Toyota Tundra: 17 Best And Worst Years (With Examples)

toyota tundra

From personal experience, I can tell you that this beast of a truck is a force to be reckoned with. Its raw power, steadfast reliability, and zippy acceleration are the stuff of legends. It’s no wonder that folks from all corners of the world have fallen head over heels for this versatile pickup.

Taking it for a spin, whether on city streets or rugged terrains, feels like a dream. And let’s not even get started on that sleek interior and those nifty driver aids – pure luxury! But, you know, every rose has its thorn.

Now, if you’re thinking of getting one, here’s a little insider tip: the golden years for the Tundra were between 2009 and 2019. Just steer clear of the 2007, 2008, and especially the 2012 models. Trust me on this; that 2012 model? It’s the black sheep of the Tundra family. But hey, every family has one, right?

What Toyota Tundra Years Are the Most Reliable?

These are the best Tundra years to consider, as they have fewer problems. If you want a Toyota Tundra that lasts long, these years would usually deliver.

1. 2009 Toyota Tundra

2009 Toyota Tundra

This one’s a classic. Packing a punch with its robust horsepower, it’s not just about the muscle; it’s also got brains with its top-notch safety features. It’s no wonder it bagged the “Truck of the Year” title among its peers. A

nd if you’re into towing? This bad boy can pull a whopping 10,800 pounds. Talk about strength! And if you’re the kind who trusts ratings, U.S. News gave it a solid 8.9/10. Not too shabby, right?

2. 2015 Toyota Tundra

2015 Toyota Tundra

Fast forward to 2015, and we’ve got another star in the lineup. With a safety rating of 9.0/10 by U.S. News and an overall score of 8.4/10, it’s clear this truck means business.

What’s more, it’s one of the more wallet-friendly options in the Tundra family. But hey, every model has its quirks. Some folks weren’t too thrilled with its TRD off-road option and the choice of interior materials. But for a starting price of around $35,975, it’s quite the steal. Plus, it boasts:

  • Roomy interiors, especially in the CrewMax models
  • Two beastly V8 engines
  • A killer TRD off-road package

3. 2016 Toyota Tundra

2016 Toyota Tundra

Last but not least, the 2016 model. With a respectable 7.5/10 rating from U.S. News, it’s got its fair share of fans. Consumer Reports had some good things to say, especially praising its:

  • Off-roading prowess
  • Powerful V8 engine
  • Impressive towing capacity

If you’re a tech junkie who loves a good infotainment system and values roomy interiors, this might just be your match. And with a price range of $22,300 to $38,825, it’s quite the bargain. Safety-wise, it’s a champ, bagging an 8.9/10 rating.

4. 2017 Toyota Tundra

2017 Toyota Tundra

Stepping into 2017, the Tundra didn’t stray too far from its 2016 roots. With a 7.6/10 rating from U.S. News, it’s clear that consistency is key. If you’re all about that legroom, the rear seating won’t disappoint.

And for the adventurers out there, its off-road capabilities are top-notch. As for reliability? A solid 8.7/10 speaks for itself.

5. 2014 Toyota Tundra

A blast from the not-so-distant past! The 2014 model marked a new chapter as part of the Tundra’s second generation. With a fresh exterior look, a handy blind-spot monitor, and a rearview camera, it was clear Toyota was upping its game.

Price-wise, it sits between $17,700 and $33,200. But here’s a head-scratcher: despite these features, it didn’t score too high on most review sites. Makes you wonder, right? And speaking of wonders, ever thought about why Tundras come with a hefty price tag?

6. 2018 Toyota Tundra

2018 Toyota Tundra

Onto 2018, and U.S. News gave it a 7.8/10. Some of its standout features include:

  • Stellar off-road capabilities
  • Top-tier safety features
  • A powerful V8 engine
  • Roomy seating for all

J.D. Power seemed to agree, handing it a 4.5/5. But, as with all things, it’s not perfect. Its hauling and towing capacities left a bit to be desired.

7. 2019 Toyota Tundra

The 2019 model. With a 7.0/10 rating from U.S. News and an 8.3/10 for its safety features, it’s clear this truck is no slouch. Consumer Reports even gave it a nod for its highway safety performance. It’s spacious, packs a punch with its V8 engine, and has been praised for its reliability.

But here’s the catch: it’s a bit thirsty. Averaging 13-15 mpg in the city and 17-19 mpg on the highway, it might have you visiting the gas station more often than you’d like. But if that’s not a deal-breaker, then this might just be the truck for you.

8. 2011 Toyota Tundra

2011 brought us a Tundra that was all about space, safety, and savings. With a roomy cabin that could fit the whole crew and safety scores that would put any driver at ease, it’s no wonder U.S.

News gave it a solid 8.0/10. And the cherry on top? It’s one of the most budget-friendly options out there. If you’re looking to snag one, Consumer Reports suggests you’ll be shelling out anywhere between $12,075 and $21,800.

9. 2010 Toyota Tundra

2010 Toyota Tundra


Stepping back a year to 2010, this model made quite the entrance as a full-sized pickup truck contender. Matching its 2011 sibling, it also scored an 8.0/10 on U.S.

News, thanks to its top-notch performance and safety features. But what really sets it apart is its beastly V8 engine, leaving its competitors in the dust.

10. 2013 Toyota Tundra

2013 Toyota Tundra


Fast forward to 2013, and we’ve got a Tundra that’s all about power and performance. Known for its impressive towing capabilities and rapid acceleration, it’s a force to be reckoned with.

U.S. News was clearly impressed, awarding it an 8.5/10 for its safety features, spacious cabin, and reliability.

