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Why Toyota Tundra is So Popular These Days

Sales for the 2019 Toyota Tundra are strong. Owners of this full-size truck are thrilled. See the reasons exactly why the Tundra is so darn popular.


Since 2000 the Toyota Tundra has been helping truck owners tow, haul, road trip it and transport loved ones with toughness and in style. Its history began with a V6 engine and a dream (anyone remember the Tundra 3.4-liter V6 engine that produced 190 horsepower and 220 lb.-ft. torque?).

This rich tradition has evolved into a popular full-size truck with a 5.7-liter engine giving drivers 381 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. torque. It is tough and it is strong.

July sales for the 2019 Toyota Tundra were up 17 percent over last year, and Tundra shows no signs of slowing down. We look at several reasons that may account for this great popularity.

Toyota Tundra is reliable

The Toyota Tundra has earned a solid reputation for long-term quality and dependability. Tundra owners have known for almost two decades just how reliable their trucks are, but it is nice when a reputable third-party backs up what owners have already known.

J.D. Power is recognized as a trusted source for determining just how reliable vehicles are. The Tundra won top honors for the Large Light Duty Truck segment in J.D. Power’s Vehicle Dependability Study. Truck enthusiasts and owners should have tremendous peace of mind, as this means 3-year-old Tundras have less problems per 100 vehicles than any of their competitors in the large truck segment.

Also of interest: The Toyota Camry is most reliable in the midsize sedan segment, while the RAV4, Highlander and Sienna all earned Top 3 status in their classes.

It is fun to drive a Toyota Tundra

This may sound like an obvious reason to write about, but it is a very important factor in customer satisfaction and another piece in the puzzle of solving the mystery of Toyota Tundra popularity.

Anyone who has driven a 2019 Tundra or earlier model knows just how smooth and comfortable it is both for drivers and for passengers. This is true both on city and country roads as well as your top highway cruising speed.

Tundra is available both in Double Cab and CrewMax configurations, offering versatility for families based on their needs. The Double Cab is available in 6.5’ and 8’ bed lengths, while CrewMax has a gigantic back seat for a 5.5’ bed.

2019 Toyota Tundra 1794 crewmax back seat leg roomTundra has high resale value

Many factors go into a vehicle’s resale value. For a high resale value, a truck should be reliable and dependable over many years. In other words, it should be something pre-owned shoppers can count on and trust to be “a sure thing.” It should also have an interior and exterior that holds up well and looks great over the course of a decade or more.

2019 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition brown interior

Toyota Tundra checks all these boxes and more. In fact, 2019 Tundra was named number 3 on’s list of Highest Resale Value across all brands and models. This is a huge accomplishment and recognition for a long history of well-made trucks.

Also on the list were 2019 Tacoma, which placed first overall and 2019 Toyota 4Runner that was number five. Imagine Toyota having three of the top 5 vehicles with the absolute best resale value over anything else. No surprise here.

Tundra has toughness

Tundra is ideal for both on the road and for off-road enthusiasts looking to find that next hidden trail or quarry or mountain pass.

The 2019 Tundra model has a towing capacity up to 10,200 pounds and is more than capable of handling your trailers and campers and boats.

What is next for Toyota Tundra?

For the 2020 Tundra model year, look for some practical additions to make driving life a little easier and more convenient. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will both be added to all 2020 Tundra trucks.

Also look for larger multimedia touch screens, either a 7” as found on the SR or 8” standard on all trim levels SR5 and above
Smart key push button start is a great standard feature that buyers can expect to find on all 2020 Toyota Tundras SR5 and up.

The 2020 Tundra TRD Pro will be offered in both Double Cab and CrewMax configurations, and this provides huge versatility and makes this popular grade level an option for those wanting either more passenger space or more bed space.

And of course around the corner is the possibility for redesigned 2021 Tundra models. Rumors have swirled in truck enthusiast circles of new powertrain options, a completely different suspension system, and there has even been talk about a potential Tundra Hybrid. Things should really start heating up within the next year.

Compare 2019 Tundra Limited vs. 1794 Edition in my video review and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily automotive news analysis.

What do you think about Tundra?

Are you a Toyota Tundra owner or someone in the market for a full-size truck? What do you think of Tundra and how has it been for you? How many miles do you have on yours?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story.

Bookmark Jeff Teague's Toyota News and Reviews at Torque News Toyota. You can reach Jeff on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories. Jeff also shares Toyota news videos on his Youtube Channel at ToyotaJeff1.


Doug (not verified)    August 25, 2019 - 4:30PM

I have a 2016 tundra and even though the gas mileage is horrendous I absolutely love this truck. It’s a monster on the highway and tows my toys with ease. The only thing I hate about the truck is the stock radio is total garbage.

Brian M Smith (not verified)    August 25, 2019 - 6:04PM

It's too bad you can't get the larger gas tank without giving up the bench seat. Also, hopefully the android system will be better than the infotainment system boondoggle.

Space (not verified)    August 25, 2019 - 6:23PM

Here, I’ll save you the read:
Toyota is the only one that doesn’t suck. Every other truck is a game of roulette with regard to any quality whatsoever

Morgan (not verified)    August 25, 2019 - 7:39PM

Sales are up slightly because Tacoma production has been shifting from the US plant in San Antonio to the Toyota plants in Tijuana Mexico and soon, the Tacoma plant in Guanajuato Mexico. That production shift has helped free up production capacity slightly for the Tundra.

