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Scotty Kilmer Explains Why The 2022 Toyota Tundra's Hybrid System Isn't Really Hybrid

Did you really think that the 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid was going to give you a good MPG because it’s a hybrid? Scotty Kilmer suggests we think again in a recent YouTube video.

We all know and love Scotty for his weird jokes, scratchy laugh, and simple yet informative editing style. I personally don’t watch a lot of his videos, but my friends all like him. He recently posted a video that grabbed my attention about the true meaning of a hybrid pickup truck. We have all seen the pictures of the 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid and how it is supposed to be the next step in electrified pickups. On the other hand, Scotty says that’s not true, and it actually doesn’t give you more MPG than a conventional pickup truck.

So a non-hybrid 2022 Toyota Tundra gets you about 18/24 MPG. The hybrid gets you 20/24 MPG. While these are higher numbers, it's going to still below your average pickup truck. So, Scotty explained how there are basically two types of Hybrid vehicles out there. There are hybrids meant for fuel economies like the Prius or Camry, and then there are hybrids meant for extra power like the new Tundra or Audi SUVs. These power-hybrid enhanced cars typically only have one goal…to give you more horsepower and torque.

Scotty Kilmer Says That The 2022 Toyota Tundra’s Hybrid System isn’t Really A Hybrid System

The early Tundras used to all be v8s. These were pretty powerful and had great torque. Toyota later decided to move it to the turbocharged v6 which gave it more power, but the torque was still not there. However, Toyota decided to move to a Hybrid-v6 drivetrain which not only gave it even more power, but now the torque was up to par with other previous v8s, and the towing capacity was increased.

This meant that you could now tow more weight more easily without having to use fuel on 2 more cylinders. It’s true, the 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid does get better gas mileage than the non-hybrid. However, Toyota’s focus on the electrified pickup was not to save on MPG but to enhance the power. Better MPG was just an unforeseeable benefit of the hybrid system.

Now even though both the Prius and Tundra are hybrids, they don’t have the same system so to speak. The Prius uses a simple little engine with a boost from an electric motor getting power from a battery. The Tundra is kind of the same except the engine is huge and the electric motor is also big. So, you essentially get the benefits of a hybrid except you to substitute the Prius’ little engine for a honking v6.

Consequently, the simple option here to buy would be the more expensive Hybrid Tundra because of its towing capacity and slightly better gas mileage. The 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid is about $17,000 more than the regular base model Tundra’s MSRP however your wallet and trailer will thank you for it later. It seems like a good work truck, and I honestly would buy one regardless of its price or reason. The new tundra altogether is just a really cool truck. Its design, performance, and overall stance scream alpha male to me.

What do you think? Would you buy a regular Tundra or a Hybrid? Let us know in the comments below.

Harutiun Hareyan is reporting Toyota news at Torque News. His automotive interests and vast experience test-riding new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique insights. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun for daily Toyota news.


DeanMcManis (not verified)    May 1, 2022 - 12:33AM

Sounds like a deception, selling it as a hybrid, which implies economy. It would have been nice if you included the data on how well the added HP improves acceleration, and towing. $17K is a lot to pay to gain 2MPG in city driving. So this hybrid package better bring MUCH more to the party. And of course Toyota really should have offered the RAV4 Prime's plug-in hybrid drivetrain in the Tundra for the price, which would potentially offer better gas mileage and even more performance.

Bob Ross (not verified)    June 30, 2022 - 1:23AM

In reply to by DeanMcManis (not verified)

The economy is there, it’s just not in a place that is immediately visible. But go tow a big trailer with it and check the mpg, then compare that to a standard non-hybrid petrol truck towing the same trailer. I imagine you’ll see a much, much better mpg with the hybrid in that scenario. The Tundra is a work truck and it’s economical impact will be most evident when the truck is under load.

Rj (not verified)    May 2, 2022 - 12:01AM

The Tundra hybrid is more like a Honda serial hybrid than a Toyota parallel hybrid. For one thing, the Tundra has a traditional automatic rather than an elegant cvt that allows idea gearing for mpg and occasional gearing for climbing steep hills. The electric motor is between the engine and transmission rather than integral to a cvt. Finally the Tundra electrics are not big, they are essentially the same as a Camry hybrid. Tundra does get extra low end power from the very small, Prius sized battery. All and all, Toyota would have had better results adapting a Rav4 Prime large battery and electric motors into a 4 cylinder cvt Tacoma. Image the buzz and rush of customers for a 35-40 mpg Tacoma. Let Tundra keep its v6 and v8 powerplants.

