2013 PUTC Light-Duty Challenge – Toyota Tundra Got Screwed?
The latest PickupTrucks.com light-duty challenge results were released on June 17, 2013 and the Toyota Tundra placed 5th. Did the Toyota Tundra get screwed?
This year’s test was based on a specific set of parameters such as “all test trucks had to be four-wheel drive, have four full-size doors, be able to tow at least 8,500 pounds, and the total as-tested price had to be below $45,000 (including destination charges).”
The competitors were:
- 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Z71 Crew Cab
- 2013 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew
- 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE Z71 Crew Cab
- 2013 Nissan Titan PRO-4X Crew Cab
- 2013 Ram 1500 SLT Big Horn Crew Cab
- 2013 Toyota Tundra SR5 CrewMax
The Tundra was the only truck that came to them stock without being specifically built for the test. PUTC’s says:
Our Tundra came to us pretty well-equipped, but did offer the lowest base ($35,825) and overall price of any of the competitors. Although not relevant to how and why we test, it’s worth noting that where other manufacturers built their test units to meet our specifications, Toyota chose to pull its test unit from the existing media fleet. As well-equipped as it was, this was the only vehicle available that could meet our criteria. The base CrewMax gave us the largest cab of the group and quite a few options, which included the high-level radio and CD player with Bluetooth ($510), auto-dimming rearview mirror with the integrated backup camera ($475), 18-inch wheels and tires ($910), a tilting and sliding moonroof ($810), a drop-in, under-the-rail bedliner ($345), carpet floor mats ($195) and remote engine start ($499). Add to that the SR5 Package ($970), which included front power adjustable seats, upgraded fabrics, fog lamps and a center console shifter. Finally, our test unit came with the Max Tow Package ($660), which gave us better engine cooling, a bigger battery and alternator, 4.30:1 gears, a Tow/Haul button, and all the hitch and wiring necessary for trailering. Altogether, our Pyrite Mica Tundra test unit, built in San Antonio, Texas, listed for $41,199.
Facing a competition of trucks built for the challenge and having the oldest model, the Tundra, as you might guess, didn’t win the challenge. Here is the link to all the results broken down by test.
Here is what PUTC’s said:
The Tundra did not win a single one of our testing categories either, but it did perform well during our most extreme tow tests, thanks in large part to a relatively solid Max Tow Package that included 4.30:1 axle gears but no integrated brake controller (just like the Nissan). Unfortunately, the biggest weaknesses centered on the outdated gauge cluster and split center stack, as well as the underperforming tire choice. The 2014 Toyota Tundra is set to debut later this year with a new interior and exterior design, and since our judges scored the current Tundra in last place for our contest in both those categories, we’d say that’s good timing. Our judges all liked the powerful sound that the Tundra’s engine made when hauling and towing, but it somehow seems appropriate given the quality of the all-new or recently updated competitive powertrains that the Tundra finished fifth in our quantitative tests, fifth in our qualitative categories and fifth in total points. As a small piece of advice, we’d suggest giving some serious thought to updating and modifying this truck’s powertrain and chassis choices soon.
PUTC’s does make a good point about the need to upgrade the powertrain and chassis. We will give them that point as a potential knock on the truck, although, it is and has been a solid engine.
What struck as interesting is the poor rating the Tundra received for stopping power. With the largest in class brake cylinders and Toyota’s focus on safety, we expected the truck to win that category.
While we like Mark and the guys at Pickuptrucks.com, the truth is that the 2013 Tundra was the oldest model in the testing and the only one not specifically equipped for the test. This was mentioned at the outset and in the results. If Toyota would have setup a truck like the others, we have to wonder how it would have performed. For example, Toyota could have the upgraded the brakes for the Tundra (hardly anyone does) using the performance upgrade kit. Also, for the average consumer buying a truck, shouldn’t all the trucks come from a stock lot NOT directly from a manufacture?
What do you think? Did the Tundra get screwed?
Filed Under: Auto News