2024 Toyota Tundra Seems Destined To Lag Behind Its US Rivals

By June 30, 2024Toyota
2024 Toyota Tundra

The 2024 Toyota Tundra finally offers similar technology as its US counterparts. But what I discovered after spending an entire week with the gasoline-powered Tundra is not that it’s a bad full-size truck, nor doesn’t it carry with it an impressive level of sophistication. Rather, it simply felt like I could get more from something American. Sadly, no matter how much R&D Toyota throws at this thing, the Tundra seems destined to lag behind its domestic rivals.

2024 Toyota Tundra Review: Improved On Every Metric, Even The Looks

2024 Toyota TundraI wasn’t sold on the 2024 Toyota Tundra’s looks when it first showed its face, but the more I look at it, the more I’m at peace with what Toyota has done here. For once, the Tundra doesn’t look like it’s trying to copy a Ford. Instead, it finally comes through as its own, bespoke thing.2024 Toyota TundraPerhaps even more important than the way the Tundra was designed is how Toyota re-engineered an entirely new rig. The platform is all-new, based on Toyota’s TNGA-F family of modular body on frame architectures, also shared with the new Tacoma, Sequoia, and Land Cruiser. This also allowed Toyota to redesign the truck’s entire chassis, but also suspension geometry. For instance, the Tundra now wears a rear coil-spring type setup which considerably improves the way it handles, but I’ll get back to that later.2024 Toyota TundraPower also comes courtesy of all new drivetrains. Gone is the old 5.7-liter V8. It’s been replaced by a much more efficient twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 (as tested). I know, like Ford, right? Except a base Tundra’s 348 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque are no match for the Ford F-150 EcoBoost’s 400 hp/500 lb-ft. Luckily, Toyota offers a more potent version of that engine on higher trim levels such as this Limited. It puts down a much more competitive 389 horsepower and 479 lb-ft.2024 Toyota TundraBut the Tundra can also be had with a hybrid version of that same V6, which cranks things up to 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque. This puts it in the same ballpark as the Ford F-150 PowerBoost. All Tundras are paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission, which is also all-new for this nameplate.2024 Toyota TundraThe maximum towing rating is set at 12,000 pounds, behind all three of its US competitors. The Tundra can also only haul 1,940 pounds of payload, which is a full 1,300 pounds less than the Ford. There are no less than 14 versions to choose from for the Tundra, with the option of opting for a Double Cab or CrewMax configuration. You can also choose between three different bed sizes; 5.5, 6.5 and 8.1 feet.2024 Toyota TundraPricing, in typical Toyota fashion, is not cheap. For reference, here in Canada, the Tundra kicks off at $54,401 before fees. The CrewMax Limited that I was driving had a $71,713 sticker price, while the lineup tops off at $93,641 (before options) for a CrewMax Capstone hybrid.

Smooth Ride, Loads Of Power, But Lackluster Fuel Economy

Of course, all of this upgraded hardware allows the Tundra to finally leave the 20th century. The old truck was getting so embarrassingly old that. let’s all be honest with ourselves here, the act wasn’t all that hard tofollow.The Tundra rides smooth, thanks to that rear suspension setup. In many ways, it feels almost as well put together as a unibody truck, sort of like a Honda Ridgeline. Only occasional tire slap or slight chassis wobble felt while driving over really rough tarmac revealed its body on frame configuration.Unsurprisingly, power from the twin-turbocharged six is generous, linear and consistent, so is the torque delivery. But it too often felt like I was behind the wheel of a Ford, especially when the gearbox took its sweet ass time before handing me a lower gear. But I’ll give this one to Toyota: its 10-speed unit is considerably smoother than both Ford’s and GM’s setup. But a great transmission alone won’t cut it. The Tundra may be quick off the line, but it always somehow feels slower than what you can from Ford, GM or Ram.It’s also important to underline that no matter how I tried to be frugal with the Tundra, it never really impressed me in the fuel economy department. At best (yes, I know I was driving it during winter), it returned 16L/100 km. I mean, sure, that’s better than the old truck, but even a Ram 1500 powered by a HEMI V8 can do better than that.Inside, again, the Tundra does very little to truly set itself apart from its domestic competition. It essentially copies the current playbook and tries its best to execute it without fail. To Toyota’s credit, the Tundra is supremely well put together, spacious, comfortable and covered with neat touch points that give it a premium feel.But it’s also incredibly utilitarian in there, understandable considering why these sort of trucks exist. But, once more, in this price bracket, Ford, Ram and GM will all offer more bling, more leather and more veneers.Furthermore, the Tundra’s cabin lacks some of its competitor’s ingenious features, like Ford’s work surface, or Ram’s dash-mounted shift-knob for center console space optimization. You just don’t get a sense that Toyota understands full-size truck buyers the same way the other three do.The main show stopper is, of course, the massive 14-inch infotainment screen which, I must say, is actually very well thought out. What Toyota is essentially doing now is allowing the infotainment system to mostly act as a docking station for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.Sure, you can still operate it for essential features like audio streaming or navigation, but its entire interface acts mostly as a setup screen. It’s really once you sync it wirelessly to Android Auto or CarPlay that it truly shows you its worth. No matter how you use it though, this system is quick to react and relatively easy to operate.Finally, while Toyota did improve rear cabin space in this new CrewMax configuration, the Tundra’s rear seating area still always feels cramped compared to the other three. There’s just less available legroom back there, which could piss off some taller passengers. Toyota also does very little in terms of bed innovations. There are no extra storage solutions, no fancy tailgate nor an onboard generator back there. It’s just a bed.The 2024 Toyota Tundra is very well executed, but it clearly shows that Toyota chose to play it safe here rather then try to move the segment’s needle. While it definitely caught up to the other three in terms of technology and refinement, the sad reality is that every single one of the Tundra’s competitors are now releasing electric versions of their rigs, leaving the poor-old Toyota left alone in the ICE-only corner. Unless you’re a hardcore Toyota fanboy, I say skip the Tundra and go straight for an American truck instead.

Clavey's Verdict

Review of the 2024 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Limited by William Clavey
Full-Size Trucks

  • Finally looks like its own thing.
  • Potent twin-turbocharged V6.
  • Coil-spring suspension leads to a smooth ride.
  • Outpaced by its US rivals in every metric.
  • Lowest rear legroom of the segment.
  • Mediocre fuel economy.

7 / 10

Clavey’s Corner is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Prices and trim levels discussed in this article reflect the Canadian car market.

Special thanks: Mazda Canada

Photography: Guillaume Fournier

Contact the author: [email protected]

William Clavey

About William Clavey

Automotive Journalist from Canada. Active collaborator at mainstream media outlets across Canada.

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