|Positives: Burly V8 sounds great and pulls hard, masculine exterior design, great storage options.|
|Negatives: Drives as big as it looks, ancient interior, hasn't been updated in forever, crappy infotainment system.|
|Bottom Line: The Tundra is still capable and tough, but because Toyota has neglected its update (along with the 4Runner), it's languished in design both inside and out. There are just too many much better options out there.|
Pickup trucks are getting better to drive, even the larger ones. Hell, the new RAM 1500 drives better than some cars, but the Tundra really feels like a truck in every conceiveable manner.
Ride Quality: The Tundra is a bit jarring on road and it's ride isn't exactly plush.
Acceleration: The 5.7-liter V8 in the Tundra is the only engine available, but it's no longer class-leading in terms of power. 0 to 60 mph happens in the mid 6-second range.
Braking: The Tundra’s brakes feel strong and progressive, and do a good job of bringing the pickup to a halt, but the stopping distances aren't at the front of the pack.
Steering: The Tundra leaves much to be desired in terms of steering. It's light and not exactly on center. There's a total absence of feedback, as well.
Handling: The Tundra rolls more than other trucks in the corners. It clings to the road decently, but we’d never suggest taking on a canyon road at speed.
Just like the rest of the truck, the Tundra's infotainment system is seriouly dated. The rest of the tech in the Tundra is functional but in need of an update.
Infotainment System: The screen is easy to read, but the UI is really old. And no, there's still no Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability to be found.
Controls: The system features a 7-inch touchscreen, navigational buttons, and good physical audio knobs. The large buttons than flank the touchscreen are well-sized.
The Tundra received minor exterior upgrades for the 2018 model year, and in Limited trim, there's extra chrome, which dresses things up. But other trucks look better and far more modern.
Front: The big chrome grille is almost too busy, especially with the frame that tries too hard. The big chrome foglight housings and surround are just ridiculous and make the Tundra look clumsy.
Rear: Making a tailgate interesting takes work, but Toyota doesn't even try. You can't even really see the embossed "Tundra" name very well.
Profile: From the side, the Tundra double cab looks decent, but even in black the body looks too thick. We also think the chrome side mirrors and door handles would look better matching the body.
Cabin: The interior dark, bulky, and dated. There's also way too much plastic in here. We hate the huge shifter that looks like it was pulled from a Pep Boys clearance bin.
The Tundra is comfortable, but competitors like the RAM 1500 and the Chevy Silverado do a better job for occupants.
Front Seats: The big leather seats in the Tundra offer good support and plenty of leg, hip, and head room. There's not much bolstering, though.
Rear Seats: The double cab rear seats aren't nearly as roomy as the crew cab trim, but it's good enough for adults. The seating is a bit too upright for our liking, though, and the cusions are too flat.
NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The Tundra, like all Toyotas, is well-built. It's solid with no squeaks or rattles.
Visibility: Visibility is good, but due to its height and squared off front corners, it can be a challenge to place. It's a big truck and requires some careful navigating in tight spaces. The vague steering doesn't help.
Climate: Our tester had a dual zone automatic climate control that delivered good cooling/heating with easy knobs and buttons. The heated seats also work quite well.
The Tundra doesn’t perform as well in safety as its competitors. The IIHS scored it poorly for passenger safety, and not especially good for the driver, either. It does have a good set of standard safety features, as do all modern Toyotas.
IIHS Rating: The Tundra received “good” ratings for all but the small front overlap crash tests. For those it got an “marginal” rating for the driver and "poor" for the passenger. The crash avoidance and mitigation was rated “superior”, and the headlights and child seat anchors received a “marginal” rating.
NHTSA Rating: In NHTSA testing, the Tundra got an overall rating of four stars. It got four stars in both the front and rollover tests and five stars in the side crash test.
Standard Tech: There's a lot of standard tech here, including a Tire Pressure Monitor, the Star Safety System, Toyota Safety Sense P with Pre-Collision System w/ Pedestrian Detection, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert w/ Sway Warning System, and Automatic High Beams. It's a great package that's all thrown in.
Optional Tech: Our tester came with Front and Rear Parking Assist Sonar, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert as part of the Limited Premium Package.
The Tundra's cabin is pretty good with numerous and large storage options, but the truck bed is about as bare bones as it gets for pickups. Competitors have done far more, and the Tundra needs work.
Storage Space: The front middle seat flips down for storage, and the armrest is deep and wide for larger gear storage. We like the armrest's top tray for phones.
Cargo Room: The standard 6-foot 5-inch bed is well-sized, but it lacks bed boxes for more versatility, room for tools, etc.
The big 5.7-liter V8 is a mighty thirsty one. We had no illusions about efficiency, and the Tundra was consistent with our expectations.
Observed: 13.8 mpg
Distance Driven: 112 miles
Our tester came with the Entune Premium Audio system, which isn't bad, but it's by no means impressive. At least it was a standard offering and not an upgraded system that costs extra. There was no distortion, but the quality of the sound is just okay.