Debuting back in 2000, the 2012 Toyota Tundra continues to be a tough truck with driver and passenger comfort in mind. For the latter, the Tundra's use of front-hinge doors (usually found in cars and similar vehicles) in its extended Double Cab models makes entering/exiting a breeze, while the Tundra CrewMax is large enough for class-leading legroom and reclining rear seating. The Tundra's visibility in such a massive pickup is exceptionally good, and the side rearview mirrors are large. Visibility is enhanced further by the optional powered tow mirrors, rearview camera, system, and sonar.
Toyota has standardized many features on the Tundra, including heavy-duty starter and battery; windshield wiper de-icer; daytime running lights; mudguards; and power heated side rearview side mirrors. For 2012, Toyota simplified many features and options, with several becoming standard on certain models while others now available in packages. Design-wise, the Toyota Tundra is in its second generation, with styling cues borrowed from the Toyota FTX concept pickup and, interestingly, the smaller Toyota Tacoma sibling.
The Toyota Tundra's available V-6 and two V-8 engines continue to offer credible power and towing capacity is up to 10,400 pounds with V-8 models.
Body style: Truck
Engines: 4.0-liter V-6, 4.6-liter V-8, 5.7-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic, six-speed automatic
Models: Regular Cab, Double Cab, CrewMax
With one exception, most changes on the 2012 Toyota Tundra are cosmetic. Outside, styled steel wheels are now standard on all Toyota Tundra with a chrome package available on the Double Cab and CrewMax models.
The 2012 Toyota Tundra carries over largely unchanged from 2011 with changes including a new standard steel wheel design. After years of criticism that the previous Tundra didn't look tough enough, Toyota butched up the current-generation considerably. The chrome grille is gargantuan, the mirrors are huge, and the truck's bed height is enormous. Everything seems like it's a few inches bigger than it needs to be. In other words, just what customers generally seem to want.
Toyota has done little to update the Tundra interior since its debut in 2007. Some of the interior materials seem subpar compared to the competition, and drivers continue to have difficulty viewing the gauge controls and use the audio controls. Visibility tends to be the Tundra's strength, especially the large side mirrors.
Performance & Handling
The 2012 Toyota Tundra ride continues to be a springy one. When the truck bed's empty, the stiff suspension reminds you that you're driving a big truck. The light steering, though, makes driving the Tundra very easy, especially when steering in packed parking lots.
The 2012 Toyota Tundra, like all current Toyota vehicles, comes standard with the Toyota STAR safety system which includes anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), brake assist, Smart Stop (SST), traction control (TRAC), and vehicle stability control (VSC). Also standard are dual front airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags, dual front knee airbags, and front and rear roll-sensing side curtain airbags
EPA Fuel Economy
Regular Cab, Double Cab, CrewMax: 13-15 mpg city/17-20 mpg highway
- Quiet interior
Strong towing capacity
You Won't Like
- Styling is hit and miss
Pricy, especially higher models, trims
Solid for the open-minded American buyer
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet Silverado
- Ford F-150
- Ram 1500
- Nissan Titan