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Prediction About Toyota Tundra: Unless Improved Not Sure Where It's Headed

Tundra is a tried and proven vehicle, but Toyota must look beyond what it's offering today to have a much more modern, perhaps hybrid, Tundra or no Tundra by 2020.


Early in September Torque News reporter Senita Hignojoz published a story discussing the Top 5 Reasons Toyota Tundra Pickup Trucks Are a Good Investment. The story received many good comments, adding more valuable information to the discussion, but this one, from a username Gregsfc stood out and I wanted to share Greg's opinion below with Torque News readers.

What do you think Toyota must do with Tundra truck to keep it competitive in the next decade? Here is what Greg commented.

If Toyota does nothing, but keep its tried and true, heavy and powerful Tundra truck and 15 mpg 4WD pickup with the larger V8, irrespective of quality and durability, it won't sell enough to people who will accept such an antique product to keep manufacturing them. You might keep what you've got, but by 2020 there will either a much more modern Tundra, or there will be no new Tundra truck.

Ford has Ecoboost at 21 and 22 mpg combined ratings, 3.5 and 2.7, receptively. GM has a base V6 at 20 and a V8 mild hybrid with 383 peak ft lbs and 20 mpg. Ram has a 3.0 V6 diesel at 23 combined with 420 ft lb peak at 2000 RPM, and even Nissan has a big V8 with similar performance as Tundra but 2 mpg higher. Not enough consumers will accept these gas- guzzler only choices offered by Tundra to keep market share. Not to mention the penalties they'll pay due to CAFE.

Toyota will bring in new auto tech. It has even stated it. But the question is... Will it be enough to compete with the American brands that will be employing one or more of the following strategies: diesels, engine downsizing and turbo charging, dynamic skip fire and mild hybrid tech applied to V8s, auto start- stop, aluminizing bodies to lighten 300- 700 pounds?

GM most assuredly will have an aluminum truck with dynamic skip fire cylinder deactivation and mild hybrid engine choices next fall. They will most assuredly offer more power and torque and more capacity, and they will likely pretty much match Ford's numbers. Ram will have a new truck before that. Not in its first year, but in successive years. There are rumors of an inline 6 to replace the V8 Hemi. I am guessing it'll be turbo charged. There are rumors of a new diesel, slightly larger and inline.

These will make big splashes in the market. I'm not sure where Toyota is headed, but I would make a bet towards hybrids and mild hybrids. I'm not sure if if Nissan can or will compete.

If you would like to share your opinion to this story, please write it in the comments section below. What do you think the near term future holds for Toyota Tundra? Will it stay competitive with current MPG? If you liked this article, consider sharing or tweeting it to your followers.


Ian (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 8:54AM

Toyota Tundra needs higher payload capacity: both front and rear. I’d love to be able to hang a Western Pro on the front and have a sander in the back.

Brett (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 8:59AM

Gas mileage. (Maybe direct injection) And bigger breaks all around. The transmission is great but could use a little tweaking. Other then that the truck in bullet proof leave it alone.

Joel (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 8:59AM

The premise of the writer's argument centered around mpg. Many folks don't even consider that a factor when buying a truck. He's right about all the manufacturer's jockeying for hp, tq, and tech improvements every year and that Tundra is lagging behind. But I would proffer, does Toyota have a good reason to drastically change or upgrade their truck? Everyone knows what they're buying at this point. Consumers also know how long the rig is going to last...

Rex (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 9:00AM

If Toyota continues to build trucks that can be used as trucks, it really doesn't matter what the competitors are doing.

Adam (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 9:01AM

Regarding Toyota Tundra's competition. Ford can stuff their aluminum truck. GMs will just rust to junk. Ram went coil springs and air ride. The only thing i want Toyota to do is bring back the old charm of the tundra by laying off the goofy plastic interior, stop making it bigger for the sake of being bigger in advertising. Bring us a diesel.

Greg (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 9:02AM

I think Toyota needs to come out with maybe an 8 or 10 speed transmission, ( to my understanding it helps with efficiency?) could be wrong though. In a perfect world Toyota would come back with the 4.7 V8. Why is it Chevy used the 5.7l 350 block from the late 60’s to the mid 90’s. And to this day GM still uses the 323 CI V8 Vortex Block (aka 5.3l) since the mid 90’s and still puts it on their new pick ups with many improvements over the course of time obviously. I guess what I am saying is Toyota needs to go back to the first gen and improve as much as possible from there.

Josh (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 9:02AM

Once Toyota figures out how to keep power the same and get 20 mpg it’s game over for everyone. I would like sunroof options and locking rear diff

John (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 9:04AM

My Chevy buddies don’t want a new Chevy due to the active fuel management. Cylinder cutout can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it.

David (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 9:04AM

The technology and “bells and whistles” manufacturers are placing on all vehicles has caused pricing to go through the roof. I have owned 6 Infiniti’s ( love these cars ), but the technology I pay for, but never use is a waste of money. I love the simplicity of my Tundra and the ability drive it worry free and repair free. I feel like I am driving a giant version of a Tonka Truck. My only issue is the MPG

soakee (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 10:03AM

I considered a Tundra last year, but due to no regular cab, poor fuel mileage, and limitations on configuring options within trims, I bought a F-150. I may have chosen the Tundra ten years ago, but the competition has moved on while the Tundra has not.

