2013 Toyota Tundra doubles as workhorse and cruiser


Toyota Tundra has long been the Japanese automaker’s workhorse in the half-ton pickup truck category,  capable of flexing its style between errand-running neighborhood cruiser to beefy construction site warrior.

For 2013, Tundra splits its personality even more with prices ranging from $25,355 for the basic two-door 4x2 to nearly double that for the range-topping $48,070 Platinum-grade 4x4 CrewMax. What’s more, the luxury-focused Platinum Package, formerly available only with the Tundra CrewMax Limited model, now becomes its own model grade for those customers looking to have their pickup make like a Lexus. And just to make sure Tundra keeps up technologically with the Toyota pack, the truck now comes with the company’s smartphone-syncing Entune multimedia package across its model range.

Given Tundra’s huge price span, it’s no surprise that sorting through the possible options can be a dizzying feat. But here’s a stab: there are three grades, Tundra, Limited and Platinum, as well as three cab styles, regular, double cab and CrewMax. There  are also a trio of wheelbase lengths (126.8, 145.7 and 164.6 inches), three bed lengths (78.7, 97.6 and for CrewMax only 66.7 inches) and three engines (270-hp 4-liter V6, 310-hp 4.6-liter V8 and the 5.7-liter V8 packing 381 hp). Perhaps most important in these eco-conscious times, both of the V8 engines - each mated to six-speed automatic transmissions - meets Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle certification requirements (though, predictably for such lumbering machines, gas mileage logs in around 13/18 mpg city/highway).

Drilling down a bit more into the key changes for 2013, Tundra also now offers a TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Rock Warrior Special Edition package on its 4x4 models. The kit features Bilstein shocks, 17-inch alloy wheels shod with BF Goodrich T/A tires, Rock Warrior exterior graphics, fog lamps, privacy glass, eight-way driver and four-way passenger seats covered in black cloth and an auto-dimming rear view mirror with built-in back-up display. For those looking more for comfort than a Baja 1000 racer image, the Platinum package is the way to go. It features heated and ventilated front bucket seats, leather seating surfaces with embroidered headrests, DVD navigation, a memory package for seats, mirrors and steering wheel, folding side-view mirrors with turn indicators and a power moonroof.

But lest things get a little too comfy in this realm, it’s good to know that Toyota still offers a down and dirty Work Truck Package. Look for leather surfaces to turn into heavy-duty vinyl while carpeting morphs into a sea of rugged rubber flooring. Gussy it up all you want, but in the end the Tundra remains Toyota’s definitive pickup stalwart.

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