Looking for a great used pickup truck? The Tundra checks all the right boxes.

The rugged, capable pickup truck is an American icon, right up there with the Statue of Liberty and the white-painted Hollywood sign. Of course, the truck needs to be American, preferably with a bench seat for three and room for a dog. Something like the Toyota Tundra, perhaps?

The Tundra may not sound very American, but it is built in Texas and it's big, imposing, and very capable. In short, it could be every inch the truck you need for work or play.


Meet the Tundra

We Americans love our trucks, so it's hard to believe Toyota didn't have a full-sized pickup to offer its customers until 1999. Launched as a 2000 model, Toyota aimed the Tundra directly at the Dodge Ram 1500Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500, and Ford F-150 market.

Reasons to Buy a Toyota Tundra | CarMax

While the first generation wasn't an instant hit, it sold well enough for Toyota to bring out a second generation in 2007. Facelifted in 2014, the Tundra remains in production today and recently made the CarMax top 15 trucks of 2017 list.


10 Reasons to Buy a Tundra

The Tundra may not be the first name that springs to mind when you think of pickup trucks. But, it does deserve serious consideration. Here are ten reasons to consider one.

  1. Towing ability. One of the main reasons people buy pickup trucks is because they need to pull a trailer. Toyota’s V8-powered Tundras can tow 9,000 pounds in 4x4 CrewMax configuration, and up to 10,400 pounds as a 2WD regular cab model. If you plan on towing with your Tundra, look to make sure it has the optional tow package.
  2. Payload. Another reason for buying a pickup is because you've got stuff to haul around. Often, a lot of stuff – tools, equipment, gear, and the like. The 4x4 CrewMax Tundra holds up to 1,440 lbs, while the 2WD Regular cab will handle 2,040 lbs. That's a lot of tools, lumber, yard waste, et cetera! You might also want to know that the bed is 22 inches deep and 66 wide.
  3. Off-road capabilities. With 10.4 inches between the Tundra’s underside and the pavement, this truck has more ground clearance than nearly all its rivals. (Check our list of cars with high ground clearance for more details.) Add in the power and torque of the V8s and you've got a truck with the ability to traverse some of the roughest terrain. For even more off-road ability, look for a Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. These come with skid plates, larger off-road tires, Bilstein® shock absorbers, and a heavy-duty raised suspension.
  4. Interior space. Something reviewers admire about the Tundra is how much room you get in the cab. There’s almost six and a half feet of width across at shoulder height, enough for three guys in winter coats to sit comfortably on the bench. The double cab, which has conventional, hinged doors, offers 35 inches of back seat legroom, and the CrewMax has a limousine-like 42 inches of stretching space.
  5. Luxurious appointments. While the Tundra is available in a stripped-down, Work Truck SR trim package, it's generally very comfortable and higher trims are even more luxurious. The SR5 gets fabric seats, and Limited trim and above come with leather upholstery and power seat adjustments. At the top of the range, seats in the 1794 Edition are both heated and ventilated. The 1794, distinguished externally by a silver lower front bumper and a chrome grille surround, also gets wood steering wheel accents that add a distinctive touch of style.
  6. Interior storage. The Tundra offers useful interior storage space for when you don't want to leave loose items or gear in the bed. Double-cab models have a rear, underseat storage tray while both the double and CrewMax cabs feature rear seats that fold up. This frees up more floor space for things like suitcases and golf bags.
  7. Entune®. Standard since 2014, the Tundra’s audio/multimedia system provides a USB port along with Bluetooth® and a touchscreen. SR5 trims and higher get a seven-inch screen and HD radio, while the Limited model comes with navigation. Platinum and 1794 trims add a premium JBL® audio system.
    Reasons to Buy a Toyota Tundra | CarMax
  8. Versatility. Some people buy trucks for work, and others drive them because they support their lifestyle. The Tundra can do both. It's at home on the job site, but works just as well for running the kids to a swim meet or going on a camping trip. Plus, the comfort and equipment levels mean you don't need a sedan for those long road trips.
  9. Looks. The Tundra is no wallflower. Tall and broad-shouldered, it has presence yet avoids appearing aggressive. It just looks the way a pickup truck should: ready for anything.
  10. Durability. It's a Toyota. Is there anything else to say? Toyota trucks have a reputation for longevity and being very able to handle any job that’s thrown their way.


Should you decide the Tundra is more truck than you really need, how about its smaller brother, the Tacoma? Still very capable, (read our Tundra vs. Tacoma comparison for details) the Tacoma might be a more practical choice for those who drive in urban environments. Tacoma towing capacity is a bit less than the Tundra’s, but gas mileage is improved.

As for full-sized pickup alternatives, a little used car research will tell you the sales leaders are the Ram 1500, the Chevy Silverado 1500 (along with the GMC Sierra 1500,) and of course the Ford F-150. All three are well regarded among pickup customers, but ask yourself: do you really want to drive the same truck as everyone else?

An American icon

If you're after a solid and dependable workhorse, a used Toyota Tundra could be a very good buy. And if a pickup truck is more of a lifestyle choice for you than a tool for work, a used Toyota Tundra will not disappoint.

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