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The 10 Best Toyota Tundra Models of All-Time

Toyota Tundra

The pickup truck known as the Toyota Tundra began its production in May 1999 and was first released in 2000. Although the company known as the Toyota Motor Corporation hails from Aichi, Japan, the manufacturers responsible for the Tundra series first started coming from Princeton, Indiana, USA. After 2009, a new location was developed in San Antonio, Texas.

The Toyota Tundra is the second full-sized pickup truck line, coming after the Toyota T100. It was nominated North American Truck of the Year award and won Truck of the Year with Motor Trend Magazine in 2000 and 2008. The first generation of the Tundra series saw many similarities to the Toyota T100 and the compact pickup Toyota Tacoma. Originally, Toyota released the second of their full-sized pickup truck series as the Toyota T150, but Ford issued a complaint and lawsuit that it bore too many similarities to their F150 series. Since then, Toyota renamed its line from T150 to Tundra.

10. 2008 SR5

The second generation of the Toyota Tundra sees the 2008 model proved to be the among most performant. It was also nominated for many truck-related awards, as well as winning a few that include Truck of the Year by Motor Trend Magazine. The 2008 Toyota Tundra saw an introduction of 13 different variants to its lineup, which brought the total amount of variations available to 44.

In Canada, the 2008 Toyota Tundra was labeled "Truck King" by Canadian Driver, noting it is the best 1/2 ton pickup with an engine displacing greater than 5.0L, as well as a displacement less than 5.0L. June 2008, starting with the Toyota Tundra, marked the start of a 7-year run with the TRD Supercharger kit, for the 5.7L V* Tundra. Its output power was increased to 504 hp and 500 lb-ft torque.

9. 2010 4x4

The 2010 Toyota Tundra made a variety of safety features become a standard among all of Toyota's vehicles. These features include dual front airbags, front row side torso airbags, driver and passenger knee airbags, rollover sensing side curtain airbags for both front and rear rows, vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, and electronic brakeforce distribution.

The 2010 Toyota Tundra was also the first full-size pickup truck to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) Top Safety Pick accolade, followed by the redesigned 2009 Ford F-150. In tests conducted by the IIHS, the 2010 Toyota Tundra received an overall "Good" score in the frontal offset crash test, which is the highest possible rating in the side-impact crash test and the maximum score for rear crash protection.

8. 2016 SR5

The 2016 Toyota Tundra received high-reliability scores for reliability and consumer satisfaction. The IIHS crash and rollover tests gave "good" and "marginal" ratings, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ranked the driver and passenger frontal crash ratings four out of five stars. As for engine performance, engine cooling, transmission, and drivetrain ratings, they all scored a perfect five out of five.

7. 2020 TRD Pro Model

The beefy 2020 Toyota Tundra, coming with a 5.7L engine and high tow rating comes with the two variants of extended cab or crew cab, as well as an automatic transmission option. The TRD Pro model option offers off-roaders that little extra boost, adding a bit more excitement (safely) to their adventure.

6. 2014 (any model)

Consistently considered to be the most reliable Toyota Tundra in the lineup. The IIHS rated this particular Toyota Tundra model good for both front and side crash ratings. The considerable amount of improvements it has made continues to show that since 2013, Toyota is determined not to repeat the same mistakes they made with their less than impressive 2012 model.

5. 2015 TRD Pro

2015 sees the Toyota Tundra go through quite the upgrade, especially with the interior. Also, for off-trail drivers, the introduction of the TD PRO to the Tundra series served as a huge plus. It was the first year the 5.8L V8 engine was introduced, which provided 381 horsepower and up to 10,500 pounds of towing capacity.

4. 2018 (any version)

The 2018 Toyota Tundra was the first full-size truck to receive a perfect score from Consumer Reports. Not only does it have a sharp look on the surface, its ability to perform as a tough truck does not disappoint. Used car dealerships who know a thing or two about trucks often recommend the 2018 Toyota Tundra as the ideal used truck for consumers to consider.

3. 2000 T150 (later renamed to Tundra)

The year started it all, featuring Toyota introducing the first of their Tundra series to the consumer market. Between the array of nominations and awards it has received, the first generation of the Toyota Tundra not only put their competition on notice they can do more than just build little cars, but it also set a new standard in how trucks are to be made.

The dominant trio of Chevrolet, Dodge, and Ford was officially introduced to a new truck on the block that said "Hello!" in a big way. Built slightly larger than the Toyota T100, the 2000 Toyota Tundra was designed for the sole purpose to serve as a full-sized pickup truck that could get the job done as well as its mainstream competitors. The year 2000 saw 120,000 Toyota Tundra models built, where there was a choice between a 24-valve 3.4L V6 engine that produced 190 horsepower and 200 lb-ft torque, and the 32-valve 4.7L V8 engine that produced 245 horsepower and 315 lb-ft torque.

2. 2013 Toyota Tundra 4X4

Rated at #2 as the most predictably reliable full-sized truck overall by Consumer Reports, it squeaks just behind another 2013 Toyota Tundra, namely the 2WD version. It is also only one of two full-sized trucks to make the Consumers Reports list as the most reliable car, both new and used.

1. 2013 Toyota Tundra 2WD

According to Consumer Reports, the 2013 Toyota Tundra 2WD Pickup is rated as the predicted reliability among all full-sized pickup trucks. This rating doesn't just apply to Toyota's own lineup, but the entire collection of all the full-sized trucks that have ever been built at the timing of their report. This 2013 Toyota Tundra is also considered to be the only full-sized truck to have an above-average reliability rating. Again, this applies to the entire lineup of trucks among all manufacturers and not strictly to the Toyota Motor Corporation.

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Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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