The Toyota Tundra is considered somewhat of an underdog in the pickup truck class. It’s far from the best-selling pickup truck, with sales trailing rivals like the Ford F-150. The 2021 Toyota Tundra certainly has some downsides, like an aging interior, old exterior, and rock-bottom fuel economy.
While its simple design might please the average truck buyer, critics aren’t as impressed. When Consumer Reports reviewed the latest Toyota Tundra, it was criticized for its lack of options compared to other trucks. Still, some drivers don’t consider this a limitation: in fact, they think it’s a plus.
Building your Toyota Tundra
Unlike many other pickup trucks, the Toyota Tundra doesn’t offer a regular cab body. Instead, you can choose between a Double Cab or a Crewmax, both of which have a functional backset. However, the Crewmax’s second row has considerably more legroom for tall passengers.
Both cabs also feature front-hinged doors, so passengers can let themselves in and out of the second row. The two different cabs also come with exclusive options depending on what trim you buy. For example, a Toyota Tundra SR5 with the CrewMax cab comes with a bigger speaker system.
While most full-size pickup trucks also offer an array of powertrain options, the Toyota Tundra only has one available engine. It’s a 5.7-liter V8 that makes 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. It comes paired with a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission.
Are fewer options a good thing?
Most of the 2021 Toyota Tundra’s rivals, like the Chevy Silverado 1500 for example, offer three different cab sizes instead of two. Additionally, all the Silverado 1500’s beds are longer than those of the Toyota Tundra. While some beds are only available for certain cabins, the Silverado 1500 has fewer restrictions on the cab/bed combinations.
However, for some shoppers, the number of options available to them can be confusing. Oftentimes, these individuals are just looking for a simple work truck with an even simpler transaction process. For them, it might be part of the appeal that the Toyota Tundra only has one engine option.
Other options for the 2021 Toyota Tundra
Despite some limitations, there are plenty of ways to personalize your 2021 Toyota Tundra, according to U.S. News. The base trim has a few different packages that allow it to be more functional. A deck rail system is available for cargo management and you can also replace the carpeted floors with easy-to-clean vinyl.
The Toyota Tundra also comes in a special off-roading trim called the TRD Pro. It comes with special shocks, a front skid plate, LED headlights, and tow hooks. Tundra TRD Pro Crewmax models get an exclusive sunroof.
If you don’t care for any of the available paint colors, the Toyota Tundra also has some unique appearance packages. The Nightshade model is exclusive to the Limited trim, with various black exterior accents and matte black body paint.
There’s also a new Trail Special Edition Tundra, which has a black interior with special tan stitching on the seats. On the outside, it has all-terrain tires with special wheels and a different badge.
Toyota is known for its simple “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” strategy when it comes to cars. The automaker has such a large following because it knows what works and doesn’t like to complicate things for the consumer. The Toyota Tundra is simple at its core, but that’s part of what makes it a great truck.