2021 Toyota Tundra Review

2021 Toyota Tundra Review

Despite a small number of upgrades over time, the Toyota Tundra is one of the oldest vehicles available in the USA nowadays. And while we enjoy some things about the Tundra - including the standard V8 engine, spacious interior, and a good list of driver aids - there is not much else to make it stand out from the crowd. At the same time competition is strong and almost all its rivals have gone through at least one design update since 2007. Toyota has made only minor modifications to the Tundra in 2021, launching a pair of special edition models focusing on changes to the truck's design instead of improvements to the vehicle’s features.


The new Route Special Edition, of which just 5000 will be produced, is based on the SR5 crew cab (known as CrewMax) and features all-weather flooring mats, black exterior badging, and black upholstery with tan contrast stitching. The Trail Special Edition also comes in the same body colour grille as the top-tier Tundra 1794 Edition, a lockable storage unit in the cargo bed, and distinctive 18-inch wheels fitted with all-terrain tires. The fanciest Tundra can not match the luxury of mid-level Ram 1500 versions. However, Toyota's greatest virtue is its own off-roading capabilities, which are completely realised on the TRD Pro version. While this version has the most capable suspension and a more unique look, those are not quite enough to justify an investment over a Ford F-150 Raptor. Rather, we would decide on the Tundra SR5 using the discretionary four-wheel-drive system. Keeping in mind that the crew-cab body design only pairs with the shortest 5.5-foot cargo bed, we would stick with the extended cab and the conventional 6.1-foot box. Our example also features the base TRD Off-Road package to enhance the truck's ability to perform in the dirt, mud, or sand. Along with all those mechanical improvements, the kit includes a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen. Additionally, it brings a larger fuel tank for a longer driving range and replaces the front bench seat with a pair of buckets and a centre console.


The Tundra's maximum tow rating of 10,200 pounds will probably be more than many people want, and also its capable configurations may tug at least 8800 lbs. Though the EPA has not released fuel-economy assessments for its 2021 Tundra model, we do not expect its features to change in the last year. The 2020 model comes with the worst fuel economy in its category. While its competitors do not exactly sip gas, the last year's model speeds its V-8 with a four-wheel driveway in 13 mpg city and 17 mpg highway. The last one we analyzed matched its highway evaluation on our 200-mile real-life trail, but that figure is still lower than the rest of the pickups we have tested. In comparison with newer and more complex powertrains, the Tundra's transmission and engine are almost ancient. Rear-wheel driveway is standard and also four-wheel driveway is optional for the two setups, but maybe not for many cab-and-bed configurations.


The Tundra's engine is pretty peppy but emits an unsatisfyingly weak exhaust note, and its six-speed automatic shifts rather slowly. Although it is not terrible to drive, the Tundra we analyzed felt primitive and also a little off the pace in comparison with lighter and more powerful rivals. Because of the Tundra's firm suspension, each bump is transmitted to the cabin, making for a bumpy ride when driving over rough surfaces. The updated models equipped with the TRD Off-Road package marginally improve the ride quality, in addition to helping better manage body motions in corners. The Tundra's mild, numb steering isolates the driver from the road and requires continuous corrections in highway speeds. The Tundra's brakes are decent and can haul down the truck from 70 miles in a so-so 190 ft, but the brake pedal returns little feedback and has inconsistent travel.


The Tundra's interior is roomy and dotted with oversize features, but it is an old-fashioned presentation and the materials in many versions feel cheap and rubbery. Though its rear-seat legroom is one of the very best for crew cabs, the quality and design of the Tundra's cabin are not impressive, in addition to the lack of amenities that can be found in the fresher competitors. The only salvation is the 1794 Edition, which includes luscious saddle-brown leather-trimmed seats and ultrasuede accents. The Tundra's front roof pillars are large at the base and create a sizable blind spot, while the large rear windows of the crew cab do offer sufficient visibility too. Plenty of storage and cargo area is expected with a pickup. Though the Toyota is merely adequate in many areas, our test showed the cavernous crew cab can store 21 carry-on suitcases when its back seats are folded, two more than any other pickup.


Deep but narrow door pockets prevent storing larger things, but the extended cab, known as Dual Cab, does have an additional storage compartment under the rear seat that is not available in other cabs. The Tundra features three cargo-bed lengths. The shortest is 5.5 ft and is only available with the crew cab. The extended cab can pair with a 6.5- or an 8.1-foot bed. The Tundra's infotainment system is tolerable, working satisfactorily and responsively but not intuitively. Fancier trim levels have an advanced package that includes more speakers to the sound system in addition to integrated navigation. The Entune system won't delight users with its miniature onscreen buttons, but our test revealed that its response time is faster compared to smartphones. Luckily, the newly available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make the system more intuitive and contemporary.


SR5 2WD CrewMax models start at £30,030, while the Restricted CrewMax 4WD start at £37,116. All these prices are based on or even substantially lower than almost all of the competitors with similar specifications. Resale values are Toyota Tundra’s strong side, winning a variety of awards, such as KBB's Greatest Speeches Value among full-size pickup trucks. With the exclusion of this TRD Guru model, which really naturally has its standard, a 4-wheel driveway is discretionary in each other 2021 Tundra version. The SR5 level includes a sliding back window and storage under the rear seats. An SR5 update package comes with leather bucket chairs and a power-adjustable driver's seat. Navigation includes standard in Limited and TRD Guru, Together with keyless entry/ignition (also from the SR5 with the TRD package).


The Limited trim brings an upgraded audio system, 20-inch metal wheels, leather upholstery, and heated/power-adjustable front seats, chromed mirror caps and door grips. The TRD Guru has specialised off-road gear. The Platinum Card and 1794 Edition models have heated/ventilated front seats, moonroof, blind-spot tracking, along a JBL premium sound system. It is standard equipment in each 2021 Tundra.


Blindspot track with back cross-traffic alert optional for the SR5 and Limited and regular from the 1794 and Platinum models, this system alerts the driver of the vehicle for the blind areas, which is particularly helpful when changing lanes. The back cross-traffic alert facet detects vehicles going to cross when, state, reversing from a parking area. An audible beep will sound and accelerate in frequency the closer the Tundra has to an item. There is also a visual picture displayed in the fundamental data display.