Toyota’s initial full-sized pickup, the T100, never caught on with American buyers. As much as the automaker tried, truck owners wanted something bigger and more brawny. In typical Toyota style, their engineers went back to the drawing board to reinvent the truck. Initially, the new pickup was supposed to be called the T-150, but Ford objected (the name was too close to its bread and butter, the F-150). So, the Toyota Tundra was born.
The Tundra represents a solid and capable alternative for truck shoppers wanting to look beyond the usual suspects in full-sized pickups: the Ford F-150, the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra pair, or a Ram 1500. The Tundra can be a great choice if you’ve had a good experience with the Toyota brand or just want something different.
Read on as we cover what to know about buying a used Toyota Tundra pickup truck. Keep in mind that this vehicle has been available in dozens of different configurations since its launch more than 20 years ago. So, rather than write a book on the subject, we’ll stick with the highlights. Also, as most Tundras built involve the second-generation, we’ll focus our attention here and briefly cover the first-generation.
The first Toyota Tundra, built at the company’s brand-new Indiana factory, was bigger than its predecessor but carried over the 3.4-liter V-6 as the base engine. A larger standard engine (a 4.0-liter V-6) was used beginning with the 2005 model year, and a 4.7-liter V-8 (from the Land Cruiser) was an option for the entire production run of the first-gen Tundra. A manual transmission was still available, too, and the Tundra was equipped with either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. Toyota introduced a step-side bed option a few years, and the Double Cab was added in 2004. While never coming close to sales like the pickups from the Big Three, the Tundra began to make inroads into the full-sized truck marketplace.
Not wanting to rest on its laurels and hoping for a bigger piece of the truck pie, Toyota launched an all-new and larger Tundra for the 2007 model year. The motoring press and the competition noticed as the company’s newest pickup garnered numerous awards. At long last, Toyota has a truck that meets the mainstay pickups head-on. Production moves from Indiana to a plant in San Antonio, the heart of truck-centered Texas. While the manual transmission is ditched, the Tundra gets a robust 5.7-liter V-8 as an option (an optional supercharger kit can crank up output to 504 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque). The rear-wheel or four-wheel-drive choice continues.
While some consider the 2014 Tundra the start of an all-new generation, a more accurate description would call the efforts a heavy refresh. The Tundra now has a bold, upright front end that looks right at home next to an F-150, Silverado, or 1500. The fenders, tailgate area, and interior were all reworked, too.
Beginning in 2015, the V-6 is dropped, and the base engine becomes a 4.6-liter V-8 with 310 horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque. Some models instead receive the 5.7-liter V-8 (with 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque) as the standard powerplant. A six-speed automatic is a sole transmission. Notably, the tow package is included on all Tundras equipped with the 5.7 engine. This combination offers a towing capacity of up to 10,500 pounds (depending on the body style).
At launch, the second-generation Tundra could be ordered in two cab configurations: regular and Double Cab. As the name implies, the regular is your basic two-door pickup without any cab extension. The Double Cab adds a set of compact rear doors and a back seat. For the 2013 model year, the Tundra was also available in CrewMax, which offers limo-like rear legroom and reclining rear seats. The regular cab was dropped beginning with the 2018 model year.
Depending on the model year and cab setup, the Tundra comes with three cargo beds: short (5.5 ft), standard (6.5 ft), or long (8.1 ft). The short bed was discontinued after 2017.
Since its debut, the second-gen Tundra has been available in various trims, ranging from barebones to near-Lexus levels of features. Let’s review these offerings. But, keep in mind that the trims and accompanying equipment will vary based on model year and body style (not every trim is available with everybody’s style). Check out this overview.
Base: The starter Tundra will have a different name (DX, Grade, Base, or SR) depending on the model year. You can expect 18-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, and a 40/20/40 split-bench seat. Earlier Tundras will include keyless entry, cruise control, and power windows and locks if the truck is the Double Cab model. Newer base Tundras include an infotainment touchscreen and advanced driver aids like automatic emergency braking.
SR5: A notch above the base Tundra, the SR5 is a popular configuration for those who want a well-equipped truck but don’t need or want luxury touches. Standard equipment (regardless of body style) includes power accessories, fog lights, intermittent wipers, and an upgraded audio or infotainment system.
TRD Pro: Beginning in 2015, the off-road-oriented TRD accessory line became a stand-alone trim adding to the SR5 equipment level with unique alloy wheels, off-road tires and suspension, and exterior accents. Newer TRD Pro Tundras also has an upgraded interior with leather seating.
Limited: Throughout the Tundra’s second generation, the Limited trim has always been the way to load up Toyota’s largest truck. Features include larger wheels, power-folding side mirrors, automatic dual-zone climate control, navigation (depending on the model year), and leather seating.
Platinum: The Platinum trim began as an optional package but morphed into a full trim level (above the Limited) starting in 2013. Platinum goodies include 20-inch wheels, chrome exterior accents, a power sunroof, upgraded leather seating, and a driver seat memory system.
1794: For 2014, Toyota introduced the 1794 trim for the Tundra. This top-tier version has all the equipment of the Platinum but adds exclusive interior upgrades. It’s the Toyota version of the Ford F-150 King Ranch.
The all-new third-generation 2022 Toyota Tundra will debut later this year. Given the higher prices that typically go along with a new model, the value of a used Toyota Tundra becomes even more apparent. Discover our selection of used Toyota Tundra trucks for sale. Please note that our inventory changes frequently and is subject to prior sales. Be sure to ask us about incoming used Toyota Tundra models.
If a used pickup truck is on your shopping list, then a visit to Trust Auto is a must. Here you’ll discover a great selection of used Toyota Tundras for sale. Plus, you can check out our other used trucks, including the Ford F-150. Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, and Ram 1500. The best-used trucks and cars to buy are nearby at our dealership in Sykesville, Maryland. Be sure to start your visit with a look at our great selection of used cars online.
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