Toyota Tundra Reviews
The 2012 Toyota Tundra ranks 5 out of 10 Full Size Pickup Trucks. This ranking is based on our analysis of 70 published reviews and test drives of the Toyota Tundra, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
Though the 2012 Toyota Tundra isn't a bad truck, it's outperformed by nearly every one of its domestic rivals.
Test drivers say that the 2012 Toyota Tundra will perform most of the towing, hauling and people-moving tasks you ask of it. Though it tows less than its top competitors, the Tundra is still almost as capable as most other full-size pickup trucks. It's available in a few different configurations, which reviewers appreciate. Testers say the 2012 Tundra has a surprisingly roomy back seat, and its interior electronics and controls are easy to use.
However, like the lackluster Nissan Titan, the Tundra is outdone by American brand trucks in nearly every way. The Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 can tow more, though the Ram's limit is only 50 pounds more than the Tundra's. The Ford, Ram and the GMC Sierra 1500 Denali offer near-luxury levels of interior comfort and technology, which the Toyota Tundra can't come close to. Plus, the Tundra's fuel economy lags behind most of its competitors, especially the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and the Ford F-150 with the Ecoboost engine.
Overall, if you're a Toyota loyalist and you need a hardworking truck, reviewers say you won't be disappointed by the 2012 Tundra. But if you've got an open mind and want the best truck in the class, you should consider a Ford or Ram.
Other Trucks to Consider
The Ram 1500 offers far more trim levels and cab and bed configurations than the Toyota Tundra, and can be equipped to be one of the most luxurious trucks on the market. Plus, it has an advanced rear suspension that test drivers say makes it the best-handling pickup truck on the market. The Ram's base model also starts significantly less than the Tundra, though when fully-loaded, its price can skyrocket much higher than a fully-loaded Tundra. Still, if you prioritize a luxe interior and good handling, the Ram 1500 can't be matched.
The Ford F-150 ranks at the top of its segment for its class-leading tow rating and innovative interior features. Ford's Work Solutions system allows buyers to track tools, keep an eye on other trucks in the fleet, monitor gas usage and idling time and even print invoices, all from an in-dash computer. That, plus the F-150's abundance of interior, powertrain, cab and bed configurations and its ability to tow more than any other full-size truck makes the F-150 a top pick for shoppers who need the most capable full-size pickup available.
Acceleration and Power
The 2012 Tundra has a standard 4.0-liter V6 that makes 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. There are two other engine options: a 4.6-liter V8 engine that produces 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque, and a 5.7-liter V8 engine that produces 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. Reviewers who have driven Tundra trucks with the 5.7-liter engine say it is powerful enough for nearly anything buyers are likely to throw at it. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard on V6 models, while a six-speed automatic comes with either V8.
The EPA rates the two-wheel drive Tundra with the V6 engine at 16/20 mpg city/highway, while those with the 4.6-liter V8 get 15/20 mpg and 5.7-liter models get 14/18 mpg. When paired with four-wheel drive, the 4.6-liter V8 gets 14/19 mpg and the 5.7-liter gets 13/17 mpg. Most pickup trucks get better fuel economy, even in models with four-wheel drive and the largest available engine.
Buyers should note that four-wheel drive is unavailable on V6 models.
Handling and Braking
Reviewers say that the Toyota Tundra isn't great to drive, even for a full-size pickup truck. They say the Ford F-150 has a stronger frame and the Ram 1500 has a more advanced suspension, both of which contribute to smoother rides. Plus, testers say the Tundra is more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces than other trucks.
Towing and Hauling
Few reviewers comment on the Tundra's towing and hauling capabilities. The Tundra has a maximum towing capacity of 10,400 pounds when properly configured, so it still falls short of most other full-size pickups except for the Nissan Titan. The Tundra can haul a maximum of 2,090 pounds in its bed when properly configured.
While regular cab models can seat three, Double and CrewMax cabs can seat up to six. Reviewers say that not only are the seats comfortable, but they allow the driver to have a good view of the road, which is important, given how large the Tundra is. Plus, the rear seats are fairly comfortable, even in extended cab models, which is not something that all extended cab pickups can boast. The extended cab also has traditional forward-mounted hinges rather than the suicide-style door found on the Ford and Chevy, making loading people and cargo in the back seat easier.
The 2012 Toyota Tundra doesn't come with a lot of standard features, but that's common for any truck, whether it's a compact, full-size or heavy-duty pickup. Base models receive an audio system with MP3/WMA playback capability, a tilt steering wheel and six cup holders in the Double and CrewMax models and four in the Regular model.
Optional features include a DVD-based navigation system, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a sliding rear window and heated power-folding outside tow mirrors, as well as a tilt and telescoping steering wheel.
Test drivers say the interior features are easy to use, even when wearing bulky work gloves, and the navigation system is simple to figure out. Keep in mind, though, that even a fully-loaded Tundra doesn't come close to luxo-trucks like the Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn or a GMC Sierra Denali.View PhotosView Videos
CAR REVIEWS »
Lifting a Truck Pros and Cons
7 Driving Techniques and Other Tips for Fuel Efficiency
6 Effective Maintenance Tips for Car Headlights
7 Tips for How to Install Windshield Wipers
5 Tips for Finding a Good Mechanic You Can Trust
Shady Car Mechanic Tricks You’ve Never Known Before
Your Guide to the New Skyactiv-X Engine from Mazda
How to Diagnose Severe Car Problems (Even When You Don’t Know Anything About Cars)
Car Repair at Home: 4 Easy DIY Fixes That Anyone Can Do
View All Recent Posts
- More Photos