So the Toyota Tundra arrived on Thursday, and now it sits like a big white behemoth in my driveway. If nothing else, the pickup packs some serious bulk (though it seem just a shade smaller than a Dodge Ram I parked next to on Friday). The first thing Cavin asked me, after he managed to climb into the passenger seat, was, "How do you drive this in the city?"
Answer: Very, very carefully.
Honestly, a truck this size has no business in the city unless you're using it in some necessary professional capacity: contractor, landscaper, plumber, junk collector. Naturally, I drove it into the city the first chance I got -- I needed some way to get to that panel at the Washington Hilton. I asked a friend beforehand if I could park the sucker in his private alley spot, which led me into a tight situation with a garbage truck before I finally realized I would never fit the thing in without blocking 3/4 of the alley. Back to the street it was, where I got lucky and found spot I could pull into just a block from the Hilton. It was actually easier than when I parked it later that day in the Tyson's Corner parking garage.
- It cruises along pretty nicely, though that's not a huge surprise given the honkin' V8 under the hood. It's supposed to be pretty heavy on torque on the low end, but I don't plan on hauling any loads of cinder blocks in the next week, so you'll have to take someone else's word for it.
- It handles fairly well, though I feel compelled to drive a little gingerly given the size. My brother-in-law would probably be able take the thing through D.C. like Cooper Mini, but I need to compensate for my lack of recent experience. The ride's a little rough in patches and, given the low-end torque and all, it's a little herky jerky in stop and go traffic.
- The interior has that "nice, but not too nice" feel of many trucks. Basically, there are enough touches going on to make you feel you're getting something better than a simple farm truck, but not so much it's going to push it past the $35,000 sticker price on this model. Though you could bump that up by adding in some navigation and other extras, but the six-disc CD with AUX input is included here. Copious amounts of console storage are a big plus.
- I really like the exterior -- it has some of the butch-type stylings that set apart a truck like the Dodge Ram, but in a way that feels a bit more refined. That said, overall I still prefer the overall look of the Toyota Tacoma.The Tundra is rated at 14 mpg city, 18 mpg highway -- I've been getting 15.4 mpg average, with mixed city/highway (a little heavier on city). It may be a Toyota, but it ain't a Prius.
We'll see how I feel about the brute after a few more days driving around town.