2012 Toyota Tundra Review

Pros & Cons

  • Strong V8 powertrains
  • capable six-speed automatic
  • large Double Cab with traditional rear doors
  • colossal CrewMax cab
  • one axle ratio fits all.
  • Interior design missteps
  • lively ride
  • feels more cumbersome to drive than competitors.
List Price Estimate
$12,471 - $17,023

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2012 Toyota Tundra combines strong powertrain choices and a selection of spacious cabs to deliver a real workhorse of a pickup.

Vehicle overview

It used to be that full-size pickup trucks were primarily judged on no-nonsense qualities like reliability, durability and competence for the job at hand. By these traditional measures, the 2012 Toyota Tundra can go toe to toe with anything Detroit's Big Three automakers have to offer. These days, though, most people evaluate these trucks beyond their core competencies, and it's here where you'll decide whether the Tundra is for you.

There's no question that the half-ton Tundra rivals its Ford, GM and Ram competitors in everything from towing capacity to the dizzying array of possible configurations. Under the hood you have a choice of three engines, including a 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 that allows the Tundra to tow trailers that weigh up to 10,400 pounds.

There are also three body styles, three bed lengths and two trim levels available, culminating in the top-of-the-line CrewMax Limited model with its limolike rear seat and upscale car-style amenities including dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated front seats and a 12-speaker JBL audio system. Double Cab models also offer an adult-friendly backseat and front-hinged rear doors that make for easier access than the rear-hinged designs found in extended-cab pickups from Ford and GM.

While all this compares favorably with the competition, the Tundra hasn't received significant upgrades since the truck's launch in 2007. This means the big Texas-built Toyota is a few steps behind its more recently remade rivals in key areas. In particular, the Ram 1500 has a coil-spring rear suspension that gives it a comparatively more comfortable ride, while the Ford F-150 has a more advanced engine lineup, while numerous innovative features make it the cutting-edge choice among pickup trucks. The Tundra enjoys a few advantages over the even older Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, such as a more spacious cabin, but GM's trucks nevertheless remain solid choices.

Most of these advantages and disadvantages are pretty minor. Ultimately, the 2012 Toyota Tundra definitely stands tall as a full-size pickup.

2012 Toyota Tundra models

The 2012 Toyota Tundra is a full-size pickup offered in three body styles (two-door Regular Cab, extended four-door Double Cab and four-door crew-cab called the CrewMax), plus three different wheelbases and three bed lengths. There are just two trim levels: the Tundra and the top-of-the-line Tundra Limited. Not all these variations are available together, and the availability of some options often depends on the region in which you live.

Standard equipment on entry-level Regular Cab models includes 18-inch steel wheels, chrome bumpers, heated mirrors, full power accessories, a windshield wiper de-icer, a damped tailgate, power windows, dual-zone air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a 40/20/40-split bench seat, a tilt-only steering wheel and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The entry-level Double Cab adds intermittent windshield wipers, keyless entry, an eight-way manually adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split fold-up rear seats, carpeting, cruise control and two extra speakers. The CrewMax adds a power vertical-sliding rear window and a sliding, reclining and fold-flat rear seat.

Moving up to the Limited trim level, which is only offered on Double Cab and CrewMax body styles, gets you 18-inch alloy wheels, a color-keyed front bumper, foglights, a bed rail system with adjustable tie-down cleats, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated power front bucket seats (10-way driver, four-way passenger), a power-operated sliding rear window (Double Cab), an auto-dimming rearview mirror with built-in back-up camera display, upgraded gauges and trip computer, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a JBL premium audio system with a six-CD changer, 10 speakers in the Double Cab and 12 speakers in the CrewMax.

A long list of packages and stand-alone options makes it possible to add many of the Limited's standard features to the base Tundra, though more of them are available on the Double Cab. Limited models can also be had with 20-inch alloy wheels, running boards and a navigation system with a touchscreen interface, voice controls and real-time traffic. The CrewMax Limited can also be loaded up with a rear-seat entertainment system and a Platinum package that includes 20-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, perforated leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, driver memory functions and the navigation system.

There are also a dizzying array of available option packages, including a Tow package that bundles a heftier axle ratio, a hitch receiver, a transmission Tow/Haul mode, oil and transmission fluid coolers, a heavy-duty battery, upgraded alternator and a seven-pin connector. A Work Truck package strips base Regular and Double Cab models of convenience features like power mirrors, keyless entry and cruise control and substitutes black bumpers, vinyl upholstery and heavy-duty rubber flooring.

Styling-oriented packages include a Chrome Appearance package (base Double Cab models only) and a Sport Appearance package. There are also several off-road-oriented equipment groups. The TRD Off-Road package adds special 18-inch alloy wheels, off-road tires, an off-road-tuned suspension, skid plates and tow hooks (the Regular Cab version also adds many of the convenience niceties found on the other body styles). The TRD Rock Warrior package (base Double Cab and CrewMax only) is similar, but includes 17-inch forged alloy wheels and all-terrain tires, along with a matte black rear bumper and many of the convenience options.

