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Best & Worst Years of Toyota Tundra – Graphs & Owner Surveys

The best years of the Toyota Tundra are: 2018-2021, 2016, 2014, 2011-2013, 2003, and 2008. The years you should absolutely avoid are: 2001-2002, 2009, 2010, 2007, 2004-2006, 2017, and 2015. Most issues are related to changes with the powertrain and the evaporative emission control (EVAP) system. 

Black Toyota Tundra traveling in the snow

Though only just now starting its third generation, the Toyota Tundra has been in production for over 20 years. It was the first full-size pickup truck from a Japanese automaker to be built in North America and promised to combine Toyota’s reputation for reliability with half-ton pickup utility. 

That reputation is largely intact over the years, but like any vehicle, some model years are more reliable than others. To separate the best Tundras from the worst, we analyzed Check Engine Light (CEL) data from thousands of FIXD devices installed in customer trucks. This gives us a general picture of what model years are the most problem-prone. 

To finalize the rankings below, we blended in details from hundreds of customer surveys, Kelley Blue Book resale values, government-reported fuel economy figures, repair costs, safety scores, and more. This allows us to share which years of the Tundra are worth considering and which should be avoided. 

Best Years Why? Worst Years Why?
2018-2021

Excellent owner reliability scores, high resale value

>> See 2018-2021 Toyota Tundras for sale

2001-2002

Problematic early first-gen models

>> See 2001-2002 Toyota Tundras for sale

2016

Low repair costs and little time in the shop

>> See 2016 Toyota Tundras for sale

2009

Terrible FIXD reliability score, poor safety

>> See 2009 Toyota Tundras for sale

2014

Well-executed mid-cycle refresh

>> See 2014 Toyota Tundras for sale

2010

Expensive to repair, drop in owner-reported reliability

>> See 2010 Toyota Tundras for sale

2011-2013

Solid fuel economy, reliability improvements

>> See 2011-2013 Toyota Tundras for sale

2007

First year of second-generation

>> See 2007 Toyota Tundras for sale

2003

Low-cost upkeep for an older, high-mileage truck

>> See 2003 Toyota Tundras for sale

2004-2006

Problems with major powertrain overhaul

>> See 2004-2006 Toyota Tundras for sale

2008

Big jump in FIXD reliability score

>> See 2008 Toyota Tundras for sale

2017

Reliability decrease, spike in maintenance costs

>> See 2017 Toyota Tundras for sale

    2015

High number of days in the shop, drop in resale value

>> See 2015 Toyota Tundras for sale

Toyota Tundra Engine Reliability Score, Safety Ratings, MPG and Value v.s. Maintenance & Repair Costs Year by Year

Looking over the charts below, you’ll see data for Toyota Tundra engine reliability, safety scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and fuel efficiency ratings gathered from fueleconomy.gov. The reliability scores – both from FIXD sensors and customer survey responses – play a main role in the rankings. In particular, we look closely at the start of a new generation as that typically brings teething problems. 

Safety scores are of course important to consider as pickup trucks like the Tundra have increasingly become family haulers and fuel efficiency – while not overly impressive on most full-size trucks – is worth being aware of. We factor those statistics into the detailed rankings below. 

The goal here is to help consumers make informed decisions if they’re looking to buy a used Tundra and be aware of potential issues if they already have one in the driveway. If you’re in the market for a car, take a look at our article on the USAs’ most reliable and cheapest to repair cars in the U.S. Don’t get stuck with a lemon, use our data to help you shop.

Engine Reliability Score – Over The Years

Toyota Tundra Reliability Score

This chart of engine reliability is the starting point in our analysis of best vs. worst Toyota Tundra model years. The green line represents data collected by the FIXD sensors installed by thousands of Tundra owners. This device records Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) details which we then weight by mileage to come up with an objective score on a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best). 

The gray line represents responses to a FIXD survey asking Tundra owners how reliable they think their truck is. Answer options range from “Just Point A to Point B driving” up to “I could take a cross-country trip, no problem”. By blending this subjective reliability score with the objective FIXD score, we can deliver a more accurate analysis. 

For example, on the chart above you can see that the owner survey score generally follows the same trend as the FIXD reliability score. But in 2009 there is a dramatic divergence. Per the data, only one owner responded to our survey for that model year and the responses were very favorable. However, over 800 DTCs were recorded by FIXD devices that same year so we can see that, objectively, the 2009 Tundra might not be all that reliable.

