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The Toyota Tundra was once a pioneer in its class, proving to be a better trucks than most of its competitors. Although the 2021 Toyota Tundra is widely recognized for its reliability and great resale value, in recent years the 2021 Toyota Tundra has struggled to keep up with its competition.

This is largely due to the Toyota Tundra’s limited updates in model years- which is why it’s a big relief that the 2022 Tundra will receive a variety of new updates. With the 2021 Toyota Tundra receiving mixed reviews, here is why U.S. News said that the 2021 Tundra is “not a good truck.”

The 2021 Toyota Tundra does a few things right

The 2021 Toyota Tundra is different from previous years as it has a single powertrain option- a 5.7-liter V8 engine capable of 381 hp, 401 lb-ft of torque, and towing up to 10,000 pounds.

Furthermore, the 2021 Tundra has an estimated 15 mpg combined fuel efficiency, with an estimated 13 mpg city and 17 mpg highway. In addition to this, the 2021 Tundra comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a variety of safety features. These safety features include automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams.

Unpacking the “not a good truck” comment 

According to U.S. News, the 2021 Toyota Tundra is simply “not a good truck.” U.S. News was disappointed with the 2021 Tundra for a variety of reasons. Firstly, U.S. News was not impressed at all with the 2021 Tundra’s towing and hauling capacity — with 10,000 pounds being lower than most of its competitors (the Ford F-150 can tow up to 14,000 lb and the Chevy Silverado has a towing capacity of 13,400 lb). Plus, as we mentioned, the 2021 Tundra also has a thirsty engine, getting just 15 mpg overall.

Furthermore, the 2021 Tundra also seriously lacks when it comes to the interior of the pick-up truck. With the Tundra not being redesigned in more than a decade, the interior is less modern, stylish, and comfortable than most of its competitors.

If this isn’t bad enough, according to U.S. News, passengers will feel almost every bump and the 2021 Tundra’s interior quality is also subpar.

If you can get over the 2021 Tundra’s ride quality, shabby interior, poor gas mileage, and below-average towing capabilities, the 2021 Tundra does impress in some areas. For example, all 2021 Tundras are equipped with a powerful V8 engine and, although uncomfortable, its seats are spacious. 

Overall, the 2021 Tundra achieved a decent 6.6/10 in U.S. New’s ratings. However, U.S. News strongly suggests looking into competitors like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, and Ram 1500 instead. But is it fair to use these complaints to declare the Tundra a bad truck?

How other critics rated the 2021 Tundra

Although Kelley Blue Book never called the 2021 Tundra a bad truck, it did list a lot of drawbacks for the 2021 Tundra. Some drawbacks, including limited towing and poor fuel economy, echo the U.S. News review.

However, Kelley Blue Book also lists the 2021 Tundra’s singular engine choice as a drawback as it leads to limited choice and a more expensive base model. Furthermore, Kelley Blue Book also listed limited tech features as another limitation of the 2021 Tundra. 

Kelley Blue Book was impressed by some aspects of the 2021 Tundra including its impressive reliability and muscular V8 engine. In addition to this, the 2021 Tundra was also praised for its strong resale value.

According to Kelley Blue Book, its resale value is truly its strong point with the 2021 Tundra even winning an award for KBB’s Best Resale Value among pick-up trucks. 

On the other hand, Consumer Reports viewed the 2021 Toyota Tundra favorably, even rating it as the second-best pick-up truck in its class. Although Consumer Reports was disappointed with the 2021 Tundra’s fuel economy, limited build options, its refinement, and its interior’s refinement, the 2021 Tundra impressed in other aspects.

This includes its V8 engine and standard advanced safety features. Furthermore, the 2021 Tundra earned the highest score in its class for predicted reliability with a 4/5. Overall, Consumer Reports gave the 2021 Tundra a 63/100.

Calling the Tundra a “bad truck” because it lacks good fuel economy, a plush interior, and smooth ride might not be totally fair. In general, truck buyers aren’t looking for these features. When it comes to dependability it is hard to beat the Tundra.