There’s no doubt that the 2018 Toyota Tundra is strong, durable and tough. However, there are some deficits that shoppers should acknowledge as they make a decision about the best pickup for them.
PERFORMANCE & UTILITY
Tundras are not the strongest trucks in their class, but they can tow more than 10,000 pounds. For most, this is enough to take care of business, or to pull their camper or boat trailer. Toyota trucks are powered by traditional V8 engines with strong horsepower and torque. Fuel economy is definitely not in the same league as some other trucks. Ford trucks, for instance, offer Ecoboost V6 engines, giving you similar capability but less punishment at the pump.
There are three bed lengths which match up well with other brands. This includes short (5.5 feet), standard (6.5 feet), and long (8.1 feet). There are no built-in steps like those on GM trucks and no add-on step like Ford trucks.
CABIN SIZE & SPACIOUSNESS
Having eliminated regular cabs, the truckmaker sticks to the two-row cabs. The CrewMax is very large with enough room for three workmates to take the back row. Reclining seats, which were a Tundra exclusive until the newest Ford F150s arrived, are definitely a plus. Work trucks include the SR and SR5. With the Limited, Platinum and 1794 trims, shoppers can get upscale appointments to make these cabins as much like an SUV as possible. Choices include leather with suede or stitched leather, like the Nappa upholstery in the upscale 1794 edition.
SAFETY & CRASH AVOIDANCE
Tundras haven’t quite lived up to the typical five-star ratings you’ll find in Toyota cars and SUVs, but they do have eight airbags, an industry first for light duty trucks. Toyota Safety Sense P, which is included even at the basic level, has adaptive cruise control, an automatic emergency braking system, pedestrian watch, forward collision alert, lane departure and lane assist. Rivals either don’t offer it at the base level or don’t have these features at all.
Poor fuel economy definitely isn’t in their favor. However, Toyota trucks have good resale values, and crash avoidance features should help with insurance rates. Warranty coverage is almost identical across the five light-duty truck brands.
Unless shoppers need the absolute maximum in towing and hauling capacity, there’s no reason not to have the 2018 Toyota Tundra on the shopping list. Check out our best of 2018 Toyota reviews here.