Toyota began manufacturing the Tundra pickup truck back in 1999. It's their first full-size pickup truck and has proved to be a fierce competitor for the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado. Motor Trend picked the Tundra as the truck of the year in both 2000 and 2008. They are widely respected for their reliability and you can count on most models to last you a long time if you're looking for a good, dependable truck. Still, some model years are definitely better than others. Let's take a look at some 2019 Toyota Tundra problems to see if it's worth your while to invest in this model year.
The 2019 Toyota Tundra is “A Trusty Workhorse”
Car and Driver reviewed the 2019 Toyota Tundra and called it well equipped with a cavernous crew cab and capable off-road packages. They point out that even though some of Toyota styling isn't up to par that the Crewmax cab with a 5.7 L V8 offers a solid towing capacity and lots of room for passengers.
Even though they had lots of good things to say about the 2019 Toyota Tundra they did have a few criticisms when it comes to engine, transmission, and performance. For instance, they said it rides and drives like an old-school truck with vague steering and was relatively heavy. All that translates to the fact that while it does get the job done, it's not particularly a fun ride. And maybe that's not what you're looking for in a truck, but if you do want something that can go from work to fun with the family on the weekend, perhaps the 2019 Toyota Tundra isn’t the right choice for you.
The Tundra’s Age Shows in 2019
There's only been two generations of the Toyota Tundra, and Toyota has not done much to update this model since 2007. For that reason, many reviewers, Car and Driver included, point out that it does feel old and not quite up to par with some of its competitors, which are ahead of the curve in terms of advancements. Compared to a Ford F-150, you definitely feel the age of the Tundra when you get behind the wheel.
The older design shows in things like the stiff suspension. When you drive a Tundra over rough surfaces, you're going to feel those bumps right into the cabin of the vehicle. You can upgrade it to a TRD off-road package that has upgraded shocks, but you shouldn't have to go that far to have a smooth ride.
The Car Connection mentions that the 2019 Toyota Tundra is almost exactly the same as the 2018 model. This speaks to Toyota's habit of not upgrading their technology and therefore falling short of the competition.
Reviews also point out that the 2019 Toyota Tundra steering is disconnected from the vehicle in the sense that you don't really feel that the wheel and the road are connected. For that reason, you'll find yourself making a lot of minor course corrections, especially when you're driving at higher speeds.
“The Tundra’s Powertrain Lineup is Simple “
One of the Toyota Tundra’s biggest rivals is the Ford F-150. The 2019 model gave you six engine options. The Toyota Tundra however only had a V8 as the option in either a standard 4.6L or the optional 5.7 L. Both of these have a six-speed automatic as well. Although this speaks to the dependability and reliability of the Toyota Tundra, which is a definite selling point for many drivers, it also shows that they are slow to innovate and they're not keeping up with the robust options that the competition has available.
As any truck owner knows, you may have different needs from your truck, so a more diverse set of powertrain options is always welcome.
The Tundra Suffers When It Comes to Fuel Economy
One of the big black marks on the Toyota Tundra’s record is its poor fuel economy. In fact, the 2019 Toyota Tundra had the worst fuel economy in its class. The rear wheel drive 4.6 L V8 Tundra offered 15 miles per gallon city driving at 19 miles per gallon on the highway. If you pump that up to a 5.7 L V8 with the four-wheel drive then you're getting 13 miles per gallon of the city and 17 miles per gallon on the highway. Compare that to a Ford F-150 which offers far more engine options and at its best could give you 20 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon of the highway.
The 2019 Toyota Tundra Recall
One thing that's worth mentioning right away about the 2019 model year of the Toyota Tundra is that it's been subject to 5 manufacturer recalls. The biggest recall, issued in January 2020, was related to a serious fuel pump failure. At that time over 1.8 million vehicles were recalled. Toyota issued the second recall for the same problem in November 2020 that covered additional 1.5 million vehicles. Not all of these were Tundra models. In fact, the fuel pump failure potentially affected every single model Toyota produced, as well as Lexus.
If your Tundra was manufactured from 2017 through 2019, there was a chance that your vehicle was affected by the recall. Toyota should have contacted you already if that was the case, and if not, you can contact them directly to see if your particular model is subject to this problem.
The problem that led to this recall was one of a fuel pump failure that caused the engine to stall while driving. If this happened, there was a serious risk of crash and injury as a result.
There Were Additional Recalls for the 2019 Toyota Tundra
Not nearly as prevalent as the fuel pump problem were some other recalls issued for the 2019 Tundra. The largest of those was a 2018 recall that related to airbags not deploying as intended, potentially increasing the risk of injury during a crash. This affected nearly 170,000 vehicles.
There were three additional recalls for a very minor concern related to the text on load capacity labels. The text could be wiped away and that could put you in a situation where you were unsure about how much payload your Tundra can handle, leading to damage or even a crash.
The 2019 Toyota Tundra on CarComplaints.Com
2019 was by no means a seriously problematic year for the Toyota Tundra. Most drivers have been satisfied with the performance of the vehicle, but that's not to say there have been no complaints at all. Toyota has issued 131 technical service bulletins for this model year and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has fielded a number of complaints from drivers related to issues that range from minor inconveniences to extremely serious problems.
2019 Toyota Tundra Electrical Problems
Some drivers have reported problems with the electrical system in their 2019 Toyota Tundra. A common issue for some Tundras, even beyond this year, is that the turning indicators are not visible during daylight, which makes an increased risk for crashes if other drivers are not able to see your signals properly. Other drivers have had issues with things like power steering failing while driving.
2019 Toyota Tundra Brake Problems
Although rare, there have been some instances reported by drivers of the brakes activating on their own rather than as a result of the driver attempting to engage them.
2019 Toyota Tundra Sunroof Problems
This problem has occurred for more than one driver when the sunroof of the Tundra actually explodes when the driver is at highway speeds. This occurred without any impact or noticeable cause for the damage.
2019 Toyota Tundra Miscellaneous Problems
There have been a host of other issues drivers have reported with their Tundra that includes issues with Bluetooth disconnecting, the motor not turning over, and the radar sensor causing the vehicle to brake automatically for no reason.
2019 Toyota Tundra Crash Test Results
Although Toyota is known for having an extensive suite of safety features for most of its vehicles, in particular things like the Toyota Corolla and the Toyota Camry, its truck models don't always stand up to the test when it comes to crash ratings.
For IIHS crash test and rollover safety ratings, the 2019 Toyota Tundra ranked good overall for moderate overlap but only received a marginal rating for small overlap on the driver side. When it came to small overlap on the passenger side it actually received the worst possible rating because of the potential for serious structure, lower leg and hip and thigh injury on the passenger side of the vehicle. This was for the crew cab pickup. The extended cab actually had superior crash test ratings overall.
Be Smart and Be Prepared When Buying a Toyota Tundra
Even though many reviews are quick to point out that the competition will offer far more advanced options than the Tundra, the Toyota Tundra is still beating out Ford and Chevy when it comes to reliability in most reviews. Just because they don't upgrade frequently doesn't mean they're not producing reliable trucks. If you're in the market for a 2019 Tundra, make sure it doesn't have the fuel pump problem that the recall was issued for and get your mechanic to give it a thorough once-over.