We’ll go into more detail on why one model-year Tundra is better than another below. But if you’re curious about what some of the most common causes of a Tundra CEL are, this list of the top five most common DTCs will point you in the right direction.   

NHTSA Safety Score – Over The Years

Toyota Tundra NHTSA Safety Rating

Safety in crash testing is a critical data point for any vehicle owner and the Toyota Tundra is no different, particularly as it has become an increasingly popular family vehicle. The green line shows how the Tundra performed each year in safety testing conducted by the NHTSA. 

That score is compared to the industry average safety score which is represented by the gray line. As you can see, the Tundra generally underperforms against the industry on the whole. Chevy’s Silverado, a main competitor, has an annual safety rating above 4 every year from 2008 forward as an example. 

However, as of 2016, the Tundra has consistently high safety scores which is why most of those model years get a thumbs up in our rankings below. This information is also important as the safety score is a big factor in obtaining cheaper insurance. On that note, if you live in one of the states listed below, we can show you the cheapest vehicles to insure in yours. 

What Used Cars Are the Cheapest To Insure In:
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MPG – Over The Years

Nobody is buying a full-size pickup truck for its excellent fuel economy and that rings true for the Toyota Tundra. The line above is based on fuel efficiency figures gathered from fueleconomy.gov. Each data point is an average rating for all trim lines of a given year. 

The Tundra hovers between 15 and 16 mpg over a 20-year span, which isn’t great but not surprising given its V8-heavy powertrain portfolio. However, by parsing the data, we can see that in 2011, a V6-equipped RWD Tundra earned 18 mpg combined, well above the average that year. It’s one reason this model year makes our “best” list below.

Current Market Value of All Toyota Tundra Years & Cost Per Year to Repair and Maintain Each

By charting current Kelley Blue Book (KBB) market values of the Toyota Tundra going back to 2001 against annual repair costs per owner survey responses, we can add another layer of insight around best and worst model years. For the most part, the KBB curve shows increasing value for newer Tundras. 

However, deviations from this trend can be seen including in 2005. Average repair cost pops up that year while the market value goes down versus 2004. It was in 2005 that Toyota added variable valve timing (VVT) and changed transmissions for the 4.7L V8 along with introducing a new 4.0L V6. Clearly, there were growing pains, which is part of the reason why the 2005 Tundra is best avoided. 

When shopping for a used Toyota Tundra, it’s important to keep in mind that not all vehicles are cared for equally. To protect yourself from lemons, take along a FIXD Sensor on your test drive. FIXD connects to a free app on your smartphone to tell you more about the vehicle you’re checking out, including check engine lights and other hidden issues that the owner or dealership may be attempting to hide. Click here to learn more and get FIXD for only $19.99 (regular price $59)!

Important Features Timeline

Toyota Tundra Timeline of Important Features

2000 – First generation Tundra offered with V6 or V8 power 

2001 – An optional TRD supercharger is offered for the V8

2002 – V8 models get an optional limited-slip differential

2003 – Stepside bed configuration added, ABS becomes standard

2004 – Double cab joins lineup with rear-hinged back doors

2005 – 3.4L V6 is replaced by 4.0L V6, VVT added to V8

2006 – Limited production Darrel Waltrip edition Tundra offered

2007 – All-new second-gen Tundra lands with new 5.7L V8 and more configurations

2008 – Keyless access and power accessories added to SR5 trim

2009 – E85 flex-fuel capability made optional on 5.7L V8

2010 – Light exterior restyling, new 4.6L V8 replaces 4.7L V8

2011 – Base V6 engine gains VVT, trailer sway control made standard

2012 – Standard backup camera on Limited trim

2013 – Carryover year with no major changes

2014 – Extensive mid-cycle refresh to styling, cabin, and technology

2015 – TRD Pro trim added, 4.0L V6 dropped

2016 – Updated Entune 2.5 infotainment system

2017 – No major changes

2018 – Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver aids now standard

2019 – Revised suspension for TRD Pro models

2020 – Apple CarPlay and Android Auto become lineup-standard

2021 – New Trail and Nightshade models added

2022 – All-new third generation Tundra with hybrid option debuts

The Best Years of the Toyota Tundra

Low angle shot of 2022 Toyota Tundra SR5 Double Cab Four Wheel D

Taking into account FIXD and owner-reported reliability, government safety scores, fuel efficiency, and Tundra owner survey responses, we’ve come up with this list of the best Toyota Tundras. Pertinent recall information and notes about common DTCs are included as well. 

