Shopping for a full-size truck can be a challenge. Though there are only a few models to choose from, deciding which is best can be daunting. Toyota's offering for consumers is the 2018 Tundra. Some shoppers will undoubtedly appreciate the Tundra's V8-only powertrains, and others will enjoy the relatively straightforward ordering process compared to domestic rivals. And though the Tundra doesn't have a wealth of bells and whistles to choose from, it does have appealing core competencies. It can tow more than 10,000 pounds and is quite capable on the occasional off-road trip.
But rival full-size trucks have all benefited from recent overhauls, and the Tundra hasn't seen an all-new revision since 2007, which means the 2018 Tundra lags in advancements compared to the current segment leaders. Most manufacturers offer a diesel engine option for efficiency and torque over long hauls or turbocharged gasoline engines for superior performance and fuel efficiency. Even suspension technology has increased such that most rival trucks ride more comfortably.
Ultimately, the made-in-America 2018 Toyota Tundra has its share of good qualities, but it's not enough to push it to the top of the full-size truck category this year.
The 2018 Toyota Tundra is a full-size pickup that is available in one of four trim levels: the worker-oriented SR, the value-conscious SR5, the flexible Limited, and the upmarket Platinum and 1794 Edition. Two engines are available, both V8s: a 4.6-liter (310 hp, 327 lb-ft) and a 5.7-liter (381 hp, 401 lb-ft). From there, you'll pick a body style (the regular Double Cab crew cab or extra large CrewMax) and one of three bed lengths (5.5-foot short bed, 6.5-foot standard bed and 8.1-foot long bed). Note that Toyota limits certain combinations of the above, and feature availability can also vary depending on the region of the country in which you live.
Highlights for the base SR (Double Cab body only) include 18-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, a damped tailgate, a rearview camera, an integrated trailer brake controller, a tilt-only steering wheel, Bluetooth, a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and a USB port. Also included is forward collision warning and mitigation (with automatic braking), lane departure warning, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control.
Going with the SR5 gets you foglights, variable intermittent windshield wipers and an upgraded tech interface that includes a 7-inch touchscreen, HD and satellite radio, traffic information and a navigation app. The crew cab adds a power-opening rear window and an overhead console.
The SR5's Upgrade package adds front bucket seats with a power-adjustable driver seat, a center console (with storage and console shifter), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a larger 38-gallon gas tank when equipped with the 5.7-liter V8. There's also a TRD Sport package that adds 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, a hood scoop, body-colored mirrors and bumpers, LED headlights and foglights, TRD shift knob, floor mats and graphics.
The Limited builds on the Upgrade options package equipment with 20-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, movable tie-down cleats, automatic dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, an upgraded power driver seat and a power-adjustable passenger seat, a power horizontal-sliding rear window (extended cab), a navigation system and additional stereo speakers.
At the top of the heap, the Platinum trim level comes with distinctive styling elements, LED daytime running lights, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, a sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, driver-seat memory functions and a 12-speaker JBL sound system.
The 1794 Edition really only differs from the Platinum in terms of its exclusive exterior and interior styling elements.
A TRD Off-Road package can be added to the SR5, Limited and 1794 Edition. It includes 18-inch TRD wheels, off-road tires, LED headlights, trail-tuned shock absorbers, skid plates and tow hooks.