Pete Thibodeaux (not verified)    May 7, 2022 - 3:41PM

In reply to by Rj (not verified)

As with any electric motor equipped car or truck, one thing is consistent and that's an almost instantaneous power/torque generated from the electric side of this V6 power plant. Most hybrid or all electric vehicles do seem to have high torque numbers and it's at basically peak numbers from the moment the accelerator is put down. With that and this twin turbo design and this hybrid system to me it's basically perfect for a full size half ton truck. The ONLY thing I'd have liked to see was a slightly larger battery and even more hp and tq. These hybrids are, if I'm understanding the technology correctly they're getting this extra power from an electric motor and battery that basically are receiving the power from the gasoline engine without taxing the gasoline engine but instead the design is to just gain the power to send to the battery during things like deceleration from highway speeds and power made while cruising and not needing the full amount of power being generated by the twin turbo six cylinder, it stores it in the battery (which I think should be even larger, if it would have been an easy fit then why not!) But much like a turbo charger is using exhaust gasses that would otherwise be expelled once it reaches the exhaust system but now it is being used to generate boost and allow for a much more dense air charge into the combustion chamber and that's met by bigger fuel injectors and a better, higher pressure fuel system. The point I guess was that this certainly seems to be an ultra efficient way to make power from a very small displacement engine. The boost that's responsible for much of the power is for lack of a better term "free energy that would otherwise be lost, waisted but instead spins an impeller that's able to generate positive air pressure on the intake manifold rather than naturally aspirated." On top of that free power or boost from the turbos it's also capable of creating and storing more power and torque in electric power and those electric motors have some interesting and impressive features. Like the instant, on command response and how fast this power reaches it's peak.
Sure, any truck owner would love to have more "Prius" like fuel efficiency from the hybrid engine. Especially at this time where fuel prices aren't exactly where they were when it was still pre-Joe Biden administration. *I love these hybrid trucks and am a fan of big power and torque. My older 5.7 V8 Tundra has the old option added to it in the form of a 2.2 liter roots type of Supercharger that was installed at a dealership in 2011 to the 2008 model 4wd Crewmax. Then I guess I wasn't satisfied with 504hp/550lb/ft with the TRD Supercharger mated to the 5.7 liter V8. After much research I eventually added performance parts and tried to gain more power as well as getting maximum traction and power to the ground since it's used as a 4x4 truck often is used. So after owning it for over a decade with the Supercharger and later adding a full custom exhaust system, from longtube headers to true dual mufflers (no cats, no resonators, no restrictions except the external x-pipe, mandrel bent 2.5" stainless piping, and finally twin single chamber magnaflow mufflers turned down before the rear axle. Sounds great and flows amazingly, I gained almost 100 horse power from only this exhaust system. In addition I added a custom air intake system to allow more free flowing air to enter, then it had the ECU/PCM custom tuned for the most efficient air/fuel mixture and better fuel economy, more power, and an overall better running and functioning engine. Then it really needed more height and grip for this estimated 750+ horsepower (at the flywheel/crankshaft) and only added a level kit that lifted the front end about 3" and the rear only 1" but the 35" tires (aggressive/MT's) on 20" rims helped her move in off-road conditions. My favorite modification that didn't add power is the 4.88 gears with Auburn limited slip rear differential that I added at the time of the factory 4.30 gears getting replaced with 4.88's and that was the best modification or improvement that didn't boost my horsepower just because it now drives like it's not lifted or on bigger tires, the power is crazy but the correct gearing is vital. Unfortunately my Supercharger is belt driven and delivers 7lbs of boost in a different way than a turbocharger does. I must always run 93 octane gasoline and with 4.88 ring and pinion gears, 35 inch mud grips on 20 inch aftermarket rims and the 6,300lbs it weighs as it sits really can amaze a person by how much fuel my thirsty girl actually consumes! Yes it's probably the baddest thing on four tires and street legal on the road, it's a blast! When it's time to crunch numbers and face the facts, I'm getting about 11-12mpg of 93/super/supreme unleaded (I tow 3,500lbs often. The truck will even do a mid to low 12 second quarter mile in 4hi at a drag strip as I described it.) It makes more power and torque than the new Tundra but the new truck isn't just NEW and much improved from every detail but is making CRAZY POWER/TORQUE without sacrificing at the gas pump. It's basically making a little less power but I'm burning twice the fuel, basically DOUBLE the fuel and requires 93 octane. This alone makes the new hybrid Tundra a unique but refined truck, I've owned a 2008 model for 11 years so I know the kind of quality that Toyota is known for. I see a better engine/power plant, better transmission and instead of a 6-speed it's a 10-speed, the option to select a "true locking rear differential" is a major improvement from the prior models. The suspension, not using leaf springs is a creative and neat change from the old, the aluminum body panels are only helpful to get a 6,000lb truck as light as possible. The overall attention to detail and the changes made were necessary! I could buy the same trim, a 4x4 Crewmax with the hybrid and lift it mildly and add some aggressive 35" tires and good looking rims, tint my windows, put some sound in it, and probably would need to re-gear it just because I do not want to hurt that 10-speed transmission turning 35" O.D. tires that each weigh around 110lbs with rims included. Some slightly lower gears would help it so much its worth the $3,000 or so it would cost to do both front and rear ring and pinion gears with some quality aftermarket parts. That's pretty much it, these trucks already look great, the grille and headlights are sharp as heck and a gentle lift (just enough lift to clear the 35's from turning the wheel all the way right then left without any rubbing whatsoever, any additional lifting of the body or suspension isn't worth the trouble, doesn't generate enough additional ground clearance, isn't necessary and doesn't look as sharp as a mild lift on 35's and 20's in my opinion.
THE NEW HYBRID VERSION OF THE TOYOTA TUNDRA 4X4 CREWMAX IS EASILY THE FINEST PICKUP TRUCK AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME. It just is. There are sooo many small improvements and upgrades, this was 15 years in the making! The 2007 is the same truck "basically" as a 2021 model Tundra. In 2007 Toyota climbed to the top of the half ton pickup truck mountain, it hasn't been back since but this new Tundra just took the world by storm! I'm a gearhead and admitted horsepower junkie but I would sell my crazy fun truck and buy the new Tundra if it was in my financial interest today! That is how nice they are, to pry me away from my old 2008 for another similar truck, it would have to be the 4x4 Crewmax, hybrid TT 3.5l V6 engine, I'd probably get the trim that's a little bit nicer and refined than my current SR5 trim. I would definitely want the big screen, sunroof/moonroof, electric drop down step-bars that drop down when the truck is unlocked or remote started and retract underneath the body panels when all 4 doors have been closed. That's a nice feature that I'd have to have. These trucks are finally back in the discussion with the best of the best. In a few years I'll hopefully be behind the wheel of one and my old girl might get a nice retirement and not have to go on pavement again! Haha that would be awesome!

