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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2002 Toyota Tundra Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2002 Toyota Tundra Overview

The Competition Just Got a Little More Nervous

Toyota's entry into the full-sized pickup arena, the Tundra, is a different breed of truck. For one, it is not as large as the traditional Dodge/Ford/Chevy full-sized pickups and is best described as fitting in somewhere between a Dodge Dakota and a full-sized Ram. Make no mistake, the Tundra's bed can still accommodate a full sheet of plywood, it's just that its body is not as wide or tall as its competition. There are some definite advantages to the Tundra's less sizeable design, the most obvious being ease of maneuverability. With less bulk, the Tundra is easier to park and offers the driver excellent visibility at all four corners.

Power is one of the benchmarks by which full-sized trucks are judged, so Toyota has given the Tundra one of its most powerful engines; the Lexus-inspired 4.7-liter, 32-valve V8. This engine produces 245- horsepower which is more than enough to move the Tundra, its passengers and their cargo. What really stands out about the Tundra's V8 is the way it does its job with all the smoothness and refinement of a passenger car engine. Armed with a tow rating of 7200 pounds and payload rating of 2000 pounds, the Tundra can more than hold its own against the larger and more powerful trucks.

On the open road, the Tundra's steering feels direct and centered. This is a truck that handles well and has excellent brakes, contributing to an overall feeling of being firmly in control of the vehicle at all times. The ride is smooth, almost car like, and remains so even when the pavement turns to raw earth.

The Tundra is available in three trim levels: base, SR5 and Limited. The base Tundra comes only as a two-wheel-drive regular cab truck and is powered by a 190-horsepower V6 engine teamed to a 5-speed manual transmission (a four-speed automatic is optional). One step up from the base model is the popular SR5 Access Cab, which has more interior space, a rear seat and two more doors. The top-of-the-line Tundra is the Limited model. All three trims offer a choice of 4x2 or 4x4 configurations. The base 4x4 is available only with the V8 engine. The Tundra's smaller size and excellent ground clearance—11.2 inches on the 4x4 models—make it ideal for off-roading.

The extended Access Cab does provide more room for passengers, but the Tundra's smaller size means that those who occupy the rear seat may feel a bit cramped, especially full-grown adults. The rear seat does offer the protection of adjustable headrests, a safety feature lacking on some of the Tundra's competitors. Up front, there is plenty of room to stretch out and the Tundra's comfortable bucket seats make long trips a joy. The handsome interior is also nicely laid out and tightly screwed together. Access Cab models feature door handles on the outside of the swing-out rear doors, which allows rear seat occupants to enter the cab without having to open the front door first. Though the Access Cab doors swing in the opposite direction of the front doors, the wide open space they create is somewhat hindered by the front shoulder belt, which is attached to the floor and ceiling instead of the seat.

All Tundras come standard with a locking tailgate, two 12-volt outlets, sun visors with pull-out extensions and solar-energy absorbing glass. Access Cab models also feature a flip-out rear quarter window for better ventilation.

The Limited model is fully loaded and includes power windows and door locks, cruise control, ABS, sliding rear window and alloy wheels. Optional equipment includes leather seating surface and an upgraded audio. Both the SR5 and Limited also offer Toyota's TRD off-road package which beefs up the suspension, adds larger wheels and tires and includes more skid plating to protect the underside of the vehicle.

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