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Toyota Tundra

A great all-American truck that happens to be Japanese.

The Texas-built Tundra is in some ways a symbol of a time Toyota would rather forget. It was born out of a desire to match the huge sales and profit margins of American competitors. The Tundra never lived up to that expectation, and Toyota has refocused much of its attention back to the cars it does best. All of this is rather unfair to the Tundra itself, which is a solid, honest pickup truck. There are three engines, three body styles, two bed lengths, and a veritable laundry list of options. Things start of strong, with a base 4.0-liter V-6 that puts out 270 hp and a good midlevel option with the 310-hp, 4.6-liter V-8. Still, we’d say the 381-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 with variable valve timing best suits the Tundra’s mission, especially if you’ll be towing heavy loads; the maximum towing capacity is 10,400 pounds when properly equipped. Both V-8 engines team with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Tundra’s only real shortcoming — aside from the fact that it’s simply not exceptional enough to tear people from their Fords, Chevrolets, and Rams — is its empty-bed ride quality. It also hasn’t received quite as many yearly tweaks and updates as have its domestic competitors. For instance, the Tundra’s interior was exemplary when it debuted in 2007 but has fallen behind its American competition, particularly the Ram.

COMPETITORS

Chevrolet Silverado

GMC Sierra

Nissan Titan

Ram 1500

new for 2013

The Tundra essentially carries over unchanged for 2013. The luxurious platinum package is now a distinct trim level. It includes heated and cooled leather seats, navigation, and a sunroof.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, knee, and side curtain air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; trailer-sway control; and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard. Backup sensors are optional.

MPG

CITY 13–16

HWY 17–20

PRO

Lots of available V-8 power

An honest-to-goodness pickup from Toyota

CON

Relatively poor ride quality

V-8 fuel economy trails that of its competitors

Base Price Range: $26,350–$44,790

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: SR5, Limited, Platinum

BODY STYLE: Pickup, 3-, 5-, or 6-passenger

ENGINES: 4.0L V-6, 270 hp, 278 lb-ft

4.6L V-8, 310 hp, 327 lb-ft

5.7L V-8, 381 hp, 401 lb-ft (E85 capable)

TRANSMISSIONS: 5- or 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 145.7 cu ft

CAPACITIES: Towing 7000–10,400 lb; payload 1450–2090 lb

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