Gearhead4 (not verified)    May 2, 2022 - 8:08AM

$17000 more for the Hybrid version? Even at $5 a gallon, You would have to drive over 100,000 miles to make up the difference in price.

SBN (not verified)    May 3, 2022 - 12:20PM

It's depending on the engine's design to give more torque at lower rpm or having high HP overall with high rpm and good torque. It has nothing to do with the turbocharged V6 vs the V8. In fact, thanks to turbos, the V6 would be able to get more air flow, resulting in much more torque at earlier rpm vs NA engines. The hybrid is there to complement stop and go traffic driving styles. It does make a huge difference for people who spend more time driving city vs highway.

Zac (not verified)    May 7, 2022 - 5:50PM

I have owned two tundras and I as expecting way better mpg from a Toyota hybrid system. I will not be buying another Tundra the hybrid system isn’t worth the price and the standard doesn’t get good enough mpg, Sorry but I really think Toyota dropped the ball on the new Tundra. I’m super disappointed with it.

Harutiun Hareyan    May 10, 2022 - 8:33AM

In reply to by Zac (not verified)

Hi Zac,
When I first heard that Toyota made the Tundra a hybrid, I was actually very open. However I think they should've used a different word than hybrid because we have seen hybrids as "gas saving" and not as "better performance."

Grayson Sheridan (not verified)    May 8, 2022 - 6:15PM

My buddy and I decided to both buy up full-size V8 Tundra before they went with the hybrid for that reason exactly. The hybrid tech has not been time tested yet. I will be curious to see if they start offering the V8 again next year.

Brian (not verified)    June 20, 2022 - 10:40PM

I truly believe that the new tundra hybrid was built to compete with the desiel market. I was very surprised that they didn’t match up the small 4.6 v8 with the twin turbos it was so popular in the first generation Tundras. No matter what I’ll take dependability over the big 3 any day! I drive about 25,000 miles per year and have owned 5 Tundras in the last 20 years and have never been stranded! Quality and longevity count in my pocketbook, pay up front or pay later!

ryan (not verified)    July 7, 2022 - 11:51AM

Regarding if it should have a proper hybrid system - i think the problem is that this is a full sized truck, weighs a ton, and should be able to handle heavy loads. I have a '21 hybrid highlander and while it gets great gas mileage, the MPGs drop sharply once you fill the car to capacity. With two adults, two kids, and minimal gear it gets around 35mpg. One driver up and down hills all day, it gets like 24mpg. Fully loaded with adults or 2 adults, 2 kids, and tons of gear and it gets 24-28mpg. I think the problem is that the proper hybrid just isn't optimized for a max load. Lastly the eCVT likely isn't strong enough for towing/carrying lots of stuff. Might make sense in a 2wd tacoma on smallish tires. For utility applications - likely not.

Dan (not verified)    September 19, 2022 - 7:57PM

Be aware that you will not get that type of mileage with a hybrid, with 1000 miles on my truck I’m averaging 15.5 miles per gallon with a mix of light city driving and highway mileage

Just got mine … (not verified)    April 28, 2023 - 10:33AM

Love it! The electric motor starts you off at the lights until about 10-15 mph, then the V6 turbo kicks in and you're off using gasoline power.
It's great! Mpg? That's for cars. Not trucks.

David (not verified)    August 15, 2023 - 4:12PM

Must be worth it for the power because I ask:
Is the hybrid power boost actually good for your wallet?
If you drive 12000 miles per year and there is at best a 2 mpg difference ...
that's like 55 gallons less
which at $3.20 per gallon is about $176 less in fuel per year
So if you drive it for 96 years you'll break even.