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2017 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Test Drive Review

With Toyota recently opening its all-new North American headquarters in Plano, Texas, it is now embedded deep in the heart of pickup truck country. American automakers have dominated the full-size truck segment for years, but even with an aging lineup, the 2017 Toyota Tundra continues to put pressure on the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra and Ram 1500. Thanks to significant upgrades made for the 2014 model year, the current Tundra lineup is its strongest ever with affordable, work-ready models, the rough and rugged TRD Pro model as well as the luxurious Platinum trim level, which I recently sampled in the 2017 Toyota Tundra Platinum CrewMax 4×2 for this test drive review.

2017 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Exterior
When it pulled up in my driveway, my first impression of the 2017 Toyota Tundra CrewMax was how big this truck looks. It’s actually smaller than a comparable RAM 1500, but the long cab and boxy body lines gives this truck an imposing presence. From the faux ram air intake in the hood to the stamped “Tundra” name in the tailgate, the 2017 Toyota Tundra CrewMax just looks like a beast, and its 10.4 inches of ground clearance (with 26 degrees of approach angle and 16 degrees of departure angle) mean that this truck can go anywhere.

Even though the overall styling isn’t as modern as other full-size trucks, the Platinum trim level gives this truck a more up-to-date appearance with billet-style grille with a body-color surround as well as a body-color front bumper with fog lights. Speaking of body color, this tester’s Blazing Blue Pearl is definitely an eye-catching hue. Finally, the Platinum also brings 20-inch, six-spoke alloy wheels and chrome power-folding mirrors with LED turn signal indicators. Optional features on this tester included the $579 spray-in bed liner and the $345 running boards.

Being a pickup truck, let’s take a quick look at the business end of the 2017 Toyota Tundra. Although the bed lacks modern amenities such as in-bed LED lights, power outlets or easy-to-use steps, it does have a soft-open tailgate and moveable tie-down cleats. Toyota says that the Tundra is available in almost 50 build configurations, but the CrewMax models are only available with the 5.5-foot cargo bed – aka, the short bed.

2017 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Interior
The market for luxury pickup trucks has surged in recent years, and the 2017 Toyota Tundra Platinum serves up a Texas-size heaping of luxury. Step inside, and your eyes are instantly drawn to the beautiful stitched and quilted leather on the perforated seats, door panels and instrument panel. To further distinguish this trim level, there are “Platinum” badges on the front seats and the center console cover. While it’s extremely nice, you’re not going to mistake this for a Lexus interior, which is a quality on some newer high-trim Toyota products, thanks to low-end plastic trim and an overall lack of modern features like proximity entry or push-button start (gasp, you must use an actual ignition key!) and limited mobile device charging options.

What you do get is just about every bell and whistle available on the 2017 Toyota Tundra including a power moonroof, power sliding rear glass and the Entune Premium JBL Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite. This trim level comes standard with dual-zone climate control, and the rear occupants can enjoy the comfort with HVAC vents built into the rear of the center console. Being a truck, there is more than enough room to carry goods in the cargo bed, but if you need more space (or more secure storage space), the interior of the CrewMax is downright cavernous. With the rear seats lifted out of the way, the Tundra CrewMax has an amazing amount of cargo capacity including a flat load surface underneath the seats that is wide enough to accommodate even the largest of flat-screen TVs. While there is sufficient cargo space available inside the Tundra CrewMax, it’s the passenger space where this truck excels. Rear passengers are treated to limo-like amounts of legroom, which is two inches more than what the RAM 1500 Quad Cab offers.

2017 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Powertrain
Under the hood of the 2017 Toyota Tundra CrewMax is the 5.7-liter i-Force V-8 that produces 381 horsepower and 381 lb-ft of torque, and all 2017 Tundra models feature a six-speed automatic transmission. The lack of direct injection or added transmission gears result in fuel economy estimates that are the most telling of this truck’s age with EPA ratings of 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway**. Helping to ease the efficiency pain is a 38-gallon fuel tank, which is standard on the higher-trim Tundra models.

This engine helps give the mammoth Tundra CrewMax excellent acceleration, and the overall ride quality is about what you’d expect from a big truck like this. For maximum driving comfort without giving up chassis strength, the 2017 Toyota Tundra uses a unique frame with fully boxed rails up front for safety, reinforced C-channel under the cab and your typical C-channel beneath the bed. This strong foundation gives the Tundra excellent towing abilities. When properly equipped and configured, the Tundra has a max towing capacity of 10,500 pounds, but the 4×2 CrewMax is rated at 10,100 pounds with a payload capacity of up to 1,660 pounds.

2017 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Safety
The 2017 Toyota Tundra CrewMax comes standard with eight airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System with Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, traction control and an automatic limited slip differential. The Platinum trim level also adds in a rear backup camera, front and rear parking sensors, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Trailer Sway Control. The Tundra CrewMax received a four-star overall crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and “Good” ratings for the moderate overlap front and side-impact tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

2017 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Overall
The 2017 Toyota Tundra might not be the (sales-dominating) Camry of the pickup truck market as Toyota would love, but it is still a great choice for half-ton truck buyers. Despite its age, the Tundra is still on track to sell more than 100,000 units in 2017 and is currently outselling the Nissan Titan 2:1. The 2017 Toyota Tundra has a starting MSRP of $30,120* for the base regular cab model, and this luxury-minded CrewMax Platinum rings in at $47,080*. Tacking on a handful of options brings the as-tested price of this review vehicle up to $49,184.

Make sure to visit your local AutoNation Toyota dealership and test drive the 2017 Toyota Tundra today!

*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

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