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Autotrader’s 20th Anniversary: Toyota Tundra

To commemorate’s 20th Anniversary, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most-searched new cars on the site and compared the current versions to their 20-year-old former selves. Ironically, the only passenger cars to make the list are two high-performance coupes, with not a single sedan or hatchback making the cut.

Number 10: Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra is a full-size half-ton pickup that has a reputation for durability, reliability and hard work. Although the Tundra lineup isn’t as robust as the pickups from Ford, Ram and Chevrolet, it’s still a respected truck with a loyal following. With no HD model in the Tundra garage, Toyota’s big pickup is limited in its ability to tow and haul, but for those who can live with its 10,500-pound tow rating and 10-year-old design, the Tundra won’t disappoint.

Toyota offers the Tundra in a number of trims, ranging from the basic extended cab work truck to the plush Platinum and 1794 Edition. Like its competition, the Tundra still offers a traditional regular cab alongside the extended Double Cab and Crew Max crew cab. Depending on the model and trim, the Tundra also offers two wheelbase options and three bed lengths. The Tundra derives its power from a choice of two gasoline V8 engines, meaning there is no diesel or turbocharged option to compete with Ford and Ram trucks. The standard 4.6-liter V8 puts out 310-horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque, while the optional 5.7-liter V8 ups output to 381-hp and 401 lb-ft of torque.

While the Tundra isn’t as technically sophisticated as the F-150 or Chevy Silverado, its cabin is still handsome, functional and logically arranged. Crew Max models offer plenty of room for rear seat passengers, and off-road enthusiasts will love the capabilities of the TRD-Pro. Limited and Platinum trims offer such amenities as a leather interior, JBL audio upgrade and a power-sliding rear window. Missing from the options list, however, are features such as heated and ventilated front seats, adaptive cruise control and Apple CarPlay.

1997 Toyota T100

In 1997, the world said goodbye to legendary marine explorer Jacques Cousteau, Celine Dion won a Grammy for Album of the Year and millions viewed the massive comet Hale-Bopp without the need for a telescope. At Toyota, development of the full-size Tundra was still in the planning stages, but the company did have another pickup: the T100. Not wanting to tread on territory considered sacred to the “Big Three” Detroit manufacturers, Toyota built a pickup larger than the Tacoma, but not quite a full half-ton. The T100 was underpowered and underwhelming in design, but like all Toyotas, it was dependable and durable. However, with no V8 engine and limited towing payload figures, the T100 didn’t sell in as large a numbers as the Dodge Dakota or Ford Ranger, and was discontinued the following year.

Other Notable Accomplishments at Toyota in 1997

In addition to launching the first Prius hybrid car, Toyota Racing Development designed a supercharger for the 3.4-liter V6 engine used in the Tacoma, 4Runner and T100 pickup trucks.

Read more about the 10 most-searched new cars on Autotrader:

#1: Ford F-Series
#2: Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra
#3: Jeep Wrangler
#4: RAM 1500/2500
#5: Chevrolet Camaro
#6: Toyota Tacoma
#7: Ford Mustang
#8: Jeep Grand Cherokee
#9: Chevrolet Tahoe
#10: Toyota Tundra

Find a Toyota Tundra for sale

Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo is a longtime contributor who started in the industry writing competitive comparison books for a number of manufacturers, before moving on in 2002 to become a freelance automotive journalist. He’s well regarded for his keen eye for detail, as well as his ability to translate complex mechanical terminology into user-friendly explanations. Joe has worked for a number of outlets as... Read More about Joe Tralongo

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