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Toyota Tundra Owner Experiences



  • I cam across a low mileage Limited 4X2 that is offered for what appears to be a good price. Question: Since this is the first year, are there any pitfalls I should be aware of? I understand the brakes were a problem with this truck but I am told this was resolved by the dealarship replacing the rotors & calipers on warranty.
    Please comment.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I do not own a Tundra truck but may buy one in the near future. There are numerous complaints about the gas mileage of a V8 Tundra truck in this forum. Combined mileage of 15 MPG for this truck is quite normal, especially for the 4X4 access cab model.
    First of all, the curb weight of a 4X2 access cab V8 is 4450 lbs and that of 4x4 model is 4725 lbs. The real axle ratio for both models is 3.92:1, and 3.91:1, respectively. This axle ratio, combined with high curb weight will simply not allow good fuel economy. If you buy a Chevy or Ford full size pickup with a 3.73:1 or 4.10:1 rear end, which is the closest to 3.91:1, you are not going to get any better fuel economy than Tundra. I have read complaints about Chevy Silverado 4X4 with 3.73:1 rear end getting only about 13-14 MPG.

    In order to increase fuel economy, Ford used to offer an F 150 pickup with a 4.9 liter straight 6 engine, manual transmission, and 2.71:1 gear ratio. The truck came with the following note in the owner's manual: do not recommend any towing with this truck. How would you like that? This gave Ford an excuse to void any warranty if this truck was used for towing because clearly 2.73:1 rear end is not exactly the best gear ratio. Toyota does not play these games. I own a 95 Nissan 4X4 SE V6 king cab pickup with a 3 liter V6, 5 speed manual transmission, and really low gearing in the rear end (something like 4.375:1). I never get better than 17-18 MPG combined out of this truck, and much less when towing. And, at 3900 lbs curb weight, this truck is a lot lighter than a 4X4 V8 Tundra access cab (4725 lbs).
  • aggiebartaggiebart Posts: 37
    I am going to buy a 03 4X2 V8 Tundra. I do not know if I should buy the TRD Sport or Off Road package or neither. I want the smoothest ride possible on pavement. I will probably never go off road. I do plan to get the 17" wheels.

    Any recommendations?
  • akasrpakasrp Posts: 170
    Sorry if this has been hashed out before, but am
    hoping to get some feedback from Tundra 4x2 owners.
    I am thinking I probably do not need 4x4 but would appreciate some help. Never owned a truck. Live on the edge of the Mojave. Travel to Death Valley, Eastern Sierras, etc. Aside from the rare snowfall I encounter (how do the 4x2's handle the snow?) I can't see where I'd need to engage the 4x4. Not going big time boondocking, just traveling dirt (ie, rock!) roads carrying the bikes, hiking gear etc to trailheads - have done all these things in my old Honda Accord hatchback without calamity (have been snowed in and had to ditch in Big Bear, though).
    Any of you 4x2 owners kicking yourselves that you didn't go 4x4?
    (FWIW, also looking at an AWD Subaru Forester but think the open bed might be a lot more convenient...)

  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    Any of you 4x2 owners kicking yourselves that you didn't go 4x4?

  • johnmeijohnmei Posts: 44
    I am seriously considering purchasing a 2003 in a few days or waiting about 6 weeks and also look at the 2004 Tundra 4x4, Access Cab, V8 with the towing package, etc. The other vehicle I am considering is the totally new 2003 GMC Sierra 1500 with the 5.3V8, Z71, and towing package. I have heard that the problems of the past few years were elimated with the new 2003 model? I am retired. I have heard from a few friends that they get 18-19 1/2 mpg on the highway and 15 or better around town with the 5.3 V8. True or false, I don't know. Do you? The Sierra 1500 has nice style, a lot of space and comfort. The other vehicle I am considering is the Toyota Tundra 4x4 V8 although its rear seat is VERY small and the gas mileage I am told is about 16-17 on the highway and 13 - 15 mpg around town. However, it is a "bullet-proof" vehicle as far as safety, reliability and fit and finish. I have had 3 Toyota vehicles (not pickups but currently an Avalon) and they are virtually trouble free with a very strong front end that hardly ever needs alignment, regardless of the road condition.
    I read alot of negative comments. What are the positive comments about the 2003 Tundra and/or Sierra 4x4, 5.3 V8? Has anyone had both vehicles and honestly can compare the two from personal experience. I really need your input, advice, and experiences. Many thanks-John
  • johnmeijohnmei Posts: 44
    Has anyone out there heard the rumor that Toyota is putting a 5 speed automatic transmission in the 2004 Tundra? Apparently it's the same transmission that was introduced into the new 2003 4Runner with the 4.7 V8.
  • geezer3geezer3 Posts: 30
    Bought new and mileage was 14-17 until about 10,000 miles, and now averaging 17-20MPG. None of the problems I've heard about, but the dealer did replace rear drums and brakes anyway. Also the proper length oil dipstick. At 26,000 miles I've had no problems whatsoever, and is the nicest riding car I've ever owned, especially on long trips. Will be running an ad on it sometime this summer for $21,500... Always garaged, never abused,and Toyota seviced. Is this a reasonable price ? Will be getting a 2004 this fall cuz I want the electric rear window, and the compass and outside Temp. feature.