2018-2021 Toyota Tundra

Toyota Tundra 2020 full size pickup blue truck isolated on white background.

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 7-10/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 10/10

KBB Value: $25,682-$37,582

Fuel Economy: 15 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $500-$667

Safety Rating: 4.2-4.4/5

As the newest model year Tundras on our list and with the lowest odometer readings – all four years average well under 100,000 miles – it’s not surprising the 2018 – 2021 Toyota Tundra is the “best of the best”. Owners gave these trucks perfect reliability scores each year and the FIXD score improved over time to hit 10/10 in 2020. 

The reliability chart shows a sudden dip in 2021 to 7, but this is due to the sample size being relatively small. As more owners install FIXD sensors in these newer Tundras, we expect that value to move higher. On the safety front, 2018 through 2021 Tundras show consistently high scores, which coincides with Toyota making its Safety Sense suite of advanced driver aids standard equipment as of 2018.  

Other highlights include annual repair bills that are at or under the average of $650 across all Tundra model years and few days in the shop, including zero days – per owner surveys – for 2019 and 2021. Of those owners, 27% think their truck will crack 200,000 miles, and some 20% like the entertainment system, which correlates with Apple and Android smartphone mirroring becoming standard in 2020.  

The recall count drops from nine in 2018 to just three in 2021. The biggest recall, as far as the number of vehicles, affects 1.8 million 2010 Tundras. It has to do with a fuel pump that can fail, while driving, which could lead to the truck stalling out. A Toyota dealership should fix any recall on a Tundra as far back as 15 model years at no charge. 

When there are issues, one of the most common is DTC P0421. This moderately severe problem is related to a catalytic converter not warming up sufficiently. Repair could be as simple as new spark plugs or as expensive as a replacement catalytic converter

DTC P0441, which could be nothing more than a loose gas cap, indicates problems with the evaporative emission control (EVAP) system and is another common CEL cause for these Tundras. The other one to watch for is DTC P1604. This is a common code amongst all Toyotas that could mean it’s time for a new fuel filter. 

2016 Toyota Tundra

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 8/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 10/10

KBB Value: $14,761

Fuel Economy: 16 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $625

Safety Rating: 4.25/5

The 2016 Tundra boasts low annual repair costs, $25 less than the 20-year average, and not even a whole day in the shop per owners. Both reliability scores saw a 2-point jump from the prior year into 2016 and the safety rating bumped up a quarter-point to 4.25 out of 5.

Also noteworthy is how the KBB market value moves back in the right direction for 2016 after dropping the previous year. With an average of just 125,000 miles, these 7-year-old Tundras are a great value considering the roughly $15,000 KBB figure. 

There were six recalls for the 2016 Tundra. Though most recalls impacted only a small number of trucks, there was a recall on lugnuts for a specific set of accessory 20” Rockstar wheels that could crack or detach which is worth paying attention to. 

On the CEL front, DTC P1604 is one of the more common issues. Fortunately, it is likely a cheap repair that could require charging the battery or improving the quality of fuel in the tank. DTC P0430 is another frequently seen issue on the 2016 Tundra. This one may be more costly as it is related to a faulty oxygen sensor that can cost a few hundred dollars to remedy. 

2014 Toyota Tundra

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 6/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 10/10

KBB Value: $14,627

Fuel Economy: 16 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $650

Safety Rating: 3.5/5

In 2014, Toyota delivered a comprehensively refreshed Tundra that touched on everything from design and ergonomics to technology and the suspension tune. However, the powertrain was left alone. Owners appear to have approved of this effort as the reliability score moved from nine to 10. It is also reflected in the KBB value that spiked by $4,000 year-over-year. 

Also correlating with that overhaul is the 21% of 2014 Tundra owners who think the seats are comfortable versus 13% on average. A new design that year included improved seat ventilation and additional travel. One ding against these trucks is the low safety score of 3.5.

There were five recalls for the 2014 Tundra including one that is related to a side-curtain airbag not deploying correctly. This affected some 132,000 trucks.