Fred Albumin (not verified)    February 7, 2018 - 9:08PM

In reply to by soakee (not verified)

I totally agree. I have 2008 Tundra Limited 4x4 Extended cab 5.7Liter V-8 that I purchased new in December of 2017. I went to replace my Tundra with a 2018 but discovered that if I purchased the Limited extended cab, I could not get the memory seats, side-windows and power tilt/telescoping steering wheel. In order to obtain these features - my wife and both drive the pickup, so the memory features are important - I would have to purchase a black interior Crew Cab. Now my wife and I do not like black interiors. So I am going with the Ford F-150 3.5 Ecoboost Crew Cab Lariat instead.

By the way, in 10 years of driving my Tundra, I averaged about 13 to 14 MPG. This sucks.

Dave (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 12:33PM

Agreed the truck is just about bullet proof, but as mentioned above getting old (Reason I am still driving a 2006 Double Cab). Would love to see them steal the technology from the Lexus LC 500 (5.0liter with a 10 speed transmission). Would still leave the city driving a little low, but brings in 25 - 26 MPG for the highway. This combo nets 470 HP and approximately 400 Ft pounds torque.
The brands (Toy/Lexus) have always borrowed from each other and would be a great fit.

Alex Tran (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 3:34PM

I think that the tundra is a great truck. I'd buy it over almost all the other trucks. Hope the toyota doesn't ditch the tundra or add a hybrid.

I think toyota should consider making it lighter, redisgning the interior/exterior (even though it looks great), and lastly i hope toyota adds a diesel option for the tundra.

Johndoe (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 4:08PM

Sure more power for towing and payload would be nice and maybe a larger bed with the max crew cab but I pray Toyota keeps it simple and reliable. New tech = new headaches both up front cost and down the road when it breaks.

Stan (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 9:39PM

In reply to by Johndoe (not verified)

Have a 2008D cab with the V6 gas mileage is good, however when renting Track Loaders,(Bobcats), it's a problem. Love to see a HD Heavy Duty in the Tundra, also would like to see affordable diesel as an option.

Dave S (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 4:33PM

I've had several trucks Ford Chevy Dodge and I got to say Tundra 2016 is one of the best I've had and don't think they need to change anything to remain competitive. everybody else is making garbage in my humble opinion

Mark (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 6:19PM

Need to slowdown on the bulletproof talk, I have a 14' with a leaking rear main seal and only 36k miles. When the Tundra should be hanging its hat on reliability and can't meet that expectation, its in big trouble. What's worse I've seen a guy with only 2k miles on his 17' with the same issue. The cam tower leaks and AIP failures are out there also. I can only blame myself for drinking too much of the Toyota QDR koolaid but at least now I know.

Joe (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 6:25PM

Mine will stoon be 11 years old and with a supercharger has over 500HP. Other than a couple cosmetic issues it's practically still new 11 years later. I'll probably still be driving this same truck 20 years from now. Only thing I'd buy is another Tundra but a mild update is no reason to bother.

David (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 7:24PM

I think Toyota needs to work on the fuel economy most importantly. The size is enough. No need to make larger or toe anything more.
I own a business with 20 trucks. Chevys are junk all around and The Fords All have constant Transmission problems. The one Toyota hands down is the best quality when it comes down to reliability!!!

B Jones (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 8:02PM

I want to see more of the trd pro options along with bringing back the supercharger as an option.
Its a truck, if you want mpg buy a prius.

ROBERT COLEMAN (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 8:09PM

Love Toyota quality, but two things keep me from buying a Tundra.
1. Gas mileage is terrible.
2. Styling has been terrible for years, although it seems to be slightly improving in the last year or so.
2. Price is much higher than a comparable equiped American brand truck. Is the Tundra a better quality vehicle? I believe the answer is yes, but it's not worth the money when you have to live that never ending cost of ownership.

Jerry (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 8:19PM

When you compare the Tundra to any other truck on the market, hands down the Tundra win. Styling, power, comfort and so on.. If you are worried about fuel economy.. Buy a small car. Period!!

Victor (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 8:59PM

I've owned both a 2013 SR5 and now a 2014, 1794 4x4 Tundra. While I love my truck, there is plenty to he desired. The fact that the 1794 edition truck is Toyota's second most expensive vehicle it baffles me that they still come with incandescent light bulbs when on a base model Corolla you get HID projectors, a 90s era key fob when lower model cars have inteli-fobs, low grade materials on the interior (multiple colors of plastics that rattle with music) and rather terrible mpg. The GPS system in my 2014 is inferior to my 2013 due to it having about 200 ft of lag in positioning. Also, their infotainment system needs a serious upgrade since now just about every other vehicle brand offers their proprietary app to remote start/control their vehicles. I also really hate the fact that I only get about 230 miles to the tank compared to other trucks getting 500 or better. While I still won't get rid of my Tundra, I really wish they would fix these issues. For me personally I wouldn't buy another one if they don't as we are entering 2018 and vehicles are starting to become as automated and smart as our cellphones.