2016 Toyota Tundra

Overall Score: 7.3 / 10
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$29,140 - $49,580

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2016 Toyota Tundra Overview

According to the reviews and data that drive our rankings, the 2016 Toyota Tundra struggles to compete with rivals, even after its 2014 refresh. Flaws frequently called out by reviewers include the truck's marginal engine options, poor fuel efficiency, and a dated interior design. An in-depth test drive can help you determine if you gel with the Tundra's styling, space, and ride quality. 











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Pros & Cons

  • Spacious rear seats on Double Cab and CrewMax models
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Strong off-road performance
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Rough ride 
  • Limited engine options

Notable for 2016

  • Upgraded Entune infotainment system  


Overall: 7.3
Critics' Rating: 6.9
Performance: 6.9
Interior: 7.5
Safety: 8.7
Reliability: 4_0

The Toyota Tundra score of 7.3 out of 10 is based on our evaluation of 102 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

2016 Toyota Tundra Pictures

2016 Toyota Tundra Review

By Sarah Shelton October 21, 2016

According to the reviews and data that drive our rankings, the 2016 Toyota Tundra struggles to compete with rivals, even after its 2014 refresh. Flaws frequently called out by reviewers include the truck's marginal engine options, poor fuel efficiency, and a dated interior design. An in-depth test drive can help you determine if you gel with the Tundra's styling, space, and ride quality. 

That doesn't mean the Tundra, which can seat from three to six people, falls short in all areas. The Tundra is tough enough to be a work truck, can be set up to tackle rugged off-road terrain, and is capable of towing up to 10,500 pounds. Its interior is roomy, with a voluminous rear seat that offers plenty of room for adults to stretch out. The ride is pretty quiet, giving passengers a chance to better enjoy the well-rated Entune infotainment system. Toyota also loads the Tundra up with more standard amenities than you’ll find in trucks like the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado and 2016 Ram 1500. The Tundra also has one of the best predicted reliability scores in its class.

If you plan on frequenting four-wheel drive trails, the Tundra will work for you. The TRD Pro model and TRD off-road package feature heavy-duty suspension components, 18-inch wheels, and a tall stance to handle the roughest roads with authority.

If expansive interior space and monster off-road prowess doesn't concern you, you may also want to consider the Ford F-150 (which has a powerful array of engines) or the Ram 1500 (with its top-class cabin). 

Tundra Interior

Plain, but Practical

The interior of the Tundra ranges from work-oriented pickup to luxurious, leather-filled family vehicle, all depending on which model you choose. Overall, the 2016 design is an improvement from previous model years. However, some test drivers say the interior still feels a bit dated. If you're looking for a solid work truck, you probably won't mind the sterile door panels or the layout of the center stack, which is awash in hard plastics, like a mid-‘90s stereo. Upgrading to a higher trim level (such as the Platinum) adds leather and wood to help dress up the cabin. For an interior with a more modern touch, without losing the toughness required for a truck, take a look at the 2016 Ram 1500. Its cabin is one of the best in the class.

Extra Tech Included

Even the base model of the Tundra comes equipped with a plethora of technology. Toyota's Entune is more user-friendly than the systems found in Ford and GM trucks, say reviewers, with a touch screen that ranges from 6.1 inches in the SR, to 7 inches in the Platinum and 1794 Edition. You can connect your phone via the auxiliary jack or through the USB port (which also offers iPod connectivity). Advanced voice recognition, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, a rearview camera, and push-button start are also included as standard features. This is far more standard technology than what the 2016 Ram 1500, 2016 Ford F-150, or 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 come with.

Lots of Room, Especially With Four Doors

There is plenty of room to spread out in the Tundra, especially with the larger four-door double cab and crew cab models. The rear seat is especially generous, offering more legroom than most to comfortably accommodate adults. This rear seat can also fold down for when you want to keep larger cargo secure within the cab, and lots of other cubbies (including a large center console in between the front bucket seats) offer plenty of interior storage.   

Cloth upholstery is standard, and trucks can include either bucket seats in the front (to seat five) or a bench seat (to seat six). Both front seat options offer plenty of support, according to test drivers, and all but the bottom two Tundra models have power adjustments for the driver and passenger. Other seating options include leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, and power thigh and lumbar support.

