- - Thursday, September 1, 2016

It’s a big truck with a big personality on the road. That’s what the 2016 Toyota Tundra can promise you. The Tundra is a full-size pickup truck with strong engine options and this year’s additions also include a larger gas tank on several of the trims and new styling in the front on the SR5 and 1794.

While some folks might not think the Toyota moniker goes well with a full-size all American pickup, think again since, after all, the Tundra is built in Texas. Even so, the strongest competitors in this market are home grown like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500 and the GMC Sierra.

There are three cab styles on the 2016 Toyota Tundra from the regular cab to the extended “double” cab to the ultimate “CrewMax” crew cab. From there, you can choose between two wheelbases and three bed lengths from the short bed at 5.5 to the standard at 6.5-foot or the 8.1-foot-long bed.

To keep the choices coming, there are six trim levels depending on the configuration you choose including the SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition and TRD Pro.

On the SR, which is the base option, you can go for a regular or double cab with 18-inch steel wheels, power accessories, keyless entry, heated mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer and of course the basic including cruise control and air-conditioning. There is also a rearview camera included on the basic Tundra and the bench seat is a 40/20/40 split with all cloth upholstery. For technology, there is the Bluetooth phone and audio, a six-inch touchscreen interface as well as a USB port and auxiliary audio jack.

Next up, the SR5 comes in the double cab or CrewMax versions with a nice list of standard features likes fog lights, variable intermittent windshield wipers and a more advanced tech interface with a seven-inch touchscreen. There is a satellite radio on this trim as well as a navigation application. For the CrewMax version, you can add a power rear window and overhead console.

The upgrade package offered for the SR5 will give you front bucket seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and the larger gas tank on the 5.7-liter V8 engine. The Safety & Convenience package can also be added with front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot warning and a rear cross-traffic alert.

You can get the Limited trim in double and CrewMax with 20-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, tie-down cleats, eight-way power driver seat, a four-way power passenger seat, leather upholstery and steering wheel with a seven-inch touchscreen and navigation. On the double cab, there is a power-sliding horizontal rear window and seven speakers. With the CrewMax you can add nine speakers to the mix. With the Limited Premium package, you get not only the Safety & Convenience package goodies, but also additional interior lighting and anti-theft alarm features.

The TRD Pro offers the SR5 Upgrade features as well as a different styling with black 18-inch wheels, off-road tires and suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers. There are movable bed tie-down cleats and inside the leather upholstery includes a TRD logo and red stitching. For comfort, there is the eight-way power driver seat and navigation system.

The Platinum trim is the best of the best and it comes with the CrewMax only. Included in the standard features are the Safety & Convenience package as well as LED running lights, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, sunroof, air-conditioned and heated power front seats and 12 speakers. If you opt for the 1794 Edition, you get the Platinum trim with the unique 1794 Edition styling tweaks.

For off roading, the TRD Off-Road package can be added to the SR5, Limited and 1794 Edition trims and that will include 18-inch TRD wheels, trail-tuned shocks and tow hooks.

You have two choices of engines on the 2016 Toyota Tundra, both V8 with rear-wheel drive and six speed automatic transmission. Of course, there is also the option of four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case.

The 4.6-liter V8 engine comes on the SR double cab and all the SR5 trims with 310 horsepower and 327 pound feet of torque. The Limited, Platinum, 1794 and TRD Pro all have the 5.7-liter V8 engine with 381 horsepower and 401 pound feet of torque.

For safety, there are standard antilock brakes, stability and traction control, trailer sway control, front knee, front side-impact and side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. The blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic and parking sensors are options on a few of the trim levels as well.

The interior of the Toyota Tundra is comfortable and well thought out in the design. Depending on the trim, the interior design only gets better, but keep in mind that even the standard base trim has the Entune touchscreen. The technology is easy to use and there is plenty of leg room no matter the trim or cab option you choose. Another added bonus is the folding rear seats on the double cabs and CrewMax that comes in handy when you need a bit more space inside the cab.

Power behind the wheel is also impressive. I enjoyed driving the CrewMax and definitely felt like I owned the road with the size and the able engine.

I like the fact that, when you are driving the Toyota Tundra, you can feel the power. While it does not drive like a sedan, it does drive like the piece of big machine that it is and that means you will know the power you’re wielding as you enjoy the ride.

Should You Need to Know: The 2016 Toyota Tundra 4.6-liter engine can tow from 6,400 to 6,800 pounds depending on body style while the 5.7-liter V8 has the capability for towing from 9,800 to 10,500 pounds.

Miles Per Gallon: The 2016 Toyota Tundra 1794 CrewMax edition I drove got 13 miles per gallon in the city and 17 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: The 2016 Toyota Tundra 1794 CrewMax edition had a price tag of 82,720.

For more auto tips and information, follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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