Model Tested: Toyota Tundra Limited CrewMax 4×4
Engine: 5.7-liter, DOHC 32-valve iForce V-8
Transmission: 6-speed sequential-shift automatic
EPA Ratings: 13/city, 17/highway, 15/combined
Base Price: $44,195
As Tested: $51,516
Overview: The main change in the 2018 Toyota Tundra from last year’s model is its new grille and headlamps. It also comes standard with more safety features than previously — automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights and eight airbags. The Tundra is the oldest of today’s full-size pickups and has fallen somewhat behind the newer Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Ford F-150 and Nissan Titan. The regular cab configuration has also been dropped from the Tundra lineup.
Walkaround: While there are five models of the Tundra, this review will focus on our test driver, the Limited CrewMax.
Not much has changed from 2017 other than the aforementioned grille and headlights. While each trim level has its own distinctive character and mild design updates help keep the Tundra fresh, it’s still not quite as polished as its newer competition. For example, there’s no lockable cargo bed storage or bumper steps.
Interior: The CrewMax version offers comfortable, reclining seating for five, with ample legroom for everyone. Instrumentation is large and set in a wide, logically arranged, symmetrical dashboard. The center console can hide a laptop and there are numerous infotainment-system options. However, the amount of plastic in the Tundra cabin detracts from its attractiveness.
Under the Hood: Toyota offers two V8s that are both mated to a smooth, six-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard. Optional four-wheel drive includes a two-speed transfer case. Our test driver featured the 5.7-liter V-8, delivering 381 horses and 401 pound-feet of torque. The engine is rated to tow up to 10,300 pounds. Our test driver also featured the available 38-gallon fuel tank.
Behind the Wheel: The 5.7-liter powerplant offers decent acceleration coupled with a sporty exhaust note, but diminishes somewhat under load. The smooth-shifting six-speed automatic responds promptly.
On the road, the Tundra feels solid and handles well, with ride quality that’s reasonably comfortable. However, steering is lighter than we prefer. Toyota’s easy-to-use 4WD system functions via a dashboard-mounted knob.
Bottom Line: The Toyota Tundra is a good, solid pickup — albeit a little long in the tooth. However, what its competitors lack is Toyota’s legendary reputation for unparalleled reliability. What’s that worth to you?