The First-Gen Toyota Tundra Is Still a Great Truck

It’s hard to believe, but the Toyota Tundra has been around since 2000. As Toyota’s full-size truck, it really marked what the brand was capable of in terms of pickups. Prior to the Tundra, Toyota did not offer a full-size truck with a V8 engine, and it was clear that something needed to change if the brand hoped to compete with what Detroit-based companies were putting out. And frankly, the first-gen Tundra is still a great pickup. Especially if you are someone who wants something old-school. 

The first-gen Toyota Tundra has a V8 engine

If you want a V8 truck, the first-gen Tundra might be your answer. Toyota borrowed the design for its 4.7-liter V8 from Lexus. But, in true pickup truck form, the V8 featured in this generation of Tundra did utilize a cast iron block. Which helped to make it a true workhorse powerplant. 

The engine was used in everything from the Land Cruiser to the 4Runner. And when compared to the 190-horsepower V6 featured in previous Toyota trucks, it marked a big kick in power. This engine had the ability to generate up to 245 hp and offered ample torque. 

How does the Tundra differ from the Toyota T100?

Before the Tundra, there was the T100. The Toyota Tundra is noticeably larger than the T100, although it is certainly not as big as the Toyota trucks of today. At the same time, the Toyota Tundra was smaller than the full-size pickups that were offered by other brands. 

A pre-owned Toyota Tundra pickup truck from 2000
The 2000 Toyota Tundra pickup truck | Toyota

In terms of cost, this truck started at around $16,000. And when compared to what Toyota offers today, it was seriously basic. The standard fare was a V6 engine, five-speed manual transmission, and a simple tape player. Clearly, Toyota was building this pickup to be a simple utility vehicle, and not much else. 

Prices were able to stay low because Toyota started building the Tundra in Indiana. According to AutoTrader, older Toyota trucks were built in Japan. And that meant they were subject to significant import duties. 

Is the first-gen Tundra a good truck?

The first-gen Tundra had a run from 2000 to 2007. During that time, not much changed about this full-size pickup. In 2004, Toyota did decide to offer a crew cab, which helped the Tundra handle more roles. 

A black first-generation Toyota Tundra shows off its styling as a full-size truck.
Toyota Tundra | Jollytime

Probably the biggest issue faced by this version of Tundra is rust. Toyota did not do a great job of applying rust prevention. So, if you live in a winter climate, you might want to look elsewhere if you are in need of a pickup. 

Overall, the first-generation Toyota Tundra is known to be a reliable truck. Heck, some are even on the road with well over 400,000 miles on the clock. Of course, if you want a version of this pickup with lower mileage, you will be forced to pay more. Especially for an extremely clean example. But generally speaking, you can likely find one in the middle of the road for around $15,000.

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