2012 Highlights

The 2012 Toyota Tundra has just a few minor changes including simplified option packages, a new Chrome Appearance package and a standard rearview camera on Limited models.

Performance & mpg

The 2012 Toyota Tundra is offered with a choice of three different engines and rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

Rear-wheel-drive Regular and Double Cabs are powered by a 4.0-liter V6 that puts out 270 hp and 278 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard. EPA-estimated fuel economy for this powertrain is 16 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 18 mpg highway.

A 4.6-liter V8 that produces 310 hp and 327 lb-ft of torque is standard on CrewMax, four-wheel-drive and long-bed models, and available as an option on rear-wheel-drive Regular and Double Cab body styles. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. In Edmunds testing, a four-wheel-drive Tundra with the 4.6-liter V8 went from zero to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy for this engine is 15 mpg city/20 mph highway and 17 mpg combined with two-wheel drive and 14/19/16 with four-wheel drive.

Topping the Tundra's engine lineup is a 5.7-liter V8 standard on Limited trim levels and optional on the other models. It produces 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque, while a six-speed automatic transmission is standard. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 14 mpg city/18 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined for two-wheel-drive models and 13/17/14 for four-wheel-drive versions. A four-wheel-drive Tundra CrewMax with this engine went from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds in Edmunds testing. Tundras equipped with the 5.7-liter V8 and the optional Tow package can pull trailers up to 10,400 pounds.

Safety

The 2012 Toyota Tundra comes standard with antilock brakes (with brake assist), stability and traction control, trailer sway control, front side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags that cover both rows and front knee airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, a Tundra Double Cab with the 4.6-liter V8 came to a stop from 60 mph in 134 feet -- a good distance for a full-size truck.

In government crash tests the Tundra earned an overall score of four stars (out of a possible five), as well as four stars for overall frontal protection and five stars for overall side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Tundra its highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Driving

When the Tundra was first introduced, any model that carried an engine other than the 5.7-liter V8 was a letdown. However, the midgrade 310-hp 4.6-liter V8 means playing second fiddle isn't necessarily a bad thing. This engine provides all the muscle most truck buyers need, with better fuel economy to boot. The base V6 is one of the brawnier base engines in the segment, but V8 grunt seems like a must in this class. Now, if getting the most V8 grunt is important, the 5.7 isn't the class leader it once was in terms of horsepower, but it remains a champ for towing thanks to its axle ratio and a well-sorted six-speed automatic.

For daily use, the 2012 Toyota Tundra's light steering makes the truck very easy to drive, though it feels bigger than competing trucks. We were satisfied with the Tundra's ride quality a few years ago, but the Ram's coil-spring rear suspension and the Ford F-150's revised, sturdier frame make the Tundra's ride seem stiff-legged by comparison.

Interior

While the interior of the 2012 Toyota Tundra is passable by pickup truck standards and even has a few strong points, the fact that it hasn't been updated in five years makes it seem dated when compared to the more recently redone passenger cabins of its Ford and Ram competitors. The Limited trim level equipped with the Platinum option package does add upscale touches like perforated leather upholstery and heated/ventilated front seats, but the fact remains that designers have done nothing to address more fundamental issues like distantly placed audio controls, low-quality materials and the base model's difficult-to-read gauges.