The annual maintenance figure of $650 is right in line with the overall average for all model years. But issues do of course exist like DTC P1604. This common Toyota trouble area could be related to a faulty fuel filter or low battery charge. 

Another common cause of CELs in 2014 is DTC P0441. Indicating an issue with the EVAP system, this low-severity problem could require simply tightening the gas cap or require a new charcoal canister that costs between $200 and $600.

2011-2013 Toyota Tundra

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 4-6/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 9/10

KBB Value: $7,717-$10,396

Fuel Economy: 15 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $500

Safety Rating: 3.75-4/5

Along with reliability improvements in both the FIXD and owner categories versus 2010, the 2011 to 2013 Tundra offers a relatively fuel-efficient option. Though the average for the year is just 15 mpg, if you find yourself a RWD model with the 4.0L V6 motor, the combined rating jumps to 18 mpg. 

The KBB value dips and the repair cost ticks up in 2012, but those numbers head back in the right direction for 2013. And with mileage ranging from 144,000 to 165,000 for all three model years, the value proposition is strong, especially considering 35% of owners expect their Tundra to run past 200,000 miles. 

Recalls are a mixed bag with no major issues in 2012 or 2013, but the 2011 model year received 11 recalls. One of those was for a power window switch that could melt, increasing fire risk. It affected more than 1.8 million vehicles but should be fixed free of charge at any Toyota dealership.

A repair area that is worth watching out for is the brakes. For 2013 Tundras, there is a 25% chance of a pricey day at the shop having to do with this critical system. Replacing the brake pads and rotors on a Tundra can run past $500 when handled by a professional, though a more advanced DIYer can handle this work to save some money.

If a CEL pops, the three most common causes are DTC P1604, P0418, and P2442. All of which are common to the Toyota portfolio. P1604 is likely an inexpensive fuel-related issue, while both P0418 and P2442 could be a cheap fuse replacement or an expensive new pump for the air injector system. 

2003 Toyota Tundra

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 5/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 10/10

KBB Value: $4,534

Fuel Economy: 15 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $500

Safety Rating: 4/5 

Not only do the reliability scores for the 2003 Tundra improve versus 2002, but these trucks also average a relatively low $500 in annual upkeep bills. Not bad for a 20-year-old vehicle with around 225,000 miles on the clock. Anti-lock brakes were made standard on these early trucks and owners report about 1 ½ days in the shop annually. Again, not bad considering the age.

Replacing the brake pads and rotors on a 2003 Tundra is the most likely repair that will cost you more than $500. And there were 10 recalls for this model year including a large one that started in 2019 for airbag inflators that may explode. You can use this NHTSA VIN tool to find out if your truck is affected.   

The most common CEL in 2003 Tundras was caused by DTC P0442 that in this case is related to the gas cap. It may just need to be tightened. DTC P0430, another common culprit, indicates a faulty catalytic converter, which could lead to a pricey repair. You may also see DTC P0420, which is similar to P0430 as it has to do with the catalytic converter. 

2008 Toyota Tundra

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 4/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 9/10

KBB Value: $6,413

Fuel Economy: 15 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $607

Safety Rating: 3.75/5 

The 2008 Tundra makes our “Best of” ranking thanks to a 2-point increase in FIXD reliability over the prior year, strong owner-reported reliability of nine, and below-average annual repair costs. Additionally, 31% of owners expect their truck to keep running past 200,000 miles and they should know as this model year averages 185,000 miles. 

Like the 2011 model, 2008 Tundras have a recall for a faulty power window master switch that can melt. One of 13 recalls in 2008, in this instance the affected number of vehicles expanded to 2.5 million. 

DTC P0430 is the most frequently recorded CEL cause in 2008. It is not a severe issue but should be checked out as it has to do with the catalytic converter. Another one to watch for is DTC P2447. Usually appearing once you hit 190,000 miles, this code indicates trouble with the secondary air injection system pump. 

The Worst Years of the Toyota Tundra

 Black Toyota Tundra car moving on the street.

Working with the same information to determine the best Toyota Tundras, we’ve compiled the list of model years to avoid. You can expect more issues with reliability, higher maintenance bills, and in some cases lower safety ratings with these poor-performing Tundras.

