Trucks & SUVs

Buying a Used Toyota Tundra: What You Need to Know

If you’re in the market for a used pickup, you’ve probably got the Toyota Tundra on your list of trucks to check out. It offers a good amount of interior space and is available with a long list of features. But does that make the Toyota Tundra a used pickup worth buying?

Toyota Tundra off-roading
Toyota Tundra | Toyota

Which generation of the Toyota Tundra should you choose?

A bit of trivia for you – Toyota unveiled the Tundra at the Indiana State Fair. Shortly after, the 2000 Toyota Tundra arrived at dealerships across the country. According to Consumer Reports, the first Tundra made for a pretty solid pickup. It handled relatively well and was enjoyable enough to drive. It wasn’t until 2004, however, that the Tundra became available with a crew cab with optional stability control.

The Toyota Tundra underwent a pretty hefty overhaul in 2007. Unlike first-generation models, second-generation models are offered in three different cab sizes and with three different bed lengths. Consumer Reports recommends opting for a model with a 5.7-liter V8 engine under the hood, which when properly equipped, can tow around 10,000 pounds.

Overall, however, the Tundra does lag behind the competition. It hasn’t undergone a redesign in nearly a decade and according to U.S. News & World Report, tends to feel pretty dated because of it. It doesn’t help that the Tundra can’t tow as much as competitors like the Ford F-150 either.

RELATED: Critics and Consumers Don’t Agree On the 2020 Toyota Tundra

How safe is this pickup?

The Toyota Tundra is available with a range of safety features. Opt for a 2018 model or newer, and standard safety features include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic high beam headlights. Keep in mind though, the older Tundra that you buy, the less likely it is that it will have such advanced safety features.

That being said, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has put the Toyota Tundra through its crashworthiness tests several times. Unfortunately, the results have been mixed. While the Tundra has earned itself a ‘Good’ score in some areas, it’s earned a ‘Poor’ score in others. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on the other hand, has given the Tundra a four-star overall safety rating. 

The most common owner complaints

According to CarComplaints.com, there are also a few common owner complaints that you should probably keep in mind when shopping for a used Toyota Tundra. Overall, CarComplaints.com reports that the worst Toyota Tundra problems include issues with its air inductor pump and its secondary air pump. The third most common complaint involves the 2012 model, which CarComplaints.com says sometimes suffers from premature transmission failure.

RELATED: The Toyota Tundra is Finally Receiving Updates

Is it better to buy a new or used Toyota Tundra?

Buying a used Toyota Tundra isn’t your only option. You might also find yourself tempted to buy the new 2021 Toyota Tundra. But keep in mind that the 2021 model is basically a carryover of the 2020 model. Trail and Nightshade special edition packages have been made available, but that’s about it. So, if you’re looking for a relatively new pickup but don’t want to spend a pretty penny, then buying used makes for a great option. Especially if you buy a more recent model year.

Choosing the right used pickup for your needs

The Tundra isn’t the only used pickup out there. So, if you aren’t convinced that the Tundra is for you, there are other options to consider. A pickup like the Toyota Tacoma or a used Ford F-150 might also be a good fit. To find out? We suggest getting behind the wheel for a test drive.