2013 Toyota Tundra Expert Review

3.6 Overall Score
Performance 3.4 Comfort 3.4 Styling 3.6 Value 3.1

Editor's Overview

Assembled in Tennessee, the Toyota Tundra has proven itself a formidable competitor in a predominantly domestic segment. With over two dozen variations, a wealth of class-exclusive features and three powerful engines to choose from, there is a 2013 Tundra to fit just about every need and lifestyle.

You'll Like The 2013 Toyota Tundra If...

If you have grown tired with the usual suspects from Ford, Chevrolet and Ram, it might be time to take a closer look at the Toyota Tundra. Backed by Toyota's enviable reputation for safety and reliability, the 2013 Tundra is a genuine workhorse with impressive towing capabilities, rugged construction and first-class interior accommodations. To top it all off, every Toyota Tundra is built in America.

You May Not Like The 2013 Toyota Tundra If...

Toyota is proud that its full-size pickup is capable of towing the substantial loads of a three-quarter-ton in half-ton guise. A remarkable feat indeed, but the beefed-up rear suspension that permits this impressive capability produces a bouncy ride when unloaded. Furthermore, full-size truck shoppers who consider fuel economy a top priority will find plenty to like in the new Ram 1500 V6.

What's New

Toyota's Entune infotainment system makes its way into the Tundra pickup for the 2013 model year. In addition, the TRD Rock Warrior Package is now available for Limited models.

Interior Features

A big project can call for hauling big people and even bigger equipment, and the 2013 Toyota Tundra has both areas covered. CrewMax models can comfortably hold up to six adults plus provide the convenience of multiple storage areas for toolboxes, jumper cables and other essentials. Adding to the Tundra's comfort level is a rear seat in the Double Cab model that has more rearward angle than in other trucks, making the small space more suitable for long trips. If 4-passenger (or more) accommodations are what you seek, the CrewMax is the right body style for you. With its fore-and-aft-adjustable rear seats and adjustable seatback, the 2013 Tundra CrewMax is the ultimate people-hauler.

Exterior Features

Outside, the brawny Toyota Tundra boasts the tough, in-your-face attitude demanded by full-size pickup buyers. Although still clearly a product of Toyota design, the Tundra's huge chrome grille surround, prominent hood bulge and sculpted lower door edges project an intimidating appearance. While the base Regular Cab model looks rather pedestrian with its black grille and bumper, up-level trims show off a lot more chrome and flashy options. The Double Cab model features shorter half doors for accessing the smaller rear seat, while the CrewMax models are easily identifiable by their longer cabs, shorter beds and long rear doors. Toyota also offers a Work Truck package that outfits Tundra regular cab models with a vinyl bench seat, durable rubber flooring and a choice between the standard V6 or the available 4.6-liter V8.

Driving Impressions

From behind the wheel, there is no getting around that the 2013 Toyota Tundra is an enormous truck. A tall, upright seating position makes it easier to see over the massive hood, but the Tundra's overall girth, like all trucks in this segment, requires some top-notch driving skills when navigating narrow roads or confined quarters. The optional rearview camera is a great help when parking or attaching a trailer and really should be standard on all models. As for how the 2013 Tundra drives, we found the big Toyota offers excellent steering feel and better ride quality than most three-quarter-ton pickups. The good handling and solid feel have everything to do with the Tundra's frame, which features a fully boxed front section, partially boxed C-channel under the passenger compartment and more flexible open C-channel below the bed for added protection against overloading. Of the two V8 engine choices, we prefer the more powerful 5.7-liter V8 for its rich baritone and high level of torque.

Pricing Notes

A base 2013 Toyota Tundra carries a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just over $26,000 and tops out around $50,000 for a fully loaded CrewMax model in Platinum trim. Stepping up to a double cab adds about $2,000 to the bottom line, with CrewMax models commanding an additional $5,000 over the standard regular cab. Full-size offerings from Ram and Chevrolet start around $23,000, while America's best-selling vehicle, the Ford F-150, comes in closer to $25,000. Kelley Blue Book is here to help you get the best deal on your new Toyota Tundra, and it begins with a look at our Fair Purchase Price tool at the bottom of this page. As for resale value, we expect the 2013 Toyota Tundra to hold high 5-year values and lead the full-size segment in residuals.

Notable Equipment

Base 2013 Toyota Tundra models come with heated outside mirrors, 18-inch steel wheels, a basic auxiliary audio jack for portable audio devices, 2-speed windshield wipers and a slam-proof hydraulic tailgate. Double Cab and CrewMax SR5 trims add an 8-way power driver's seat, fog lights and the newly available Display Navigation system with Entune, Bluetooth and a rearview camera. Limited models include a JBL premium audio system, 18-inch alloy wheels and chrome body cladding, while the range-topping Platinum grade features heated front seats, 20-inch alloys and perforated leather seating. On the safety front, the 2013 Tundra has eight airbags, trailer-sway control and a full complement of electronic stability aides.