2001-2002 Toyota Tundra

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 4/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 8-9/10

KBB Value: $4,103-$4,159

Fuel Economy: 15 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $417-$450

Safety Rating: 3/5 

The 2001 and 2002 Tundra have the dubious honor of being the very worst model years on this list. It’s not surprising as the first-gen Tundra had arrived just one year earlier. Automakers frequently have reliability issues anytime a new vehicle is unveiled. 

The FIXD score hovers at 4/10 in both years and the owner score, though high at nine in 2001 ends up dropping to eight for 2002. This positive owner sentiment could be chalked up to relatively low annual repair costs of $450 or less and the fact that these trucks have generally run well past 200,000 miles. 

Nonetheless, FIXD devices recorded nearly 7,000 DTCs on 2001 and 2002 Tundras combined. P0446 was a common pain point. It has to do with the EVAP system’s charcoal canister, a repair job that could cost you a cool thousand bucks. 

P0300 is a serious DTC to watch out for on Tundras. It means multiple misfires have been detected and should be addressed promptly. Another common issue relates to DTC P0441. Though low on the severity scale, this code has to do with the EVAP system and may result in a rough or erratic idle.

2009 Toyota Tundra

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 1/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 10/10

KBB Value: $8,622

Fuel Economy: 15 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $750

Safety Rating: 3.75/5 

Looking at the reliability chart, we can see the 2009 Tundra scores the absolute lowest FIXD score – one – and highest owner score – ten. Diving into the data reveals that only one 2009 Tundra owner responded to our survey and was fond of their truck in general. In particular, this owner felt their truck could easily handle a cross-country trip. 

However, over 800 DTCs were recorded by FIXD devices for this model year, average repair bills are around $750, and the safety score stinks. Some of this problematic reliability may be due to 2009 being the year Toyota added E85 fuel capability to the 5.7L V8. Added complexity often results in added headaches. Point being, avoid the 2009 Tundra.

When it comes to expensive repairs (over $500) on 2009 Tundras, there is a 50% chance that it will be the brakes. Fortunately, replacing Tundra brake pads and rotors is something that a reasonably skilled DIYer can handle to save on labor costs. 

Two of the more common diagnostic trouble codes found on the 2009 Tundra are C1201 and P0456. In both cases, you may get lucky and only need to tighten the gas cap. Check out our DTC P0456 explainer video for more on what this one entails. 

DTC P2442, another common reason for an illuminated CEL, has to do with the air injector system. A new air pump is expensive, expect to pay in the $600-$700 range for replacement. 

2009 was also a tough year for Tundra recalls. There were 13 recalls in total, including the massive pedal entrapment issue that affected over four million Toyotas.

2010 Toyota Tundra

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 3/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 8/10

KBB Value: $8,165

Fuel Economy: 16 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $781

Safety Rating: 4/5 

Between the expensive annual repair costs, drop in owner-reported reliability, and a market value that moves in the wrong direction, the 2010 Toyota Tundra lands on our list of trucks to avoid. The FIXD score does improve from the prior year but is still only at three which is relatively low. 

Those repair bills and the lower owner reliability score could be tied to a new 4.6L V8 and transmission that arrived in 2010 to replace the 4.7L unit. And owner sentiment doesn’t help with 80% reporting this particular Tundra is expensive to fix. Across 20 years, only 48% of owners on average feel this way. 

There were 16 recalls in 2010, which is quite high, and a sticking accelerator pedal was one of the most impactful. It affected over two million Toyotas – Tundra included – and required a reinforcement bar be installed to fix the problem. 

Clearly, there is an issue with the secondary air injection system pump on these 2010 Tundras as all three of the most common DTCs – P2443, P2445, and P2447 – are all related to this. Given these problems typically show up around 175,000 miles that’s not too surprising as owners average at least 150,000 miles. 

2007 Toyota Tundra

2007 Toyota Tundra against an autumn background

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 2/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 9/10

KBB Value: $6,463

Fuel Economy: 15 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $667

Safety Rating: 3.75/5 

As the first year for the all-new second-generation Tundra, these 2007 model years, unsurprisingly, struggle with reliability. Both reliability scores drop from the prior year and the FIXD metric comes in at just two which is very low.

Additionally, these trucks average over two days in the shop each year versus the overall average of just over one day. That jives with 71% of owners who feel these Tundras are expensive to maintain, particularly the HVAC system. It registers a nearly 18% chance of being responsible for a $500 repair. 

