By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.3
Nowhere is brand loyalty more prevalent than in the full-size pickup category. Deep-seated entrants like the Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500 and the best-selling Ford F-150 continue their dominance over the segment whereas relative newcomers, namely the 2013 Toyota Tundra, struggle to gain market share. These comparatively low sales numbers, however, do not reflect the Tundra's performance capabilities, as it equals or bests the competition when it comes to horsepower, towing capacity and available features. And while many full-size truck manufacturers have pushed the subject of safety to the back burner, Toyota elected to embrace this often overlooked virtue and developed the first full-size pickup to receive the coveted Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
If you have grown tired with the usual suspects from Ford, Chevrolet and Ram, it might be time to take a closer look at the Toyota Tundra. Backed by Toyota's enviable reputation for safety and reliability, the 2013 Tundra is a genuine workhorse with impressive towing capabilities, rugged construction and first-class interior accommodations. To top it all off, every Toyota Tundra is built in America.
Toyota is proud that its full-size pickup is capable of towing the substantial loads of a three-quarter-ton in half-ton guise. A remarkable feat indeed, but the beefed-up rear suspension that permits this impressive capability produces a bouncy ride when unloaded. Furthermore, full-size truck shoppers who consider fuel economy a top priority will find plenty to like in the new Ram 1500 V6.
Toyota's Entune infotainment system makes its way into the Tundra pickup for the 2013 model year. In addition, the TRD Rock Warrior Package is now available for Limited models.
Driving Impressions From behind the wheel, there is no getting around that the 2013 Toyota Tundra is an enormous truck. A tall, upright seating position makes it easier to see over the...massive hood, but the Tundra's overall girth, like all trucks in this segment, requires some top-notch driving skills when navigating narrow roads or confined quarters. The optional rearview camera is a great help when parking or attaching a trailer and really should be standard on all models. As for how the 2013 Tundra drives, we found the big Toyota offers excellent steering feel and better ride quality than most three-quarter-ton pickups. The good handling and solid feel have everything to do with the Tundra's frame, which features a fully boxed front section, partially boxed C-channel under the passenger compartment and more flexible open C-channel below the bed for added protection against overloading. Of the two V8 engine choices, we prefer the more powerful 5.7-liter V8 for its rich baritone and high level of torque.
Toyota's new app-based infotainment system features a suite of popular smartphone applications and data services designed to compete with Ford's SYNC Applink, Hyundai Blue Link and Chevrolet MyLink. Currently, Entune includes features like Bing local search, Pandora Internet radio, OpenTable and real-time services such as traffic, weather and fuel prices.
Compared to its smaller V8 counterpart, the 2013 Tundra's optional i-Force 5.7-liter V8 produces an additional 71 horsepower, yet exacts only a marginal penalty in fuel economy.
A big project can call for hauling big people and even bigger equipment, and the 2013 Toyota Tundra has both areas covered. CrewMax models can comfortably hold up to six adults plus provide the convenience of multiple storage areas for toolboxes, jumper cables and other essentials. Adding to the Tundra's comfort level is a rear seat in the Double Cab model that has more rearward angle than in other trucks, making the small space more suitable for long trips. If 4-passenger (or more) accommodations are what you seek, the CrewMax is the right body style for you. With its fore-and-aft-adjustable rear seats and adjustable seatback, the 2013 Tundra CrewMax is the ultimate people-hauler.Exterior
Outside, the brawny Toyota Tundra boasts the tough, in-your-face attitude demanded by full-size pickup buyers. Although still clearly a product of Toyota design, the Tundra's huge chrome grille surround, prominent hood bulge and sculpted lower door edges project an intimidating appearance. While the base Regular Cab model looks rather pedestrian with its black grille and bumper, up-level trims show off a lot more chrome and flashy options. The Double Cab model features shorter half doors for accessing the smaller rear seat, while the CrewMax models are easily identifiable by their longer cabs, shorter beds and long rear doors. Toyota also offers a Work Truck package that outfits Tundra regular cab models with a vinyl bench seat, durable rubber flooring and a choice between the standard V6 or the available 4.6-liter V8.
Base 2013 Toyota Tundra models come with heated outside mirrors, 18-inch steel wheels, a basic auxiliary audio jack for portable audio devices, 2-speed windshield wipers and a slam-proof hydraulic tailgate. Double Cab and CrewMax SR5 trims add an 8-way power driver's seat, fog lights and the newly available Display Navigation system with Entune, Bluetooth and a rearview camera. Limited models include a JBL premium audio system, 18-inch alloy wheels and chrome body cladding, while the range-topping Platinum grade features heated front seats, 20-inch alloys and perforated leather seating. On the safety front, the 2013 Tundra has eight airbags, trailer-sway control and a full complement of electronic stability aides.
Perhaps the most desirable features available for the Toyota Tundra reside in the TRD packages. Optional equipment exclusive to TRD models range from cosmetic enhancements such as sport fabric-trimmed seats and color-keyed front and rear bumpers to off-road niceties like Bilstein trail-tuned shock absorbers and BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A tires. If you long for in-vehicle navigation, we recommend opting for the new Display Navigation system in favor of the older, less capable and inexplicably more expensive DVD-based navigation unit. Configuring the right Tundra for your needs is rather simple; if you are willing to sacrifice a bit of hauling capacity for additional interior space, the Tundra CrewMax is the ideal choice. Conversely, drivers who need all of the cargo space they can get should opt for a regular-cab version or the Double Cab with the available 8-foot cargo bed.
The 2013 Toyota Tundra offers three engine choices: the standard 270-horsepower 4.0-liter V6, a 310-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 or the 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8. The V6 is mated to a 5-speed automatic with uphill/downhill shift logic, while the V8s are mated to a 6-speed automatic. Both the V6 and V8 powertrains employ several technologies that deliver big power and improved efficiency. Dual Variable-Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) optimizes engine performance for changing conditions and demands, while the V8's 6-speed automatic transmission employs a low first gear to aid low-speed acceleration and two overdrive gears to maximize fuel efficiency on the highway.
270 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
278 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/20 mpg
310 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
327 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20 mpg (2WD), 14/19 mpg (4WD)
381 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
401 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/18 mpg (2WD), 13/17 mpg (4WD), 13/18 mpg (4WD, E85)
By Dave on Friday, December 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Dependability, easy access controls"
Cons: "Gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Only downside is the gas mileage, but what do you expect from a large, powerful full size truck. I love how convenient the interior controls are to reach and adjust. And you cannot beat that Toyota dependability. Great vehicle!"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Tundra Crewmax Beliver on Thursday, December 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort, turning radius, towing, visibility, power"
Cons: "Bump rear window control button with knee."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This Crewmax has exceeded my expectations. A daily driver over my wifes car. A 10,000 lb camp trailer hauler in steep terrain without a single hesitation. Bench seating for six people on several 1,500 mile trips was just fine. Gas mileage is 15 to 17 year around. Back country muddy roads are no problem. Visibility is great and the back up camera makes for hooking up a breeze. The turning radius impresses everyone that rides with me. I would buy another one if anything happens to my truck."
By Mr. Unhappy on Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Cons: "Bad exhaust drone!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"My truck came with a horrible exhaust drone. Have spent over $500 to date to help eliminate the drone. Was giving me migraines and nausea. Dealer said they were all like this so Toyota did not see it as a problem. Told me to go away and not come back. Toyota knows about the problem. Have told over 30 people not to buy a Tundra. Next thing to do to deal with drone is sound absorbing undercoat or trade in and take a bath on the trade in. Again, don't buy a Tundra. Last note, cup holders won't hold a regular coffee cup, only tapered coffee mugs."
21 people out of 58 found this review helpful
By Will on Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "15 Cup Holders, Sounds Great, Chicks Dig It"
Cons: "Large Trailer Hitch, Size around town, Gas Guzzler"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had this truck for 5 months now, and put roughly 8000 miles on it. I have taken it on 300 mile road trips and around town. It does great on the highway, however gas mileage drastically decreases from 55 to 70 MPH. Around town, the 5.7 Liter V8 is quick off the line. After towing a 4500 lb. boat around (more than 3,000 more than the limit), the truck showed no fatigue or problem. It did struggle, but that should be expected after nearly quadrupling the max. towing. The hitch receiver is very large, and I had to buy an extra large locking pin in order for it to fit. However Toyota has placed the connections for trailer lights above integrated into the bumper as to not rip out cords when you are off roading and rocks are hitting your bumper. The Limited interior is well laid out, providing lots of leather and wood trim. And holy cow! The back seats are massive! My 6'7" 270 pound uncle fits in the back no problem at all! The legroom is incredible. One thing to improve on in the back is that the air conditioning takes a while to reach all the way back, as there is only one small vent for all three back seats while there are 4 vents for the front seats. The rear seats fold up, and the large back door allows you to easily take in and out large, heavy objects. One thing that I wish toyota had put on the truck is an under hood light, as that would have significantly increased the ease of checking your engine (as if you were to ever break down - this truck doesn't do that) at night. The adjustable headlights allow you to not blind the driver in front of you at night when you have 4500 pounds of weight dragging the back end down. The humongous center console could hold a small adult inside of it, and has a charging port inside. The entune navigation system is very user friendly and easily allows you to input destinations, change radio stations, and change vehicle settings. The refreshed exterior is tasteful, but does not show off. The tailgate of the truck is a easy lift and lower tailgate, and you can take if off in 45 seconds. I've timed myself :-). Cup Holders are in no short supply - there are 15 of them. Everything is removable from the truck with some basic tools, so you can add accessories and clean certain bits. I have taken the front and rear seats out several times already to clean the interor of the truck really well. The rear power sliding window (by the way, it it the whole window that slides down, not just a small square of window) drastically improves the airflow through the truck when the windows are down. Despite all the upsides, it is a bit of a lumber bus around town since it is as wide as is legal in the US and is plenty long with the crew cab. Bottom line, I would absolutely reccommend this truck to anyone and would buy it again in a heartbeat. Not to mention, I can run it to ten million miles with just oil changes because its a Toyota!"
8 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By KJ on Tuesday, December 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,300overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Safety. Price. Comfort. Handling. Torque. Fun!"
Cons: "Need a lock on gas cover or cap."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I purchased my Rock Warrior because of it's stats for safety. I am impressed by it's ride and comfort. Most new vehicles the seats dip down' the Tundra are 'flat' and adjustable. Also, the back of the seat is a fantastic height for tall people and do not 'force' you into a 'C' position whereas your shoulders are forced forward. The MPH is not bad for such a large engine. I just pulled a near 8000 lb. older trailer for my son to Texas from Vermont. Yes, the fuel bill was high... but with the tow package; the Rock Warrior was stupendous regarding stability. All I am waiting for is for Toyota to come out with a diesel engine of their own or the Cummings."
21 people out of 29 found this review helpful
By hundbite on Tuesday, December 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,050overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "fast,strong,reliable,nice looking"
Cons: "on the 08, none really"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I wish they kept all the same features in the limited. now i would have to buy a platinum just to get most of the features i have in my limited. problem is platinum only comes in a crewmax with a shorter bed! Also, the 14's feel cheap inside compared to GMC and Dodge. Sadly, this is why i will not be purchasing a new Tundra. My 08 is a great truck with no real issues."
8 people out of 11 found this review helpful