Notable Options

Perhaps the most desirable features available for the Toyota Tundra reside in the TRD packages. Optional equipment exclusive to TRD models range from cosmetic enhancements such as sport fabric-trimmed seats and color-keyed front and rear bumpers to off-road niceties like Bilstein trail-tuned shock absorbers and BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A tires. If you long for in-vehicle navigation, we recommend opting for the new Display Navigation system in favor of the older, less capable and inexplicably more expensive DVD-based navigation unit. Configuring the right Tundra for your needs is rather simple; if you are willing to sacrifice a bit of hauling capacity for additional interior space, the Tundra CrewMax is the ideal choice. Conversely, drivers who need all of the cargo space they can get should opt for a regular-cab version or the Double Cab with the available 8-foot cargo bed.

Favorite Features

ENTUNE

Toyota's new app-based infotainment system features a suite of popular smartphone applications and data services designed to compete with Ford's SYNC Applink, Hyundai Blue Link and Chevrolet MyLink. Currently, Entune includes features like Bing local search, Pandora Internet radio, OpenTable and real-time services such as traffic, weather and fuel prices.

I-FORCE V8

Compared to its smaller V8 counterpart, the 2013 Tundra's optional i-Force 5.7-liter V8 produces an additional 71 horsepower, yet exacts only a marginal penalty in fuel economy.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Toyota Tundra offers three engine choices: the standard 270-horsepower 4.0-liter V6, a 310-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 or the 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8. The V6 is mated to a 5-speed automatic with uphill/downhill shift logic, while the V8s are mated to a 6-speed automatic. Both the V6 and V8 powertrains employ several technologies that deliver big power and improved efficiency. Dual Variable-Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) optimizes engine performance for changing conditions and demands, while the V8's 6-speed automatic transmission employs a low first gear to aid low-speed acceleration and two overdrive gears to maximize fuel efficiency on the highway.

4.0-liter V6

270 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm

278 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/20 mpg

4.6-liter V8

310 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm

327 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20 mpg (2WD), 14/19 mpg (4WD)

5.7-liter V8

381 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm

401 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/18 mpg (2WD), 13/17 mpg (4WD), 13/18 mpg (4WD, E85)

Editors' Notes

Nowhere is brand loyalty more prevalent than in the full-size pickup category. Deep-seated entrants like the Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500 and the best-selling Ford F-150 continue their dominance over the segment whereas relative newcomers, namely the 2013 Toyota Tundra, struggle to gain market share. These comparatively low sales numbers, however, do not reflect the Tundra's performance capabilities, as it equals or bests the competition when it comes to horsepower, towing capacity and available features. And while many full-size truck manufacturers have pushed the subject of safety to the back burner, Toyota elected to embrace this often overlooked virtue and developed the first full-size pickup to receive the coveted Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Road Test Video Reviews

2013 Toyota Tundra Owner Reviews

4.51
51 Reviews
61% 31% 6% 2% 1 star 0%
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Toyota tundra to me is one of the best pickup trucks out there.

2013 Toyota Tundra

The Toyota tundra is a very reliable vehicle. It is ride is very smooth. Depending on what model you get, it is very roomy. I'd recommend the crew cab if you have a family or always have people in your vehicle. It has no hands touch calling. Very good for towing if need be. Excellent in the winter. Also the rear window is available to roll down like all the rest. Bluetooth works excellent and very easy to set up. Have had no problems with the vehicle since I have owned it. Always get compliments for my vehicle. But everything isn't perfect, gas mileage is mediocre you'll get 12 regular and 16 highway. Other than that it is a great looking vehicle and very comfortable to drive.

- Nicholas O

The tundra rides like a car.

2013 Toyota Tundra

The tundra is very comfortable to ride in and sits high enough to make me feel safe. It feels sturdy and strong enough so that if there were ever an accident I would expect to be very safe in it. I drive it every day, like a car. There have never been any problems with it. I get regular oil changes and tire rotations to minimize problems. I added an aftermarket stereo, brush guard, tonneau cover and running boards. My only complaint is that I cannot climb into it without the running boards, it is too tall.

- Sarah T

Toyota tundra truck lots of room and comfortable ride.

2013 Toyota Tundra

I share a vehicle with my spouse. We are retired. The tundra truck is a good vehicle for us due to where we live. We live in a rural area and some of the roads are unpaved. The interior of our tundra is comfortable, lots of glove box storage in the panel and middle, leg room is good. We can transport 3 guest in the back seating area. I like the easy way the back seats pull up for larger storage and packing. The truck bed accommodates our 8 foot fishing boat or kayaks.

- Beth R

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