The 2021 Toyota Tundra Is Great Unless You Want to Stop

The Toyota Tundra used to be a class-leading pickup. It was ahead of its competitors in most ways. However, as the pickup truck game has gotten more popular, it has also gotten much more competitive. While other truck makers like Ford, Chevrolet, and Ram have been continuously stepping their game up, Toyota has seemingly quit trying. The 2021 Tundra isn’t all bad by any means, but a few areas are really struggling. 

Consumer Reports says the 2021 Toyota Tundra struggles with braking

Toyota has a long reputation for designing and building great engines. The Tundra has one of those great engines, but that’s really all it has. In Consumer Reports‘ 60-0 mph brake test, the Tundra did pretty badly. To come to a complete stop from 60 mph, it took the Tundra 153 feet on a dry road and 178 feet on a wet road. Forget bad; that’s terrible. A good motor doesn’t matter much if you can’t stop it. 

Along with braking, the Tundra struggled with the rest of the emergency maneuvers

CR says that the handling felt ok in normal driving, but even still, the steering lacked “feel.” There was little to no feedback from the road that helps the driver to feel confident and connected to the road below. Again, for as good as the 5.7-liter is, it doesn’t mean much without traction. CR found that the Tundra struggled to put its power on the road in both wet and dry conditions. The tires couldn’t get traction and, as a result, would often spin. 

In the emergency handling section, CR found that the Tundra hit its limit quickly. The highest speed that the Tundra could reliability swerve to avoid a collision was at a lowly 44 mph. The wide turning radius of 49 feet wasn’t a strong look either.

Tires can be a big factor in handling and braking

2021 Toyota Tundra Nightshade
2021 Toyota Tundra Nightshade | Toyota

Your Brakes Might Be Worse for the Environment Than Your Exhaust

The 2021 Toyota Tundra comes from the factory with BF Goodrich Rugged Trail T/A size 275/65R18 114T all around. This is a decent middle-ground for road and off-road driving. Of course, anything with a heavier tread like all-terrains or more serious off-road tires will heavily affect steering, road feel, and braking. The Tundra would likely see improved braking and handling if it has different tires, but it is a moot point due to the nature of trucks and who buys them. Although there are some downsides, the Toyota Tundra isn’t all bad.

 The 2021 Toyota Tundra towing capacity ain’t bad

I’ll start by saying the tundra’s towing capacity isn’t the highest among full-sized trucks, but it ain’t half bad either. The top towing rate for the Toyota Tundra sits at 10,200 pounds. At the end of the day, towing and payload are what most truck owners care about. Even though bigger super duty trucks can handle far greater loads, the Tundra isn’t in that class. Yes, the Ford F-150 can beat its towing capacity at just over 11,000 lbs, but that doesn’t make the Tundra’s capacity deficient. 

Will the Toyota Tundra ever go diesel? 

Toyota has mentioned doing away with its, albeit popular, but outdated 5.7-liter V8 for the Tundra. According to MotorTrend, the plan is to swamp to a V6 only line. The big twin-turbo V8 will shrink in size but not so much in power. The top dog 3.4-liter V6 will make 416 hp. There will also be a smaller V6 making somewhere around the 300-hp mark. Toyota has even mentioned offering a clean-diesel engine for the coming model. If it’s as good as the V8 tundra fans might be in for a treat.