As with so many Tundra trouble codes, two common DTCs in 2007 are related to emissions, specifically the secondary air injection system pump. DTC P0418 and P2447 will likely lead down this path with a new air pump costing upwards of $700.

Recalls are also a low point as 14 were filed for the 2007 model year. A notably alarming issue has to do with the propeller shaft separating from the yoke on 4WD models. It impacted about 15,000 vehicles so is worth looking into using the NHTSA VIN check tool

2004-2006 Toyota Tundra

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 3/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 8-9/10

KBB Value: $5,090-$5,723

Fuel Economy: 15-16 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $792-$917

Safety Rating: 4/5 

In 2005, which was the tail end of gen-one production, Toyota replaced the 3.4L V6 with a 4.0L unit, added VVT to the 4.7L V8 and added an extra gear to both the automatic and manual transmissions. That’s a whole lot of powertrain changes that tend to result in gremlins. Which is reflected in the poor FIXD reliability score of just three.

A bright spot is that the average fuel efficiency increases slightly thanks to the 18 mpg provided by the new 4.0L unit. As well, the KBB value moves up, which could be attributed to the addition of the larger Double Cab configuration that arrived in 2005. 

However, annual repair costs are relatively high with 2005 going past $900 and 2006 not far behind at $885. The most likely culprit of a pricey repair in 2006 is engine-related as 27% of owners note in their survey responses. Also unfavorable is the 25% of owners who dislike the entertainment system on 2004 and 2005 models, a relatively high percentage. 

This particular range of Tundras also has an exceptionally high number of recalls – 14 in 2005 – investigations – six in 2004 – and complaints – 507 in 2006. All three of those figures are generally higher than any other Tundra here so be sure to do your homework if you’re considering one – which we don’t recommend. 

To drive that point home, all three of the most common DTCs have repair price tags that range from $750 to over $2,000. DTC P0441 could mean you need a new charcoal canister for the EVAP system. DTC P0340 is related to the timing chain and DTC P0430 indicates it may be time to replace the catalytic converter. 

2017 Toyota Tundra

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 8/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 8/10

KBB Value: $17,494

Fuel Economy: 15 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $1,188

Safety Rating: 4.2/5

Though only six years old, the 2017 Toyota Tundra dropped two points in the owner reliability category. That may be related to the nearly $1,200 annual repair costs for this model, which is easily the highest of any Tundra in our rankings. This is made more troubling considering the average odometer reading is only around 100,000 miles.

It’s hard to pinpoint which vehicle system is the most likely to incur these large maintenance costs as the HVAC system, brakes, and fuel system all have an identical 12.5% chance of running past $500 to fix according to the owner survey.

Fortunately, there were only six NHTSA recalls this year that mostly affected small numbers of trucks. As with the 2016 Tundra above, one of those recalls has to do with the lug nuts cracking and/or detaching on certain accessory wheels, so be sure to check on that one.

The most prevalent cause of a CEL in 2017 was DTC P1604, which in this case represents a mass airflow sensor issue. Repairs shouldn’t run much more than $300. The EVAP system continues to be a thorn in the Tundra’s side for 2017 as both DTC P0441 and P0455 are common problems for this model year. Neither are considered serious problems and could be caused by a loose gas cap.

2015 Toyota Tundra

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 6/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 8/10

KBB Value: $14,117

Fuel Economy: 16 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $393

Safety Rating: 4/5 

The 2015 Tundra receives a thumbs down mainly because of the higher-than-average reported days in the shop each year of 1.6. Additionally, the KBB current market value goes the wrong way here, dropping about $500 versus the prior year. Couple all that with an owner reliability score that drops from ten to eight and you have a truck we don’t recommend. 

There are few recalls for 2015 and of them only one stands out due to the higher number of vehicles affected. It has to do with an oil leak from the power steering gear assembly and impacted about 22,000 Tundras and Sequoias. 

If the check engine light comes on, watch for DTC P1604 which could indicate you’re using too low of a fuel grade or simply require a battery recharge. DTC C1201 is more concerning as it may lead to oxygen sensor replacement, something that runs between $150 and $500.

FAQs

What years of the Toyota Tundra have engine and/or transmission problems?

Per Tundra owner survey responses, the 2005 and 2006 model years have the highest percentage chance – over a 20-year span – of a $500+ repair being related to the engine or transmission. As we note in the rankings above, Toyota did a major powertrain reshuffling in 2005. It’s part of the reason we don’t recommend either model year. 

