Critics and Consumers Don’t Agree On the 2020 Toyota Tundra

Earlier this year, car sales were so bad that even Toyota was struggling. But amidst the ongoing pandemic, Toyota car sales have greatly improved. And what may surprise some is that the 2020 Toyota Tundra is still holding its own, despite such a challenging year. While some consumers may like the Tundra, respected critics aren’t sold on the 2020 model.

What critics don’t like about the 2020 Toyota Tundra 

A white Toyota Tundra TRD Pro off-road.
Toyota Tundra TRD Pro | Toyota

The Tundra earns praise for its excellent reliability ratings and its off-road capability. However, the Tundra is the oldest pickup in its class, and in a few ways, the Tundra’s old-age is evident. Reviewers at Car and Driver  characterize this pickup as “archaic.” 

Car and Driver didn’t have many nice things to say about the Tundra and gave it a two out of five stars. While reviewers describe the Tundra’s standard 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 as lively, they also feel like it’s prehistoric compared to newer powertrains. Also, its standard six-speed automatic can feel sluggish. Plus, the Tundra loses points for its firm suspension, which makes for a bumpy ride. 

 U.S. News isn’t a fan of the 2020 Tundra either. In its review, U.S. News said that the Tundra’s good reliability scores weren’t enough to overshadow its drawbacks. U.S. News says the Tundra’s poor driving dynamics and outdated cabin is why this truck ranks lower in the class. According to U.S. News’ evaluations, another drawback is that the Tundra costs more to own than any other truck. 

It’s been 13 years since this Toyota got a complete redesign. Most full-size rivals have more comfortable interiors, smoother rides, better composure, and higher-end cabins. Though the Tundra comes standard with a powerful V8 engine, it still can’t tow or haul as much as most other trucks in the class. 

U.S. News

Consumer Reports also feels like the Tundra is outdated

a toyota tundra pickup tuck off-road
Toyota Tundra | Toyota

Consumer Reports  echoes many of the same critiques for the 2020 Tundra. CR said that the Tundra used to be the “Camry of pickups” because it was a modern, everyday vehicle suitable for various lifestyles. Now, the Tundra’s V8 engine remains as its best attribute. CR complemented the Tundra for its power, off-roading acumen, and towing numbers; the Tundra can haul up to 10,000 pounds. 

But the Tundra’s 2020 sales aren’t terrible compared to last year

Toyota Tundra trucks at the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series
The Toyota Tundra | Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2020 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition Can’t Do Enough to Save Itself From Mediocrity

Even though numerous critics aren’t impressed with how the Tundra drives, it’s still a reasonably popular truck. In Q2 2020, the Tundra sold 27,222 units, compared to 29,397 during the same period last year. That’s only a 7 percent decrease. Still, the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado are more highly favored compared to the Tundra.

Is it a bad idea to buy the 2020 Tundra?

To some, the 2020 Tundra is the worst truck. However, this pickup does have a few things going for it in 2020, besides its engine. Toyota updated the Tundra’s infotainment system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard features. Critics also like that the Tundra comes with a suite of active safety features including pedestrian detection. And like we said before, the Tundra’s reliability ratings give it an edge.