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While the full-size truck market tends to be dominated by vehicles from the Big Three American automakers, a number of imports have also been making inroads into one of the largest segments of the American car market. The Toyota Tundra has been a popular foreign alternative to domestic trucks in the first decade of the 21st century, but since then has not managed to keep up with the increasing power and efficiency of Detroit-born trucks.
Instead, it has become a more crossover-like truck. The changes over the recent years are a testament to that. For 2018 for example, it no longer comes with a regular cab, but instead offers a larger range of standard safety features. For buyers looking for a vehicle with the versatility and the off-road abilities of a truck, but a more car-like set of features, this is perfect.The features that distinguish the Tundra are spread out among a set of five different trim levels available in several configurations and with a number of optional packages. In order to help our readers along, this article goes into detail regarding the equipment offered on each of the trim levels of the 2018 Toyota Tundra, how they differ from other trim levels, and what options are available with each one.
Compare the 2018 Tundra SR vs SR5 Trims. What is the difference?
The base Tundra SR is one of the priciest entry-level full-size pickups, but it also comes with a much higher grade of standard equipment. It includes everything one would expect to see in an entry-level car or an SUV such as power locks and windows, air conditioning, a 6.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, a rearview camera, cloth upholstery, and daytime running lights.
Compared to other entry-level trucks that lack such features and are outfitted in tough vinyl, the standard equipment on the Tundra easily excuses the above-average starting price of the SR. The entry-level Tundra also comes standard this year with the Toyota Safety Sense P active safety suite. That includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, dynamic cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic high beam control.
The SR is available only in a double cab model, which has two doors with two rows of seating, but can be optioned with either a standard or a long bed, and either of the two V-8 engines Toyota offers. Both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available, and heated side mirrors are the sole other available package option.
The SR5 offers only a slight upgrade over the regular SR, but it has more available options than the base model. It comes with a more advanced 7-inch infotainment system that can integrate with your phone’s navigation system, though it lacks other app support. It also supports satellite radio. Beyond that, the SR5 also has chrome accents and a nicer exterior styling, but is otherwise similar to the SR in equipment.
Where it differs are the options. It also comes with both engines and either front-wheel or all-wheel drive, but it is also available as a full four-door CrewMax model with a short pickup bed. It is also available in the two configurations from the regular SR as well. It also comes with a wide range of optional packages.
Among the most notable are the SR5 Upgrade Package, the TRD Off-Road Package, the TRD Sport Package, the Convenience Package, and the navigation package. The SR5 Upgrade Package replaces the front bench seat with two bucket seats, with power adjustments for the driver. It also comes with an auto-dimming rearview mirror and larger V-8 engines get an upgraded gas tank. The TRD Off-Road Package adds off-roading equipment to the model, including 18-inch wheels, Bilstein shock absorbers, skid plates, tow hooks, LED headlights and fog lights, and special TRD decals. The TRD Sport Package also adds LED lights and Bilstein shocks, but instead of off-roading equipment it has 20-inch wheels, strengthened sway bars, and racing-themed exterior accents. The convenience package includes blind spot monitors, rear cross traffic alerts, and front and rear parking sensors. Finally, the navigation package includes a built-in navigation system.Of the two trim levels, the SR is the generalist, while the SR5 offers more specialization options. For drivers who want improved off-road ability or better handling, the two TRD packages are perfect, while the added safety and convenience offered by the other packages also makes the Tundra feel less like a truck and more like a passenger crossover. For those reasons, shoppers are likely to prefer the different SR5 models to the more basic SR, though the latter has pretty good value for its price as well thanks to its extensive standard equipment.
Compare the 2018 Toyota Tundra SR5 vs Limited Trim Levels. What is the difference?
The Limited is the next model up from the SR5, and offers a more upscale driving experience. Front bucket seats are standard equipment on this model, as is the larger V-8. Its main upgrades from the stock SR5 are primarily appearance or comfort related. It comes with 20-inch wheels, leather heated seats, and wood-grain trim on the interior. Dual-zone climate control and LED headlights and fog lights are also standard.
The Limited is available in either body configuration, though the double cab is only available with a standard bed and a CrewMax with a short bed. It can also be equipped with the Limited Premium Package, which includes blind spot monitors with rear cross traffic alert, parking assist, upgraded interior lighting, an anti-theft system, and a premium JBL sound system. Models with the Premium Package can also be equipped with the TRD Off-road Package which is the same as on the SR5.
Compare the Tundra Limited vs Platinum Trims. What is the difference?
The luxury version of the Toyota Tundra, the Platinum is very similar to the Limited in terms of equipment. It does have a nicer interior design and a higher grade of leather on the seats, as well as including all of the optional equipment from the Limited barring the off-roading gear. In addition to that, the front seats are also ventilated. It comes exclusively in a CrewMax configuration with a short bed, and the only options for the model are a moonroof and running boards.Cooled seats and nicer styling are this model’s sole claim to fame, at the cost of slightly more than a similarly equipped Limited model. For buyers after a nice-looking truck, the Platinum is a good balance between the more plain Limited and some of the decadent and expensive designs produced by other truck manufacturers. In terms of practicality however, it trails the less-expensive Limited.
Compare the Tundra Platinum vs 1794 Edition Trim Levels. What is the difference?
This strangely-named model is a tribute to the founding date of the Texas ranch that originally stood on the site of the current Toyota plant there. This model is effectively a recolor of the Platinum model with a Western theme. It has its own leather upholstery design and unique detailing on the interior and exterior. It has the same features, the same options and the same price point as the Platinum, making them interchangeable outside of styling preferences.
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Which Trim Level to Choose?
Most of the people shopping for a Tundra are not looking for a work truck, as that is a niche that has been mostly dominated by its more powerful and durable rivals. Instead, most Tundra buyers are likely looking for its car-like convenience and safety features or the off-road abilities of the TRD trims.
While all models offers the same degree of safety equipment, the SR5 and Limited models offer the best comfort features for the price, with the SR5 better for fans of a cloth interior and the Limited best for those who want leather. Off-road enthusiasts can similarly choose either of the two models and equip them with the TRD Off-Road package, though in that case the SR5 is likely to be the better choice for the rigours of off-road adventuring.
The SR trim offers a fair amount of features for the money, but it still feels a little bare and limited compared to the SR5, and is not available with a CrewMax cab. On the other end of the scale, the Limited and 1794 models are fairly expensive for their interior quality and the features they offer.
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