What is considered high mileage for a Toyota Tundra?

Between 2000 and 2021, our data shows the average mileage for a Toyota Tundra to be about 140,000. Of those 22 model years, only three – 2001, 2002, and 2003 – register odometer readings north of 200,000 miles. 

200,000 miles is likely to be the end of the road for most Tundras. 

What other vehicles should I consider? 

If you’re looking to stay in the full-size pickup truck segment, the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra twins are obvious choices as is the Ram lineup. If you can get by with something smaller, options range from a Toyota Tacoma or Ford Ranger to the Chevy Colorado and Honda Ridgeline. 

What owners of the Toyota Tundra like to use their car for:

Frequent Use Categories: How Useful? (Out of 5 Stars)
Family Vehicle ***
Lots of Driving (travel/long commute) ***
Hauling/Towing ***
Office on Wheels *
Sport/Fast Driving *
Luxurious Driving *
Outdoor/Off-Road ***

A Note About Data and Information Sources

This article has many details about Toyota Tundra reliability; here’s what we used for our assumptions and recommendations.

  • FIXD Reliability Score & Data: Engine reliability information is captured via the FIXD App

The FIXD Reliability Score is calculated using the number of DTCs per year, weighted by mileage. This is then turned into a scale of 1-10 for easy graphing. 

This is an objective score.

  • Owner Reliability Score & Data: This data is the result of surveying Toyota Tundra owners who use FIXD. 

The Owner Reliability Score comes straight from owners of the Toyota Tundra.  

This is a subjective score.

To determine the Owner Reliability Score we ask each car owner:

How reliable would you say your Toyota Tundra is?

a. Just point A to point B driving

b. A Daily Commuter

c. Good for a 100 mile road trip

d. Good for a 500 mile road trip

e. I could take a cross-country road trip, no problem

From here we translate their answers into the Owner Reliability Score:

a. = 2

b. = 4

c. = 6

d. = 8

e. = 10

Keep in mind, owners may think their car is more or less reliable than it actually is. 

One potential problem is that people often buy the same make or model they are used to when they go car shopping, just a newer year.

Ford, for instance, has a number of consumer loyalty awards for the Ford F-Series, Ford Mustang, and Ford Expedition.

Car owners may be so loyal to the make or model they currently own that they would have trouble accurately comparing their cars’ reliability to others. 

It’s for this reason that we ask car owners a question that is relative to mileage rather than relative to other cars. 

Still, be mindful of the accuracy of these Owner Reliability Scores, people’s perceptions and unconscious blindspots can skew data. 

We suggest looking at both the FIXD Reliability Score and the Owner Reliability Score for this reason.

  • KBB Value: Average private-seller valuations as supplied by Kelley Blue Book (KBB), based on a Toyota Tundra with typical mileage for that respective model year.
  • Fuel Economy: Mileage-per-gallon estimates according to the EPA MPG on Fueleconomy.gov
  • Annual Maintenance/Repair: Upkeep expenses as reported by surveyed Toyota Tundra owners
  • Safety Rating: Crash test data collected and reported by NHTSA. We average all ratings for each year to come up with a simplified, average safety score. This makes it easier to look at on a graph.

References

  1. Toyota Tundra model-specific information. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from https://www.edmunds.com/
  2. Toyota Tundra model-specific recall information. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls
  3. Toyota Tundra model-specific information. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from https://www.auto-brochures.com 
  4. Toyota Tundra model-specific information. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from https://www.pressroom.toyota.com 
Profile Picture of Niel Stender

Niel Stender grew up doing replacement work on his old Cherokee and sweet Mitsubishi Starion, which led to a degree in mechanical engineering and a job at Ford as a vehicle dynamics engineer. His writing infuses that automotive background with sales and marketing experience. Writing about cars for close to a decade now, he enjoys digging into some of the more technical mechanical systems under the hood and throughout a vehicle.

We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.

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About the Author

Niel Stender

Niel Stender

Niel Stender grew up doing replacement work on his old Cherokee and sweet Mitsubishi Starion, which led to a degree in mechanical engineering and a job at Ford as a vehicle dynamics engineer. His writing infuses that automotive background with sales and marketing experience. Writing about cars for close to a decade now, he enjoys digging into some of the more technical mechanical systems under the hood and throughout a vehicle.

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