Every year, the Tundra ages just a little more, with no foreseeable plans from Toyota to do anything about it. A choice that’s becoming less and less justifiable. Today, with 2021 on the horizon, the Tundra takes the title of the oldest truck in its class. What it’s always done well, it continues to be a stand-out. It’s a whiz off-road, with a lifted TRD Pro model to give you that extra ground clearance. It can tow over 10,000 pounds with ease. A feat that’s made all the easier with a comprehensive tow package that includes: a receiver hitch, Tow/Haul driving modes and a 4.30 axle ratio. Also, the back seat in the crew cab remains as echo-drawing and cavernous as ever.
Aesthetically, while the Toyota Tundra is starting to look dated compared to the edgy visuals from Ford and Chevy, a Nightshade special edition version offers extra visual spice. This upgrade will get you black leather trimmed seats, a smoked chrome front grille with body color surround, black exterior badging, mirror caps and black 20” wheels. Even the exhaust tips are black!
A familiar 5.7L V8 delivers 401 lb-ft of torque. Power is metered out through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain can feel clumsy at times. Fumbling for the right gear while driving around town. Generally, while the Tundra may shine off-road, on the tarmac, whether on a side street or high-speed interstate, it feels as old as it is. Graceless and heavy. The V8 may deliver descent acceleration, but it’s at the expense of a lot of gas. A combined fuel rating of 14 mpg is hard to justify for a 2021 model year truck.
The 2021 Toyota Tundra may be falling behind in some key areas, but for anyone truly looking for a frequent off-road fix, it might still be your truck of choice. Included standard features are plentiful and useful. Safety and driving aides like radar cruise control, lane departure alert and pedestrian detection work well. Ultimately though, if you need your pickup-truck to have balanced performance both on and off the road, and have no desire to make the local gas station a daily stop, for the Toyota Tundra at least, 2021 is not the year.
Price as tested: $53,354.00