Popular Tags Cars

2018 Toyota Tundra

$31,320 - $50,330
Price Range (MSRP)
Toyota Tundra

2018 Toyota Tundra Review

by Roger Biermann

This American built, Japanese pickup truck has had its fair share of challenges starting out in life. First criticized for being too small to compete with other American contenders, followed by a lawsuit from Ford to drop the T150 name, the Tundra was finally born. Eighteen years later, the Tundra stands testament to its ability to persevere and overcome, spanning two and a half generations and several special editions. Unlike its Ford F-150 and Nissan Titan competitors, 2018 marks 11 years since its last major overhaul, leaving it somewhat lacking in both technological and mechanical advancements - much to the delight of Tundra owners who praise it for its simplicity and bulletproof reliability. Two healthy V8's power the full-size half-tonner pickup, with its smaller 4.6-liter producing 310 horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque, and it's more hearty 5.7-liter capable of 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque.

2018 Toyota Tundra Changes: What’s the difference vs 2017 Tundra?

Toyota has done a give and take on this year model, dropping the regular-cab Tundra, and opting to include Toyota Safety Sense P across all trims, bringing lane departure warning, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control to the standard list of features. Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a feature we think should be standard on all vehicles, is also included this year around. The SR5 trim also has a new TRD Sport Package available, which fits TRD anti-sway bars, Bilstein shocks, unique 20-inch alloy wheels, and various style enhancements that include a hood scoop and honeycomb-style grille.

Pros and Cons

  • Two hefty V8 options
  • Spacious Crewmax Cabin
  • High towing capacity
  • Steadfast reliability
  • Plenty of standard features
  • Toyota Safety Sense P now standard
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Dated interior
  • Average ride quality
  • Old bones can't be hidden by new technology

Tundra Exterior

The Tundra's exterior is best described as old but gold, having become recognizable since 2007. Following a refresh in 2014, the Tundra's looks have aged well and still appear quite relevant, with either 18- or 20-inch alloy wheels, a large honeycomb or billet-style grille upfront, LED daytime running lights, halogen or LED headlights - trim dependant - and either chrome or body-color bumpers giving it character. Front and rear mudguards are standard, and a towing hitch receiver is included on the 4.6-liter V8 model. Two body styles are offered, either the full-size crew-cab on SR5, Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition models or the practical worker's double cab, available with two bed lengths available in SR, SR5, and Limited Trims.

2018 Toyota Tundra Front Angle View
2018 Toyota Tundra Rear View
2018 Toyota Tundra Rear Angle View
See All 2018 Toyota Tundra Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Though not the largest amongst its competitors, the Tundra is still undeniably a full-size pickup truck with its large shape apparent even from afar. Depending on your choice of Standard Bed, Long Bed, or Short Bed, the Tundra's overall body length ranges between 228.9 inches and 247.8 inches, distributed over its 145.7 and 164.6-inch wheelbase options respectively. Measuring 79.9 inches wide, the Tundra may leave you searching the parking lot for a space slightly more forgiving. It's tall, too, standing 75.8 inches tall in its shortest crew cab configuration and 76.4 inches tall in 4WD double cab guise with a maximum ground clearance of 10.6 inches. Curb weights for the Tundra range from 5,100 lbs in base trim to a scale-tipping 5,670 lbs in 4WD 1794 Edition guise, which although hefty is on par for the full-size truck segment.

Exterior Colors

The 2018 Toyota Tundra certainly doesn't fall short on color options with 11 hues to choose from depending on your chosen trim. The base SR trim only allows for a choice between three; Super White, Barcelona Red Metallic, and Midnight Black Metallic. One step up to the SR5 trim opens up the possibilities, with Blazing Blue Pearl, Silver Sky Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Inferno, Cement, Quicksand, and Cavalry Blue all added to the list. The Limited trim is the first in the line-up to add Smoked Mesquite to the range, while color options are reduced on the 1794 Edition to only Super White, Smoked Mesquite, Midnight Black Metallic, Barcelona Red Metallic, Blazing Blue Pearl, Silver Sky Metallic, and Magnetic Gray Metallic; this color palette is shared with the Platinum trim.