From a practical standpoint, however, the Tundra scores. Topping the list of thumbs-up inside is the ridiculously roomy rear seat in CrewMax models, which combines gobs of legroom with the comfort of reclining seatbacks. Only the heavy-duty Ram trucks can match its limolike sprawl space. Another plus are the front-hinged rear doors on Double Cab models that make getting in and out of the adult-friendly backseat much easier than the clamshell-style rear doors on some competitors. The folding backseats on Double Cab and CrewMax models also provide a good amount of protected storage for valuable items you'd rather not leave in the bed.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2012 Toyota Tundra.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2012 Tundra 4.6 double cab P2440 code / expense
catndahats,04/07/2019
Tundra 4dr Double Cab SB (4.6L 8cyl 6A)
Great truck up until last week. All the good things about Toyota Tundras are true---great ride, pulling power, large dealer base nationwide. This "weak link" however can endanger you and your family, and is a very expensive repair. This is my 4th Toyota since 2002 and 2nd Tundra, and I consider myself a Toyota fan. My complaint is both towards the vehicle, the dealership base, and Toyota corporation. Purchased this 2012 as a CPO from the dealership in 1/2016 with 35k miles. I have always believed it was a good company and product. Felt good knowing it was covered by Toyota's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty and had passed an intensive inspection prior to sale. Buyer beware. Secondary Air Pump Failure: At exactly 72,000 miles, the check engine / trac off lights came on and the truck went into limp mode. Just know that this well documented defect in Toyota Tundras still continues. Toyota claims the problem was corrected with the 2010 models, but acknowledges there are plenty of dissatisfied customers posting all over the internet. I've talked to 2 dealers, and many emails and phone calls to Toyota corporate regarding the defect and seeking assistance. They know the defect is common in all Tundras, and will tell you the defect with the AIP continues, but will not help. All dead ends. The Toyota corporation absolutely refuses to assist the customer even though we have the extended 7yr/100,000 mile power train warranty. Buyer beware, not if, but WHEN the repair WILL come, and it will cost you out of pocket anywhere from $2,000 - $3000. If you buy a 2010 Tundra or later, budget for this repair. I expect this defect will have a negative effect on your resale or trade value when you try to get rid of the vehicle. It is a safety issue. The symptoms: Code: P2440 -- The truck now has exactly 72,000 miles, and has gone into "Limp" mode with the Check Engine / Trac Off lights flashing. Limp mode means no acceleration, no ability to drive uphill. Even though they extended the warranty on this weak link in the vehicles built between 2007 - 2010, they do not acknowledge there is a manufacturing defect in later models. Extremely dangerous as the vehicle becomes sluggish and will not drive uphill or accelerate.
Tundra can Tow
deejay8,08/02/2012
We got our Tundra from Cowboy Toyota. Billy Goss and James Smith provided excellent service. We previously owned a Nissan Frontier. There is no comparison between the towing performance of the Tundra compared to the Frontier. We just returned from our trip to New Mexico. The only "problem" was that we kept forgetting we were towing the camper. The 4.6L engine worked great. I'm glad we didn't get the bigger engine because it was not needed.
So Far So Good
thebigv21,02/25/2013
Truck now has 11K miles. Had first synthetic oil change at 10K. Averaging 15.2 mpg in combined driving. Truck runs great and has similar MPG as tacomas I have owned in the past. The horsepower and torque on this truck is something else. I see negative reviews on here and I can't understand why. The performance is what impresses me the most. I am 6'4" and have plenty of room. Kids can sit in the back without any problem whatsoever. This is a real truck, not meant for anyone who wants a car..
Had the Rest - Now gotta Tundra
RicheD,12/28/2016
Tundra 4dr Double Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A)
Just thought I would update my review - I have now owed my Certified Used Tundra for two-years now. I am just as happy as the day I got it. No check engine lights and no problems. I wish I would have switched to Toyota years ago and saved myself some weekends of not working on vehicles and lots of headaches. This truck has made multiple trips to Florida and many to the Midwest and is a joy to drive. Toyotas cost a little more but, they hold their value, and they stand the test of time. I am to the point in my life where owning a quality vehicle that I don't have to worry about is first and foremost. I don't have to worry about my vehicle being labeled as a "rolling sarcophagi", or "disfiguring", or wondering what kind of defect my vehicle has and how it's going to kill me....lol

Features & Specs

See all Used 2012 Toyota Tundra features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2012 Toyota Tundra

Used 2012 Toyota Tundra Overview

The Used 2012 Toyota Tundra is offered in the following submodels: Tundra Regular Cab, Tundra CrewMax Cab, Tundra Double Cab. Available styles include Tundra 4dr Double Cab SB (4.6L 8cyl 6A), Tundra 4dr Double Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Tundra 4dr Double Cab 4WD SB (4.6L 8cyl 6A), Tundra FFV 4dr CrewMax 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Tundra 4dr CrewMax SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Tundra FFV 4dr Double Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Tundra 4dr Double Cab SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Tundra 4dr CrewMax 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Limited FFV 4dr CrewMax 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Limited 4dr CrewMax 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Tundra 4dr CrewMax SB (4.6L 8cyl 6A), Tundra 4dr Double Cab SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Limited 4dr CrewMax SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Tundra 4dr CrewMax 4WD SB (4.6L 8cyl 6A), Limited 4dr Double Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Tundra 4dr Double Cab 4WD LB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Limited FFV 4dr Double Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Tundra FFV 4dr Double Cab 4WD LB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Tundra 2dr Regular Cab LB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Tundra 4dr Double Cab LB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Tundra 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Limited 4dr Double Cab SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Tundra 2dr Regular Cab SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Tundra FFV 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Tundra 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Tundra FFV 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Tundra 2dr Regular Cab SB (4.6L 8cyl 6A), and Tundra 2dr Regular Cab LB (5.7L 8cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2012 Toyota Tundra?

Price comparisons for Used 2012 Toyota Tundra trim styles:

  • The Used 2012 Toyota Tundra Tundra is priced between $12,100 and$23,990 with odometer readings between 49764 and181000 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Toyota Tundra Limited is priced between $29,998 and$29,998 with odometer readings between 65181 and65181 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2012 Toyota Tundras are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Toyota Tundra for sale near. There are currently 6 used and CPO 2012 Tundras listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $12,100 and mileage as low as 49764 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2012 Toyota Tundra.

Can't find a used 2012 Toyota Tundras you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota Tundra for sale - 2 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $15,522.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 8 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $17,363.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Tundra for sale - 2 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $20,321.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 3 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $16,960.

Should I lease or buy a 2012 Toyota Tundra?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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