Toyota took a lot of heat when it entered the North American pickup truck market with the “slightly-less-thanfull-size” Tundra. The Tundra, with its Camryinspired interior and four-valve high-revving V-8 just didn’t have the presence that die-hard American truck buyers look for. In those same four years, the domestic truck has grown up. Today’s pickup truck sits tall with big shoulders and that ever-present ‘belt buckle’ out front. They’ve also grown inside, with most all pickups sporting back seats with either small access doors or full-size rear doors.
Toyota took this trend into account when designing the Tundra Double Cab. Instead of just stretching Tundra’s frame and adding two more doors, engineers borrowed from the dimensions of Toyota’s full-size Sequoia SUV, carrying over the hood and front fenders but giving the double cab a distinctive grille and fascia. This gives the truck a more muscular look and the five-passenger seating and interior room of the large Sequoia. Because of the higher beltline, the bed on the Double Cab is four inches taller than the standard Tundra and 74.3 inches long.
The interior is a combination of Tundra and Sequoia pieces. Toyota engineers said that the goal was to carry over as much as possible. The 60-40-split rear seats fold and tumble forward allowing for access to two lined storage compartments under the floor. The seats are not removable, an idea that would make for even more storage space, but the seat latches can double as tie-downs when the seats are flipped forward.
|The Tundra Double Cab interior borrows heavily from Tundra and Camry. The look is still too car-like for most serious truck buyers.
An optional factory-installed DVD entertainment system is available with a 7-inch fold down screen integrated into the dome light assembly and headphone jacks mounted at the back of the center console. The combination CD-DVD drive is located in the center console. There is also a 12 Volt DC outlet and a 115 Volt AC outlet.
Tundra Double Cab sits on a 140.5-inch wheelbase with an overall length of 230 inches, five inches longer than the 2004 Ford F-150.
The Dana-supplied frame has been lengthened by 12.2 inches under the cabin area. Like all Tundras, the frame rail is made of rolled-C-channel in a continuous single steel stamping. Eight cross-members build in enough torsional rigidity to haul payloads up to 1,835 pounds and pull trailers up to 6,800 pounds. Tundra Double Cab Chief Engineer, Motoharu Araya said that his team called on the experience of the engineers at Hino Motors, producer of large trucks in Japan, to help them beef up the Tundra Double Cab frame and suspension.
|Second row seats fold and tumble to reveal storage bins built into the floor. The seats aren’t removeable, a feature that would add even more cargo area.
The Tundra Double Cab comes with standard ABS and optional Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) + Traction Control (TRAC) system. New for 2004 is an automatic limited slip differential. The system uses VSC to transfer torque side-to-side across an axle more responsively than a fixed limited slip diff. By applying brake pressure to a slipping wheel, torque is transferred across that axle’s differential to the other wheel.
All 2004, the Huntsville, Ala., engine assembly plant will supply all Tundra Double Cabs with the 4.7 L i-Force V-8, the same V-8 found in the Tundra, Sequoia, Land Cruiser and 4Runner. The twin-cam, four-valve engine puts out 240 hp at 4,800 rpm and 315 lbs.-ft. of torque at 3,400 rpm. The i-Force has a bore and stroke of 3.70 x 3.31 inches and a 9.6:1 compression ratio. The all-aluminum head has a pent-roof combustion chamber with a long narrow 21.5 inch included angle to improve volumetric efficiency.
|Double Cab shares front sheetmetal with the full-size Toyota Sequoia SUV.
The Tundra Double Cab comes in two trim levels, the base model SR5 and Limited.
Tundra Double Cabs will be built at Toyota’s Princeton, Ind., assembly plant and, in 2006, at the new $800 million San Antonio, Texas, facility, which will produce about 150,000 trucks a year.