The 2021 Toyota Tundra is, without a doubt, one of the most robust brand-new pickup trucks available. However, to be a great all-rounder, the Tundra also needs to perform in emergency handling situations. To test this, Consumer Reports recently tested the large Toyota against some of its most popular rivals in a brake test. Unfortunately, the Tundra was the worst performer of all of the trucks tested.
Why did the 2021 Toyota Tundra fail this safety test?
The premise of this Toyota Tundra brake test by Consumer Reports is quite simple. It involves driving the full-size truck at 60 mph and stomping on the brakes. The testers then measure the distance it took the truck to come to a complete stop. The idea here is that having a shorter stopping distance could potentially avoid a serious crash in an emergency. In terms of full-size pickup trucks, the average stopping distance recorded was 140 ft.
In contrast, the 2021 Toyota Tundra wasn’t exactly a great performer, taking 153 ft to come to a complete stop. According to Consumer Reports, this testing involves stopping the truck in both dry and wet weather conditions to test its versatility. It is worth noting that Consumer Reports did not specify which trim level or wheel/tire package was equipped during this Tundra test.
These factors likely held the Tundra back
While this Toyota Tundra test by Consumer Reports may seem quite cut and dry, there are several factors potentially holding the truck back. According to Consumer Reports, one of the most important factors in this braking test is the vehicle’s tires. This is because some conscious models favor less sticky tires to increase fuel-efficiency. Additionally, off-roading tires tend to perform less favorably in these types of tests compared with standard summer tires.
To this end, Consumer Reports does not mention specifically which trim level of the Toyota Tundra tested. This is important because off-roading trim levels feature off-roading tires better suited to different surfaces. Additionally, there are tire and wheel size differences throughout the trim levels. As a result, different trim levels will likely perform differently in this braking test.
Another clue as to why the Toyota Tundra didn’t ace this test could come down to its hefty curb weight. According to USA Today, the Tundra is one of the heaviest vehicles on the market, tipping the scales at 5,640 lb in SR5 trim. In contrast, the Ford F-150 has a much lighter 5,014-lb curb weight in XLT trim, says Car and Driver.
How did its competitors stack up?
To provide a bit of context to this Toyota Tundra test, let’s see how some of its fiercest competitors stack up. According to Consumer Reports, the best-performing full-size truck is the 2021 Nissan Titan, taking just 131 ft to stop. Additionally, the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra also impressed, taking just 136 ft to stop. The Chevy Silverado Diesel and GMC Sierra Diesel also failed to perform, taking 144 ft to stop, respectively.
Aside from the poor braking performance, the Toyota Tundra didn’t perform well during the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s crash test. During testing, the large truck received a marginal score for the overall evaluation and its structure and safety cage. As a result, the Japanese full-size truck is one of the most robust options on the market, just not one of the safest.