test bench | Toyota Tundra Hybrid: The hybrid cannot do everything

The Impossible No one is tied. In the field, the Tundra’s hybrid engine doesn’t deliver on all of its promises.

Posted at 11:45am

Eric Le Francois

Eric Le Francois
special cooperation

The miracle didn’t happen

Faced with its competitors, the Tundra has – in the short term? – a serious enrichment. Since every liter of petrol counts, it is one of the few in its class to offer a hybrid engine. This allows him to show a more modest consumption as long as there is nothing to backshoot…

The circle is now closed. When this new pickup generation was presented for the first time, only one specimen with a hybrid engine was offered. Not being able to test it in good conditions, we decided to wait for its arrival on Quebec soil to measure its towing capacity (12,000lb) but also its fuel consumption. Here are the results of our tests.

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

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

    In theory, the Tundra Hybrid is all right. 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 was successfully rebuilt.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

    The infotainment system was successfully rebuilt.

  • In the front, the seats offer acceptable comfort.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

    In the front, the seats offer acceptable comfort.

  • In the back, the bench seats three without feeling too bogged down.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

    In the back, the bench seats three without feeling too bogged down.

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

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

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

  • It may seem difficult at first to adapt to braking, but as the kilometers go by it is easily mastered.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

    It may seem difficult at first to adapt to braking, but as the kilometers go by it is easily mastered.

  • The Tundra can be driven in Tow/Haul mode, Multi-Terrain mode (MTS) or with Hill Descent Assist and Slow Speed ​​Control (DAC/Crawl), an option that will appeal to off-road enthusiasts.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

    The Tundra can be driven in Tow/Haul mode, Multi-Terrain mode (MTS) or with Hill Descent Assist and Slow Speed ​​Control (DAC/Crawl), an option that will appeal to off-road enthusiasts.

1/8th

In theory, the Tundra Hybrid is all good. In practice it is different. This Toyota used more fuel than a naturally aspirated V8 pickup to cover 1,000 km with a 7,200 lb trailer.

Compared to a RAM 1500 powered by 5.7L hitched to the same trailer, taking the same route and in comparable weather conditions, the Tundra Hybrid consumes 19.3L/100km. Its American rival shows 18.2 L/100 km.

On the other hand, the relieved tundra hybrid consumes significantly less fuel. Compared to the RAM 1500, there is another saving of 3.3 l/100 km. Considering (unfortunately) that many large-format vans that roam our roads never reach their full potential, Toyota’s proposal makes sense. However, we regret that this powerplant, which combines a supercharged six-cylinder engine with an electric drive, is only offered on the most elite (read most expensive) versions of the range. At least for now.

Beyond consumption, remember that this hybrid engine is not only more flexible than the V8 that sat under the hood of the previous generation, it’s also less breathless.

The associated automatic transmission smooths out the messages perfectly and has been criticized for its harshness in the deceleration phases. Braking on this topic may seem difficult at first, but it’s easy to adapt over the kilometers.

In terms of behavior, this Tundra generation is much more comfortable than the previous version and almost as well sprung as its main competitors. However, the rear axle swings too easily on bumps. As for the direction, soft and light, he cannot make forget the handicap of this van. This one has difficulties both when maneuvering at low speed and when parking (large turning radius).

A bit too much

Up front, occupants can stretch their legs (the driving position is roughly comparable to that of a sedan, but boarding is less easy). The seats offer acceptable comfort and the controls are generally easy to identify and locate, despite their number. The (successful) redesign of the infotainment system should be emphasized in this context. This is much faster and, above all, more user-friendly than before. On the other hand, in such a modern vehicle, how do you explain the presence of an internal button for unlocking the fuel tank valve, the opening of which is always surmounted by a cap?

Despite this, storage space is ample and practical, while visibility is excellent. Add to this the uneven quality (and sometimes fragility) of the plastics used to trim the cabin.

In the rear, the seat offers space for three people without them having to bend their elbows too much. The seat can be raised, but the components hidden underneath limit the available space. This explains the mention of “narrow cab” in our “We like less” section of the spec sheet.

Toyota Tundra Hybrid

  • Price: from $66,390 to $84,150
  • Visible in concessions: limited supply
  • Consumption: 11.4L/100km

We love

  • Consumption gain without clutch
  • Improved driving comfort
  • User-friendly and well thought-out infotainment system

We love less

  • Hybrid version limited to the most expensive versions
  • Consumption when the vehicle is coupled
  • cramped cabin

Our verdict

Hybrid magic doesn’t always work.

Technical worksheet


PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

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

engine

  • 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 hybrid (i-Force Max)
  • 437 hp at 5200 rpm
  • 583 lb-ft of torque at 2400 rpm

perfomance

  • Weight (minimum-maximum): 2725 kg
  • Ground Clearance (Min-Max): 236.2mm — 238.7mm
  • Maximum towing capacity: 5443 kg

box of transmission

  • Standard: 10-speed automatic
  • Optional: none
  • Driving mode: 4×4

tires

  • 285/65R18 (standard)
  • 265/70R18 (TRD SUV)
  • 265/65R20 (TRD Pro)

tank capacity and Gasoline recommended

Dimensions1

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

1. Exterior mirrors excluded
2. Dimensions listed are for Limited CrewMax version with 5.5ft box.

Saving at the pump


PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

Toyota has mastered hybrid technology perfectly.

Hybrid technology perfectly mastered by Toyota makes it possible to achieve real savings at the pump in passenger cars. On the other hand, the performance on a vehicle that is (generally) intended for professional use was less convincing. However, if you buy a full-fledged pickup truck for occasional recreation, you will benefit from consumption that often corresponds to that of a mid-range SUV.

other option


PHOTO PROVIDED BY FORD

The F-150 Lightning XLT

Given this test, hybrid technology doesn’t skimp on the pump when the Tundra has to pull a load (see text). Competing brands, including Ford, will soon offer another option with the introduction of the F-150 Lightning. A pickup with a purely electric drive. Is this the solution? According to American colleagues, the F-150 Lightning could only tow a weight equivalent to the trailer used in our test rig for a maximum distance of 201 km.

Share your experience

The press will soon publish the test of the following vehicles: 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.

Leave a Comment