Car Review: Unchanged for 2013, Toyota Tundra still stands strong

With no changes on the 2013 Toyota Tundra, this truck can still match up with competitors. Photo: Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, May 20, 2013 — No changes this year on the 2013 Toyota Tundra, but it is still a capable machine, worthy of the full-size pickup market. Since six years ago when this truck was introduced, the Tundra has remained virtually unchanged even as competitors pop up and evolve.

The 2013 Toyota Tundra

The 2013 Toyota Tundra

Competition in the full-size market rivaling the Toyota Tundra includes the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500.

The 2013 Toyota Tundra comes in three body styles, the two-door Regular Cab, extended four-door Double Cab and a four-door crew cab called CrewMax. In addition, there are three different wheelbases and bed lengths to choose from and three trims as well: the base Tundra, Limited and Platinum.

With so much to choose from, not all of these choices can be had together, but there are indeed lots of choices with the Toyota Tundra lineup.

On the base Regular Cab, you get 18-inch steel wheels, chrome bumpers, heated mirrors, full power accessories, a windshield wiper de-icer, a damped tailgate, dual-zone climate control, cloth upholstery, and a 40/20/40-split bench seat as well as a tilt-only steering wheel.

On the Double Cab base, add to the Regular Cab intermittent windshield wipers, keyless entry, an eight-way manually adjustable driver seat, and 60/40-split fold-up rear seats, and for the CrewMax, you get to add a power vertical sliding rear window and a sliding, reclining and fold-flat rear seat.

On the next trim level up called the Limited, this one only comes with the Double Cab and CrewMax variations and you get 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a bed rail system with adjustable tie-down cleats, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, leather upholstery, power front bucket seats, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with built-in back-up camera display, and a power-operated sliding rear window offered on the Double Cab.

On the Platinum, you can only get that trim level on the  CrewMax and this comes with 20-inch wheels, chrome exterior treatments, power-folding mirrors that are heated and auto-dimming, a sunroof, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and a navigation system with a touchscreen interface and voice controls.

If any of these options are not enough, there are also many packages that enable you to add and take away, for example the Tow package with a more robust axle ratio, a hitch receiver, a transmission Tow/Haul mode, an upgraded alternator, and a seven-pin connector.

The Work Truck package is bare on the Regular and Double Cab, but you get power mirrors, keyless entry, cruise control, and rubber flooring.

For a sharper look, there are the Chrome Appearance packages for the base Double Cab models and a Sport Appearance package. The TRD Off-Road package adds 18-inch alloy wheels, off-road tires, off-road-tuned suspension, skid plates, and tow hooks.

Under the hood, there are three different engines to choose from as well as rear-wheel or four-wheel drive.

The Regular and Double Cab rear-wheel-drive has a 4.0-liter V6 that gives you 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque with a five-speed automatic transmission.

Standard on the CrewMax, you get a 4.6-liter V8 engine with 310 horsepower and 327 pound feet of torque with four-wheel-drive and utilizing the long bed model.  You can opt for rear-wheel-drive on this one with a Regular and Double Cab body style.

The top-of-the-line engine is a 5.7-liter V8 on the Limited and Platinum trim level with 381 horsepower and 401 pound feet of torque and a six-speed automatic transmission. Safety features include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, trailer sway control, and front side-impact, side curtain and front knee airbags.

While the 2013 Toyota Tundra has not had a facelift in a few years, it still looks good inside and out; other competitors have done more with their more recent introductions, however. Nevertheless, the high-end Platinum model still shines with leather upholstery and all the trims and models have easy to understand knobs and dials, so practicality rules the day.

Overall, the Tundra does look and drive like the big truck that it is, but sometimes driving the biggest show on the road is all right.

Should You Need to Know: Take note of the strong engine in the high-end Tundra; overall the Tundra still has the large Double Cab outfitted with traditional rear doors too.

Miles Per Gallon: I drove the 2013 Toyota Tundra CrewMax and for the four-wheel-drive Tundra with a 4.6-liter V8 engine, you can expect 15 miles per gallon in the city and 20 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: The 2013 Toyota Tundra will start as low as $25,500.

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1300 articles to her credit in the past 15-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a national radio show called “The Duva Show” where her “The Insider Mag’s” I’m Standing Here segment can be heard weekly between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings.

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and the North Texas Film Critics and writes for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily New, Living Magazine and Valley Scene Magazines as well as www.greensourceDFW. She also spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.

She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association.

Her latest book release is “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma” from and she will be publishing her ninth book this spring about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.


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