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2012 Toyota Tundra Regular Cab

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2012 Toyota Tundra Regular Cab Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.4

Toyota's full-size Tundra Pickup truck is a genuine workhorse every bit the equal of long-established pickup trucks from Ford, Chevy and Ram. Although offered only as a half-ton model, the 2012 Toyota Tundra full-size pickup is a very capable machine, with horsepower, towing and payload numbers the same or better than its domestic (and one foreign) rivals. The U.S.-built 2012 Toyota Tundra leads the pack in a number of areas, including safety. In fact, the Tundra was the first full-size pickup to receive a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS.org).

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need a tough and rugged truck that knows how to pamper its occupants, the 2012 Toyota Tundra is worth checking out. With the right configuration, the Tundra's payload exceeds one ton and towing capacity can go to 10,400 pounds.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're used to the smaller and more nimble Toyota Tacoma, the 2012 Toyota Tundra may feel far too large. Maneuverability and fuel economy are hardly the Tundra's strong points, and unlike some larger competitors, there is no 3/4- or 1-ton model, dually rear end or diesel-engine option.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Toyota Tundra pickup has its options list simplified to a few well-equipped packages, adding a new Chrome Package on Double Cab and CrewMax models. The Limited and TRD Rock Warrior trims gain a standard rearview camera.

Driving the Tundra Regular Cab
Driving Impressions

From behind the wheel, there is no getting around that the 2012 Toyota Tundra full-size pickup is a really big truck. A tall, upright seating position makes it easier to...

... see over the big 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 Limited trim's rearview camera is a great help when parking or attaching a trailer and really should be standard on all models. As for how the 2012 Toyota Tundra pickup drives, we found the big Toyota offers excellent steering feel and a better highway ride than some of its competitors. The good handling and solid body 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. Of the two V8 engine choices, we prefer the 5.7-liter V8. With 381 horses on tap, this engine has no problem moving the Tundra even with a full cab and a loaded bed.

Comprehensive Accessories
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 2012 Toyota 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 6-speed automatic transmission, almost matches the fuel economy of the standard V6. Both the engine and transmission are built in the U.S.

2012 Toyota Tundra Regular Cab Details
Interior

A big project can call for hauling big people and bigger equipment, and the 2012 Toyota Tundra has both areas covered. CrewMax models can comfortably hold up to six adults plus provide multiple storage areas for toolboxes, jumper cables and extra gear. 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, however, it's the CrewMax you'll be wanting. With its fore-and-aft-adjustable rear seats and adjustable seatback, the 2012 Toyota Tundra CrewMax pickup is the ultimate people-hauler.

Exterior

The 2012 Toyota Tundra full-size pickup 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 make it as formidable as any of its rivals. 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 small 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 equips the 2012 Toyota Tundra pickup with a vinyl bench seat, rubber flooring and a choice between the 4.0-liter V6 or the 4.7-liter V8.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Standard equipment on the most basic 2012 Toyota Tundra Regular Cab pickup includes a V6 engine, limited-slip differential, trailer sway control, dual-zone manual climate controls and an AM/FM stereo with a single-disc CD player. The SR5 trim of the Double Cab and CrewMax includes power front seats, AM/FM stereo with 6-disc CD changer and heated outside mirrors. The Limited trim level includes a billet-style grille, front and rear parking sonar, rearview camera, heated leather seats, a bed-rail 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.

Optional Equipment

Most optional equipment on the 2012 Toyota Tundra pickup 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, rearview camera and a JBL audio system. The 2-door Regular Cab and 4-door Double Cab are available with 61/2- and 8-foot bed lengths, while the CrewMax has a 51/2-foot bed. The Platinum Package available on CrewMax Limited trims includes heated and ventilated seats, 20-inch chrome wheels, navigation, a power sunroof and wood-trim interior. The 2012 Toyota Tundra pickup offers a long list of dealer-installable accessories. These include remote engine start, 22-inch wheels, bed extender and numerous TRD (Toyota Racing Development) items.

Under the Hood

The 2012 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 a 5-speed automatic with uphill/downhill shift logic, while the V8s are mated to a 6-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 6-speed automatic transmission employs a low first gear to aid low-speed acceleration and two overdrive gears to maximize highway economy.

