Skip to main content

Toyota Tundra Hybrid: 5 things we love about it (and 3 things we hate)

With power, space, and luxury, the Toyota Tundra Hybrid has a lot going for it — but not everything

There’s no hiding that the Toyota Tundra has always been well behind its domestic rivals. In a war where automakers gain ground with incredibly powerful off-road models and high towing capacity, the Tundra has always banked on other things like reliability, a standard V8 engine, and high resale value. With Ram and Ford introducing electrified powertrains for the 1500 and F-150, respectively, and with pickup trucks now mirroring large luxury sedans and being fitted with massive screens, Toyota knew it had to make some major changes if it wanted to keep up with the pack.

In its quest to compete in the arms war, Toyota looked into what it does best and ended up with the Tundra Hybrid. While hybrids are everywhere today, that wasn’t the case two decades ago. Toyota was one of the first on the hybrid scene with the 1997 Prius, so it knows what it’s doing with hybrids. The Toyota Tundra Hybrid, then, is right in the auto giant’s wheelhouse.

There’s a lot to like about the 2023 Toyota Tundra Hybrid and a few things that may give you reason to pause. Get the full rundown on the electrified pickup truck in our thorough Toyota Tundra review.

What we love about the Tundra Hybrid

2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid Capstone front end angle from passenger's side on a boat launch ramp with water in the background.

Seriously powerful

The Tundra lineup is only available with a V6 engine. The base version of the pickup comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that produces 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. These are respectable figures for the class and some of the highest figures for an entry-level powertrain.

The available Tundra Hybrid steps things up immensely by adding an electric motor into the mix. The iForce Max powertrain, which is Toyota’s name for the hybrid, raises the bar to 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque.

With the hybrid engine, the Tundra Hybrid feels peppy — and it sounds great too, though the sound being pumped into the cabin is fake. More importantly, the hybrid powertrain doesn’t make you miss having a V8 engine under the hood.

Oh my, what a big touchscreen you have

Toyota saw the 12-inch units on other trucks and, for some reason, thought that they weren’t large enough. So the Tundra Hybrid comes with a 14-inch touchscreen that’s the largest screen in the segment. It’s not vertically oriented, either, but mounted like a normal screen — or as normal as a screen can get for being 14 inches in size.

The graphics are great, there’s a helpful virtual assistant that answers to “Hey, Toyota,” and the menus are fairly easy to use. It’s a massive improvement over the last-gen Tundra and incorporates usable and stylish physical controls.

So much space

The available CrewMax (crew cab) body style is downright spacious. The Tundra Hybrid in the CrewMax configuration offers 38.5 inches of rear headroom, 41.6 inches of rear legroom, 60.5 inches of rear hip room, and 62.4 inches of shoulder room. These figures match some midsize SUVs and result in a truck that has more than enough space for the entire family.

Thoroughly luxurious

The Tundra Hybrid seriously improves in the luxury realm compared to the last-gen Tundra, especially with one of the most high-end trims.

Toyota lent us the range-topping Capstone to drive for a week, and it does a great impression of a luxury vehicle. The Capstone comes with features like 22-inch wheels, power-deployable running boards, and sound-reducing front windows. You’re also getting heated and ventilated front and rear seats, a panoramic sunroof that’s as large as a Ford Fiesta, wood trim, plush leather upholstery, and a wireless charging pad.

It goes beyond the features, as the Capstone looks and feels luxurious.

Close up of front grille on 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid Capstone parked on dirt with trees in the back.
Joel Patel/The Manual

That face

You might not like the Tundra Hybrid’s massive grille that accounts for 95% of the pickup truck’s front end, but you have to admit it looks cool. It’s like 375-pound lineman Aaron Gibson charging full speed toward you, and you can’t look away. It’s bold, distinct, and different, and you have to give Toyota credit for doing something that stands out.

What we hate about the Tundra Hybrid

Towing still falls behind

The Tundra Hybrid may be more powerful than the regular Tundra, but it loses some towing capacity. This is normal for electric vehicles, but the Tundra is already down on towing capacity to rivals, so you’re losing a lot of towing capacity compared to rivals.

Towing capacity maxes out at 11,450 pounds for the Tundra Hybrid, which is noticeably less than the F-150 Hybrid that’s rated at 12,700 pounds. When properly equipped, the regular F-150 can tow up to 14,000 pounds, while the regular Tundra is rated at up to 12,000 pounds.

Not exactly fuel efficient

Normally, when you hear the word “hybrid,” you associate it with improved fuel economy. The Tundra Hybrid is more fuel efficient than the regular Tundra, but not by a wide margin.

The regular Tundra has an official fuel economy rating of up to 20 mpg combined from the EPA. The Tundra Hybrid is rated at up to 22 mpg combined. Two extra mpg isn’t a lot, and it’s lower than the F-150 Hybrid that’s rated at up to 25 mpg combined. Heck, diesel burners from Chevrolet and Ram are more efficient.

A pricey upgrade

With a starting price tag of $39,660 (with destination), the Tundra stands out as a value-packed option in the segment when you consider all of the features that the truck comes with. Meanwhile, the most affordable Tundra Hybrid costs $56,710. That’s an enormous leap in pricing.

