A recent trip out with my son resulted in test driving a couple of large pickup trucks, including the 2010 Dodge Ram and the 2010 Toyota Tundra. The following is a subjective review of the 2010 Toyota Tundra, the truck which I found more preferable.
Buying a Truck in Today’s Economy
Truck buyers are in a difficult position in today’s economy. Those who are able to get by with a compact truck easily find themselves in a better position; in terms of selection, price, and gas economy. There are, however, many men who need larger trucks for work purposes. There are also many men who prefer larger trucks. My son happens to be one of them.
When we went to look at trucks my son was obsessed with two models, the 2010 Dodge Ram and the 2010 Toyota Tundra. It is no coincidence that these two trucks are also among the top recommended large pickup trucks as recommended by Edmunds.com.
Why I reviewed the 2010 Toyota Tundra over the 2010 Dodge Ram
After a day of shopping and haggling I decided my preference between the two trucks is the 2010 Toyota Tundra Extended Cab.
I was pleasantly surprised with features of both trucks that have improved on gas mileage. My son currently owns a 2005 Dodge Ram that is a gas guzzler. Part of our job as parents was to convince him that he needed to cut down on size and economize. His job, as the child, was to convince us that enough advances had been made to compensate for the gas mileage he was getting on a car that is 15 years old.
Dodge has certainly made a lot of improvements on the Ram, including giving it an engine strong enough to pull the truck and a power steering system sturdy enough for the heavy truck. These are two of our biggest complaints about the 2005 Dodge Ram my son currently owns.
Despite the improvements in the Dodge Ram, I found myself impressed with the 2010 Toyota Tundra.
Basic information and review of 2010 Toyota Tundra pickup truck
Basic sticker price, for nothing but a shell of a truck, for the 2010 Toyota Tundra is $23,455. Even though that is base sticker price, it is not bad price for a heavy duty truck.
The Toyota Tundra, much like the Dodge Ram, has been a favorite among full-size pickup fans for years. Both are reliable and known for their power as workhorses among pickup trucks.
The 2010 Toyota Tundra is available with a V6 or V8 engine. Doubtless, serious truck owners and drivers who use their pickup extensively for work will want the V8 engine. We are in the market for a young man who simply likes trucks, therefore, we knew that opting for the V6 is going to enhance fuel economy. It also helps keep the price of the truck within a reasonable range.
The extended cab is something that is almost impossible for our son to live without because he wants to transport friends. The great thing about the 2010 Toyota Tundra for workers is that the Extended Cab has plenty of room and seatbelts to haul your crew. (A complete work truck package is available in the Tundra enabling owners to design their a truck to fit the needs of their occupation, tools, and crew.)
The chassis of the 2010 Toyota Tundra has been strengthened and rebuilt. It is a sturdy and dependable truck, even if the ride was a little bumpy (I thought all pickup truck rides were rough, but the 2010 Dodge Ram is said to offer a smooth ride. On the other hand, if the truck is used for work the roads are generally going to be a rough ride regardless of the heavy duty pickup truck you drive.), my son was pleased with the ease with which the truck handled and found it a big improvement over the Dodge Ram.
2010 Toyota Tundra safety features
Some of the specifics that appealed to me were additional safety features, including knee level airbags in the front seat, a rear view back-up camera, and back and front collision sonar. I have found parking and backing-up in heavy trucks among the most precarious and dangerous activities. It is very difficult, except for the most experienced drivers, to maneuver through tight spaces, including parking spaces. Backing up in our son’s 2005 Dodge Ram always makes me nervous because there is absolutely no way to see the ground behind you. The back-up camera, now standard in many vans, SUVs, and trucks is one of the best innovations in safety that has taken place in recent years. I loved this feature on the Tundra.
The Toyota Tundra also has 4 wheel anti-lock disc brakes. If this is not standard on any vehicle we will not buy. Traction tires and 4 wheel drive (optional) also make the safety of this truck very appealing.
The truck has gained “good” crash test ratings for both front and side impact. I would not want to be in a car or truck that goes up against a Toyota Tundra!
2010 Toyota Tundra design improvements
Toyota offers a broad spectrum of design features on the 2010 Tundra. From the work truck package, to the sporty and luxurious Platinum Package the Tundra can be ordered to meet the needs and wants of even the most persnickety heavy duty truck owners.
The Work Package offers minimal perks and features, but has an available tool box and four corner embedded placements for a deck rail system. It is a half ton, highly functional truck.
2010 Toyota Tundra features and perks
The Toyota Tundra is available in Extended Cab and Super-Extended Cab, designed specifically for the crew cab. There is plenty of legroom in both the front and back.
The truck bed ranges from 5.5 on the Tundra CrewMax Limited, to 8.1 and 6.1 on the standard and Platinum Packages, depending on cab size. As you can tell, this is a big truck.
There are a variety of tires from 18″ to 20″ available for the Tundra, with special rim packages available on the Platinum Package. Special trim includes a chrome side step and chrome bumper. Platinum Packages also offers optional wood grain gauge panels and leather seats. The Platinum Toyota Tundra Package is designed to recreate the luxury car experience.
Lumbar support is available on both the driver and passenger side with bucket seat options. Heated seats are also available.
There are some things about driving a heavy duty pickup that you have to know when you purchase one. The first being that you will be the best friend, family member, and neighbor of anyone who needs anything towed including trailers and boats. One of the new features of the 2010 Toyota Tundra is folding trailer mirrors. This may seem like a small feature, but it is immensely important when you are hauling with your pickup.
The tailgate has an assist feature which I found helpful. I’m not sure it is a necessity, but it is a nice feature.
My son, and anyone who wants to drive the 2010 Toyota Tundra for pleasure, will enjoy the sound system. The model we drove had six speakers, but optional headrest speakers are also available. The sound system compliments the audio system which supports MP3, Cds, and auxiliary connections. A video system is optional. In my opinion a video system creates additional distractions and risks.
I did like the hands free Bluetooth capabilities. Voice command make the controls safer to use and easier, considering the number of buttons, gauges, and gadgets on the dash.
DVD navigation is available, but we have become so dependent on the top of the line Garmon navigation system to find roads in Small-town, USA that we wouldn’t consider the navigation system. There was not one in our test drive vehicle, so I cannot comment on the reliability of Toyota’s navigation system.
Cons of the Toyota Tundra
We took a daytime test drive and I found the gauges difficult to see and read. I thought that might have been a function of my own failing eye-sight, but in researching the truck I’ve found that one of the biggest complaints about the 2010 Toyota Tundra is the visibility of gauges during the daytime.
There are so many great electronic gadgets and functions, as mentioned above. The downside is that it might take a while to learn where everything is located. I would probably have to sit in the truck in the driveway to figure out how everything works.
Other than those two minor issues, I found little that I didn’t like about the Toyota Tundra, especially considering the price tag.
2010 Toyota Tundra Beats the Dodge Ram
While the 2010 Dodge Ram is the favorite of Edmunds and, yes, my son, too. As for me, I’d opt for the Tundra. It is a work horse, but can be purchased with enough style and panache to make the transition from workday to every day vehicle.
I also think the Tundra handles well and offers safety features that make truck driving, especially for less experienced truck drivers easy and fun. Those who want a little luxury in a large, heavy duty truck can make it happen in the 2010 Toyota Tundra Platinum Package. If you are looking for a work truck the 2010 Work Package is definitely worth considering.