On sale largely unchanged since way back in 2007, the 2020 Toyota Tundra is the second oldest new vehicle on sale in the United States today, behind only the Nissan Frontier. This is astounding, especially given that the full-size pickup segment is the most competitive in the industry. Basically, the situation is this: all of the Tundra’s competitors have been recently redesigned whereas it now enters its 13th year on sale since its last full overhaul. Updates over the years have kept things somewhat fresh, but they pale in comparison to the innovations and improvements showcased by rivals from Ford, General Motors and Ram.
Toyota’s full-size pickup still offers brawny styling, excellent reliability, the massively spacious CrewMax cab and — unique for a full-size pickup — standard accident avoidance tech. However, there’s also its subpar fuel economy, jittery ride, dated interior and general lack of innovation. Even its TRD Pro model, which offers compelling off-road capability, is attached to an eye-watering price tag compared to rival off-road-oriented trucks.
So, sure, the Tundra will certainly get the job done, but these days, pickups are capable of much more than that, and buyers should command more from a new truck than what the Tundra offers, especially with regard to fuel efficiency.
What’s New for 2020?
The Tundra gains a new 8-in infotainment system for 2020 offering Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility — a long overdue addition. Additionally, the 2020 Tundra TRD Pro will be available in both extended cab and crew cab configurations. Previous model years had been crew cab-only. A new color — "Army Green" replaces Voodoo Blue on the TRD Pro color palette. Finally, the 2020 Tundra gains smart key with push-button start. See the 2020 Toyota Tundra models for sale near you
What We Like
- Excellent reliability
- Accident avoidance tech is standard on every model
- Exceptional back seat room
- It finally has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
What We Don’t
- Aging mechanicals and interior design
- Subpar fuel economy
- Transmission has only six gears
- Some controls require an uncomfortable reach
- TRD Pro is expensive
All 2020 Tundras come powered by a 5.7-liter V8 putting out 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Tundra comes standard with rear-wheel drive. The optional part-time 4-wheel-drive system has an electronically controlled transfer case with a low range.
The Tundra returns 13 miles per gallon in city driving, 18 miles per gallon on the highway, and 15 mpg in combined driving. Opting for 4WD yields a negligible difference. All estimates are considerably worse than the engines offered by its main rivals.
Standard Features & Options
The 2020 Toyota Tundra comes in a wide range of trim levels, including basic SR and SR5, mid-level Limited, off-road-oriented TRD Pro, and the upscale Platinum and 1794 Edition. The Tundra is offered with three different bed lengths and two different cab configurations: a 4-door extended cab and a larger 4-door crew cab.
The base-level Tundra SR ($35,020) comes with a surprisingly long list of standard equipment including 18-in steel wheels, an integrated trailer brake controller, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, trailer sway warning, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, a windshield wiper de-icer, a damped tailgate, keyless entry, cloth upholstery, air conditioning, a backup camera, a USB port, Bluetooth and an 8-in touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. A 40/20/40-split front bench is standard that allows for six-passenger seating.
Next up is the SR5 ($36,690), which adds chrome accents, variable intermittent wipers, fog lights, HD and satellite radios and a sliding rear window on the CrewMax. The TRD Sport package — exclusive to the SR5 — adds 20-in wheels, sport-tuned Bilstein shocks, front and rear anti-sway bars and sporty styling elements.
The middle range is the Limited ($43,715), which adds 20-in alloy wheels, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated power front seats, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, a navigation system, and additional speakers (seven double cab, nine CrewMax). While it’s optional on lesser trims, the center console (which replaces the front bench seat and thus reduces seating capacity from six to five) becomes standard on the Limited.
Available on the SR5, Limited and 1794, the TRD Off-Road package adds all-terrain tires on 18-in wheels, trail-tuned Bilstein shocks, skid plates, tow hooks, LED headlights and fog lights, off-road floor mats and special styling elements.
