Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Toyota Tundra Has 1 Major Problem

The second-generation Toyota Tundra has been on sale since 2007. Despite getting a major refresh in 2014, Toyota’s full-size truck hasn’t fixed one of its major issues. Given the competitiveness of the pickup truck market in the U.S., the Tundra is beginning to trail behind the competition. Car and Driver‘s recent review gave the 2021 Toyota Tundra a notoriously low rating, citing its outdated interior as a major drawback.

The 2021 Toyota Tundra is a brand-new old truck

As mentioned in the intro, the second-generation Toyota Tundra has been on sale for almost 13 years. While its aesthetic may have changed for the better, its powertrain remains largely unchanged.

A photo of the Toyota Tundra outdoors.
Toyota Tundra | Toyota

For starters, the Tundra’s flagship engine, a 5.7-liter V8 engine producing 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque, is practically the same as it was back in 2007. The six-speed automatic transmission also hasn’t received any major updates. To put this into perspective, the Tundra’s powertrain has existed longer than both the twelfth and thirteenth generations of the Ford F-150.

Toyota Logo | Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

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It’s not like it’s cheap either. The 2021 Toyota Tundra starts at around $33,675. A comparable Ford F-150 with a newer and more powerful 5.0-liter V8 costs a hair under $31,000. While buyers were disappointed to see no major improvements for the 2021 model, a potential next-generation arriving in 2022 should bring the Tundra up to speed.

An outdated interior is a major problem

Let’s face it; a strong and reliable truck isn’t enough for consumers anymore. Take a look at any 2021 pickup truck’s interior, and they’ll look more like luxury SUVs than working vehicles. In this regard, the Toyota Tundra has a major problem.

A photo of the Toyota Tundra outdoors.
Toyota Tundra | Toyota

According to Car and Driver, the Toyota Tundra’s interior looks outdated. The aged look is likely because the last major refresh in the interior was implemented in 2014. Aside from the old look, Car and Driver claims the materials feel cheap. From the image above, we can clearly see that the interior is covered in hard plastics, severely affecting the overall interior quality.

On top of that, Car and Driver noted that the infotainment system was tolerable at best, stating it functioned properly but not intuitively. Aside from the cheap materials, the infotainment screen is rather small, easily getting lost in the enormous dashboard.

A photo of the 2021 Ford F-150's interior.
Ford F-150 | Ford

In contrast, check out the interior of the 2021 Ford F-150 posted above. Instead of a tiny eight-inch display, a high trim F-150 features a sizable 12-inch screen. That’s not the only screen either. Instead of the analog gauges the Tundra features, the F-150 has an available digital instrument cluster. The result is that the F-150 feels far more modern despite also being a 2021 truck.

Will the next-generation Tundra be any better?

In short, it has to be. Thankfully, the Toyota Tundra should make a massive leap forward with its next generation. Just recently, TFLnow published a clip of a 2022 Toyota Tundra prototype towing a trailer through some mountains.

The video itself provides us a couple of insights into what the next-generation Tundra might be like. For starters, the truck looks larger overall. While the shape looks familiar, it looks slightly sharper with perhaps a more pronounced hood. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information as of writing on the 2022 Toyota Tundra, so all we have for now are these videos.

The second-generation Toyota Tundra was a major leap forward over the first generation. We expect to see some major changes for the upcoming third-generation. If Toyota wants to remain competitive, the new Tundra should feature a new engine, a more aggressive look, and a high-tech interior.