2008 Toyota Tundra Crew Cab SR5 4×4 review: A whale of a truck

2008 Toyota Tundra SR5 4x4

2008 Toyota Tundra SR5 4×4

Perhaps it’s not manly and certainly some scribes have railed against the practice, but sometimes one simply can’t help it. Some vehicles begged to be named. The 2008 Toyota Tundra Double Cab SR5 in “Super White” certainly did. We couldn’t help call it Moby Dick, the Great White Whale. Because it was (a) big, (b) white, and (c) big.

And oh, did we mention it was big?

Toyota pulled off the gloves with their new full-sized pickup and made it just as big as its USA nameplate rivals and even went so far as to begin manufacturing them in Texas, of all places. And Toyota isn’t just going after the recreational pickup truck owner, someone moving up from the Tacoma or another mid-sized Japanese pickup. Toyota engineers and designers slogged through construction sites and dodged cowpies to find what real truck users needed. After all, the casual driver can use a work-ready pickup, but someone who needs a work truck can’t make do with less. At least not for very long.

So the Tundra had to meet the standards of the work truck user and in fact, go beyond them to earn the trust of those who depend on their truck for a living.

We can’t give you the answer to that question. We can, however, report on what it’s like to use Toyota’s work-ready pickup on a day-to-day basis.

 

 

 

2008 Toyota Tundra SR5 4x4 5.7-liter V-8

The 5.7-liter V-8 fits the engine bay of the 2008 Toyota Tundra SR5 4×4 with room to spare.

 

 

What’s its barcode? Well, did we mention that it’s big? It looks even bigger in white. It looks commercial, too, almost generic. It should have a bar code on the door with the word “TRUCK” spelled out in block letters. Either that or the logo of Joe’s Landscaping and Transmission Repair.

Our test Tundra SR5 was equipped with the 5.7-liter V-8 (381 hp/401 lb-ft of torque), six-speed automatic transmission and full-time 4×4 drive with a dual-range transfer case. Don’t worry about the tranny. Despite the number of ratios packed in that box, it’s stout enough for a 10,300 lb tow rating.

Our Tundra also had all the stuff needed for that kind of use, including automatic limited slip, heavy-duty 4.10:1 rear differential, 150-amp alternator, an external transmission cooler and more.

Floppy folders The Toyota Tundra SR5 comes standard with a 40/20/40 front bench seat, though ours had a package that includes cloth bucket seats, tilt wheel, floor-mounted shifter and console storage big enough to hold a laptop and hanging file folders. The latter was a work truck inspired item, inspired by the dash-top storage so often used on working trucks. The concept was great, though on our test Tundra the files kept falling off and landing in the bottom of the storage bin in a heap. The problem is that the ears on hanging file folders are designed for office use, and most offices outside of San Francisco don’t move around as much as a work truck. Our suggestion, Toyota? Deeper slots and accessory hanging folders as a genuine Toyota accessory. Then use them to hold conventional manila files.

The Tundra also comes with useful cubbies, bins and hiding places. There’s a little fold-out bin in the door under the power window switches and a long skinny one on the console between the cupholders and the parking brake lever. What are they for? No doubt owners will find a chore for them.