The Tundra TRD Pro ($50,100) comes with unique styling, BBS forged alloy wheels, Fox internal bypass off-road shocks, a sunroof and a unique Army Green exterior color. It loses the leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats and dual-zone climate control, all of which are mind-boggling omissions in a truck costing over $50,000. While the Tundra TRD Pro has always been offered as a crew cab, an extended cab version joins the lineup for 2020.
Above the Limited is the Platinum ($50,220), which boasts extra chrome touches, LED running/accent lights, a sunroof, upgraded leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, driver memory settings and a 12-speaker JBL sound system (optional on Limited CrewMax). A Safety & Convenience package consisting of parking sensors, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems comes standard on the Platinum, but is optional on SR5 and Limited.
The CrewMax-only 1794 Edition ($50,220) is really just a Platinum with unique, Texas ranch-inspired interior and exterior trim.
Some equipment offered as standard on upper trim levels is available as part of packages offered on lower trims.
Unique among full-size pickups, the Tundra is offered with standard active safety features. These include forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, radar cruise control, and automatic high beams. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems are optional. Also standard on the Tundra are anti-lock brakes, stability control, trailer sway control, a backup camera and six airbags (front, front-side, side curtain).
In government crash testing, the Tundra received four out of five stars for overall and frontal crash protection as well as five stars for side protection. The double cab scored three stars for rollover risk versus the CrewMax’s 4-star score. The nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Tundra double cab the best-possible rating of Good in all crash tests, but the new small overlap front test, where it received a second-best Acceptable score. Interestingly, the CrewMax received a second-worst Marginal score in that test, along with an Acceptable score in the roof strength test. Both got the best possible score of Superior for their forward-crash prevention systems.
Behind the Wheel
Compared to the smooth-riding Ford F-150 and the even smoother-riding Ram 1500, the Tundra is firm and jittery when the bed is empty. Its handling and overall driving experience just aren’t as refined either, a sign that the Tundra has gone a decade without a complete redesign while its competitors were all fully redesigned within the last few years.
The Tundra’s standard front seat configuration is a 3-person bench, but fancier Tundras have front bucket seats with escalating levels of luxury and power adjustability. Those seated in the 60/40 split-folding rear bench of the 4-door double cab will find it to be one of most spacious extended cabs on the market. There is no such qualifier needed for the CrewMax, which would make 7-footers feel at home with its extended legroom and reclining seatback. Note that every CrewMax’s back seat slides fore and aft, but the double cab’s is fixed by default with an optional sliding function.
The Tundra comes with one of three bed lengths: 66.7 inches (CrewMax only), 78.7 inches (standard on double cab) or 97.6 inches (optional on double cab). If you want the CrewMax’s extra passenger space, you’ll have to live with the shortest bed of the bunch.
Other Cars to Consider
2020 Ram 1500 — The newly-redesigned Ram 1500 is seriously impressive, offering a superior ride, a luxurious interior and class-leading feature content. Additionally, buyers interested in the Tundra TRD Pro would be wise to check out a Ram Rebel.
2019 Ford F-150 — Constant updates keep the F-150 just as competitive as always. It offers strong fuel economy, an excellent array of engines and impressive refinement.
2020 Chevrolet Silverado/2020 GMC Sierra — Also all-new for 2019. Although GM’s offerings can’t match the innovation and excellence achieved by the Ram, they still generally represent stronger efforts than the Tundra.
Used Toyota Tundra — If you’re intimidated by the pricing of a new Tundra, you might want to consider a used one. Given that this design has been around largely unchanged since 2007, you don’t necessarily need the latest and greatest to look and feel like you have a new pickup. The Tundra’s strong reliability may also give it a leg-up on other used trucks.
The Tundra’s fancier trim levels and the TRD Pro just aren’t good value when you stack them up to rival trucks, especially the luxury trim levels of the F-150 and the Ram. As such, the Tundra is a decent deal in lower trim levels for those who want a reliable, well-equipped work truck and don’t care so much about the latest-and-greatest frills. Still, its inclusion of standard active safety features and, as of 2020, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay help its case, but there are still likely better options out there for most buyers, especially given the Tundra’s ancient powertrain that uses fuel at an alarming rate. Find a Toyota Tundra for sale