World of full-size pickup trucks is sacred in America. Brands profit from extreme demand churning out sales figures than the majority of other automotive segments can only dream about. Yet, it could be particularly tough for non-American stuff. That was particularly felt by Nissan’s Titan whose sales were modest during last years. Extremely modest. But still, that was also due to exceptionally long market life (12 years) and now it seems that Toyota is walking down the same path with Tundra. It is almost decade old and since new generation is still some time away it might as well reach Titan’s first generation longevity. Yet, Tundra’s sales figures are five times of those of Nissan, but they are also a fraction of what American trucks achieve. Anyway, the big question is whether 2018 Toyota Tundra is still a viable choice?
2018 TOYOTA TUNDRA EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR
During all that time on the market, Tundra had only one bigger visual revamp in 2013. That is a long time ago, but at that time inserted an extra dose of masculinity still works for it today. The menacing effect was substantially increased by new larger and more terrifying grilles and that macho factor never fails with trucks.
As for 2018, Toyota added new grille designs, while lights could feature LED treatment now. On another hand, the interior hasn’t aged so gracefully. Rivals have progressed in the mean time, leaving it feeling outdated and cheap and if you want a dash of luxury and flair, you’ll need to go after 1794 Edition (and that doesn’t come cheap).
Noise levels are also above other competitors, while infotainment system doesn’t feature Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, as every other Toyota, but here it missed Wi-Fi hot spot also. For 2018 only novelty is bigger 4.2inch display seated in the instrument cluster, which then changes nothing on the general scheme.
SLOW, THIRSTY AND UNSETTLED
Those are three words that describe feelings when you get in motion with it and there are several reasons for that. There are two petrol engines, 4.6-liter rated at 310 horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque and 5.7-liter boosting 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft, both being V8s and paired with sluggish 6-speed automatic. Stronger engine unit needs 6.4 seconds to 60 mph, putting it well behind GM’s and Ford’s figures, but in front of them Ram. Yet, fuel efficiency doesn’t manage to stand in front of anybody. 15 mpg combined with top V8 is just appalling and grossly lagging behind all rivals, while one mpg better with lesser mill ties the bottom place with Ford’s 5.0-liter V8. Finally, about that unsettled part. Since full-size truck’s road manners became more refined over the years, Tundra was left out, ending now rather obsolete in its behavior. Decent once, but not anymore for sure.
Everything that we dwelt so far was mildly important for a truck. But even if we go into the sacred hall of “life or death” figures, Tundra fails to impress. Maximum towing capacity of 10,500 pounds trails everything but Nissan, and the situation with payload is not much better either. Only positive side is the amount of stuff that cargo-bed can swallow ranging from 55 to 81 cu ft, depending on bed length, which tops the charts in the segment. For the end, there is one certainly uncool move from Japanese.
For 2018 TRD Pro is gone (regular cab too), being replaced by TRD Sport. While Sport has fine and exciting makeup and some neat tweaks underneath, there is nothing that can rival real deal Pro in any Toyota model’s lineup. Instead of thinking about beefing up Pro model, and bringing it closer to Raptor, Japanese car maker just scaled down the game.
2018 TOYOTA TUNDRA PRICE
Back to that question from the begging. Is it still a viable choice? Shortly no. Pretty much all rivals are better in almost every aspect that it. Cashing out $31k and above for it, could be motivated only by famous brand’s reliability and possibly by a yearning for safety as 2018 Toyota Tundra brings adaptive cruise control with the forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, along with lane-departure warning and automatic high-beams as standard. In case of everything else, simply move on.