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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Toyota Tundra

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Expert's Rating

4.8Excellent

MPG 14 City / 18 Highway
Pros
  • Powerful engine options
  • Good towing ability
  • Excellent braking performance
Cons
  • Bland interior
  • Ride can be harsh
  • Instruments hard to read
Pickup trucks now feature more quality than ever, and the Tundra has the most in its class.

Introduction

The Toyota Tundra is known as a pickup truck that focuses on the little things. You can see the tight-fitting body panels, a sign of good construction. That same attention to detail also shows up in the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety's stellar crash test scores, earning it top pick status.

Yet, the Tundra still has a six-speed automatic mated to powerful V8 engines, as well as a gigantic six-person CrewMax cab option. The Tundra is a good choice for trades workers and weekend warriors: controls are easy to access even when hands are encumbered, and storage is good next to the supportive seats. While the regular cab with the V6 should be fine as a work truck, other trims are worth a look for amenities.

The CrewMax and Double Cab models are helpful for hauling a number of passengers. A special hinge on the doors makes it easy for people to get in and out. On the other hand, off-roaders should opt for the TRD package which improves the shocks and skid plates. It also might be an option for people who want a stiffer chassis and suspension setup. Horsepower ranges up to 381 HP and 401 lb./ft. of torque, while the best fuel economy comes from the V6 with a 16/20 MPG city/highway split. The 5.7-liter V8 helps with towing, and in fact the rear-axle ratio is the same across all trim lines to make towing easier and with consistent feel throughout the trim lines.

Safety tests are a particular strong suit in spite of the handling, thanks to traction control and six airbags. To compare, many buyers considering the Toyota will have the Ford F-150 and the Ram 1500 on their list, too. The Ford has many engine options, including a turbodiesel V8 making around 800 lb.-ft. of torque, but it can be less reliable and the interior will be a turn-off for some. The Ram 1500 is a strong option for towing, but it doesn’t have the good reliability or safety records of the Toyota Tundra. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 can be smoother on the road, but is also underpowered. So all things considered, it’s likely that you’ll have to spec out your own Tundra to be sure.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Toyota Tundra
Starting price
$20,800

2013 Toyota Tundra Grade 4.6L V8

Recommended for: Middle child without a chip on its shoulder

The Toyota Tundra 4.6-liter V8 also gets regular and double cabs, but it adds the Crewmax, which offers the largest cabin in the full-size class and two more doors. The automatic transmission goes up to six gears, and power numbers jump by 40 for horsepower and 50 for torque, which helps with towing numbers of more than 5000 lbs. The Crewmax also gets a tilt and telescopic steering wheel. The windows get tinted, and Bluetooth, as well as voice-activated controls, which are optional on the other cab types. In spite of the uptick in power of about 20 percent, the fuel economy only drops a bit, to 16 MPG combined.

2013 Toyota Tundra
Starting price
$20,800

2013 Toyota Tundra Grade 5.7L V8

Recommended for: Big time power without the big-time price

Buyers who want to tow with the big boys will appreciate the 5.7-liter V8 on this Toyota Tundra. It comes with 381 horsepower and some 401 lb.-ft of torque giving it the towing capacity of 10,100 lbs. when its properly set up. Fuel mileage is decent, with a 14/19 MPG city/highway split, and it’s not much more than the V6 when configured similarly. The interior and exterior features are pretty much the same as the V6 as well, which helps keep the price under $30,000. Of course, some owners want more fills, but site supervisors and others will appreciate the value proposition of the 2012 Toyota Tundra 5.7L V8.

2013 Toyota Tundra
Starting price
$20,800

2013 Toyota Tundra Grade V6

Recommended for: Entry-level without cutting features

The major choice for the V6 Toyota Tundra is cab choice. The regular cab is a a simple two-door affair with standard and long beds, while the double cab offers a second row that also adds storage space. The V6 offers a good 16/20 MPG split yet still puts 270 HP and 278 lb.-ft. of torque. Safety features are good, with standard ABS with four disc brakes, as well as standard front, knee, side and side curtain airbags. There is also a CD player with auxiliary input, six cupholders and dual-zone climate control. Power controls are available as well.

2013 Toyota Tundra
Starting price
$20,800

2013 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7L V8

Recommended for: Works hard, coddles owners

The Toyota Tundra 5.7L V8 Limited can cost up to $14,000 more than its less well-equipped compatrios. On the other hand, front seats are leather buckets, it gets a universal garage door opener and console storage for a start. If the bed is filled up, owners of the V8 limited will appreciate the backup camera and parking distance sensors. The standard trailer hitch should help easy towing, while off-site calls are easy with the Bluetooth. Other features are found on the Crewmax, noted in the 4.6L V8 trim line overview.

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