The 2013 Toyota Tundra CrewMax, looks absolutely gigantic at first glimpse, it has an imposing appearance like a large dude pushing his chest out. Inside, the huge interior is impressive, the center console looks like a seat unto-itself.  The truck is wide and the rear passengers have miles of legroom, as well as sliding and reclining seats.

The Tundra starts its life in San Antonio, Texas. We Americans love our full-size pickups. The Ford F-150, is a consistent best-seller, seemingly regardless of economic downturn, and the Chevrolet Silverado is never far behind. Like the Tundra, the Chevy is also receiving total redesign for the 2014 model year. Current generations of both the RAM 1500 and the Ford F-150 premiered in 2009 models. The Nissan Titan dates all the way back to 2004.

This was my first drive of a four-door Crewmax version of the Tundra. I’ve spent a good amount of time in both the first-generation and current, second-generation Tundras in their regular cab forms. Their capabilities with heavy-weight hauling, towing and work utility were fantastic. But those were work trucks.

Starting Retail PriceEPA Rating MPGHP / Lb-Ft
 $43,89513/18 Combined 15381/401
 As Tested PriceAs Tested MPG
 $46,51814.5

Styling/Design:

2013 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited Review Behind the Wheel ZipRage-8

Full-size pickup owners now expect a bit more out of their vehicles. More premium luxury, more handy technology and a few more miles per gallon. Ford, RAM and Chevy/GMC have fully embraced the consumer wants, they now offer beautifully outfitted models at the top of their lineups that quite frankly make the Tundra look cheap by comparison. The top-trim Limited test truck I zipped around in for a week has an interior full of hard plastic. Sure there is some faux-wood trim for kicks, but it ain’t fooling anybody. The interior is laid out logically with very large HVAC control knobs and other buttons.  However, one of the selector buttons on this new truck was showing signs of wear.

The exterior is composed of rounded shapes that make for a sleek appearance.  I do not have any issues with the exterior, I love the giant hood and stance. The Tundra has the longest wheelbase (at 145.7 in) of the short bed full-size pickups.

Powertrain:

When it comes to power, the Tundra is no slouch, the test vehicle’s 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 and 6-speed automatic were top notch and I would rate the powertrain second to none. The suspension is sturdy but relatively comfortable and the brakes are powerful and firm. The truck gave me no trouble rolling down I-25 between 75-85 MPH from Colorado Springs to Denver during a long week of traveling work days. Mileage for the week came in at 14.5 MPG.

Ride & Handling:

2013 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited Review Behind the Wheel ZipRage-15

The 2013 Tundra TRD off-road package has a well dampened and comfortable ride. The steering feel is excellent for a full-size pickup and is nice and heavy.  There is no mistaking that this is a large full-size truck, you need to use just the right amount of elbow-grease when maneuvering parking lots and taking corners.

Conclusion:

I very much enjoyed my week with the 2013 Tundra, that said I have a hard time recommending it, the interior just doesn’t fit the a $46,518 price tag. Maybe it’s more that the interior doesn’t fit the Limited badging, regardless, if interior quality and technology are on your list or must have the Tundra’s going to be a hard sell.

I enjoyed my week with this truck.  It did the Ike Gauntlet extreme towing test, and took the family to the lake and back.  It never complained.  There are two reasons I give it a Lease It! rating.  The first is the mediocre interior materials.  It just does not seem to fit a $46,518 Limited trim truck. If you are looking for a very reliable and comfortable truck with an outstanding powertrain, then the Tundra is worth a look. Hopefully, I’ll be behind the wheel of the next-generation 2014 soon, I’ll be looking for a truck that preserves the excellent powertrain, ride and handling but includes a more attractive and feature-rich interior.