3 Things to Know Before Buying a Toyota Tundra Hybrid

Buying a hybrid pickup truck is becoming the norm more than ever before. Even in the full-size truck segment, most models offer a hybrid or electric alternative to their gas-guzzling standard variants. One popular model is the Toyota Tundra hybrid. There are many ways the Tundra is excellent, and some that it falls short of the most popular competitors, the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500. Before you consider buying a hybrid powertrain with your Tundra, there are a few things to consider. Here are three things to know before buying a Toyota Tundra hybrid.

Not all Toyota Tundra models are hybrid

2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport, things to know before buying the hybrid powertrain.
2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport | Toyota

Before buying the 2023 Toyota Tundra, you should know that it can use a hybrid powertrain, but not on every trim. Many rivals offer a hybrid truck in any version of the model. However, the Tundra hybrid is exclusive to more expensive trims. First, buyers cannot equip the cheapest SR and SR5 trims with the hybrid powertrain. The two lowest models come exclusively with the 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6, making 358 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque for the SR trim and 389 hp and 479 lb-ft for the SR5.

After that point, every Tundra trim has an optional or standard hybrid version. For example, the Limited and Platinum trims have hybrid and gas-only variants. However, the higher trims, TRD Pro and Capstone, are exclusively available with a hybrid powertrain. That means buyers who choose the most luxurious Tundra models in the lineup can’t get a non-hybrid engine.

The Tundra hybrid is for performance, not fuel economy

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

Although most buyers get a hybrid powertrain because they offer better fuel economy than their alternatives, that is not the case with the 2023 Toyota Tundra. While the fuel economy is minimally better, the main reason to buy a hybrid powertrain is its performance. It uses a 3.4-liter V6 combined with a parallel hybrid system with a single permanent magnet synchronous motor producing 48 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque alone. Together, the combination creates 437 hp and 583 lb-ft, obliterating the standard SR and SR5 engines.

According to HotCars, the Tundra hybrid can accelerate from 0 to 60 in just 5.7 seconds. However, its fuel efficiency isn’t the best. Toyota’s offering has an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway. Rivals like the Ford F-150 hybrid deliver the same numbers, so Toyota isn’t behind by any stretch of the imagination. However, you should know before buying that the Tundra hybrid is a V8 replacement for speed, not a Ford Maverick competitor for fuel economy.

2023 Toyota Tundra is best when it’s hybrid

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The final thing you should know before buying a 2023 Toyota Tundra hybrid is that it’s better when it uses a hybrid powertrain. Not only does the full-size truck deliver more power, but it’s also slightly more fuel-efficient. Depending on which Tundra version you select, the option can cost between $3,500 and $4,000 more than the standard engine; in addition to speed, the hybrid variant gains about two mpg.

Alternatively, the expensive, standard hybrid models are the height of luxury. The 2023 Toyota Tundra is one of the most luxurious trucks. It has a plush interior with many standard features and drives more smoothly than some rivals. The Limited Hybrid version starts at $54,915, while the Platinum Hybrid is $63,000. The TRD Pro and Capstone come with the standard hybrid powertrain for $70,315 and $77,040, respectively.

Although they’re quite costly, the top models come with everything you could ask for in a full-size truck. For example, power-deploying running boards, 22-inch wheels, Fox suspension dampers, a 1.1-inch front suspension lift, all-terrain tires, craw control, and more are mixed in with the Capstone, and TRD Pro trims.

Things to know before buying

In conclusion, you should know a few things before buying a Toyota Tundra hybrid model. The full-size truck has a few trims that come standard as hybrids and a few that don’t. Next, the optional powertrain is more for power and performance than it is for fuel economy. Lastly, the best versions of the Tundra are hybrid, but they’re also the most expensive.