If you could drive any model Toyota for two weeks, what would you pick? That Faustian dilemma recently occurred here at Wildsnow HQ — and the choice was obvious. Give me the biggest baddest most pimped out truck possible, and don’t look back.
It all started when Adam Howard of Backcountry Magazine got an offer for journalist testing of various Toyota and Lexus vehicles. They’re kinda busy up there in the Vermont backcountry trying to get ink on paper, so they thought ol’ motorhead Lou might enjoy checking out some wheels. Next thing you know, we’re cruising around in a 2008 fully loaded Toyota Tundra. We’re talking a truck with so many controls, switches and options you might as well be flying an Apollo space capsule — only the Apollo is less complex because it’s missing the DVD theater system. We’ll be blogging several reports over the next weeks about how this truck works for the mountain lifestyle (including how TGR movies look on the two LCD screens). For now, a few comments and intro shots.
|What’s the criteria for a full-size truck at WildSnow.com? You can fit your wife’s skis across the back seat. The leather interior seems to handle ski edges well — we’ll have a final read on that in two weeks.|
|Housed under the Tundra’s commodious hood is a monster 381 horsepower 5.7 liter V8. Yep, press the go pedal and feel the atmosphere warming — time for some more carbon offsets. Amazingly, this Tundra gets virtually equal gas mileage to my Silverado, but has much more power on tap for things like passing and towing. Engineering like this will probably spoil me, but don’t worry, while this truck is fun to test it’s way too fancy and expensive ($47,783 on the sticker) to become an upgrade.|
|Our demo is the gigando double cab with a short bed. Kind of a hybrid Suburban-like vehicle as much as it is a pickup. Nonetheless even a small outdoor box is nice for the sporting life junkshow, e.g., dogs skis and bicycles.
I actually got the truck’s Bluetooth hands-free phone system working, but the navigation system is beyond me at this point. That thing is downright weird. You try to use the voice system, and the prompter reads you a list of options. You try to pick one of the listed options and the interestingly seductive female voice tells you that “option is not available.” You then start trying destination commands like “return home” and she/it thinks you said “pizza restaurant.” (Trust me, we like pizza but not that much.) A few rounds of that and the voice seems to morph from sassy siren to burned out second grade teacher. But I bet we’ll get stuff like that figured out. After all, today I found the switch that makes the rear window go up and down.
More later folks. Back to ski gear and stuff tomorrow. (And Adam, sorry we didn’t pick the hybrid. But I know you understand.)