But, as with all things, it’s not without its flaws. Some users weren’t too thrilled with the choice of materials, and a few even mentioned a somewhat rigid ride quality.

What Toyota Tundra Years Should You Avoid?

It would be best to avoid these model years of Toyota Tundra when buying a Toyota Tundra. 

1. 2007 Toyota Tundra

Air Injection Pumps

2007 was a bit of a rocky year for the Tundra. Consumer Reports highlighted engine problems as the top concern for many owners. Some even faced the nightmare of a complete engine failure. Yikes!

Other prevalent issues included knocking pistons and air injection pump failures. But that’s not all. There were also gripes about speed control.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) got wind of issues with engine cooling, accelerator pedals, and, you guessed it, speed control. If you happen to own one, it’s crucial to address these issues pronto.

2. 2008 Toyota Tundra

Moving on to 2008, the Tundra faced a new set of challenges. A standout issue was the alternator’s tendency to trip off unexpectedly. What’s even more frustrating?

Some unlucky owners had to replace their alternators not once, not twice, but three times in a decade. And with a replacement cost averaging around $1,130, that’s no small change.

3. 2012 Toyota Tundra

2012. A year that many Tundra enthusiasts might prefer to forget. If you’re on the hunt for reliability, you might want to steer clear of this model.

It’s gained quite the reputation as the black sheep of the Tundra family. Repair costs for the 2012 model tend to be steeper than its siblings. Car Complaints noted several issues, including:

  • Premature transmission failures, which could set you back a whopping $5,700.
  • Air induction pump failures, with repair costs hovering around $2,900.
  • Secondary air injection failures, which come with a hefty $3,000 price tag for repairs.

4. 2006 Toyota Tundra

Toyota Tundra Truck Suspension

The 2006 model year faced significant challenges with its braking system. Many owners reported to Consumer Reports about brake failures, especially during wet conditions.

Additionally, there were widespread complaints about the truck’s suspension system, with some users experiencing uneven tire wear. The NHTSA received numerous reports about:

  • Brake disc warping
  • Suspension system malfunctions
  • Electrical system glitches

If you own a 2006 model, it’s advised to have these systems checked regularly to ensure safety.

5. 2014 Toyota Tundra

The 2014 Tundra seemed to struggle with its fuel system. Owners frequently reported to Car Complaints about fuel leaks and poor fuel efficiency. More alarmingly, some faced issues with the truck stalling in the middle of the road. Other reported problems included:

  • Faulty fuel pumps, with an average repair cost of $1,500.
  • Malfunctioning transmission systems
  • Electrical issues affecting the dashboard and infotainment system

Regular maintenance checks are recommended, especially for the fuel and transmission systems.

6. 2015 Toyota Tundra

Lighting System Problems

Owners of the 2015 model often voiced concerns about the truck’s steering system. Many faced difficulties with the power steering, leading to challenging driving conditions.

Additionally, there were complaints about the air conditioning system not working efficiently during hot conditions. Issues reported to the NHTSA included:

  • Power steering failures
  • Air conditioning malfunctions
  • Problems with the truck’s lighting system

It’s essential to address these issues immediately if you notice them in your vehicle.

7. 2020 Toyota Tundra

The 2020 model, while relatively recent, faced challenges with its advanced driver-assistance systems. Some owners reported to Consumer Reports about false alarms from the collision warning system and erratic behavior of the lane departure system. Other prevalent issues included:

  • Software glitches affecting the infotainment system
  • Transmission slipping, especially during uphill drives
  • Issues with the truck’s paint chipping off easily

Regular software updates and thorough inspections are recommended for this model year.

What Are Some Typical Problems With the Toyota Tundra Models?

These are some of the common issues reported by Tundra owners, and RepairPal reports theseThey are noticed across the different models of the Toyota Tundra. 

  • Noise from exhaust manifold (this happens when there is a failure)
  • Brake problems
  • Air injection pump failure
  • Malfunctioning of the lower ball joints
  • Transmission failure
  • Poor Paint quality
  • The oxygen sensor may malfunction.
  • Fuel pump failure
  • Defective door lock
  • Radio issues 
  • Rusted frame rails.


How does the Toyota Tundra compare to its competitors in terms of reliability?

 Historically, the Toyota Tundra has been known for its reliability, often ranking above many competitors. However, like all models, certain years have been more reliable than others.

Are there any common maintenance issues to be aware of with the Toyota Tundra?

While specific issues can vary based on the model year, some Tundra owners have reported issues related to brakes, suspension, and electrical systems in various years.

How does the Toyota Tundra perform in terms of fuel efficiency?

The Tundra, being a full-sized pickup, isn’t known for leading the pack in fuel efficiency. However, its performance and reliability often offset the fuel consumption for many owners.

What’s the towing capacity of the Toyota Tundra across different years?

The towing capacity varies based on the model year and specific configurations. Generally, the Tundra has been praised for its impressive towing capabilities, especially in more recent models.

How does the resale value of the Toyota Tundra compare to other trucks in its class?

The Tundra tends to hold its value well, thanks to Toyota’s reputation for reliability. However, as with any vehicle, factors like condition, mileage, and market demand can influence resale value.

Final Words

The Toyota Tundra has carved a niche for itself in the world of full-sized pickups. Its journey, marked by years of excellence and a few bumps along the way, showcases the evolution of a vehicle that has won the hearts of many.

Whether you’re a potential buyer, a proud owner, or just an automotive enthusiast, understanding the highs and lows of the Tundra’s timeline offers valuable insights.

As with any vehicle, it’s essential to do thorough research, consider individual needs, and consult expert opinions before making a decision. Safe driving!

All Posts


Related Posts