  • Super White
  • Smoked Mesquite
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • Barcelona Red Metallic
  • Blazing Blue Pearl
  • Silver Sky Metallic
  • Magnetic Gray Metallic
  • Inferno
  • Cement
  • Quicksand
  • Cavalry Blue

Tundra Performance

Whether you opt for the 4.6-liter or 5.7-liter V8 engine, there's plenty of power to be had with the smaller engine's 310 horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque, or 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque as produced by its bigger brother. The latter powertrain option will see you hitting 60 mph from a standstill in about 6.5 seconds, and although speed isn't what the Tundra is all about, this is relatively impressive. Its six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission is engineered to be tough and is tuned to get even the most cumbersome of hauls on the move. Trims sporting the smaller of the two motors can expect to tow anything between 6,400 and 6,800 lbs, with the more brawny 5.7-liter affording you up to 10,200 lbs towing capacity. Impressive as this may be, the Nissan Titan gives buyers greater ability with its 12,460 lbs maximum capacity.

All five trims are available in either a rear-wheel-drive configuration or with part-time four-wheel-drive, the latter equipped with a dual-range transfer case for improved heavy hauling and off-road ability.

2018 Toyota Tundra Front Angle View
2018 Toyota Tundra Side View Driving
2018 Toyota Tundra Rim

Engine and Transmission

The 2018 Tundra leaves the showroom floor with two impressive engine options. The smaller and more conservative of the two, a 4.6-liter aluminum i-Force V8, delivers 310 horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque in the SR and SR5 models. The second engine option is a 5.7-liter V8 produces 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque and is available across the entire range. Both motors see power sent to either the rear wheels or all four wheels via a six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission with intelligence (ECT-i), geared towards delivering low-end torque to maximize the Tundra's hauling ability.

Both V8's are quite eager beasts, with almost instantaneous throttle response and an abundance of grunt to follow through. The six-speed automatic handles the V8's power in a progressive but steady manner, dealing with acceleration from a dead standstill with intent. The handover between gears is less subtle under flat-foot acceleration as the auto delivers a noticeable jerk, leaving it much less refined than its higher-cog competitors. Overtaking at speed has both V8's happily stretching their legs, leaving less desirable fewer-cylinder motors feeling asthmatic in comparison. Both powertrain options deliver on their promises, especially in a vehicle that weighs over 5,000 lbs, but we do feel there's a lot more power to be had should it be combined with a more modern transmission that might make better use of the torque at hand.

  • Engines
    4.6-liter V8 Gas, 5.7-liter V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The 2018 Toyota Tundra is by all accounts an easy drive, whether it be to new full-size pickup truck drivers or the more seasoned veterans. For those new to a vehicle of this size, it's a lot more forgiving than its pronounced exterior might suggest. The steering is surprisingly light and fairly accurate, too, with keener responses than many trucks and SUVs of its ilk. Toyota has done a lot to get the steering dialed in as best as possible, but with the steering wheel dead center, it does come across as a little vague and there's still a lot of real estate from lock to lock.

With its body-on-frame construction, imperfections on asphalt and gravel are somewhat apparent, with the suspension working overtime to try to provide a balance between comfort and control, while the body shuffles around in opposition. The ride quality isn't unbearable or even uncomfortable, but the more cushioned seats and modern suspension of its Titan and F-150 rivals show up the shortcomings in the Tundra's aging bones. The Tundra does well to maintain its composure despite the road surface (or lack thereof) and delivers a consistently good driving experience especially for a vehicle of its size. It might take a while for new owners to find their comfort zone in urban environments where its size pits it against the now seemingly narrow world, but it certainly isn't without its rewards.

Where the Tundra manages to reclaim some credit against more accomplished on-road rivals is where the asphalt ends. The high ground clearance and low-range transfer case, combined with a pair of burly V8s, gives the Tundra impressive off-road presence. It's not as capable as an F-150 Raptor but under traditional off-roading circumstances, the Tundra proves to be pretty robust.

