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Toyota offers two solid pickup trucks with the full-size Tundra and the midsize Tacoma. Both trucks have various strengths, but the Tundra has a key advantage that gives it an edge. The 2023 Toyota Tundra offers one huge thing that’s not available for the 2023 Toyota Tacoma: a hybrid powertrain. 

Unlike the 2023 Toyota Tacoma, the 2023 Toyota Tundra offers a hybrid powertrain

Front angle view of dark brown 2023 Toyota Tundra pickup truck
2023 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

Toyota has long been the automotive industry leader for hybrids, and now the Japanese automaker has applied this technology to the 2023 Toyota Tundra. The available i-FORCE MAX hybrid powertrain in the Tundra combines a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine with an electric motor. 

The hybrid powertrain in the Tundra enables the pickup truck to get an estimated fuel economy of up to 22 mpg. While that’s not as high of a gas mileage as what you’ll get with some other hybrids, such as a Toyota Prius, it is respectable for full-size trucks, which tend to be gas guzzlers.

Conversely, you can’t get a hybrid powertrain for the 2023 Toyota Tacoma. While a hybrid powertrain is rumored for the next-generation Tacoma, that won’t happen until at least the 2024 model year. For the 2023 Tacoma, the only options are fully gas-powered engines — with an estimated gas mileage of up to 21 mpg. 

2023 Tundra Hybrid delivers better performance than the 2023 Tacoma

Front angle view of gray 2023 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck
2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

Typically, the biggest benefit of a hybrid is fuel economy. What’s more, due to long-held perceptions, many think hybrids sacrifice performance. However, for the 2023 Toyota Tundra, performance is its most significant benefit. While the Tundra Hybrid edges out the Tacoma for fuel economy, the area in which it stands out the most is performance.

The i-FORCE MAX hybrid is the most powerful powertrain in the Tundra lineup. It delivers an incredible output of 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque. In comparison, the Tacoma has a much weaker output. Its most powerful engine option is the available 3.5-liter V-6, which generates only 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque.

Other strengths of the Toyota Tundra over the Tacoma

Along with its powerful hybrid powertrain, the 2023 Tundra has some other strengths over the 2023 Tacoma. This includes towing capabilities. The Tundra has a maximum towing capacity of 12,000 pounds, compared to 6,800 pounds for the Tacoma. The Tundra can also haul a heavier load in the pickup bed. It has a maximum payload capacity of 1,940 pounds, while the Tacoma can haul up to 1,685 pounds.

Additionally, the Tundra is more reliable. It earned a J.D. Power reliability rating of 86/100, compared to 81/100 for the Tacoma. Greater reliability means that the Tundra is more likely to last for many miles and years — and have fewer mechanical problems.

With its available hybrid powertrain, the 2023 Toyota Tundra pickup truck has a crucial thing that the 2023 Tacoma doesn’t offer. Typically, one gets a hybrid vehicle for high-level efficiency, but for the Tundra, the biggest advantage is performance. If you were hoping for a hybrid version of the Tacoma, then you’ll have to wait at least another year.


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