May 21, 2013, about 1271 miles. The Toyota Tundra doesn't compare to a Ford F-150, GMC Sierra 1500 or Ram 1500. This has proven to be one segment Toyota that simply can't crack, even though the Tundra has much of the qualities of American trucks. Like the Tundra of the past, it's still a between-size vehicle, only more like a commercial-grade heavy-duty grade truck than a light-duty personal pickup, It's a big, lumbering torquey V-8-powered tool, the kind of vehicle that holds no charms for me unless I need to move or haul something, and I didn't this week. To me, the low-rent interior makes more sense than spending fifty-thou ... yee-gads, it's $40,000? Where? How? No wonder Toyota dealers can't move these.
I have no other major issues with this pickup, other than the radio controls, which suck, bite, and are crap. It's too hard to figure out how to change channels while driving and thus too easy to look away from the road for far too long. There are huge HVAC controls so you can turn on the A/C or heat while wearing work gloves, but there's just a tiny volume/on/off dial, and you have to figure out the over-complicated touch-screen just to change channels. The IIHS ought to issue a safety warning about this radio.
Todd Lassa, Executive Editor
It's a bit odd the Tundra doesn't come with a standard trailer hitch since it includes trailer sway control and a 4.10:1 gear ratio standard. When equipped with the optional trailer hitch, the Tundra can be a monster tow vehicle. I've towed a smaller truck behind a Tundra in the past and I was absolutely amazed by the power of the 5.7-liter V-8 engine and how well the six-speed automatic transmission is calibrated. My only issue with the Tundra as a tow vehicle is how soft the rear springs are -- even trailers with modest tongue weight make the Tundra's rear sag quite a bit.
This weekend I wasn't towing and the Tundra was a great companion. The bedliner and deck rail system made moving an outdoor barbeque grill incredibly easy. Being able to move the tie-down points to fit the cargo you're hauling is a lot better than having to use extra long straps at odd angles like I'd have to do with my older Silverado's regular tie-down points at the corners of the bed.
I'm also impressed by the amount of room with the Double Cab configuration. It's slightly longer than the extended cab on my Silverado, but the back seat is a whole lot more useable. It strikes a nice balance between overall length and utility.
Toyota is giving the Tundra a slight refresh for 2014, so dealers are likely trying extra hard to move the 2013s right now. Anyone looking at a half-ton would be wise to press a Toyota dealer for a good price. Although it's a formidable pickup, the Tundra hardly sells enough units to worry about. The Detroit players utterly dominate this segment, which means an open-minded shopper could get a heck of a deal on an equally capable truck with a different badge in the next few months.
Phil Floraday, Senior Web Editor