    Someone on another post asked about " liters Vs. cubic inches " .... I just multiply 60 x the liters.. Tundra V/8 is 4.7 liters. Using this formula comes out to 282 cubic inches. I think that's pretty close isn't it ? Also the question came up about a childs seat in the rear of the extended cab. Have used one for our Granddaughter with no problems, especially with one of the front seats slightly forward, or the seat back raised to nearly vertical. I think they have solved part of that problem with the 2004 model.

    In essence,I like the Tundra just fine, with no problems thus far. Like anything else however, a vehicle should satisfy your needs and pocketbook.

  • medawnmedawn Posts: 1
    After reading all of your postings, I too figured to throw out my question and ask for your advise and/or comparisons.

    I am looking to purchase a truck, probably "newly" used. Most of my mileage will be city, with some towing of a 21' boat.

    My comparisons are the Tundra, F150, Sierra and Silverado. I'm looking for something with low maintance. I have been a long time Ford owner and am considering branching out. Any advise would be great?
  • johnmeijohnmei Posts: 44
    I just went through the exact same exercise. I own in addition to a Toyota Avalon a 1984 Ford F-250 4x4 truck and I am the original owner. The old Ford is ready to be put to rest. That said, my wife and I looked at the current models and really like some features about the GMC; however, when it came down to a final decision, my wife and I each drove a brand new GMC Sierra on a paved country road and on the interstate. We did the same with the Tundra. The Tundra was smoother and quieter and gave me more a feeling of security especially in a panic situation. We also like the feature that the Tundra is a little smaller and thus easier to park, etc.
    The drivetrain warranty on the Tundra is for a longer period of time. It will tow my 21' boat just fine with power to spare. We also have owned Toyota vehicles for over 10 years, put many miles on them and NEVER have had a problem. Thus, our decision is to buy the Tundra. We just are too apprehensive about going GMC or Ford as I don't wish to spend my time in a dealer's service area waiting for problems to be corrected. We know the Tundra is a great vehicle as all the reviews, crash test results clearly demonstrate.
    Hope this helps.
  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    I have a 02 Tundra SR5 V8 that I tow a Sunnybrook 26FK camping trailer. I have had two camping trips that were around 11 or more hours away and many more 5 hours or less.

    I have never had a single problem with my Tundra. It gets around 17-20 without towing and 8.5 - 11.5 while towing depending on speed and mountain grades.

    I wish Toyota would make a higher towing rating truck. I have heard that this will happen in 2005. I also wish the current Tundra could do some of the things like the new Nissan Titan. Here again, maybe in 2005.

    I really enjoy my truck for camping. It has never let me down. I really like how it can pull my camper up and down sharp grades in the mountains.

    I have been really amazed how my current Tundra has woke up the industry. It is like what Lexus did to MB and BMW. The truck industry as a whole has some wonderful offerings especially in the towing department. Well at least until 2005, there is a double cab option in Toyota's stable. That should silence the critics on how tight the extended cab is (although it does make a wonderful bed while traveling those long trips).
  • brews1brews1 Posts: 40
    I went through the same process and wound up with the Tundra in February. Got a 2003 SR5 4X4 TRD LSD V8 because I liked the size, the power, the ride and comfort. I also thought it just felt better compared to the others. The fit and finish was better and my experience with other GM products pushed Toyota over the edge. I tow a 16 foot jet boat and got 13 mph while towing. No problems at all at 10,000 miles. My only complaint is that the front end feels a little bouncy on the highway at times with the TRD suspension, nothing really bad, just feels a little too soft for my taste at times. Thinking of adding a sway bar or stiffer shocks.
  • If you are in the market for a new truck, you are selling yourself short to not wait a few months and check out the new F150. That truck is going to be the most heavily scrutinized vehicle coming off the assembly line, and the quality will likely be outstanding. It already has gotten great reviews by various media reports. Don't overpay for a truck just because it is a Toyota - its not worth it in the long run.
  • I think it is very brave of you to offer advice like Quality and Ford in the same post.

    Give me a break. Did Ford cut it's advertising budget as well and send you to disperse this misleading info? You get what you pay for in this case.

