By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.1
The 2011 Toyota Tundra has dared to tread on sacred territory, namely the domestic full-size pickup market, and done so with surprising success. The Tundra matches or beats most of its domestic full-size competition when it comes to size, performance and price. The U.S.-built Tundra features standard side airbags, trailer sway control and electronic stability control and is the first full-sized pickup to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick award. The Tundra competes directly with full-sized pickups from Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, GMC and Nissan.
If you haul a lot of stuff and/or people, the Tundra is up for the job. Depending upon configuration, the payload can exceed one ton and towing capacity can reach 10,400 pounds. Pulling that load can be the available 5.7-liter V8 with 401 pound-feet of torque.
Those who enjoyed the more nimble, economical Toyota pickups of the past may find the 2011 Toyota Tundra far too large. The Tundra's size means it can be challenging to maneuver in tight situations and, understandably, it is not particularly fuel-efficient, and there is no diesel engine option.
For 2011, the Tundra's base 4.0-liter V6 receives dual variable valve timing for more power and better fuel economy (horsepower increases from 236 to 270), while trailer sway control is made standard on all models. Toyota has streamlined the Tundra lineup down to the 28 most popular configurations.
Driving Impressions From the driver's seat, there's no mistaking the 2011 Toyota Tundra is a very big vehicle. The tall seating position makes it easy to see the highway ahead, but its...considerable size means the Tundra may require some concentration to keep it correctly positioned on narrow roads and in crowded parking lots. The available sonar warning system and backup camera will be welcome when parking, maneuvering off-road or connecting to a trailer. The Tundra offers excellent steering feel and a better highway ride than some of its competitors. This is thanks in part to its frame, which has a stiff fully-boxed front section, partially-boxed C-channel under the passenger compartment and more flexible open C-channel below the bed. The optional 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 will easily and comfortably accelerate an unloaded Tundra into fast-moving traffic.
Toyota offers a comprehensive assortment of more than three dozen dealer-installed items, including exterior and interior trim upgrades, cargo-bed accessories and performance and handling enhancements from Toyota's performance brand, TRD.
i-Force 5.7-liter V8
The Tundra's optional i-Force 5.7-liter V8 makes 71 more horsepower than the also-optional 4.6-liter V8, yet, with the technology of variable valve timing and the benefits of a six-speed automatic transmission, almost matches the fuel economy of the standard V6. Both the engine and transmission are built in the U.S.
Big jobs can call for several people and lots of stuff. Four-door versions of the 2011 Toyota Tundra accommodate up to six adults and have numerous storage areas and work surfaces. The Double Cab's non-adjustable rear seatback has more rearward inclination than those in most similar pickukps. Still, some may find it a bit too upright for long road trips. The rear seat in the larger four-door CrewMax is adjustable both for fore-aft positioning and seatback inclination. However, it doesn't enjoy the same ability to be quickly folded up as the rear seat in the Double Cab.Exterior
The 2011 Toyota Tundra projects the assertive image that buyers of full-size pickups desire. Its tall grille and hood and pronounced front fenders make it as imposing as any big truck. However, it retains its Toyota identity. A longer cab, larger rear doors and a shorter bed distinguish the CrewMax from the Double Cab. Toyota's lowest-cost version of the two-door Regular Cab model shares a toned-down version of the upper-end model's styling, though its appearance is still consistent with that of a work truck. A no-frills Work Truck package outfits the truck with vinyl seating, rubber flooring and a choice of V6 or V8 engines.
Standard equipment on the most basic Regular Cab model includes a V6 engine, limited slip differential, trailer sway control, dual-zone manual climate controls and an AM/FM stereo with a single CD player. The SR5 trim of the Double Cab and CrewMax includes power front seats, AM/FM stereo with six-disc CD changer and heated outside mirrors. The Limited trim level includes a billet-style grille, front and rear parking sonar, heated leather seats, a bedrail system and a JBL audio unit. With 270-horsepower, the standard 4.0-liter V6 is more powerful than many V8s of the recent past. Only those who regularly haul massive loads and tow large trailers will truly miss the extra power of the optional V8s.
Most optional equipment on the 2011 Toyota Tundra is packaged into either the mid-level SR5 or the up-scale Limited trims. One significant stand-alone option is a bundle that includes a DVD-based satellite navigation system, Bluetooth phone connectivity, backup camera and a JBL audio system. The two-door Regular Cab and four-door Double Cab are available in two bed lengths – six-and-a-half and eight feet – while the CrewMax has a five-and-half-foot bed. The Platinum Package available on CrewMax Limited trims only includes heated and ventilated seats, 20-inch chrome wheels, navigation, a power sunroof and wood trim interior. The 2011 Toyota Tundra offers a long list of dealer-installable accessories. These include remote engine start, 22-inch wheels, bed extender and numerous TRD items.
The 2011 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 comes with five-speed automatic with uphill/downhill shift logic, while the V8's are mated to a six-speed automatic. Since the 5.7-liter makes 71 horsepower more than the 4.6-liter and gets almost the same fuel mileage as the V6, the vast majority of Tundra buyers select the big engine. All three engines employ several technologies allowing them to produce both big power and reasonable economy. Variable valve timing optimizes engine performance for changing conditions and demands, and the V8's six-speed automatic transmission employs a low first gear to aid low-speed acceleration and two overdrive gears to maximize highway economy.
270 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
278 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/20
310 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
327 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20 (2WD), 14/19 (4WD)
381 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
401 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/18 (2WD); 13/17 (4WD), 10/13 (4WD, E85)
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."
5 people out of 19 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!"
2 people out of 3 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."
17 people out of 24 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."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By bigfatred on Monday, November 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "toyota quality"
Cons: "none after 7 1/2 years of ownership"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"although there have been a number of recalls, we did not have any issues. our only repairs were common maintenance. another fine vehicle from Toyota & assembled in texas by AMERICANS."
8 people out of 17 found this review helpful
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."
26 people out of 39 found this review helpful