Roomy cabin, but outdated. The 2020 Toyota Tundra offers plenty of space. Both the standard front-row bench or optional captain's chairs offer enough space for three or two, respectively, NBA players to stretch out in comfort. Opt for the CrewMax crew cab with 42.3 inches of rear leg room, and the rest of the starting lineup can sit in back.
Optional running boards and wide door openings make climbing in and out easy, while versatility is addressed with rear seat cushions that fold up and lock. CrewMax models up the ante with a rear window that motors down at the touch of a switch.
At the same time, rear leg room on extended cab models is tight, while that glorious interior space has remained relatively untouched since a refresh for the 2014 model year. This leaves the Tundra in the dust by competitors from Chevrolet, GMC, Ram, and Ford.
In particular, the plethora of hard plastic bits are barely acceptable on the base SR model and downright embarrassing on the $50,100 TRD Pro trim.
A truckload of safety tech. Unlike much of the competition, even the entry-level Tundra SR trim comes equipped with a wide range of advanced safety features. These include forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with a sway warning system, and automatic high beams.
Limited models and above also equipped with LED headlights and accent lighting. Front and rear park assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert are optional on SR5 and Limited trims, and standard on Platinum and 1794 Edition models.
Trailering safety is also present and accounted for, with trailer pre-wiring, a receiver hitch, Tow/Haul mode switch, trailer brake controller, transmission fluid temperature gauge, supplemental engine oil cooler, supplemental transmission cooler, heavy-duty battery, 170-amp alternator, and 4/7 pin connector standard on all but the SR5 CrewMax trim.
Strong engine, lackluster fuel economy. Having dropped the entry-level 4.6-liter V8 from 2019, only one engine is offered this year, but it’s a strong one. The 5.7-liter V8 develops 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 pound-feet of torque at a very usable 3,600 rpm.
Maximum towing capacity ranges from 9,800 pounds for four-wheel-drive CrewMax models to 10,200 pounds for two-wheel-drive Double Cab versions. Quiet and smooth around town, it wakes up with a guttural growl when you put your foot into it. Coupled with excellent ride quality, it’s our favorite part about the 2020 Tundra.
The 5.7-liter mill is paired with a smooth but less-than-cutting-edge six-speed automatic transmission. Down a cog or two from competitors, it’s undoubtedly one reason the Tundra suffers from the worst fuel economy in its class at 13 miles per gallon city, 18 mpg highway, and 15 combined, according to the EPA. These figures drop to 13/17/14 mpg (city/highway/combined) with 4WD.
Decent value. Available in five trim levels and offering good resale value, even the base $35,020 Tundra SR comes with LED signature lighting, heated mirrors, automatic climate control, push-button start, a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability.
The best value in our eyes is the SR5, which adds fog lights, an 8-inch touchscreen, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and an upgraded audio system. Plus, it can be further tailored to individual tastes with optional SX, TRD Off-Road, or TRD Sport packages.
At the same time, the Tundra lacks the customizability and lineup breadth of its Detroit rivals.
Final thoughts. While the 2020 Toyota Tundra continues to impress with a smooth ride, solid engine, good resale value, and wide-ranging advanced safety features, it also trails rivals with a dated interior and a single engine that offers abysmal fuel economy.
In addition to better interiors, the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado, and GMC Sierra can be specked out to the nth-degree, with all three offering a wider range of engine choices – most eclipsing the fuel efficiency of the Tundra.
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