2020 Toyota Tundra Review
  • Car Review

2020 Toyota Tundra Review

By Autolist Editorial | September 9, 2020

Quick Facts:

Pros:

  • Spacious back seats.
  • Tons of cutting-edge technological amenities.
  • Impressive reliability and resale value.
  • Powerful V8 engine.

Cons:

  • Mediocre fuel efficiency.
  • Interior materials could be better.
  • Stiffer ride than most rivals.
  • Limited powertrain options.

Vehicle Type: Full-size five- or six-passenger pickup truck.

Price Range: $33,575 - $48,655, before options.

Powertrain:

  • Every trim level in 2020 has a 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 engine capable of 401 lb-ft of torque and paired with rear-wheel drive.

  • A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard. Four-wheel drive is optional.

More Photos: See more 2020 Toyota Tundra photos here.


Overview:

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The newest version of Toyota's two-decade line of full-size pickup trucks, the 2020 Toyota Tundra, is a big, brawny hauler with a powerful 5.7-liter V8 engine that cranks out 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. Ideal for towing cargo to work sites or for hauling large families around town, the new Tundra is a classic all-in-one vehicle.

This model year has retained the same Tundra layout that Toyota's been using for a decade, but it adds a host of new technological perks, including push-button start, Apple CarPlay, and leather upholstery.

This Toyota comes in one of two body styles: the standard Double Cab crew cab or the larger CrewMax, with four full-size doors. In addition, buyers have three bed lengths to choose from for extra versatility.

The 2020 Toyota Tundra comes in six trim levels: SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, TRD Pro, and the 1794 Edition.

How does this full-size pickup truck stack up against the competition? Its cousin, the Toyota Tacoma, is more offroad-compatible and handles better, but the Tundra has a stronger engine and roomier interior. The Nissan Titan, another rival, has a slightly more luxurious interior and smoother ride, but the Tundra is more reliable overall.

The 2020 Toyota Tundra has several perks that even top-of-the-line pickups such as the Ford F-250 Super Duty lack, such as lane departure warning. However, the Tundra also lacks other common amenities, such as the GMC Sierra's see-through camera.

Overall Score: 6.9/10


Safety Features: 7/10

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2020 Toyota Tundra a safety rating of four out of five. Meanwhile, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave this truck Poor to Good crash test ratings.

All trim levels of this new pickup truck feature the Safety Sense P driver assistance suite of passive and active safety systems, including adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, radar cruise control, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, and automatic emergency braking.

Each Tundra also comes with anti-lock brakes, eight airbags, a backup camera, stability control, and trailer sway control.

The safety features that come with this truck work well. Unfortunately, the vehicle's adaptive cruise control isn't helpful in stop-and-go traffic, since it isn't full-speed.


Value: 7/10

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Compared to its rivals in the full-size pickup market, the 2020 Toyota Tundra has an impressive array of features but an outdated design with mediocre handling.

Given all its standard features and its solid resale value, the Tundra's starting price of $35,000 is reasonable for this market.

Toyota Tundras tend to stay reliable for a long time, so drivers don't need to worry much about premature maintenance costs.


Tech Features: 8/10

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The 2020 Tundra come standard with a wealth of technological amenities, including a Wi-Fi hotspot, Amazon Alexa, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, heated and power-adjustable mirrors, satellite radio, Bluetooth, voice recognition, and a seven-inch Entune touchscreen infotainment system.

The Entune touchscreen infotainment system has a smooth, responsive interface but small buttons that some drivers may find unintuitive. Fortunately, menu shortcut buttons flank the display, and you can preset your favorite radio station on Entune for convenience.

Three USB ports are available, and all trim levels of this new car are smartphone-compatible. The base trim Tundra features a six-speaker stereo, but the Double Cab Tundra SR5 comes with a seven-speaker stereo, while the CrewMax SR5 stereo has nine speakers.


Practicality: 6/10

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The base Tundra has a towing capacity of 8,800 pounds, though a maximum towing capacity of 10,200 pounds is available for higher trims. The vehicle's payload capacity is 1,520 to 1,730 pounds, depending on the trim level.

This full-size truck has ample cargo space, with three bed lengths on offer: 5.5 feet, 6.5 feet, and 8.1 feet. Each bed is 22.2 inches deep and 50 inches wide. With each bed comes optional amenities, such as lights, power outlets, tie-downs, and a storage compartment.

The Double Cab comes with an extra storage compartment under the back seats. None of the Tundra's seats fold flat, though the rear seats can fold up.

Compared to other full-size trucks, the Tundra is about average in terms of practicality and lacks special perks. In addition, the vehicle's towing capacity is below average.


Styling and Design: 6/10

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Like earlier versions of Toyota's pickup line, the 2020 Tundra's body style may not please everyone. A large grille dominates the front, and bulky, old-fashioned lines characterize the styling. The truck boasts chrome bumpers and a tailgate bearing the word "Tundra."

The Tundra comes standard with a 145.7-inch wheelbase, but the long-bed extended cab version of the truck has a wheelbase of 164.6 inches. The Tundra ranges in length from 228.9 to 247.8 inches, depending on the trim. Most 2020 Tundras are 79.9 inches wide and 76 to 76.4 inches tall, with the TRD Pro trim level being 77.2 inches tall. The base model comes with 18-inch steel wheels, but 20-inch alloy wheels are on offer as well.

Function precedes form with the 2020 Toyota Tundra. Compared to most rivals in 2020, the vehicle's cabin materials are lackluster, though many people may find the soft surfaces and seat stitching of the leather upholstery comfortable.

The truck's interior is roomy. Occupants in the front seats enjoy 42.5 inches of legroom. The back seats offer 34.7 and 42.3 inches of legroom for the Double Cab and CrewMax models, respectively.

A six-way power-adjustable passenger seat is available for extra comfort, as is a 10- or 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat.

One unique trick the Tundra has up its sleeve is an optional rear window that rolls down completely, giving far more access and ventilation than most trucks' small sliding window section.


Driving Experience: 7/10

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Just one engine sits in the 2020 Toyota Tundra, a competitive 5.7-liter i-FORCE V8 capable of 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission carries over from previous models and shows its age with slow gearshifts.

Acceleration isn't bad, though, as the Tundra can reach 60 mph in about seven seconds. The brake pedal feels clunky, but the Tundra can brake down from 70 mph in just 190 feet. Visibility in the new Tundra is impressive.

The new Tundra lacks the smooth ride of the Dodge Ram 1500 or Ford F-150, especially when the bed lacks cargo or when the vehicle's riding over a bumpy road. In addition, the truck's large size makes navigating narrow spaces difficult, and parking can be especially tricky.


Fuel Efficiency: 7/10

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Full-size trucks rarely have strong fuel economy, and the 2020 Tundra is no exception. According to the EPA, the rear-wheel-drive version of this truck gets 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on highways for a combined 15 mpg, whereas the full-wheel-drive version gets 13 and 17 mpg on city roads and highways, respectively, for a combined 14 mpg. Just remember that offroading and cargo hauling can tax your fuel economy dramatically.

The base truck's fuel tank can hold 26.4 gallons, while the TRD Pro trim level can hold 38 gallons. Many competitors have mild-hybrid or diesel variants, but the Tundra just has one engine, and, in terms of fuel efficiency, this engine falls short of the V8s available for the Dodge Ram 1500, Ford F-150, and Chevrolet Silverado 1500.


What's It Going to Cost Me?

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The Toyota Tundra starts at $33,425 for the base SR trim, which features Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a six-speaker stereo, and the 7-inch Entune touchscreen infotainment system. This truck also has 18-inch steel wheels, three USB ports, keyless entry, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, a tilt-only steering wheel, a damped tailgate, four-way manually adjustable front seats, a windshield de-icer, satellite radio, cloth upholstery, voice recognition, and heated and power-adjustable outside mirrors.

The new Tundra comes with numerous safety and driver assistance features, including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, automatic emergency braking, trailer sway warning, a trailer brake controller, and pedestrian detection. A 5.7-liter V8 engine sits in this trunk, and it's mated to a six-speed automatic transition. Both rear-wheel and four-wheel drive are on offer.

As with every trim level, the Tundra SR includes a $1,595 destination fee.

Next up is the 2020 Toyota Tundra SR5, which starts at $35,245. This model adds to the SR features like on fog lights, a universal garage door opener, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Entune infotainment screen for the SR5 jumps to eight inches, up from seven. A sliding horizontal rear window also comes with this car. The Double Cab SR5 features a seven-speaker stereo, while the CrewMax SR5 comes with a nine-speaker stereo. This vehicle also features a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, HD Radio, SiriusXM, and front bucket seats. Available exclusively for the Tundra SR5 is the optional TRD Sport package, featuring sport-tuned Bilstein shocks, 20-inch wheels, and front and rear anti-sway bars.

The 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited starts at $42,270. On top of all the features available for the SR and SR5, this trim level boasts a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, six-way power-adjustable passenger seat, power-sliding rear window, fog lights, LED headlights, and leather-wrapped steering wheel. The infotainment touchscreen also includes a navigation system. Versatile tie-down cleats, an upgraded power driver seat, and automatic dual-zone climate control enhance the Tundra Limited, and you can round out the trim with the $1,205 Limited Premium package featuring rear cross-traffic alert, a 12-speaker JBL premium stereo, blindspot monitoring, and front and rear parking sensors. Unlike other trims, the Limited swaps in a center console for the front bench seat, bringing the vehicle's seat count down to five.

Starting at $48,505, the Tundra TRD Pro is the off-road member of the Tundra family. It comes with most of the perks of lower trims along with special front shocks, Fox rear shocks, a front skid plate, front tow hooks, BBS forged alloy wheels and a green paint job. Unfortunately, this trim doesn't have a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, or heated front seats.

Further up the food chain is the 2020 Toyota Tundra Platinum, a $48,775 model featuring all the amenities of lower trims plus LED accent lights, heated and ventilated front seats, driver memory settings, chrome styling touches, a sunroof, and LED accent lights.

Finally, for the same base price as the Platinum, you can buy the Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition. This variant comes with almost all of the Platinum's amenities but has slightly different styling inside and out, including wood-and-leather interior trims that lend the vehicle a Western feel.

Two special feature packages are available for the 2020 Tundra: the TDR Off-Road package, which costs $4,385, and the TDR Sport package, which costs $6,520. The TRD Off-Road package comes with tow hooks, skid plates, 18-inch wheels, and a trail-tuned Bilstein suspension. The TRD Sport package has keyless entry with push-button start, LED headlights, a 38-gallon fuel tank, front bucket seats, 20-inch wheels, Bilstein shocks, and TRD front and rear anti-sway bars.

Which trim level should you get? That depends on how you plan to use your new Toyota Tundra. If you hope to go offroading regularly, the Tundra TRD Pro may feature all the protective equipment you need. If you want a simple family hauler and you're on a tighter budget, then the SR trim might be your best bet.

Our choice, however, would be the Tundra SR5, since it comes with most of the features available for this vehicle while remaining below the $40,000 range.


More Photos

See more 2020 Toyota Tundra photos here.