I’ve always wondered about cars they call “Sport Utility Vehicles.”
So many of them are not particularly well suited to any sport outside of racing to Starbucks. As a mom of four who loves to surf, kayak, fish and more, I have always struggled to find the right vehicle for my gear. I’ve purchased enough racks, cargo holders and accessories to haul an Olympic Team’s worth of gear.
How A Pickup Truck Fits A Mom Life
Why had I never considered a pickup truck? It seems so obvious now that I’ve driven one, but I didn’t think that I could find a model that would fit both my kids and my lifestyle. And by lifestyle I mean it needs to haul my gear, but still be luxurious.
The Toyota Tundra full size pickup truck checks every box for a the best truck for a sporty mom’s needs:
- Mom – We need a real backseat, not something that’s just stuck behind the driver’s seat so they can say it’s an extended cab but a truly comfortable seat for everyone from toddlers to teens. The Tundra backseat is so large that my daughter’s guy friend who stands at 6’5” rode comfortably. He was also very impressed and told me I had a “cool truck”. So it fits the kids, and it’s cool.
- Sporty – The Tundra has a large bed that can hold all the equipment you can toss in there. And the VERY BEST PART? You can just hose out the mess. Sandy surfboards, muddy soccer equipment, smelly football gear stay in the back and you ride in fresh smelling luxury up front. I won’t say that it was taking my son to fish in the Tundra that helped me completely out-fish him, but I was feeling pretty boss pulling up in a rugged truck.
- Safety – Every mom cares about safety and in addition to a beefy body and V8 engine the Tundra has a pile of standard safety features. There are airbags in front, on the sides, overhead and even at your knees. The lane departure alert system warns you when you’re leaving your lane, which until I drove this truck, I didn’t realize how often I did just that. Optional safety features include blind spot detection, parking assistance and more. The LATCH system for car seats is standard.
- Comfort – I never expected a truck to be not only comfortable, but actually downright luxurious. I drove the 1794 edition which is the premium model, but you can get interiors that are less swanky (but why?). The seats are leather and suede and you can both heat AND COOL them. If you have never experienced the joy of a seat cooler on a hot day, you don’t know how fabulous this feature is. The rear window of the cab rolls down making it easy to get some fresh air or stick a fishing pole out the back.
- Functional – Even if you don’t have sports gear to haul, every mom has stuff, lots of stuff. Who hasn’t spent hours crouched in the back of their car trying to fold down enough seats to jam a piece of furniture or some other large item in the car? A girlfriend offered me two designer club chairs she wasn’t using anymore if I could pick them up. Usually, I would have to call a service and pay a fortune making the free furniture not so free anymore. The Tundra easily held two very large chairs with room for much more in the back. So I’d like to think I made money on the deal.
What the 2019 Toyota Tundra Costs
There are several models, the MSRP’s are:
- SR: Starting at $31,420
- SR5: $33,220
- Limited: $40,685
- Platinum: $47,380
- 1794 Edition, with top of the line finishes and every safety and tech feature: $47,380
- TRD Pro, which is optimal for off roading: $49,646
What About Gas Mileage?
You can expect to get around 15-19 MPG on any of the trucks, which is comparable to my little station wagon, which I also found surprising.
Why I Love The Toyota Tundra
The Toyota Tundra really exceeded all of my expectations. It was much more luxurious and comfortable to drive than I expected. Being a small woman with marginal vision in a large truck makes many people nervous, myself included. But all of the technology on the truck made it much easier to drive than I anticipated, between the backup camera, blind spot detectors, super easy to use navigation and lane notifications, I felt really confident.
Disclosure: The Toyota Tundra was provided for this story; all opinions are my own.