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 Randy on Sunday, February 22, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This truck is very low mileage, but it has been great for the first 6 years. I would recommend both the Tacoma and the Tundra as great Toyota truck options."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By Toyota Fan on Sunday, February 08, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Value, Reliability, Quality, Feature content"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We purchased our 2010 Toyota Tundra SR5 TRD-OffRoad Double cab in Salsa Red Metallic in June of 2009. Our truck features the new-for-2010 4.6L V8. After nearly six years and 120,000 miles, I can assure you that this is one of the most sound automotive investments you can make. There has not been a single issue with the truck-ever. With routine servicing (oil change every 10k miles etc), I have no reason to believe this truck won't go for another 120k. The 4.6 V8 offers an excellent blend of power and fuel economy. I average just under 18 MPG and the truck has no issue with power in any situation. Out on the highway, the Tundra rides comfortably at any speed and passes with ease. The SR5 package provides an excellent blend of creature comforts at an affordable price. In 2009, bluetooth, USB, and a telescoping steering wheel couldn't be found at just north of $30k anywhere else but in the Tundra. Storage space is abundant. In any situation, the Tundra has exceeded expectations. Be it family hauling, road tripping, or any other activity a crew cab truck could be put up to, the Tundra will provide you with years of capable reliability. I plan on purchasing another Tundra once I pass the 2010 off to my son."
41 people out of 65 found this review helpful
By Redshoe on Sunday, February 08, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Wonderful to drive, comfortable front buckets,"
Cons: "Tall, steps needed"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Perfect condition, black on black with 20" custom tires and black wheels. Matching black camper shell over coated bed, bed has numerous tie downs. Fog lights, lights power off, daytime running lights. Drop down beauty mirrors that are illuminated. Garage door openers, auto dimming mirror. Multiple cup holders. Center panel large enough for small cooler.Dual oil cooler for 6 sped transmission. 5.7 engine with flex fuel. Rear view mirror, powered mirrors and windows including rear window which can be lowered completely. Powered drivers seat, rear seat adjusts manually and has fold down arm rest and cup holder. MP3 input, CD, radio, Bluetooth, Sirius. Front headlights have electronic up and down controls. Exceptionally clean, one owner actual mileage under 5000 miles. Big, black, powerful and like new."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Samer on Sunday, February 08, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,600overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive,"
Cons: "Terrible in fuel consumption"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Extremely Gorgeous Truck but not as they say in fuel efficient. the advertise city 14MPG. barely makes 10MPG even when it's new. HIghway never exceeded 13MPG. other than fuel issue one of the best in the market"
By Wayne on Friday, January 30, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price, resale value, great ride and performance."
Cons: "No heavy duty options."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is my second Tundra and both have been exceptional vehicles. Performance is excellent, I tow an enclosed trailer and utility trailers; the vehicle has no problems with trailering on steep hills and handles heavy trailering loads without any problems. The ride is excellent and I have experienced no problems with either of the two Tundra's owned. The gas mileage is satisfactory, of course I would like better mileage, but with 381 horsepower you can't have everything. I would recommend the Tundra for towing up to about 11,000 lbs. Hopefully Toyota will follow Nissan's lead and consider a diesel motor and it would be nice to have options for a 3/4 ton or even heavier trucks. Performs more like a 3/4 ton truck than a 1/2 ton."
23 people out of 44 found this review helpful
By Dale on Tuesday, January 27, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,400overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Beautiful and comfortable ride."
Cons: "Extra long bed is difficult to park some places."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This Tundra has it all. Extra long (8 foot) bed will hold full sheets of plywood with the tailgate closed. Snugtop cap in matching color (Cobalt Blue or Blue Ribbon paint). Crew max four door cab with premium sound system with in dash multi CD changer and JBL speakers. Front and rear parking warning system (Sonar). Very clean inside and out, runs great, lots of power in the 5.7 L V8 engine. Receiver hitch and tow package. A beast of a work truck!"
6 people out of 12 found this review helpful