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 Geno on Monday, November 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Drives great--very confortable lots of power"
Cons: "unreliable--design flaw that Toyota will not fix"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"These vehicles have a design flaw 2010-2013 models. The seals blow out prematurely on the power steering racks which they changed design/vendors in 2010. Mine just went out at 62k miles and it is $3100 to fix--I looked it up and there are numerous reports of this same problem. It is widespread and systemic. Toyota has done nothing to remedy the situation."
10 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Rey on Wednesday, November 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Powerfull, Great ride"
Cons: "MPG. But was not my conern on a truck."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This is my second pick up truck. The first one was a Ford, good truck but had to trade it in for a family car. I was in the market for a pick up truck again in 2011 and my first instinct was to go with Ford. Fortunately, Ford did not have what I wanted (low inventory). Went to test drive the Tundra and was quite surprised at the ride. I decided this was the truck I want and closed the deal."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By big ken on Tuesday, November 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought it new and never had to take it back to the dealer for anything, Love it. Wish they built a 3/4 ton HD."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By woody on Tuesday, November 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought the Tundra new and have enjoyed driving it. I use it mostly for commuting, but it has seen plenty of use hauling lumber, drywall, dirt and gravel. The truck still looks great after six years and I plan on keeping it for several more years. Here are the low points/concerns: 1. Front brake discs look sturdy, but they still warped after only 22,000 miles. I had them turned and installed new pads, but that only bought me another 10,000 miles. I upgraded to after market, grooved rotors and get better braking performance with no issues after almost 30,000 miles of use 2. Front bearings rusted and needed replacing at about 45000 miles. The dealer did the work for free, but COME ON TOYOTA, what gives? 3. Seems to be a frequent issue in that the Anti Pollution pump failed at 55,000 miles. Once more, the dealer did the work free of charge; good thing because the darn parts cost about $2000. Things like the bearings and the pump concern me about keeping the vehicle for the long term as they're now out of warranty, but I'm going to stick with the truck for now"
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By BigKahuna on Friday, October 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Power and Torque"
Cons: "Feeding the kitty"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is a strong truck and not for little girls. A lot of torque and 381 horses to match. Don't be fooled, it likes to drink (gasoline) but if you want power, comfort, reliability, and power (I know I said it twice), this is a truck for you. Be careful; black, scratches easily and shows dirt readily, but it is beautiful when it is clean and freshly waxed. This truck rides well and is comfortable in the two front bucket seats. The radio (JBL) cranks and the memory stick interface lets you put your own music into the system seamlessly (on a memory stick- MP3). The back seating area has plenty of room (even at 6'5) and your knees don't touch the back of the front seat."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Bill on Thursday, October 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,200overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "price was right"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Exceeded all expectations. Retired and purchased to haul boat and fishing kayak. Enough power, adequate gas mileage towing."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful