length, width, and height, and had a restyled fascia for a tougher look. A new 5.7-liter V8 engine debuted with 381 horsepower. The Tundra has offered plenty of variations like the Darrel Waltrip edition, TRD Sport package, TRD Rock Warrior, Platinum Package, and Ivan Stewart Series, among others.  Despite the minor changes to the model itself, there have always been upgrades available through special editions.  For the 2014 model year, the Tundra got a redesign with a bulkier fascia that held a larger grille laced in chrome, along with new tail lights and tail gate. The newly designed Tundra offered the 4.6-liter V8 with 310 horsepower and the 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower while the 4.0-liter V6 increased in power to 270 horsepower. Rumors swirling in anticipation of the 2016 model have it that a fourth engine option will appear in the form of a 5.0-liter turbo-diesel V8 speculated to have an output around 300 horsepower. Other than the Nissan Titan and the Tacoma, the Tundra remains as one of the few import manufacturer trucks still prevalent in the North American market, and for good reason.

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