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The Toyota Tundra is a full-size pickup offering value and dependability. Tundra offers strong V8 engines and comfortable cabins. We've found the Tundra to be a stable, comfortable truck for towing a 20-foot enclosed car trailer over long distances. Towing capacities top 10,000 pounds on some models, and maximum payload ratings reach 2,000 pounds.
There are no major changes for the 2012 Toyota Tundra, though there have been some packaging changes. The current generation was introduced as a 2008 model.
The 2012 Tundra comes in three body styles: Regular Cab with two doors, Double Cab with conventional front-hinged, secondary rear side doors, and CrewMax with four full-size doors. Seating is available for three, five or six. Three bed lengths and three wheelbases are available. As with the other full-size pickups, trim levels cover a wide range to luxurious Limited models with leather upholstery. But even the base models are loaded with useful features, including tons of interior storage options, an easy-lift assisted tailgate and four-wheel disc brakes.
For 2012, more standard equipment has been added: All 2012 Tundra V8s come with a heavy-duty battery and starter. All 2012 Tundra models get a windshield wiper de-icer, daytime running lights, front and rear mudguards, and heated power outside mirrors. 2012 Tundra Limited and 2012 Tundra TRD Rock Warrior now come standard with rearview cameras. High-end models are available with GPS navigation or a rear-seat entertainment system with a 9-inch LCD screen. An available deck rail system in the bed anchors moveable tie-down cleats rated at 220 pounds each.
Tundra's double overhead-cam 5.7-liter V8 engine is rated at 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. We've found the 5.7-liter an excellent choice for towing trailers. The 5.7-liter has EPA fuel-economy ratings of 14/18 mpg City/Highway, or 13/17 mpg with 4WD. Trailer ratings may appear low on some models because they are now rated according to a recently adopted standard developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers.
The smaller 4.6-liter dohc V8 engine is rated at 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque, with slightly better EPA fuel-economy ratings of 15/20 mpg City/Highway, 14/19 mpg with 4WD. As with the 5.7-liter engine, the 4.6-liter has Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i), which optimizes valve timing for the best combination of performance, economy and emissions. Both V8 engines come with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 4.6-liter V8 is a good choice for owners who don't plan to do much towing.
The base 4.0-liter V6, introduced on the 2011 models, nets 270 horsepower, 278 pound-feet of torque and EPA ratings of 16/20 mpg City/Highway. The V6 is available only with two-wheel-drive Regular Cab and Double Cab models. The V6 weighs 300 pounds less than do the V8s resulting in better fuel economy. V6 models can't tow as much as the V8s but easily match the V8s for payload. The V6 comes with a 5-speed automatic. We think the V6 is a good choice for work trucks.