2011 Toyota Tundra Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
The automotive industry doesn’t complain about the amount of power the 2011 Toyota Tundra offers, but it isn’t impressed with the Tundra’s so-so steering that doesn’t match competing trucks like the Dodge Ram and Chevrolet Silverado.
- "Ride quality still suffers greatly when the truck is unloaded, making it very uncomfortable at times on some of L.A.'s notorious freeways. We like the Tundra when there's payload in the bed or a trailer hanging off the back. In those cases, it's a completely different pickup suitable to just about any task the other half-tons can do, if not more." -- PickupTrucks.com
- "Mechanical changes include updating the base 4.0-liter V-6 engine with a dual VVT-i system with roller rockers and hydraulic lifters that can variably adjust both the intake and exhaust valves for enhanced performance and efficiency.” -- Cars.com
- "For normal, daily use, the Tundra's light steering makes the truck very easy to drive, though at times it feels bigger than competing trucks." -- Edmunds
Acceleration and Power
The 2011 Tundra has a standard 4.0 liter V6 that makes 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. There are two other engine options: a 4.6L V8 engine that produces 310 horsepower and 327 pound feet of torque, and a 5.7L V8 engine that produces 381 horsepower and 401 pound feet or torque. Those that have driven Tundra trucks with the 5.7 liter engine say it is powerful enough for what buyers are likely to throw at it. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard on the Regular and Double two-wheel drive models, but a six-speed automatic is optional. The six speed is standard on upper trims.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the two-wheel drive Tundra with the 4.0 liter engine at 16/20 mpg city/highway with the five-speed automatic. Two-wheel drive models with the 4.6 liter eight-cylinder engine get 15/20 mpg city/highway, and the 5.7 liter eight-cylinder engine gets 14/18 mpg city/highway.
Fuel economy ratings for four-wheel drive models are somewhat lower. The 4.6 liter eight-cylinder engine gets 14/19 mpg city/highway, and the eight-cylinder 5.7 liter engine gets 13/17 mpg city/highway.
- "The old axiom that ‘there's no replacement for displacement’ is no longer as relevant as it once was. We're entering the age of smaller, lighter, more powerful eight-cylinder motors... That's where Toyota's all-new 4.6-liter i-Force V-8 comes in... The 4.6-liter reminds us a lot of the 5.7-liter, but it's more casual in going about its duties." -- Automotive.com
- "Wow, I'd sure hate to buy gas for this thing." -- The Sacramento Bee
- "However, I do continue to be amazed at how quickly a full-sized truck can move when properly set up. Traction control issues aside, this extremely large cargo hauler handles, stops and (excluding the TC hiccups) accelerates far better than a 5,000-pound vehicle should." -- Edmunds
Handling and Braking
Reviewers are divided over the 2011 Toyota Tundra’s handling and braking capabilities. Some say the Tundra has good handling for a vehicle of its weight and size, while others say the Tundra’s steering doesn’t stand out in comparison to the Dodge Ram and Ford F-150.
The Tundra's size and trucky steering make it a chore to park. Additionally, its independent double wishbone front suspension and rear leaf springs also produce ride that’s too jiggly for most reviewers.
- "We were satisfied with the Tundra's ride quality a few years ago, but the new Dodge Ram's rear coil spring suspension and the Ford F-150's sturdier frame make the Tundra seem jiggly by comparison." -- Edmunds
- "Disappoints with slow, numb steering feel, lazy reactions and some noseplow in quick changes of direction." --Consumer Guide
- "The Tundra offers excellent steering feel and a better highway ride than some of its competitors. This is thanks in part to its frame, which has a stiff fully-boxed front section, partially-boxed C-channel under the passenger compartment and more flexible open C-channel below the bed." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "At the same time, the Tundra's high tow rating leads to compromises some might be unwilling to accept. Stiff rear springs are required to support higher tongue weights for trailers, and this affects everyday ride comfort." -- Edmunds
Towing and Hauling
Few reviewers comment on the Tundra’s towing and hauling capabilities. The Tundra has a maximum towing capacity of 10,400 pounds when properly configured, which gives it a 300 pound towing advantage over the Chevy Silverado. The Tundra can haul a maximum of 2090 pounds in its bed when properly configured.