You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

2018 Toyota Tundra: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 5/24/2018 U.S. News & World Report
a car parked on the side of a road: 2018 Toyota Tundra© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. 2018 Toyota Tundra

The 2018 Toyota Tundra finishes in the bottom of our truck rankings because its engines aren't that powerful, and it has lower towing and hauling capacities than rivals. Most classmates have seen recent redesigns, giving them a more upscale and modern feel.

The 2018 Toyota Tundra is ranked:

Is the Toyota Tundra a Good Truck?

Any way you slice it, the Toyota Tundra isn't a very good full-size truck. It has two V8 engine options that get poor gas mileage and lack the towing and hauling capacities of class leaders. There's plenty of passenger room in both rows, but the truck hasn't seen a top-down redesign in over a decade. That leaves the Tundra behind competitors that boast more refined cabins and offer the latest tech features. 

Should I Buy the Toyota Tundra?

You should not buy the Toyota Tundra. Considering its deficiencies, you may expect it to cost less than the rest. In fact, it's the only truck in the class with an MSRP over $30,000. The high base price is due in part to the Tundra no longer offering an entry-level Regular Cab configuration. Why spend more money to get a worse truck? Anything the Tundra can do, others can do better. Look to rivals like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 if you want to be able to tow and haul huge loads. These pickups also feature elegant interiors and a handful of engine options ranging from fuel efficient to impressively muscular. 

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota Tundra?

For 2018, Toyota made the Safety Sense package standard in the Tundra. This package includes driver assistance technologies like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and pedestrian detection. Those features weren't available in Tundras prior to this year. If you're not set on having them, you may want to consider shopping for an earlier model to save money. Toyota also axed the Regular Cab and TRD Pro models in 2018, so if you want either of those models, you'll need to search for a 2016 or 2017 Tundra.

To research some other models in this generation, read our reviews of the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Toyota Tundra. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

We Did the Research for You: 107 Reviews Analyzed

For our 2018 Toyota Tundra review, we researched dozens of professional evaluations, along with safety scores, reliability data, and fuel economy estimates, to help you make the best buying decision possible. This 2018 Toyota Tundra review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2007 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles for a decade, and our team has more than a combined 75 years of experience in the automotive industry. To maintain objectivity, we don't accept incentives or expensive gifts from car companies, and an outside team handles the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Toyota Tundra Cost?

With a starting price of just over $31,000, the Tundra has one of the most expensive entry prices in the class. Some rivals have starting prices around $5,000 lower than this Toyota. On the high end, however, the Tundra is actually a little less expensive than many competitors. The Tundra’s top trims – the Platinum and 1794 Edition – start at around $47,000. Many rivals’ top trims have prices in the $50,000s or $60,000s.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

Toyota Tundra Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Toyota Tundra or Ford F-150?

The Ford F-150 has one of the lowest starting prices in the class, but it ranks at the top of our list of full size pickup trucks. It boasts best-in-class payload and towing abilities. Also, its standard V6 engine is much more fuel efficient and nearly as powerful as the Tundra’s base V8. The Ford has sharp handling for a truck and a more comfortable ride than what you'll get with the Tundra. One advantage the Tundra has is its list of standard features, which is reflected in its higher base price. That also means you can outfit a bare-bones F-150 work truck if that's what you're after. Still, the F-150 is the clearly better overall choice.

Which Is Better: Toyota Tundra or Chevrolet Silverado 1500?

With plenty of high-end touches, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 has one of the nicest interiors in the class. It’s about more than just a pretty face, though. The Silverado offers plenty of optional tech features, like the intuitive touch-screen MyLink infotainment system. Its seats are spacious and comfortable, and those in higher trims are especially elegant. The Chevy has several engine options, with its largest V8 putting out more horsepower than the Tundra. The Silverado also has a larger max towing capacity of 12,500 pounds. No matter what you want your truck for, the Silverado is the better vehicle.

Tundra Performance

Tundra Engine: 2 V8 Choices

The Tundra features a 310-horsepower V8 base engine. A 381-horsepower V8 is available. The base engine has plenty of power, but the larger engine is a better choice for towing and hauling, and it delivers a little more acceleration.

Tundra Gas Mileage: The V8s’ Rates Aren’t Great

Because it doesn’t offer anything other than V8 engines (most rivals offer at least one V6 powertrain, and some offer turbodiesels), the Tundra’s best fuel economy ratings trail those of rivals. At its best, the Tundra gets 15 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway.

When equipped with comparable V8 engines, the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado will cost you about $400 less than the Tundra in gas each year. Notably, these V8s aren’t even the most efficient engines the Ford and Chevy offer.

Tundra Ride and Handling: Feels Like a Truck

Some full size trucks have cushioned rides. The Tundra is not one of them. It’s stiff and transmits bumps on the road straight into the cabin. However, its handling is passable, and the steering is sharp.

Tundra Off-Road Performance

The Tundra is a capable off-roader, and the available TRD Off-Road package makes it even more so. With the package’s off-road-oriented features, the Tundra is more than capable of handling tough terrain like hills, mud, and water.

Tundra Towing Capacity

The Tundra can tow more than 5 tons (enough for multiple ATVs) and haul more than 1 ton (enough for a couple of dirt bikes in the back). Still, its maximum capacities are well behind those of many other trucks. The engines don’t feel taxed when pulling heavy loads, and features like Trailer Sway Control make it easier to tow something.