Tundra Gas Mileage

With it's reliable, but now dated motors, both V8's do well to power the Tundra, but at the expense of any fuel economy. The base 4.6-liter V8 in rear-wheel-drive configuration sees the best ratings in the range at 15/19/16 mpg city/highway/combined, incurring a slight penalty in four-wheel-drive guise with estimates of 14/18/16 mpg. The bigger 5.7-liter manages only 13/18/15 mpg and 13/17/14 mpg respectively. Both SR and SR5 trims have a fuel tank capacity of 26.4-gallons, which affords you 422 miles with the lesser motor. Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition trims see a 38-gallon tank equipped instead, granting 532 miles between fill-ups. This larger tank is available as an option on the SR5 trim.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    26.4 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 15/19 mpg
* 2018 Toyota Tundra SR Double Cab 6.5' Bed 4.6L

Tundra Interior

The word 'outdated' comes to mind when evaluating the Tundra, and although it describes the cabin's look and feel, it disregards a lot of the better qualities the Tundra's interior has to offer in its aging package. The dashboard follows a simple geometric design, with all buttons clearly visible and within easy reach. With its full-size body, the windows are large and let in ample natural lighting to the simply massive cabin, capable of seating five or even six people with vast amounts of space for occupants of all size. Visibility is impressive, with a high vantage point being a key drawcard for the high-riding Tundra. Although not as modern as some rivals, simplistic and intuitive describe the interior of the Tundra far more accurately than simply calling it dated.

2018 Toyota Tundra Dashboard
2018 Toyota Tundra Front Seats
2018 Toyota Tundra Rear Passenger Seats
See All 2018 Toyota Tundra Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Interior space in this five- or six-seater remains a plus-point for this vehicle. Headroom is plentiful at 39.7 inches in the front and 38.7 inches for the rear, accommodating even the tallest of adults with ease. Legroom is also on the generous side, even in the smaller double cab, offering 34.7 inches in the back seat. If cabin space is essential, the crew cab variants give you a staggering 42.3 inches, leaving rear passengers feeling like children sitting at the adults' table. The seats are comfortable and supportive, and with multi-way power-adjustment on higher trims, there's a good amount of versatility to accommodate all drivers. Still, it's nothing exceptional for the segment, and newer offerings like the F-150 do a better job of accommodating passengers on a day to day basis.

  • Seating capacity
    6-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

Leather seats are reserved for the Limited, Platinum, and 1794 Edition trims, with the rest of the range utilizing fabric-trimmed seats instead. Color choices are generous, though, with eight different interior combinations available. The SR makes use of Graphite color fabric seats, with light gray trim encapsulating infotainment and steering wheel controls. The SR5 adds Black and Sand Beige to the mix, while the Limited gets leather in the same three color options as the SR5. The Platinum model has premium black leather upholstery and brushed-metal-style inlays unique to its trim, while the 1794 Edition brings a retro-cowboy feel to the table with premium brown leather and wood-style-trim all around.

Tundra Trunk and Cargo Space

The Tundra does well to be a cargo hauler with three different bed lengths to choose from. From short to long, the Short Bed is 66.7 inches long, 22.2 inches deep, and 50 inches wide between wheel wells, giving you a range of 1,520 and 1,660 lbs maximum payload capacity. The Standard Bed measures 78.7 inches in length and offers between 1,440 and 1,730 lbs depending on the configuration you opt for. Lastly, the Long Bed - only available on double cab trim - sees an inside length of 97.6 inches, only available on the SR and SR5 trims, with between 1,600 and 1,700 lbs maximum payload capacity available.

The interior is well equipped to be practical too, with dual bottle holders in the front and rear doors at top trim, an overhead console with sunglasses storage, a massive center console storage that could easily fit a laptop and more - although having the disadvantage of not opening to a full ninety degrees. Additionally, there are rear under-seat storage compartments exclusive to the SR5 and Limited trims.

2018 Toyota Tundra Rear Passenger Seats
2018 Toyota Tundra Rear Angle View
2018 Toyota Tundra Rear Angle View

Tundra Infotainment and Features

Features

Even at base trim, Toyota Safety Sense P, a 4.2-inch multi-information display, dynamic cruise control, LED daytime running lights, power windows and door locks, heated outside mirrors, an integrated backup camera, a towing hitch receiver (4.6-liter only), a USB charging port, and an integrated trailer brake controller (5.7-liter only) come as standard. The SR5 offers rear under-seat storage tray and halogen fog lights, while the Limited bolsters the list with features like LED headlights, a deck rail system, heated front power-adjustable seats, a power sliding rear window, dual-zone climate control, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a compass all as standard. The Premium trim adds ventilation to the front seats, a memory system for the seats, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and a power vertical sliding rear window. Changes to the 1794 Edition, however, are purely aesthetic and it retains the features from the Platinum trim.

Infotainment

The 2018 Toyota Tundra features an old but easy to use 6.1-inch Entune touch-screen display at base SR trim, with a seven-inch upgrade standard across the rest of the range. Capacitive touch controls aren't entirely up to par with today's standards, but a slightly firmer press gets the job done. Bluetooth and basic iPod connectivity come as standard for the six-speaker system, with no mention of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to be found anywhere. Physical buttons on either side of the display make easy work of navigating through the options, while on-screen options are vivid and easy to read. The SR5's infotainment adds HD Radio and SiriusXM, as well as third-party navigation. The Limited trim sees three more speakers and integrated navigation brought to the table, while the Platinum and 1794 Edition boasts a premium 12-speaker JBL sound system.

Tundra Problems and Reliability

At the time of writing, four recalls are noted for the 2018 Toyota Tundra. The first two relate to incorrect weight and load information on labels and collectively only affected an estimated 1157 vehicles overall. The third recall refers to the electronic stability control deactivating unexpectedly, and the fourth, airbags may not deploy in certain scenarios. Still, the JD Power Predicted Reliability rating for this vehicle is almost perfect - at four and a half out of five.

Toyota's Warranty for the Tundra includes a three-year/36,000 mile basic and five-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty, with a five-year/unlimited mile rust-through warranty completing the list. Furthermore, Toyota adds a twelve-month/unlimited mile roadside assistance plan at purchase.

Tundra Safety

The NHTSA gave the 2018 Toyota Tundra an overall safety rating of four stars, with no significant concerns noted. The IIHS gave the Tundra mixed scores, ranging from the worst score of Poor in the small front overlap test to the best available scores of Good in other areas.

Key Safety Features

All five Tundra models benefit from Toyota's Safety Sense P package, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with a sway warning system, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. Eight airbags are equipped as standard, while a tire pressure monitoring system is available to help the driver keep an eye on potential tire problems. Trailer-Sway control comes as standard as well, with an integrated brake controller allowing manual setup and adjustments to the type of trailer you're towing. All models are also equipped with the Star Safety System, which includes vehicle stability control, traction control, ABS with electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, and smart stop technology.

Verdict: Is the 2018 Toyota Tundra a good truck?

The 2018 Toyota Tundra may not have the latest and greatest in terms of design, features, or technology, but what it has, lasts. Reliability and longevity in the Tundra are strong points that in our opinion, go some way in compensating for the lack of modern features. But reliability and robust V8s can only get you so far, and the fact remains that the Tundra has been left behind the times. It might drive acceptably, manage off-road trails with aplomb, and seat up to six in a spacious if dated cabin, but rivals just do everything with more refinement, more ease, and a greater sense of quality. The Tundra doesn't boast the best off-road abilities, nor can it tow the most, and there are certainly more refined options on the road that are more frugal, too. There's got to be a redesign in the pipeline, and as far as we're concerned it needs to happen soon.

What's the Price of the 2018 Toyota Tundra?

The 2018 Toyota Tundra range spans five models and many configurations, with pricing varying with the choice of bed length. In its base trim, the entry-level SR carries an MSRP of $31,320 excluding tax, licensing, registration, and $1,490 in destination charges. The SR5 costs a little more at $33,030, while the $40,585 Limited and $47,280 1794 Edition both see significant jumps in price. The fully loaded Platinum trim tops the list, sharing its price with the 1794 Edition.

2018 Toyota Tundra Models

The Tundra range comprises five trims: SR, SR5, Limited, 1794 Edition, and Platinum. The SR and SR5 trims utilize a 4.6-liter V8 motor paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, with an optional 5.7-liter V8 available which is standard across the rest of the range.

The entry-level SR trim is the least-equipped of the five models, featuring 18-inch styled steel wheels as a low-cost solution. Despite its 6.1-inch infotainment and LED daytime running lights, it serves as the workhorse of the range.

The SR5 adds basic comforts and more technology to the cabin, such as navigation, HD radio, SiriusXM, and the most extensive list of optional packages amongst all Tundra models. Although budget-conscious, the SR5 is an ideal platform to customize to personal or business needs in a cinch.

The Limited trim is geared towards more creature comforts and luxuries than its lesser models, ditching the steel wheels for 20-inch alloys, as well as dual-zone climate control, a nifty power sliding rear window, and LED headlights. It's also the first model to feature a 38-gallon fuel tank.

The Platinum trim favors a blacked-out exterior trim as opposed to the usual chrome, with the interior following suit. It's a few steps up from the Limited and features a JBL audio system, blind-spot monitor, and rear cross-traffic alert as standard.

The 1794 Edition pays homage to its Texan roots, adding wooden trim throughout the interior as well as high-quality brown leather seats, hinting at a cowboy look and feel which is unique in its styling, compared to the rest of the range.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SR
4.6-liter V8 Gas
5.7-liter V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$31,320
SR5
4.6-liter V8 Gas
5.7-liter V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$33,030
Limited
5.7-liter V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$40,585
1794 Edition
5.7-liter V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$47,280
Platinum
5.7-liter V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$47,280
See All 2018 Toyota Tundra Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

There are a total of 12 packages to choose from amongst the Tundra trims, with a few that are well worth the mention. On the Platinum trim, paying for the $1,195 power tilt-and-slide moonroof adds a sliding sunshade, as well as running boards for the cab.

The SR5's TRD Off-Road Package comes in at $5,650 which nets you a deck rail system with four adjustable tie-down cleats, an upgraded seven-inch infotainment system with integrated navigation, nine speakers, HD Radio, and SiriusXM satellite radio. It also equips 18-inch five-spoke TRD alloy wheels, trail-tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, engine, and fuel tank skid plates, front tow hooks, LED headlights and foglights, and plenty of decals.

The TRD Sport Package is also available on the SR5 and adds 20-inch six-spoke sport-alloy wheels with black accents, a sport-tuned suspension, front and rear sway bars, and a distinctive honeycomb-style grille. A hood scoop and TRD shift knob are also fitted, all for an additional $3,355.

The Limited trim follows suit and offers a nearly identical setup to that of the Off-Road Package, with the inclusion of a power tilt-and-slide moonroof with sunshade, a 12-speaker JBL audio system, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, and an illuminated entry system for $2,770.

What Toyota Tundra Model Should I Buy?

If a full-size pickup truck is what you need with workhorse capabilities, the SR is the perfect fit; doing away with all the additional extras, this trim retains everything that is necessary for day to day hauling. In its 4.6-liter V8 configuration, a towing hitch receiver comes standard, and a 40/20/40 split fold-down front bench can seat a third passenger comfortably. At $31,320, it also doesn't break the bank. The Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition trims are extensively packed with features from front to rear, whereas the SR5 offers the most in terms of customization without losing its rugged capabilities. The SR5 will set you back $33,030. Add the TRD Sport or TRD Off-Road Package, and this fully capable Tundra will take you even further while maintaining its value-for-money appeal.

2018 Toyota Tundra Comparisons

2018 Toyota Tundra
2018 Toyota Tundra

2018 Toyota Tundra vs Nissan Titan

These Japanese rivals both bring strong competitors to the segment. The Titan offers a better ride quality, superior payload and towing capacities, and a more refined interior. By contrast, the Tundra has better safety ratings, besting the Titan with automatic emergency braking and a forward-collision warning system which the Titan doesn't offer at all. Both trucks sport V8 motors, with the Tundra bringing two options to the table. The engines are neck-in-neck in terms of power output with 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque for the Toyota, while the Titan's 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque compare favorably. The Nissan offers a much more comprehensive full warranty (five-years/100,000 miles compared to the three-year/36,000 miles on the Tundra), as well as a better powertrain warranty; however, the Tundra's excellent reliability rating alone makes it a leading contender.

See Nissan Titan Review

2018 Toyota Tundra vs Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 is the number one selling truck in America, primarily due to its highly customizable nature and breadth of ability. It's a technological powerhouse amongst other pickup trucks in the segment, with modern styling and mechanical wizardry at play. The Tundra falls behind in almost all areas except reliability. At the higher end of the range, the F-150 puts all the sought-after tech into more expensive packages, quickly leading to a rather pricey Ford, whereas at an entry level the Tundra is the pricier option. The F-150 rides better across the range though, is more frugal, and at the upper end of the spectrum provides potent performance from turbocharged V6 engines that make the Tundra feel last century rather than last decade. Unless robust reliability tops your list of needs in a truck, the F-150 is comprehensively better in every metric.

See Ford F-150 Review

Toyota Tundra Popular Comparisons

2018 Toyota Tundra Video Reviews