This 2016 Tundra Platinum CrewMax 4×4 landed in our driveway just as the revisions for 2017 were announced, so it was a good time to take another look at this big Toyota.
Changes for 2017 are minimal: there are some new colors, including the interestingly named Cement. Prices are up a bit, with the smallest increase of 0.9% hitting CrewMax versions of the 1794 edition and the tested Platinum.
The largest increase hits the Tundra’s cheapest trim, with a full three percent hike on the Tundra SR. That increase makes the Tundra a $30K truck, as the lowest entry price edges up to $30,020, before you add the $1,195 delivery fee.
I’ve reviewed the 2015 Platinum CrewMax 4×4, and this Barcelona Red Metallic 2016 was the same gentle giant as the previous one in Blue Ribbon Metallic. While the blue hues between 2015 and 2016 look the same to my eye, the newer one is called Blazing Blue Pearl.
The Limited is the trim below the Platinum, and it adds shiny trim on the mirrors with heat and power folding. The Platinum mirrors add automatic dimming, turn signal indicators and a memory feature, and an indicator the standard blind spot monitor is embedded in the driver’s side mirror lens. And, there are puddle lights.
These mirrors stick out far from the body, which begs the question – what’s the cost of replacing the driver’s side mirror assembly if it ever breaks off? A call to San Francisco Toyota‘s parts counter brought first a warning – “this is an insanely expensive mirror, are you ready?” – and then the price, a staggering $861.45. That’s just for the part, and then on top of that would be labor to install it.
The Platinum brings diamond-patterned soft trim, and the patch of it on the instrument panel is a striking touch.
Rugged bumps mark the numbers on the rings around the gauges, and there’s a crisp center display.
Curves and sweeps are typical in passenger-car interior styling, but the Tundra reflects its truck mission with plenty of long and straight lines.
The Platinum trim rewards you with lots of reminders of your choice.
Being over six feet tall means truly appreciating a roomy interior, and the Tundra obliges with acres of space all around.
The Platinum’s power driver’s seat has lumbar and thigh support adjustments, but we wish we could vertically place the lumbar support for better back positioning, and it’d be nice if the thigh extension could raise up just a little higher.
If you’re going to sit in a back seat, then the one in a full-sized, four-door pickup is about as spacious and glassy as it gets.
A thick armrest pulls down from center…
…and the bottom cushions easily flip up for access to the flat platform below it. The mechanism was impressive in flipping the seat quickly upward and into a locked position, even when the Tundra was parked on a steep downhill grade.
There’s lots of good old-fashioned air flow through the Tundra‘s interior when the rear window is lowered.
If you have a large smartphone, then you may know the heartbreak of trying to find a place for all of its square inches in car consoles. The Tundra’s long slot feels luxurious by comparison.
The console bin seems like a big square bucket…
…and the lid has some handy slots.
The center stack has the usual friendly Toyota ergonomics, with big knobs that can be grabbed by gloved hands.
Straightforward and configurable, the screen’s UI is easily mastered.
The tested 2015 had running boards for an easier step up, while this 2016 lacked them. There are handles for all except the driver, who likely would use the steering wheel for that purpose…
…but it you don’t need maximum ground clearance, then we’d recommend either something from the Toyota accessory catalog or the vast aftermarket for Tundra upgrades to bridge the climb up to the seat.
Secondary controls are simple and familiar, with a height adjustment for the headlights.
With the addition of a tow hitch receiver to 2017 Tundra with the 4.6-liter V8, this feature is now standard across the Tundra board.
CrewMax Tundras come only with the 5.5-foot bed, which was actually a relief when guiding this big truck through tight city corners.
Two tie-down cleats per side are standard; additional cleats for the side or front are $115 each.
This hook looks old-timey enough to have been attached to a ’50s Studebaker pickup.
Parking sensors are a help, but it was still helpful to have a contractor pop out from their job to help me unwedge the Tundra from two Toyota Prii that had boxed it in from the side and front. “I have a truck too, I know how hard it can be to judge the distances,” he said.
The Platinum’s 5.7-liter V8 is shared with every Tundra trim except the SR5, which sticks with the 4.6-liter. The 5.7’s 381 horses is 71 above the 4.6.
Toyota calls this a “silver billet” grille.
At $50,275, the tested Tundra Platinum CrewMax isn’t cheap, but it feels like a quality piece throughout. Brand loyalties run deep in the full-sized truck market, but the Tundra has the starch to get Ford and Chevy and Ram loyalists looking its way.