As we all know, Toyota has built a name for itself by building rugged, reliable, and durable vehicles. With only three generations since its 1999 debut, the full-size pickup, Tundra is an outstanding testament to Toyota’s legendary reliability. However, the Toyota Tundra is far from a perfect truck.
Although the Tundra is a reliable workhorse and a capable off-roader, this full-size pickup truck certainly shows its age. When you have commercial trucks like the Ford F-150 and RAM 1500 dominating the sales charts, is it worth purchasing a Toyota Tundra these days?
If you’re looking to purchase this truck, make sure you check out our list of the Toyota Tundra’s pros and cons. What are the best qualities that make this truck a worthy purchase? What are the negatives you should be aware of as a buyer? Hopefully, this quick breakdown helps you make an informed decision.
What We Love About the Toyota Tundra
To kickstart this breakdown of the Toyota Tundra’s pros and cons, here are the best qualities we like about this full-size truck.
BE CERTAIN YOU’RE GETTING THE BEST DEAL
CoPilot searches your area and lets you know if there’s a better deal on a similar vehicle nearby, so you’re always certain you got the best deal possible. The CoPilot app is the smartest way to buy a car.
Reliable and Durable
For Tundra fans, asking if the Toyota truck is reliable is akin to asking if water is wet. In all seriousness, the Toyota Tundra, for all its faults, is a reliable and durable pickup truck. Toyota fans have such high brand loyalty because their vehicles simply last, and that’s no different with the Tundra.
According to the recent J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, the Tundra is the most dependable truck you can buy and has the fewest reported problems. If you want a truck that simply works, the Tundra is an excellent consideration for your shopping list.
A Tundra that’s well taken care of can easily last between 150,000 to 250,000 miles on average. We’ve seen many accounts from Tundra owners who managed to squeeze 300,000+ miles on their trucks. Most notably, the Tundra truck (2007 model) belongs to an elite group of vehicles that went over an unbelievable million miles.
But of course, the two million-mile Tundras are more of an exception than a norm – the true outliers where the owners are mechanics themselves and were serviced in the same dealership in Houma, Louisiana. Still, it’s a remarkable achievement in automotive longevity.
Superior Off-Roading Performance
Until the latest 2022 model, the Tundra was always powered by the familiar 5.7-liter i-FORCE V8 engine mated to a six-speed automatic with an option for a rear or four-wheel drive. This particular configuration was well-suited for the Tundra, especially in terms of off-roading or being a general workhorse. Its high-mounted suspension provides excellent ground clearance for driving on rough terrain.
In addition, the Tundra features a towing capacity between 8,800 to 10,200 lbs, which isn’t the best in class but still satisfactory for most needs.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO TINT CAR WINDOWS?
Different tints block different levels of UV light and in the long run can prevent sun damage to your skin and eyes, but how much does it cost to tint car windows? We’ve got the answer.
Comfortable and Spacious Interior
Whether you have the double car or CrewMax configuration, the Tundra can accommodate five or six passengers in relative comfort. WIth 42.5 inches of front legroom and 34.7 inches of rear legroom, you and your outdoor companions will have a comfortable time inside the Tundra. Plus, the well-padded seats are surprisingly comfortable as well.
Sure, the interior quality of the Tundra doesn’t compare with the Ford F-150 or Ram 1500, but it’s still competitive in its class. There are plenty of hard plastics in Tundra’s cabin, but quality materials are here as well.
What We Don’t Like About the Toyota Tundra
For the other half of this list of Toyota Tundra’s pros and cons, here are the things we don’t appreciate about the truck.
Rough Handling and Drive Quality
Not surprisingly, the Tundra doesn’t deliver the most refined ride, and we dare even call it jarring. Since this truck’s suspension was tuned for heavy towing and off-roading, it startings having trouble with rough pavements. However, it’s worth noting that things are better with the TRD Pro, thanks to its upgraded suspension that brings better ride quality.
Overall, the Tundra’s handling and drive quality can be described as choppy, especially for the lower trims.
Transmission Needs an Update
The Tundra’s engine is paired with a six-speed transmission system. While it gets the job done, it fails to inspire confidence as the transmission feels somewhat clumsy. This is quite the shame when the transmission is paired with one of the most potent standard engines in the segment.
Fortunately, you won’t be having this problem with the 2022 model because Toyota has updated the transmission to a 10-speed automatic transmission. However, that does require you to invest in a very new Tundra model.
THE BEST CARS FOR SNOW
Winter driving impacts young and experienced drivers alike. We’ve compiled a list of the best cars for snow, so you can get from Point A to Point B as safely as possible.
Not So Great Fuel Economy
Unfortunately, the Tundra is one thirsty full-size pickup truck. Your fuel economy ratings won’t be great, whether you have the old V8 standard engine or the new Lexus-derived i-FORCE 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 powertrain. You may expect gas mileage ratings of 13/17/15 mpg city/highway/combined, which is disappointing. Opting for the hybrid engine will improve your mpg ratings with 20 city / 24 highway.
In comparison, the F-150 has mpg ratings of up to 25 city / 25 highway and 23 city / 33 highway for the RAM 1500. Toyota needs to step its game up in terms of fuel efficiency.
Should You Buy a Toyota Tundra?
We wrap up this list of the Toyota Tundra pros and cons with this question: Is it worth getting a Toyota Tundra?
As you can see, the Tundra has its fair share of benefits and drawbacks. If you consider yourself a Toyota fan, there’s a lot to love about the Tundra, like the edgy styling, excellent off-road performance, and fantastic reliability and lifespan. It’s simply a reliable, rugged full-size workhorse of a pickup.
However, it also has problems that many customers may not overlook. The fuel economy could be better, and the transmission could be more refined. With that said, Toyota addressed many of the prevailing issues with the latest 2022 Tundra model. Thus, if you don’t mind buying a new model, the 2022 Tundra comes highly recommended.
Get a Curated List of the Best Used Cars Near You
The CoPilot car shopping app is the easiest way to buy a car. Tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll search the inventories of every dealership in your area to make you a personalized list of the best car listings in your area.
Only looking for newer models? CoPilot Compare is the search engine for nearly-new cars. Only see cars five years or newer with low mileage — CoPilot Compare is the best way to find off-lease, early trade-in, and CPO cars.
The best part? CoPilot is built using the same technology that dealerships use to buy and sell their inventories, so we have more info on each vehicle than competitors. CoPilot doesn’t work with dealerships, so there are no sponsored posts or other shady practices — just the most info on the best cars. Check out our About Us page to see how CoPilot works.