Read more about interior »

Tundra Performance

Limited Engine Options and Poor Fuel Economy

The 2016 Toyota Tundra only offers two engines. A 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 engine is standard, and select SR and SR5 Tundra's can opt for the 4.6-liter V8 engines, which produces 310-horsepower. Almost every other full-size pickup truck has more engines to pick from, with Ford offering one of the largest varieties. The 2016 F-150 has both V6 and V8 engine options, two of which have a twin turbocharger. And the 2016 Ram 1500 has a fuel-saving turbodiesel available in its lineup.

With rear-wheel drive, the standard Tundra setup has an average fuel economy of 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. Switch to four-wheel drive, and fuel efficiency drops by 1 mpg on the highway. In its gas-saving configuration (with the 4.6-liter engine and rear-wheel drive), the Tundra still only manages 15 mpg city/19 mpg highway. These mpg ratings are dreadful compared with the Tundra's competitors, which average 17 to 18 mpg in the city, and 24 to 25 mpg on the highway.

Rough Ride with Midrange Towing Abilities

The standard 5.7-liter engine is powerful, and test drivers say the Tundra's six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly. In its heftiest setup – with an impressive 401 pound-feet of torque – the Tundra has a maximum payload of 2,060 to haul more mass than a 2016 Ram 1500 or 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500. The Tundra also beats the Silverado for towing capacity, with a maximum rating of 10,500 pounds to the Silverado's 7,600 pounds. However, the Ford F-150 tops them all. Its maximum payload of 3,270 pounds and 12,200-pound towing capacity are at the top of the class.

To achieve hauling and towing numbers this high, the Tundra employs stout suspension components. An unfortunate side effect of this is a ride that feels stiff and, at times, harsh. On the other hand, light steering and solid cornering easily keep the Tundra in check, making the truck feel smaller than it is.

Awesome Off-Road Aptitude

Two different options are available if you want a full-size pickup that can also tackle a vicious dirt trail: the Tundra TRD Pro, which comes with a front skid plate, Bilstein shocks, stabilizer bar, and 18-inch black alloy wheels, or you can select the TRD off-road package, available on SR5, Limited, and 1794 Edition models. Upgraded wheels, shocks, tow hooks, and a front skid plate are included in this package.

If you plan on venturing through the Hundred Acre Wood or tackling the Rubicon Trail, test drivers say this Toyota is up to the undertaking. The Tundra TRD Pro's 10.6-inch ground clearance gives you almost as much height as a 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport (at 10.9 inches). It maintains a firm grip through water and mud, with a heavy-duty suspension that becomes surprisingly smooth when cruising over rough roads.

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Tundra Pricing, Options, and Trims

The 2016 Tundra is available in three different body styles and six different trims, with prices ranging from around $29,000 for a basic Tundra to around $50,000 for one of the top-line trims. Standard equipment for all models includes a 5.7-liter V8 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive.

The base SR model is the only Tundra available as a two-door regular cab and the only Tundra with seating limited to three in one row. The starting price is $29,140 and includes daytime running lights, a rearview camera, the Entune audio system, heated exterior mirrors, Bluetooth, cruise control, and a one-touch power window for the driver. The SR is also available as a double cab.

The $30,950 Tundra SR5 adds fog lights, intermittent wipers, chrome bumpers and badging, and Entune Audio Plus, along with a second row of seats. A smaller, more fuel-efficient 4.6-liter V8 engine is available for the SR and SR5 models.

The Tundra Limited ($38,670) adds comfort and convenience features like dual-zone climate control, navigation, Entune Premium, leather-trimmed seats, 20-inch alloy wheels, a larger gas tank, and a power sliding rear window. If you prefer to have a truck that can tackle serious off-road trails, select the Tundra TRD Pro ($42,945). This four-wheel drive edition comes with sturdier suspension, a front skid plate, performance dual exhaust, and black, leather-trimmed seats with red stitching.

The two top-level Tundra trims, Platinum and 1794 Edition, each start at $46,530. The 1794 Edition is essentially a Platinum model but themed to pay homage to a historic ranch in San Antonio that is now the home of the Tundra factory. Both Tundra models include heated and cooled front seats, with 12-way power for the driver and four-way power for the passenger, a 12-speaker Entune Premium JBL audio system (complete with 7-inch touch screen), blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors. The Platinum and 1794 Edition come standard with four-wheel drive and are only available as a CrewMax.  