Editors' Recommendations

Joel Patel
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Joel Patel is a former contributor for The Manual. His work has also been featured on Autoweek, Digital Trends, Autoblog…
Everything we know about Ford’s return to Formula 1 as Red Bull’s engine partner
The American automaker will be in charge of developing Red Bull’s next-gen hybrid power unit for the 2026 season
2023 Red Bull Racing F1 car at its launch in New York City with

It’s been nearly two decades since Ford last raced in Formula 1. But with Drive to Survive and Formula 1 set to have three races in the United States for the 2023 schedule, the American brand thinks now is a good time as any to announce its return to the most prestigious racing series in the world. Earlier this month, Ford officially announced that it would partner with Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri to provide both teams with hybrid power units. Ford will also be helping the teams with technical and strategic support starting for the 2026 season and running until “at least” 2030.
While we won’t see anything concrete about the partnership between Ford and Red Bull Racing anytime soon, the partnership will officially begin in 2023. At the moment, we know that Ford will be working with Red Bull Powertrains to help develop a 350-kW hybrid power unit that will become a part of the new technical regulations for the 2026 F1 season. Ford will also be helping Red Bull Powertrains with its combustion engine, which will be required to run on sustainable fuels.
Our Time | #FordReturns | Ford Performance
“Ford’s return to Formula 1 with Red Bull Racing is all about where we are going as a company — increasingly electric, software-defined, modern vehicles and experiences,” said Ford CEO Jim Farley. “F1 will be an incredibly cost-effective platform to innovate, share ideas and technologies, and engage with tens of millions of new customers.”
As a Formula 1 fan, it’s exciting to see an American automaker return to the sport. There was a lot of hoopla about General Motors and Andretti Global attempting to get an F1 bid with Cadillac, but existing teams have reportedly voiced a lot of pushback to a new team joining the F1 grid. It seems like Ford found an easier route to return to the world of Formula 1 at a great time with increased interest from American racing fans. Either way, Ford returns to Formula 1.
The partnership is also a good way for Ford to develop and engineer future electric powertrains and components for its road vehicles. The brand is investing $50 billion into electrification and recently split the company into two major divisions – Ford Blue for its internal combustion engine vehicles and Ford Model e for its EVs.  Motorsports have always been a way for automakers to develop and test automotive components for future road-going vehicles. With Ford looking to come out with more EVs and focus on electrified vehicles, it makes plenty of sense for the brand to get involved with F1 as the racing series looks to expand on its hybrid race cars.

“It’s fantastic to be welcoming Ford back into Formula 1 through this partnership,” said Christian Horner, Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal and CEO. “As an independent engine manufacturer, to have the ability to benefit from an OEM’s experience like Ford put us in a good stead against the competition.”
Specifics on the partnership are sure to come out closer to the 2026 season. Plus, the announcement was made at the same time Red Bull showcased their new livery for the 2023 season, which totally doesn’t look like last year’s livery in any way, in New York City. We're sure it's a hard topic to discuss when “HONDA” is plastered on the back of the 2023 car. But, as far as Formula 1 news for American racing fans, seeing Ford in F1 is certainly exciting.

Read more
BMW introduces 2024 X5 and X6, adding range to plug-in hybrid option
BMW X5 and X6: Updated designs, standard 48-volt systems, and new tech are also on hand
Front end angle of the 2024 BMW X6 and rear end angle of the 2024 BMW X5 in a white studio.

BMW may be known for its high-performance sports cars and excellent driver-focused sedans, but the X5 was its best-selling model in 2022. The last time the X5 model was fully redesigned was in 2019, which means that it’s time for a host of updates. Enter the 2024 BMW X5 and its sportier X6 counterpart, which arrive with thorough mid-cycle refreshes. The main highlights are the introduction of a new inline-six engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, improved efficiency for the plug-in hybrid model, and a new interior design with added tech.
Both the X5 and X6 40i models will continue to come with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, but the motor has been redesigned for 2024. In addition to the new engine, the 40i models are now hybrids, too. The six-cylinder engine gets a 48-volt mild-hybrid system with an electric motor that’s integrated into the eight-speed automatic transmission. With the new engine and the addition of the mild-hybrid system, the base X5 and X6 models are now rated at 375 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. These are upgrades from 335 hp and 330 lb-ft from the outgoing model.


Read more
These are the 5 fastest electric cars in the world right now
We've come a long, long way from the Prius. Welcome to the world of next-gen, record-shattering EVs.

We’ve come a long, long way since the Prius first debuted in 1997. Toyota first legitimized, then popularized the idea of the mass-produced electric car. Then, Elon Musk actually made them fun to drive. But we’re in a whole new era of electric vehicles right now, one where they’re shattering the track and 0-60 times of their gas-powered counterparts.

From everyday drivers to class-redefining pickups to high-concept Italian exotics, here are five of the world’s fastest EVs by type. And while EVs certainly impress, we've also put together a list of the overall fastest cars in the world.
Faraday Future FF91
Fastest electric sport crossover vehicle

Read more