Tundra Interior

How Many People Does the Tundra Seat?

The Tundra seats five or six people, depending on whether you opt for front bucket seats or stick with the standard bench seat. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, particularly in the higher trims. Both standard Double Cab and CrewMax models have plenty of rear-seat space for adults to be comfortable. In fact, the Tundra offers more rear legroom than some rivals.

Tundra and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The lower anchors are set a little deep in the seats but are otherwise usable. The tether anchors are hard to find, and you might confuse them with other hardware.

Tundra Interior Quality

This Toyota isn’t quite as upscale as it seems. Many of the materials are of high quality – especially in the higher trims – but the small details (such as interior trim) lack quality. The cabin also lets in a fair amount of outside noise.

Tundra Cargo Space

The Tundra offers 5.5-foot, 6.5-foot, and 8.1-foot beds. It doesn’t offer many bed features, which is a disadvantage many competitors do not face. However, the Tundra does have a lot of cabin storage space.

Tundra Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Tundra include Bluetooth and the Entune infotainment system with a 6.1-inch touch screen, voice recognition, a USB port, and Siri Eyes Free. Available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, a power moonroof, a 12-speaker JBL audio system, and an upgraded Entune system with a 7-inch touch screen, HD Radio, satellite radio, smartphone app integration, and navigation.

Unlike some rivals, the Tundra doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which are cutting-edge smartphone connectivity features. (For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.) However, the Entune infotainment system is user-friendly, and the controls are easily reachable for the driver. There are also physical controls for audio and climate functions.

Tundra Reliability

Is the Toyota Tundra Reliable?

The 2018 Toyota Tundra has not yet been rated for reliability, but the 2017 model earns a predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power. That’s a good rating across the industry (three is average for all vehicles) and better than many rivals’ scores.

Toyota Tundra Warranty

The Toyota Tundra is covered with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Most other full size trucks have similar warranty terms.

Tundra Safety

Tundra Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the Tundra four out of five stars for its overall crash test rating. The Tundra earns five stars in the side crash test, four stars for frontal crash, and three stars in the rollover test. At the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Tundra receives the highest score of Good in three tests, a rating of Acceptable in roof strength, and Marginal in the small overlap front test. 

Tundra Safety Features

The Tundra offers more standard active safety features than most rivals, including a rearview camera and Toyota’s Safety Sense system, which is a suite of driver assistance and pre-collision features that includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and pedestrian detection. Available driver assistance features include blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and rear cross traffic alert.

Which Toyota Tundra Model Is Right for Me?

Like many trucks, the Tundra is available in several configurations. There are two body styles (Double Cab and CrewMax) and three bed sizes. Trim levels include the base SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, and the 1794 Edition. Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional.

If you’re determined to buy a Tundra, the SR5 and the Limited are your best options. The Limited offers several of the most advanced features you’d get in higher trims, while still costing less. The SR5 still has some good tech offerings and is the most versatile trim, as it’s the only one to offer every cab and bed size. Notably, the TRD Pro trim is unavailable for 2018.

Toyota Tundra SR

The Tundra SR is the base trim, and it has a starting price of $31,120. SR models don’t offer the CrewMax Cab or the 5.5-foot bed. This trim only has the standard features; there are no noteworthy option packages.

Toyota Tundra SR5

The Tundra SR5 starts at $32,830. This is the only trim to offer both the Double Cab and CrewMax cabins and all three bed lengths. In addition to the SR trim’s features, the SR5 comes with a rear under-seat storage compartment and an upgraded Entune system with a 7-inch touch screen, HD Radio, satellite radio, and navigation. The Tundra SR5 offers the SR5 Upgrade package for $1,985. It includes front bucket seats, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

Toyota Tundra Limited

The Tundra Limited has a starting price of $40,385. The Limited is available with either cab, but it isn’t offered with the 8.1-foot bed. The Limited comes standard with front bucket seats (dropping seating capacity to five), dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker audio system, smartphone app integration, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and in-bed movable tie-down cleats.

You can add the Limited Premium package for $1,065. It includes front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a 12-speaker JBL audio system.

Toyota Tundra Platinum

The Tundra Platinum starts at $47,080. The Platinum trim features a CrewMax Cab and a 5.5-foot bed. The Platinum comes with a 12-speaker JBL audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. You can add a power moonroof for $850.

Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition

The Tundra 1794 Edition has a starting price of $47,080. This is just a special edition trim; it has the same standard and available features as the Platinum trim, but it features unique styling.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

The Final Call

The 2018 Toyota Tundra scores poorly compared to its competitors, leaving quite a bit of distance between it and the rest of the full size trucks we rank. The Tundra isn’t as capable or as upscale as the competition, and it also has a higher base price (though it does come better equipped). If you’re in the market for a full size pickup, other trucks in the class are a better choice than this Toyota.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Like many trucks, the Tundra is available in several configurations. There are two body styles (Double Cab and CrewMax) and three bed sizes. Trim levels include the base SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, and the 1794 Edition. Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional.

Read the full 2018 Toyota Tundra review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.

Research the Toyota Tundra on MSN Autos | Find a Toyota Tundra near you

Follow MSN Autos on Facebook and Twitter

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from U.S. News & World Report

US News & World Report - Cars
US News & World Report - Cars
Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon