Skip to main content

Many truck fans know Toyota’s reputation for its reliable pickups. Consumer Reports has given most model years of the Toyota Tundra a 4/5 or even 5/5 for predicted reliability. But if you are shopping used Toyota Tundra’s, you might have noticed that the 2006 Tundra only received a 3/5, or an “average,” for predicted reliability.

Which year used Toyota Tundra should I avoid?

Most any used Toyota Tundra you can buy received an above-average for predicted reliability from Consumer Reports when it first came out (4/5 or 5/5). The 2006 Toyota Tundra was the first year Consumer Reports hit with an “average” predicted reliability rating of 3/5. In the years since, Consumer Reports narrowed in on some trouble spots of the 2006.

Red 2006 Toyota Tundra climbing a mountain trail in front of a ski lift and wooded hills.
2006 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

Since the 2006 Toyota Tundra’s release, Consumer Reports has surveyed truck buyers on their ownership experience. As a result, the organization has flagged several common trouble spots.

Toyota built the 2006 Tundra with either a 4-liter V6 or the predecessor of the second-generation Tundra’s unkillable 5.7-liter V8, a 4.7-liter V8. Buyers opted for either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic.

Most owners surveyed had no problems with the engine or transmission. Some did have an issue with the truck’s drive system. This includes several who had to replace a driveshaft and one who could not shift into 4WD.

Another common issue was with the 2006 Toyota Tundra’s fuel system. Namely, several drivers had to replace the air injector pump.

Finally, several more owners complained about prematurely fading paint on their 2006 Toyota Tundra.

What’s the best year for Toyota Tundra reliability?

After reviewing the 2006 Toyota Tundra and compiling owner feedback, Consumer Reports gave it a 53/100 for reliability. Though this led the segment in 2006, compare it to the 99/100 Consumer reports gave the 2021 model. The truth is that the second-generation Toyota Tundra (2007-2021) has trended towards more reliable each year.

Promo photo of red 2006 truck, Consumer Reports last pick for a used Toyota Tundra.
2006 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

Consumer Reports overall reliability verdict for used Toyota Tundra has risen during every model year since 2006. The overall reliability verdict rose less for the 2017 and 2019 Toyota Tundra’s than other years. But this is in no way signals a decrease in overall reliability, or even a plateau.

It’s safe to say the most reliable used Toyota Tundra is the 2021 model year. But every single second-generation Tundra boasted reliability above the industry average.

The all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra’s reliability fell to ‘average’ again

Red, four door pickup truck parked in a business district of a town, in front of a cafe, as people walk by on the street.
2006 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

For the first time since 2006, the Toyota Tundra’s predicted reliability fell to average; Consumer Reports gave the 2022 Toyota Tundra a 3/5 score. Why the sudden lack of confidence in Toyota?

The 2022 Toyota Tundra is the first year of the truck’s third genration. Toyota tossed the trusty old V8 in favor of a turbocharged V6. It also upgraded the transmission to a 10-speed unit. Finally, the automaker switched the Tundra to rear coil suspension and a fully-boxed frame shared with the new Land Cruiser.

Consumer Reports admits that it is wary of the first model year of a new generation. The organization’s data shows that the most reliable vehicles are often near the end of a given generation: the automaker has had time to work out any issues with the design.

So does the 2022 Toyota Tundra actually have common problems? Its a bit soon to know for sure. Some owners have complained of a randomly locking driver’s side door and a malfunctioning turbo charger.

These stories are just anecdotes, not statistics. Furthermore, Toyota has already implemented a fix to the door locking issue and is looking into turbocharger problems. But for those who need a reliable pickup truck, a used Toyota Tundra may actually be a safer bet.


2022 Toyota Tundra Towing Capacity: How Toyota Improved The Truck’s Rating By Nearly A Ton