4.0-liter V6
270 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
278 lb-ft. of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/20

4.6-liter V8
310 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
327 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20 (2WD), 14/19 (4WD)

5.7-liter V8
381 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
401 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/18 (2WD); 13/17 (4WD), 13/18 (4WD, E85)


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2012 Toyota Tundra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 1006 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

283,000 And Won't Quit

By on Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 283,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Reliable with power."

Cons: "Sheet metal."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Despite some early hiccups involving the air injection module(one under warranty and one paid by me), this truck has been an absolute rock star. I work as a sales rep in Northern Wisconsin and drive 50k per year, on average. Winters are brutal, with more sand than salt. I tug fourteen face cords per year in the back, and I've put a dozen railroad ties or eight square of shingles in it regularly. It hauls like a 3/4 ton. That being said, I have never owned a vehicle more reliable, capable, and fun to drive than a 5.7L Tundra. I've killed my share of Chevys, but buying a Toyota truck has been the best decision I've made. My only complaint is the sheet metal is thin and dents pretty easy, but it doesn't rust. Regular maintenance, an alternator and a few serpentine belts and it shows no sign of stopping. Has all the power I bought it with. I would drive it anywhere in the country right now with no concerns. In terms of miles, it's been to the moon. It's on it's way home now, at which point we'll name her Apollo 18. 500k here we come. I have no doubt it can do it."

Best truck I've owned

By on Friday, April 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "quality, looks, ride, power, driving, towing"

Cons: "mpg, features and equipment"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I've owned over 10 trucks in 20 years, this Tundra has been the best by far. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles the American trucks have but still well equipped. Love the ride, the exterior design, the TRD package is great. I have towed with it a lot also, no problems. Built in Texas!"

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Have owned for six years. Flawless performance.

By on Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Outstanding reliability and performance from the first day. American made and very reliable. Haven't had a single repair need in six years of ownership. FWIW...the 4.6L engine has plenty of power for most needs."

14 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Runs great, super reliable. Needs more frills

By on Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Roomy, comfortable, super reliable"

Cons: "No 3/4 or 1 ton options, no diesel"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned this 07 CrewMax since 2009 & have put 70k miles on it. One set of tires & new front brake rotors & one dashboard button failed. Beyond that it's been gas & oil only. Incredibly spacious & comfortable. Suits my 6'4" frame perfectly. It's a bit bouncy when completely empty so I usually carry 4 - 5 bags of sand so help smooth it out. If I go a bit easy on the gas pedal it's easy to break 20mph on the highway. City driving and/or a heavy foot will drain the tank quickly. On that note - this truck will really GO. The "big 3 domestics" have nothing on this drive train. I plan to keep this truck for several more years."

14 people out of 18 found this review helpful

No Other Truck For Me

By on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Room, Ride, Comfort, Looks, Reliability"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is my 2nd Tundra. First was a 2007 DC 4x2. A move to the north made a 4x4 necessary. I have the 5.7 TRD Off Road DC and it is a fantastic family vehicle. Power, drives great, and Toyota reliability combine to make this truck the best. I don't have the navigation or fancy stereo but keeping things simple also means there is less to break or go wrong. I've towed 8,000 lbs and I've had the bed full of landscaping bricks. This truck did fine with both tasks.I change the oil and rotate tires every 5,000 miles. That's it. A well cared for vehicle will last for 200,000 + miles and should give 15 - 20 years of good service. I've been a Toyota guy since 1988 and don't see myself changing brands anytime soon."

15 people out of 21 found this review helpful

best vehicle i have ever owned

By on Thursday, December 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "lots of room in this crew cab, lots of power"

Cons: "could have better gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"bought truck in 2007 as demo,very low mileage, only reason I might have to sell it is it is too big for garage in my new condo, otherwise I would keep it till I die[as I,m 72].lots of power and decent mpg if you don,t have pedal to the floor. plenty of legroom front and rear.I have owned all the big three new trucks and this is as good as any of them."

12 people out of 20 found this review helpful

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