Of course the Tundra has a decent reliability reputation. Any manufacturer can put out such reliability when the truck has been essentially unchanged for nearly 14 years. The reality is that the Tundra uses a weak and flimsy frame, the 5.7L v8 is a massive gas guzzler, and the interior is filled with nostalgic into components from 2002. It's a mediocre, gas guzzling truck that charges a premium for a faded image Toyota reliability.

Gabriel (not verified)    August 25, 2019 - 8:35PM

I've got a 2005 Double Cab TRD with 185k on it. My Dad bought it ten years ago, stating he would drive it until he died. He did (though much earlier than he expected), and I've decided to do the same. There a couple of million mile Tundras on the road, so I'm sure this one will last me the thirty or so years I've got left.

D Love (not verified)    August 25, 2019 - 9:35PM

I own a 2014 tundra crewmax and absolutely love it. Drives and feels like it did when I purchased it. I tow a 8,000 travel trailer and on tow mode barely fella like I'm pulling anything. As long as I drive a truck it will be a tundra

JimSchuh (not verified)    August 26, 2019 - 10:30AM

Since 2007, this truck has overachieved. It was so advanced AT THE TIME, that Toyota did not have to radically update the mechanicals. The 5.7L has 9 throttles: a main, and one for each cylinder. It has variable induction, a forged crankshaft that is three times stiffer than a cast one, and of course, they debuted the Triple Tech frame/chassis. Ford has copied that, GM copied the damped tailgate, and no one has offered STANDARD 4-piston, floating caliper brakes (MUCH longer brake life and even pad wear). All of this adds up to a truck that lasts, is less expensive to maintain, and has tremendous resale value.

Jose Arellano (not verified)    August 26, 2019 - 1:51PM

I have a 2016 Tundra. It was an upgrade to my mast one, a 2007. The 07 model was grwat, only issue was the fuel gauge didnt work for the last 3 years. Ill would gauge my fuel level with the miles on the odometer. That 07 runned runned great for the 100k plus miles that I put on it. No complaints. Great trucks.

Jerry poe (not verified)    August 26, 2019 - 6:18PM

I have a 2006 with 200,000 miles on it. Drive it over a hundred miles a day. Never had any mechanical issues. Great truck. Looking at the new ones and wonder if they are as good.

Hunter (not verified)    September 22, 2019 - 3:33PM

2016 tundra up to date is the best truck I have owned over the last 30 years. Not the most updated or best on fuel but when I work out how much it cost to run over the last three years compared the 2010 Silverado and 2014 ram it has actually saved me money. Brakes have out lasted the others by double no repair bills like the Ram and Silverado. So ya gas is about $350/450 more a year to run. (If you do the numbers it might surprise you) I tow a work trailer so no 1/2 ton is great.
But when a truck is down at the shop getting repaired it can take a day or more of your time plus $$$ it is never a convenient time or very predictable when it’s gonna go down. Getting gas takes a couple minutes and very predictable.
Tundra is in need of a update no denying that but
Considering it last full update was 2007 it’s not that far behind the others.
My main reason to purchase was the reliability rating.... there’s a lot of nice trucks to choose from and the tundra wasn’t even on my list until I talking to my friend who if a ford technician with years of experience. As nice as the ford looks and drives he suggested that I look at something else so the tundra it was and very pleased to date

J.R. Barnett (not verified)    November 1, 2020 - 7:54PM

Popular? Toyota sells 150k Tundras a year, a tiny fraction of the number of full sized pickups any of the Big 3 sell annually. A better question is why is it that Toyota's full sized trucks don't sell better. Particularly given Toyota's stellar reputation for reliability. The answer sadly it blame Toyota's accountants. Toyota has become an automaker where product planning isn't by engineers and designers burt rather conservative accountants. Tundra, Tacoma and 4Runner are all dinosaurs. The accountants' strategy is to minimize cost and squeeze out every Yen they can from existing models no matter how outdated (The 4Runner has a 5-speed, the Tundra a 6-speed. Very Y2K of them..) That's what the top price they can charge for a loaded Tundra barely hits the mid-point pricing of the line of any of the American brand competitors.

If Toyota returns to a company run by technologists and engineers rather than bean counters, I think they could come up with a competitive full sized truck. Thus far their position in the segment has been tenuous at best.

The low price due to Toyota's aging design and small market share in the segment is beneficial for those who want a well-equipped reliable truck at a very low (compared to similarly equipped alternatives) price. I'm tempted to replace my aging Ram 1500 with a Tundra TRD Pro off-road. Though the new Rams (and F-150s and Sierra/Silverado's) all have better interiors, better comfort features, etc. than the Tundra, if you have an old Big 3 truck, you don't have those things and Toyota is selling a truck today that is similar in interior materials and features to the truck you have now, except that you do get Safety Sense, which is a useful suite of features for distance travelers. And you get it for about the same price you paid for your old truck when it was new, whereas buying a new Ram, F-150, etc., you'd be looking at paying $15k+ more than you paid 8-10 years ago for a given trim tier.

So Toyota's New Old Stock Tundra has a place in the market, but it's definitely NOT competitive and the comparative sales figures reflect that fact.