Test bench |  Toyota Tundra Hybrid: a hybrid can’t do everything

Test bench | Toyota Tundra Hybrid: a hybrid can’t do everything


Impossible no one is imprisoned. In use, the Tundra’s hybrid engine doesn’t live up to all of its promises.

Published on 1er August

Eric LeFrancois

Eric LeFrancois
special partnership

A miracle did not happen

Faced with its competitors, the Tundra has – for a short time? – a large property. Since every liter of petrol counts, it is one of the few in its class to offer a hybrid engine. This allows to show the most common usage, as long as there is nothing to beat back…

The loop is now closed. During the initial presentation of this new generation of pickup trucks, only one unit with a hybrid engine was offered. Since we could not test it in good conditions, we chose to wait for its arrival on Quebec soil to test its towing capacity (12,000 lb), but also its fuel consumption. Here are the results of our tests.

  • In theory, the Tundra Hybrid is great.  In practice, it is different.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

    In theory, the Tundra Hybrid is great. In practice, it is different.

  • The Toyota Tundra Hybrid starts at $66,390.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

    The Toyota Tundra Hybrid starts at $66,390.

  • The infotainment system has been redesigned.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

    The infotainment system has been redesigned.

  • Up front, the seats offer acceptable comfort.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

    Up front, the seats offer acceptable comfort.

  • At the back, the bench can seat three people, without them feeling too stuck.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

    At the back, the bench can seat three people, without them feeling too stuck.

  • The Tundra has a towing capacity of 12,000 pounds.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

    The Tundra has a towing capacity of 12,000 pounds.

  • It may seem difficult to deal with the brakes at first, but as the kilometers go by, it becomes manageable.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

    It may seem difficult to deal with the brakes at first, but as the kilometers go by, it becomes manageable.

  • The Tundra can be driven in tow mode (Tow/Haul), multi-terrain mode (MTS) or with descent assist and low-speed control (DAC/Crawl), an option that will appeal to off-road enthusiasts.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

    The Tundra can be driven in tow mode (Tow/Haul), multi-terrain mode (MTS) or with descent assist and low-speed control (DAC/Crawl), an option that will appeal to off-road enthusiasts.

1/8

In theory, the Tundra Hybrid is great. In practice, it is different. Over 1,000 km with a 7,200 lb trailer strapped to its back, this Toyota used more fuel than a pickup truck with a standard V8 engine.

Compared to a RAM 1500 powered by a 5.7 L hitched to the same trailer, using the same route and in comparable weather, the Tundra Hybrid guzzles 19.3 L/100 km. Its American rival shows 18.2 liters per 100 kilometers.

On the other hand, when unloaded, the Tundra Hybrid consumes less gasoline. Compared to the RAM 1500 again, there is a saving of 3.3 L/100 km. So, considering (alas) that most of the large model cars roaming our roads are not being used to their full potential, Toyota’s proposal makes sense. We regret, however, that this pusher that combines a supercharged six-cylinder engine with an electric power unit is only offered on the elite (read more expensive) versions of the range. At least for now.

Beyond practicality, remember that this hybrid engine is not only more flexible than the V8 sitting under the hood of the previous generation, but also less breathable.

The accompanying automatic transmission smoothes the report perfectly and will be criticized for its harshness in the deceleration phases. In this lesson, the brake may seem difficult to adjust at first, but with mileage, you can easily get used to it.

In terms of character, this generation of Tundra is more comfortable than the previous version and almost as well stopped as its main rivals. However, the rear axle sways very easily on bumps. About the direction, smooth and light, can not forget the limitation of this car. This one has problems at low speeds and when it comes to parking (big turning circle).

very little

In front, the occupants can stretch their legs (the driving position is similar to that of a sedan, but boarding is not as easy). The seats provide acceptable comfort and the controls, despite their number, are generally easy to identify and locate. On this subject, let’s focus on the (successful) redesign of the infotainment system. This is much faster and above all more convenient than before. On the other hand, for such a modern car, how to explain the presence of an interior button to open the petrol tank valve whose mouth is always surrounded by a cap?

That said, storage is plentiful and practical while visibility is excellent. There is also an uneven quality (and sometimes weakness) of plastics used to dress the cabin.

In the back, the bench seat can seat three people without them having to bend their elbow too much. The seat is raised, but the hidden features under the limit of the available space. This explains the mention of “thin cabinet” in our “we like less” section of the spec sheet.

Toyota Tundra Hybrid

  • Price: from $66,390 to $84,150
  • It appears in the agreement: few offers
  • Consumption: 11.4 L/100 km

We like

  • The advantage of using oil without connecting
  • Improved ride comfort
  • A user-friendly and thoughtful infotainment system

We like a little

  • A limited hybrid version to more expensive versions
  • Use when the car is locked
  • A tight closet

Our decision

Hybrid magic doesn’t always work.

Technical paper

PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

The Toyota Tundra Hybrid is powered by a 3.5L i-Force Max hybrid turbocharged V6 engine.

Engine

  • 3.5L V6 Turbocharged Hybrid (i-Force Max)
  • 437 hp at 5200 rpm
  • 583 lb-ft of torque at 2400 rpm

Performance

  • Weight (minimum-maximum): 2725 kg
  • Ground clearance (minimum): 236.2 mm – 238.7 mm
  • Maximum towing capacity: 5443 kg

Box of gear

  • Standard: 10-speed automatic
  • Optional: no
  • Drive Mode: 4×4

Tires

  • 285/65R18 (regular)
  • 265/70R18 (TRD Off-Road)
  • 265/65R20 (TRD Pro)

Tank capacity and petrol suggested

Measurements1

  • Wheelbase: 3701mm, height: 5934mm, height: 1984mm, width: 2032mm2

1. Insulated exterior mirrors
2. Dimensions listed are for the Limited CrewMax version with a 5.5-foot box.

Savings at the pump

PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

Toyota masters hybrid technology perfectly.

Fully developed by Toyota, hybrid technology makes it possible, in passenger cars, to achieve real savings at the pump. On the other hand, its performance on a car intended (generally) for professional use seemed unconvincing. However, anyone buying a full-size truck for occasional recreation will benefit from fuel economy that is often on par with that of a mid-size SUV.

another option

PHOTO PROVIDED BY FORD

F-150 Lightning XLT

Based on this test, hybrid technology doesn’t save money at the pump when the Tundra has to pull a load (see text). Rival brands, including Ford, will soon offer another option with the launch of the F-150 Electric. Pickup truck and all-electric vehicle. Is this the solution? According to his American colleagues, the F-150 Electric could only tow a weight equivalent to the trailer used on our test bench for a maximum distance of 201 km.

Share your experience

Media will soon publish a test of the following cars: Audi Q4 e-Tron, BMW 2 Series, Genesis G80, Honda HR-V, Land Rover Defender, Lexus RX. If you own one of these vehicles, we’d love to hear from you.