TOY­OTA TUN­DRA

Boating - - MOTORHEAD -

AAfter test­ing a Toy­ota Se­quoia the week be­fore, we ex­pected to be dis­ap­pointed in the ride of the Tun­dra. But we were not. The 2018 Tun­dra has a firm ride, and it’s not ad­justable like the Se­quoia, but the sus­pen­sion is so well-tuned that it damp­ened the hum of brick roads and ab­sorbed the bulk of the shock of pot­holes and other bumps in the high­way.

Un­der tow, the Tun­dra sus­pen­sion con­trolled the 7,500-pound tow load at high­way speeds, when chang­ing lanes, and ex­hib­ited ex­cel­lent tow sta­bil­ity even mov­ing across un­even lanes. On other trucks, we’ve had to up­grade from all-sea­son pas­sen­ger tires to light truck tires like Toyo Open Coun­try ATs for the same au­thor­ity. Yet with the Tun­dra, we had re­as­sur­ing con­trol on fac­tory-sup­plied pas­sen­ger tires.

The Tun­dra we tested had adap­tive cruise con­trol, a vir­tual mir­a­cle in en­gi­neer­ing that uses for­ward-look­ing radar to gauge dis­tance of ve­hi­cles or ob­sta­cles. You can set the radar to slow you down at ap­prox­i­mately four, five or six rel­a­tive car lengths for the mar­gin of safety you pre­fer. The cruise re­mains en­gaged, ad­just­ing speed and, when needed, en­gag­ing brakes at the pre­s­e­lected fol­low­ing dis­tance. Pull out from be­hind slow traf­fic to an open lane and the ve­hi­cle ac­cel­er­ated to the se­lected speed. It re­mains en­gaged, warn­ing of a rapid clo­sure, but shuts off be­low 30 miles per hour.

Leather-up­hol­stered bucket seats were sports-car firm. We had no trou­ble find­ing a com­fort­able po­si­tion with the elec­tri­cally ad­justed seat bot­tom and back. The driver-side dash was sharp-look­ing, and after a few taps and tog­gles, we dis­cov­ered dis­plays for main­te­nance in­ter­vals, oil life, tire pres­sure and more. Turn-by­turn con­trols are cen­tered in the dash.

We were dis­ap­pointed in both the size and lo­ca­tion of the touch-panel con­trol. And, per­haps in a mis­guided safety move, the screen was placed too far away from the driver for easy reach.

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