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2012 Toyota Tundra Photo
8.0
/ 10
TCC Rating
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Reviewed by Marty Padgett
Editorial Director, The Car Connection
BASE INVOICE
$23,394
BASE MSRP
$25,155
Quick Take
Just as tough as the competition, the 2012 Toyota Tundra isn't quite as rugged-looking, as fuel-efficient, or as strong in the towing department. Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Performance
Quality
Safety
Features
Mileage

44 different flavor choices

Motor Trend »

from the side, the Tundra looks disproportionate

Detroit News »

Attractive gauges are not as easy to read as they could be

Edmunds »

The massive grille, sculptured hood and husky bumper present an intimidating head-on view. From the side, the Tundra is rather conventional.

Cars.com »

Its tall grille and hood and pronounced front fenders make it as imposing as any big truck.

Kelley Blue Book »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$25,155 $43,595
MSRP $25,155
INVOICE $23,394 Browse used listings in your area
Reg 4.0L V6 5-Speed AT
Gas Mileage 16 mpg City/20 mpg Hwy
Engine Gas V6, 4.0L
EPA Class No Data
Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 3
Passenger Doors 2
Body Style Regular Cab Pickup - Standard Bed
See Detailed Specs »
8.0 out of 10
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The Basics:

It's been a big, expensive experiment, and the Toyota Tundra is clearly a glass half full for Japan's biggest automaker. Toyota had plans to conquer the big truck market just as it had done in sedans and economy cars. Almost $2 billion later, and the Tundra sells about a third as well as the Ram 1500, and far off the pace of the big GM and Ford pickups.

It's not outdated like today's Nissan Titan, but the Tundra suffers from some of the same problems as that other Japanese pickup. Like the Titan, the Tundra doesn't quite look like the other full-size pickups, a liability in a market where image is second only to outright capability. Even the Tundra's interior grasps for carlike cues, misfiring on both the look and finish.

On performance, the Tundra isn't very far behind the competition. Its big V-8 powertrains have more than a little Lexus in them, in terms of smoothness and power delivery. But the mainstream V-8 Tundra barely outpaces the base Ford F-150 now, and the Tundra's towing capacity has stayed the same, while some of the domestics now outclass it by a thousand pounds or more. The Tundra has a sometimes choppy ride, though, like the smaller Tacoma pickup. And gas mileage has been on the rise in Detroit, but it's lagged in San Antonio, where the Tundra is built.

Of course, the Tundra meets the big guys head to head for choice in drivetrains, body styles and bed lengths. It's also up to the task in safety, where it has a share of the lead, and in the outright span of its lineup, which covers all the ground between work trucks and pseudo-luxury-SUV trucks, with only a few of the latest tech features left on the table.

If anything, the Tundra still looks a little too imported, and drives a little too big, even for the people who dream about hauling capacity and off-road capability. Truck sales are down sharply, so it's hard to judge the Tundra a success or a failure, since the last few years don't give suitable comps. Toyota has plenty at stake in the truck market now, and for sure, the rapid, yearly improvements in the Ford and Ram trucks don't make the Tundra's job any easier.


 

Likes:

  • V-8 powertrains are smooth, strong
  • Standard features abound
  • Off-road edition for big dirty fun
  • Leg room is exception in CrewMax

Dislikes:

  • Gas mileage lags behind the best
  • Gimmicky, un-truck-like styling details
  • Huge, and can be hard to maneuver
Next: Interior / Exterior »
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