See 2016 Toyota Tundra specs and trims »

Tundra Safety and Reliability

Toyota gets excellent safety scores for most of its passenger cars and SUVs, but these same high ratings don't carry over to the Tundra. Crash test ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are patchy, with the Tundra taking home top marks in only three out of the five categories. That doesn't mean the Tundra isn't safe – this truck does have an overall safety score that is higher than the 2016 Ram 1500. But the Tundra doesn’t get crash test results as high as the 2016 Ford F-150, which has a five-star overall rating and was named by the IIHS as a Top Safety Pick. 

A rearview camera and trailer-sway control are standard on the Tundra, and most models are equipped with an integrated trailer brake controller. Available safety features include front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

When it comes to reliability, the Tundra does its part to uphold Toyota's reputation as a dependable brand. The Tundra's score of four out of five is one of the highest predicted reliability scores among full size pickup trucks.

The 2016 Toyota Tundra is covered with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

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Read more about reliability »

Other Trucks to Consider

If you're needing a workhorse with more muscle than the 381-horsepower, 401 pound-feet of torque Tundra, consider the 2016 Ford F-150. When outfitted with its 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine (rated at 365 horsepower, 420 pound-feet torque) the F-150 can tow up to 12,200 pounds and haul a maximum of 3,270 pounds. At the same time, the F-150 also manages to maintain better fuel efficiency than the Tundra, with EPA-ratings of 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway for the EcoBoost. Seating is comfortable for both front and back passengers, and the F-150's safety scores are the highest in the class.

The 2016 Ram 1500 offers a diesel engine option, which is rare for the class. Reviewers praise the Ram's use of high-quality materials and stylish design throughout the cabin, with many calling it the best interior among full-size pickup trucks. Other standout features of the Ram 1500 include an incredibly smooth ride and the user-friendly Uconnect infotainment system. Ram also has numerous potent engine options, including a 5.7-liter V8 (rated at 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque) and a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 with 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Payload capacity falls short of the Tundra's hauling abilities (at 1,890 pounds versus the Tundra's 2,060 pounds), but the Ram can tow slightly more, with a 10,700-pound rating.

Compare the Tundra, F-150, and 1500 in more detail »

Details: 2016 Toyota Tundra

The standard powertrain for the 2016 Toyota Tundra is a 4.6-liter V8 base engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, with the option to upgrade to a 5.7-liter V8 engine. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is optional. Three body styles are available, starting with the three-passenger Regular Cab. Double Cab and CrewMax models seat up to six. Toyota offers the 2016 Tundra in six trims: SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition, and TRD Pro. This truck was last redesigned in 2007 and has seen very few changes outside of a 2014 refresh. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2007 through 2016 model years.

Standard features in the 2016 Tundra include push-button start, Bluetooth, a six-speaker audio system, a rearview camera, and the Entune infotainment system with a 6.1-inch touch screen, a USB port, voice recognition, and Siri Eyes Free. Available features include automatic dual-zone climate control, a power moonroof, a 12-speaker JBL audio system, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and an upgraded Entune infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, satellite radio, HD Radio, and smartphone app integration.

See 2016 Toyota Tundra specs and trims »

  • "For now, Toyota's full-size pickup seems to be keeping up with the competition well. There's brawny styling, powerful engines and a wide array of trims from basic and mid-range to off-road-oriented and highly luxurious levels. While we suspect a new Tundra will be eventually released, we wouldn't fault you for considering today's model." -- AutoTrader
  • "The 2016 Toyota Tundra is a capable full-size pickup, and one of the few in this class that is very serious about off-road performance. Unfortunately, it lags behind its American rivals in many other respects." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2016 Tundra pickup is Toyota's largest and most powerful truck, vying for attention in an increasingly competitive segment dominated by domestic competitors Ford, Ram and Chevrolet. Although the Tundra is a powerful workhorse with an exemplary reputation for reliability and resale, it lags behind its competitors in the areas of advanced architecture and powertrain choices. The aluminum-bodied F-150, for example, offers better fuel economy but can't tow as much, while the Ram 1500 and Nissan Titan both offer a diesel-engine option, the former with fuel economy approaching 28 mpg highway, the latter with a tow rating around 12,000 pounds. The Tundra, on the other hand, has a maximum tow rating of 10,500 pounds and can't even crack 20 mpg." -- Kelley Blue Book