2013 Toyota Tundra Review


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2013 Toyota Tundra Overview

Built to rival the burly domestic workhorses coming out of Detroit, the Toyota Tundra full-size pickup may find it difficult to hang with the best of them. The 2013 version of Toyota’s outsize beast of burden sees only minor upgrades over its 2012 counterpart and indeed hasn’t enjoyed a significant makeover since its reworking for the 2007 model year, and there lies its major flaw. The likes of Ford’s F-150, with its techno-savvy amenities and muscular powerplants, and Ram’s 1500 lineup, with its relatively sedan-like ride, all but overwhelm the aging Tundra. Chevy’s Silverado and its GMC Sierra cousin, though even more ancient, nonetheless offer a solid and perhaps more patriotic choice in the full-size pickup wars.

Anyhow, the 2013 Toyota Tundra is again available in 3 cabin configurations: the 3-passenger Regular Cab; the 5- or 6-passenger Double Cab, with unique front-hinged rear doors; and the roomy 5- or 6-passenger CrewMax. This year, a new Platinum flagship trim level, an optional package in 2012, joins the traditional base Tundra and the now midlevel Limited editions, bringing with it a few extra standard exterior and cabin goodies.

The Tundra Grade comes in all three cab variations, Limited versions come in a choice of the Double Cab or CrewMax garb, and the Platinum trims come solely in the CrewMax configuration. Finally, Regular and Double Cab versions carry either the standard-length 6.6-foot bed or the 8.1-foot long-bed variant, with the CrewMax toting only the 5.6-inch short bed.

All trims are delivered with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) but, of course, all V8-equipped trims are available with part-time four-wheel drive (4WD) that boasts electronic hi-lo gear selection and auto-locking hubs. Additionally, both RWD and 4WD trims feature a rear limited-slip differential.

Standard power in the RWD Tundra Regular and Double Cab trim levels is a 4.0-liter variable-valve-timed (VVT) V6 that mates with a 5-speed shiftable automatic transmission for 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque. Look for 4,900 pounds of towing capacity and 16 mpg city/20 highway.

A 310-hp 4.6-liter V8 comes standard aboard the Tundra CrewMax. This peppy V8 combines with a standard 6-speed shiftable automatic for 327 lb-ft of torque and 8,200 pounds of towing capacity when properly equipped with the available heavy-duty Tow Package (including a Tow/Haul mode with the 6-speed automatic). Mileage is estimated at 15/20 in RWD editions, 14/19 in 4WD trims.

Limited and Platinum trims sport a standard 5.7-liter VVT V8 and 6-speed shiftable automatic that pound out 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. Towing is maxed out at over 10,000 pounds with the proper equipment, and mileage runs 13/18 in RWD editions, 13/17 in 4WD trims. The 5.7-liter V8 is available in an E85-capable (FFV) variation with the ubiquitous 6-speed shiftable automatic managing the same numbers as in its conventional counterpart. This hefty V8, in both fuel configurations, is also optional in the base Tundra.

Amenities-wise, base Tundra trims come with standard 18-inch steel wheels, cloth upholstery, front bench seats, tilt-wheel steering, dual-zone air conditioning and a single-CD player with 4 or 6 speakers, depending on cab size. Base Tundras equipped with either V8 engine are further endowed with standard cruise control and full power accessories, including heated outside mirrors.

The Tundra Limited adds a power-sliding rear window and 18-inch alloy wheels to its exterior profile, with dual-zone auto climate control, leather-trimmed upholstery and heated power-adjustable front bucket seats inside. Cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, a rear-view camera and a universal remote garage door opener add to the midlevel Limited’s convenience amenities, all complemented by standard Bluetooth hands-free calling. Finally, entertainment consists of a JBL premium audio system with 6-CD changer, 12 speakers, satellite radio and a USB connection.

Toyota’s new Tundra Platinum sports 20-inch alloy wheels and a power moonroof, with such cabin extras as ventilated front seats and reclining rear seats, each clad in upgraded perforated leather upholstery. Memory for driver's settings, meanwhile, as well as a standard voice-activated DVD navigation suite sporting a 6.1-inch dashboard display, NavTraffic and a 4-CD changer are also standard for this top-shelf Tundra.

Lower Tundra trims are eligible for a number of standard items delivered aboard the higher trims. Of course, the Limited and Platinum can be further upgraded with available step running boards, a heated power-folding tow mirror and Class IV towing package with integrated trailer brake controller (optional with V8-equipped base Tundra trims) and rear-seat DVD entertainment. Meanwhile, Limited and Platinum trims can be delivered with Toyota’s savvy Entune mobile apps and (limited) Internet availability.

Finally, a trio of available trim packages, the stripped-down Work Truck, the heady TRD Sport and the trail-blazing TRD Rock Warrior are additionally available as subspecies of any of the three more prosaic trim levels.

Standard safety equipment across the 2013 Tundra truck lineup includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags and front knee airbags, as well as front and, in Double Cab and CrewMax variants, rear head airbags. Daytime running lights are standard across the Tundra spectrum, with Limited and Platinum versions also delivered with front fog/driving lights and a remote antitheft alarm, both optional for the base Tundra.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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    Toyota Tundra Questions

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