Two Shades of Gray – Toyota Tundra Exterior Color Options Explained

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When it comes to color options on your new Toyota Tundra, the choices may seem pretty limited. There are solid business reasons why it is done this way and there is also a little secret to getting a different color. Here is what you need to know.

Toyota Tundra Exterior Color Choices

This Magnetic Gray Metallic color is one of only two different stock gray colors available for the Tundra.

How Many Colors Are There?

Before we get into the “color secrets,” let’s first examine the stock colors from Toyota. Officially, as of this writing, Toyota offers the Tundra in White, Silver Sky Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Sunset Bronze Mica, Radiant Red, Barcelona Red Metallic, Black, Midnight Black Metallic and Blazing Red Pearl. Also, three colors are offered only on TRD PRO models – Cement (Tacoma), Quicksand and Inferno. This gives customers a choice between 9 colors and 2 others if they want a TRD PRO.

Doing a quick scan of the competition via their respective websites, we found the color choices to be fairly limiting. For example, Ford and Ram both have 15 different color options for their top-tier trims (other trims vary), Chevy has 11 standard colors for the LTZ and GMC has 10 colors plus premium color combinations. Nissan has 7 different colors for their Platinum Reserve with 6 different two-tone color choices.

Interestingly, for consumers who want a green color, we noticed only Ford and Ram offer this color choice.

Why No Green?

It seems a little odd not to have green as a color choice, but why doesn’t Toyota offer other colors like a pearl cream like in the GMC Sierra Denali or a variety of two-tone color combinations like the other automakers do? Simple. It isn’t how Toyota does business and we will get to that in a moment.

Officially Toyota says they understand how much of a big part the exterior color is and working with their design studio team, they are constantly working on offering the right variety of colors.

Multiple factors are taken into consideration for color selection, according to Toyota.

  • Who is the target customer?
  • What are the key societal trends and how do they impact color?
  • What are competitors offering?

These contributing factors are synthesized and interpreted to provide insight for color selection.

“Tundra and Tacoma have a diversified and broad exterior palette,” said Rick Bourgoise, Toyota’s Midwest Public Relations Specialist. “Truck buyers are diverse. Some want to blend in while others really want to stand out. Toyota’s Inferno debuted on 15MY Trucks targeting the more adventurous buyer. Toyota’s TRD Pro colors Quicksand and Cement align with a back to natural trend inspiring customers to take a journey and explore.”

The other big factor in color selection is Toyota’s production system whereas they build a pre-determined amount of trucks each year with different colors. For example, they will decide a year or so beforehand to build 50 white, 50 black, 50 red, 25 blue, 25 gray. This minimizes costs by helping them pre-plan paint orders. Check out our “Why You Can’t Special Order a Tundra” post for more on this topic.

Two-Tone Tundra Pickups?

Toyota Exterior Colors Explained

How does this truck exist then if Toyota doesn’t offer this color combination? It is in Texas.

Wait a minute you maybe saying! I just saw a green Tundra or a two-tone Tundra the other day on a dealer lot! Toyota does SO offer those color combinations. Ah-ha! No, no Toyota “Corporate” doesn’t offer those color combinations. What did you see then?

You likely saw a Gulf States Toyota special package and/or a dealer special edition. This isn’t a truck offered by Toyota “Corporate,” instead it is offered as part of Toyota’s distributor system.

Here’s what happens. Gulf States Toyota or Southeast Toyota places large orders of Tundra trucks and then ships them to a warehouse where they customize them and then ship them off to their dealers (this is where the TSS edition Tundra trucks come from). Toyota Corporate doesn’t ship directly to those dealers. Check out our post – “Toyota’s Distributors – Do They Cost You?” – for more on distributorships.

This then is the “secret.” Let’s say you want a two-tone color paint job WITH a spray-in bedliner. Then, do some shopping in parts of the country where the distributors operate like Texas or Florida. There you can find all sorts of different Tundra trucks on the lot and can often “special-order” models with the features you want (again, this order goes to the distributor’s warehouse where it is customized).

Unfortunately, this makes it tough for say consumers in California or Washington state to buy vehicles from their local dealers. Yet, if you are willing to do a little flying/driving, you can get the exact Tundra you want.

Filed Under: Buying a Tundra


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  1. GoBig says:

    The boring color choices has always been my chief complaint. I liked both greens that Toyota used to offer on the Tundra, but they have been discontinued.

    When half of your color choices involve shades of white, black and grey, there is a serious lack of imagination.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      Boy, I agree with this comment. The Inferno was a nice new color choice while the Quicksand was just a different version of brown. It will be nice to see new color ideas.


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