Toyota is a car and truck brand known for reliability. Almost any model line from the Japanese automotive giant is a leader in reliability (except the pesky 4Runner on some model years). Lexus and Scion, Toyota’s luxury and budget brands respectively, have excellent reliability records. Lexus, actually, the most reliable brand out of all manufacturers.
So where does the Toyota Tundra fit in? How does Toyota’s beefy pickup truck compare to the rest of the field? And how does a Toyota Tundra with 200k miles fair? Is it worth buying a Tundra with this many miles? Or are you asking for trouble? Should I buy a Tundra with 200k miles?
Is 200,000 Miles A Lot For A Toyota Tundra?
200,000 miles is not a lot for a Toyota Tundra. If the truck’s previous owner maintained it pretty well, then you can easily get another 200,000 miles out of it. The easiest, cheapest, and best preventative maintenance is consistent and quality oil changes. If this is the norm then you should feel confident purchasing a Toyota Tundra with 200,000 miles or more.
Compared to the other legacy manufacturers, Toyota is ahead of its peers. I wrote an article about the most reliable pickup truck engines. Check it out. And what do you know? The highest-rated engine is a Toyota.
Breaking down specific truck systems and Toyota is also hard to beat. The following chart plots out the reliability of the top for pickup trucks from 2000-2021. You can see a glaring difference with only one standout.
In comparison, the Toyota Tundra reliability is excellent and has no equal. But does that mean it is still a quality vehicle if it has 200,000 miles? Each truck on this graph can have a 5-star rating. But, after years of abuse and even normal wear and tear a pickup truck can be ready to die with enough mileage.
What Is Considered High Mileage For A Toyota Tundra?
The earliest model year for a Toyota Tundra is 2000. Assuming the average annual mileage of 12,000 miles you won’t find many Tundras with more than 240,000 miles. Referring back to Consumer Reports we can see the earliest model years for the Toyota Tundra have the best reliability ratings:
The 2000 Toyota Tundra has the second-highest rating Consumer Reports gives. Toyota got it right in the first model year. I won’t add any competitors’ charts because it gets pretty redundant. The Toyota Tundra is almost universally the most reliable full-size pickup truck on the market.
With such a short history ANY year Toyota Tundra will be decent to an excellent choice. Depending on the price you cannot go wrong. A high mileage Toyota Tundra will still handle if the owner has taken care of the truck.
What Problems Do Toyota Tundras Have?
First-generation Toyota Tundras generally have trouble with the brakes. The reliability scores are low and there have been recalls. Paint is also an issue with low scores.
The second-generation Toyota Tundras have very little that goes wrong with them. It is hard to find flaws without nit-picking but here we go. Brakes. Until 2018 Tundras received low ratings from Consumer Reports for their brake system. Since then, Toyota seems to have fixed any ABS issues. 2018-2020 years get the highest ratings for brakes. So, there.
The second-generation Tundra debuted in 2007. From 2007-2012 it received low ratings for its fuel system, drive system, paint, and exhaust. The model year 2007 in particular, may be the model year you may want to stay away from. Customers report more issues for this year than any other. The biggest issue with the 2007 model year is the four-wheel-drive system.
Most issues reported were actually fixed under warranty. These issues happened within the first 5-7 years before the warranty expires. That may be a result of flukes and not issues that affect most models. If you get past 100k miles, a Tundra with 200k miles may not be much different.
Fuel system issues include sensors failing and issues with air pumps.
Drive System issues included 4WD, differential/axle, and bearings issues.
Judging paint on an older vehicle seems foolish. Paint never lasts. It is better with some manufacturers than others. But you should expect paint issues on vehicles that are 5 years old or more in general. Even more so if you are looking for a vehicle in arid or desert climates. That sun is not friendly to your car’s paint at all.
Exhaust system issues include rusted-out pipes. This may be more environmental than design. Toyota Tundra exhausts are steel (not stainless). They are then hot-dip coated on both sides with an aluminum-silicon alloy.
They call it “aluminized steel”. The steel rolled out of the factory with a coating to protect the exhaust from the elements. This coating will wear when exposed to road debris, scraping, etc. Rust will happen with all exhausts of this type.
2007 in particular, may be the model year you may want to stay away from. Customers report more issues for this year than any other.
Is The Toyota 4.7L A Good Engine?
The Toyota 4.7 liter 32 valve DOHC V8 is an excellent engine. It was in production from 1989-2013. Engines running solid with 1,000,000 miles are not unheard of. In fact, this engine is sought after due to its reliability.
Its aluminum block put out over 300 ft-lbs of torque. With an available supercharger offered by TRD, you can get 400 horsepower out of it. That is pretty impressive on a truck that may be a few decades old.
Is The Toyota 5.7L A Good Engine?
Toyota began to phase out its 4.7L bulletproof engine used in many of its vehicles in 2006. It was completely replaced by 2013 with the UR series engine which includes the 5.7L (3UR-FE). Toyota makes it in Huntsville, Alabama (‘Merica).
It produces 385 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. The boys over at motorreviewer.com have this to say:
The 3UR-FE is the most reliable and durable engine for all UR engine family. The Toyota made over 1.3 million kilometers of durability testing for this engine. In reality, the 3UR-Fe can run more than 400,000 miles (650,000 km) smoothly with regular maintenance with using high-quality fuel and oil.
If you have a truck with 200k miles and you are looking for a truck that can give you 200k additional miles, the Tundra with the 5.7L V8 will give you that.
Buying a truck can be a tedious process. There are many on the market. You don’t need to make it out to be more than it is. Read reviews on specific model years. Review features that you can’t live without. Also, always bring a trusted mechanic with you when you go for a test drive.
A Toyota Tundra with 200k miles is going to be a better start than a Ford, Chevrolet, or Dodge equal. Tundras last longer. They are not perfect, as a Tundra’s MPG is not the best, and replacement parts are not the cheapest. But all things equal, a Tundra is an excellent choice. There are high mileage trucks, but 200k miles is not considered high mileage for a Toyota Tundra.
Thanks for reading and stay dirty