    Ray, the only Ford I'll EVER own again will be on my display shelf.
  • We shopped for 2 months; Labor day approached. We waited. Toyota was finally offering $2000 off..
    We got $2000 more off.. Then they could not come up with the truck we had ordered; therefore, we got another thousand off, having settled for one with "Toyota Guard" .. It is beautiful, roomy, seats are nice
    (except for that danged headrest, which is NOT as pushy as mOST that are coming in new cars and trucks)
     The power is awesome and so is the ride. We will let you know more later.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    In my humble opinion, this truck is a lot uglier than the 03 version. It is really boxy looking.
    One comment: You can get a wonderful truck with just about any make or model these days. It is just that the probablity of getting a lemon is much higher with US domestic models than with Japanese designed ones. So buying a new vehicle is always a gamble. This is why I tend to hold onto those that I am happy with for a long time.
  • 02mdx02mdx Posts: 64
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only changes for 2003 is the front bumper facia, ABS standard, side-step model and on the limited; steering wheel controls and power rear window. Does anybody have any experience with the power rear window? Do you like it? What's the primary purpose? To hual longer items, or just to open things up, kinda like a rear sunroof?
  • also i dont realy regret not buy 4x4 b/c i dont drive off road but i would say its always good to have the option..but for me 4x2 v6 is good enough for me crazy testdriver
  • ohmboyohmboy Posts: 3
    I've owned this truck for four years now and as pleased with it now as the day I bought it. 42,000 miles and 1 o2 sensor and a headlight glitch both repaired under warranty. Not too bad for a 1st year run. Average 17-18 mpg in daily driving and around 20-21 on the highway. This, contrary to what some others seem to think, is pretty good truck milage The original equipment Dunlops though were somewhat lacking. I change my own oil using Mobil1 @ 5000 miles and except for other routine maintence has been trouble free. This is a lot more than I can say for my work truck which is a 1 ton Chevy diesel. But then that's a whole different story. I came out of an 88 F150 when I purchased this truck and it was also mostly trouble free. The 165,000 solid miles on my wife's Avalon prompted me to look Tundra and at least so far am happy with the choice.
  • Was a loyal ford customer until my third ford vehicle, which was a lemon in my opinion. Ford customer service is horrible, they don't stand behind their product. Instead of wasting time going into arbitration, got rid of my Ford, traded it in towards a 03 tundra limited with most of the ammenities. I wasted time & money and tortured myself driving a Ford. The Tundra is awsome, drives like a luxury car. So many die hard domestic fans out there - they should really open their minds and check out a tundra for themselves. So so happy with it.
  • ive had my tundra since mid Aug. bought it to put toyota's reliability to the test! im a courier so i needed something reliable. had i had my rathers id be driving a 450 vice a tundra. any way i believe ive got the better deal for the money that im making.
     so far i have 28k on it and as yet have no break downs
     anyway the truck is a bit small for me when ive been in it all day.
     on other boards that ive been to and looked at have noticed other owners complaining about their brakes. so far i havent touched my brakes or had any problems with the brakes. one other courier also has a tundra i heard that he had to have his brakes replaced at 10,000 miles. must be driving like its a race car.
  • I have had my 03 Tundra 3 months and 3000 miles.Just drove it through 2 feet of snow in the last week here in New England.What a great ride.This truck is awesome.Looks rugged yet it rides and responds real smooth.I have the limited with electric rear window, heated side mirrors and steering wheel radio controls which are all great features.Just installed compass/temperature rear view mirror with night auto dimming.This Tundra is a real joy to drive not like my old Ford4X4 which drove like a tank.Anyone considering a Tundra out there should go for it!You will be satisfied.
  • It appears as if Toyota is not sure what the EPA gas mileage numbers should be for the Tundra. I am interested in buying a Tundra or Tacoma in the next 6 months or so. It would be nice if Toyota could nail down the numbers a bit better. Here are the numbers:

                           V6 AC 4x2 V8 DC 4x4

    8/1/04 web site 18/25 17/22?

    9/1/04 web site 16/20 15/18

    9/15/04 press release 18/22 14/17

    Sticker ? 15/18

    All numbers are with automatic. The 9/15 press release shows the V6 as having a 4 spd transmission. It comes with a 5 spd auto. Some dealer web sites carries the 8/1/04 numbers back in August. I have not checked to see what they are posting now.

    I also did a comparison between the V6 in the Tundra and Tacoma using the press release specifications.

                       Tundra Tacoma

    size 4.0L 4.0L

    displacement 3956 3956

    horsepower 245 245 both @ 5400 rpm

    torque 282 282 both @ 3800 rpm

    compression ratio 10.1 10.1

    recommended fuel 87 91

    emissions LEV LEV-II

    Looks to me that the engines are the same. With identical hp, torque, and compression you would think the motors would use the same fuel. anyone from Toyota want to explain the change in MPG nunbers or why the two engines need different fuel?
  • i am 17 and i am thinking about purchasing a used tundra extended cab i just wondered what yall think of yours
  • Four months ago I traded my 2004 XLE Sienna in for a 2004 Dual Cab LTD Tundra. So far no regrets. It has run well and is better then my expectations for ride and handling. The biggest adjustment after the Sienna was the wide turning ratio. The Sienna probable has the best urning ratio of any van and most cars so it has been an adjustment. So far I have no negative comments other then those V8's sure can guzzel up the gas. Good luck in whatever you decide as you cannot go wrong in buying the Tundra.
  • I've got one, but bought it when it was the only size out there (2000). If I was to buy now, I'd get the new one with full size for passengers in the back.
  • so what does the v8 get for milage in the real world
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A newspaper reporter would like to interview owners of big pick-up trucks with large cabs that they primarily use for family transportation. If you fit what the reporter is looking for and you are interested in being interviewed, please send a brief description of yourself and your vehicle with your daytime contact information to Kirsten Holguin at by 9am Pacific, Friday, February 4.


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