Toyota Tundra has been a strong competitor in the full-size truck marketplace since its debut back in 1999. While it may not have as many fans as the Ford F-150 or the Ram 1500, it is proven itself to be a tough, reliable truck backed by Toyota’s solid engineering. And even though the Toyota Tundra's able to stand on its own four wheels against the competition, that doesn't mean it's completely without problems. Some years have definitely proven to be better than others for the Tundra. And with that in mind, let's take a look at the 2017 Toyota Tundra problems you need to know about.
“More American than any full-size pickup truck”
Many people are surprised to learn that the Toyota Tundra, which are manufactured in Texas and designed in California and Michigan, are actually more American-made then Chevy, GMC, or Ram trucks. If that's important to you, then that's definitely a point in the Toyota’s favour. But it's worth noting that Toyota has essentially been making the same truck since all the way back in 2007. That was the last time the Toyota Tundra received a major update, at the debut of the second generation of the truck. All the way up to 2021 Toyota is still using the same basic vehicle. And while that speaks to the dependability and reliability of the truck, you definitely know what you're getting when you buy a Toyota Tundra, it also means that it has slipped behind the competition in some ways.
The Tundra from Outside
Toyota redesigned the exterior of the Tundra back in 2014. So, the 2017 still has that squared and angular appearance that the earlier models are known for. If you're looking to get a used pickup truck in 2021, and you like the big rig appearance, the Tundra may be the right truck for you. However, many drivers feel that this overall appearance is a little outdated at this point. Newer trucks from Chevy, Ford, and RAM have put more effort into the styling of the exterior to keep up with trends.
The Tundra from Inside
The 2017 Toyota Tundra’s interior is one of the sore spots for many reviewers and drivers. If you're just looking for a vehicle to get you to and from work and haul some gear, then this may not be a big deal. However, with lots of plastic throughout the cab, the interior has been described as looking very cheap. The Toyota Tundra is known for basically giving you the bare bones when it comes to the interior of the vehicle and things like the infotainment system are often far inferior to what you're going to find in a competitor's model.
The small display screen suffers issues with glare, and even the buttons on the radio are small and hard to manage when you're driving. The 2017 Tundra doesn't offer any Wi-Fi connection either.
In terms of internal storage space, the Toyota Tundra also falls behind many of the competitors. Although you may be satisfied with the room in the flatbed, inside there are only 2 small trays in the centre console.
“The Tundra is getting left behind other full-size trucks.”
Even though Toyota has long been an industry leader when it comes to driver safety and the technology that they have available in their cars such as the Toyota Corolla and the Toyota Camry is top notch, the 2017 Toyota Tundra is behind the times in terms of things like collision avoidance technology.
Weirdly enough, the Tundra was not able to provide drivers with Toyota Safety Connect Subscription Service, which is pretty standard across the lineup of vehicles Toyota offers. That includes things like automatic collision notification and emergency calling. The truck does have a reverse camera and park assist sensors, but that is pretty minimal when you compare it to what other trucks in its class are going to offer you in terms of safety features.
2017 Toyota Tundra Crash Test Ratings
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety did not have a particularly good rating for the 2017 Toyota Tundra when it came to crash testing. In small overlap offset frontal crash tests the Tundra only scored a marginal, which is the second worst rating you can get. Although it scored an acceptable for the roof crush strength, the headlights were actually rated poorly. This has been a continuing theme with newer models of the Toyota Tundra. They often do poorly in crash test ratings and you'll see the same thing in the 2018 Toyota Tundra and the 2019 Toyota Tundra as well. Because Toyota is so slow to make any updates to the vehicle design, these crash test ratings aren't likely to improve until such time as they release a 3rd generation or some major structural changes to the vehicle.
Everyone Agrees the 2017 Toyota Tundra is Thirsty for Gas
Another of the big issues that pops up frequently when the Toyota Tundra is reviewed relates to its gas mileage. The 2017 Toyota Tundra features a 5.7 litre V8 engine. That's going to give you 381-horsepower, but the trade-off is arguably some of the worst gas mileage in its class. The EPA rating for a Toyota Tundra is 15 miles per gallon combined. That's not good by anyone's metrics but even worse is that when the trucks were tested by JD Power and Associates, they couldn't get anything better than 13.8 miles per gallon out of it.
The Toyota Tundra Feels its Age on the Road
Although many drivers who are loyal to the Toyota Tundra will point out that even when you get to 200,000 miles on this truck it's going to keep going, and it's no surprise if you can manage to get 300,000 or even 400,000 miles out of a Tundra, it's still not the smoothest drive out there.
The 2017 Tundra was essentially a 10-year-old truck when it debuted. Out on the highway that manifested in the form of some rough driving and shuddering when you get to high speeds and hit any bumps in the road. Even in 4-wheel drive you're going to be feeling any bumps or variation. That doesn't mean the truck can't handle it, and you can off road comfortably in a 2017 Toyota Tundra, it just means you're going to be feeling those bumps in the seat every time you go over one.
Just How Tough is a 2017 Toyota Tundra?
There was a time when the hauling and towing capacity of the Toyota Tundra would have made it a stand out in the field, but the fact that Toyota refuses to update the vehicle at all has actually left it behind. The Tundra is able to tow 10,500 pounds. The maximum payload is 2,080 lbs. While both of these are respectable and may be able to get the job done for you on a work site, they fall short of the competition fairly significantly. A Ford F-150 can out-tow it by over three thousand pounds. And the maximum payload is significantly lower than what you're going to find in the competition as well.
2017 Toyota Tundra on CarComplaints.Com
Compared to some other years, the 2017 Toyota Tundra doesn't have a vast number of technical problems that have been reported to the NHTSA but there have been some issues that have popped up.
The 2017 model of the Tundra was subject to four recalls. None of these were hugely significant, especially compared to some of the recalls related to brake pump failures that the 2018 and later models of the Tundra were subject to. The most significant one for 2017 was a rear step bumper that might break if the bracket had suffered damage. 72,000 vehicles were recalled for this problem. There were several more far less significant recalls relating to incorrect load information, a rear bench seat bracket that was loose, and a defective lug nut that affected just over 1,300 vehicles.
2017 Toyota Tundra Brake Problems
One of the more significant problems reported is related to this model year were issues with brake vibration, caliper rust, or a soft brake pedal. This affected a minority of drivers, but it was still reported more than once.
2017 Toyota Tundra Electrical Problems
Several drivers reported some serious issues with their electrical system such as a fire in the rear defroster, headlights that blacked out and dashboard gauges that won't light up. Several drivers also reported that when they use their turn signals it would cause the dash lights to either dim or turn off completely.
How Does the 2017 Toyota Tundra Fare Overall?
Despite some potential problems, CarComplaints actually lists the 2017 Toyota Tundra as a vehicle that gets their Seal of Awesome. That means it's a reliable, dependable automobile and it's going to be a good value for your money. If you don't mind the lack of innovation from Toyota which has left the Tundra behind its competition, it's typically a truck that's going to last over the long term for you and provide those basic necessities. If that's all you need in a truck, then it's a good option. However, if you're looking for some advancements, and something that can stay there from the competition, then the Toyota Tundra definitely has problems.