If you’re a fan of Toyota models, then you’re in the right place because we’re about to go through some of the changes and updates on the new 2020 Toyota Tundra full-size pickup. The Tundra may not be as popular as its smaller sibling, the mid-size Toyota Tacoma, but it is still one of the most sought-after vehicles in the country, especially for consumers looking for a reliable full-size light-duty truck. With Toyota being one of the most innovative companies in the automotive market, it’s easy to get excited about every new model they release, and the Tundra is no exception.
Compared to some pickups out there, the Toyota Tundra has a relatively short life history, having only existed since 1999 for the 2000 model year. It has seen a fair amount of success in its 20-year run, hitting a high of over 196,000 sales in the United States in 2007 and then averaging around 117,000 sales each year between 2014-2018. With such a steady stream of sales numbers, it’s no surprise that Toyota continues to stand behind its full-size pickup year after year. And with this year’s model, we’re looking at some nice updates to feature, so let’s take a peek, shall we?
Toyota, along with many other car companies headquartered in Asia, is at the forefront of providing advanced safety features across the board on the majority of their vehicles. It’s something that is a bold move for any manufacturer because there are a lot of brands out there that have been holding out on their advanced safety features and keeping them only at the highest of trim levels for each vehicle. I say it’s bold for Toyota because it’s what people actually want. To do something that is wanted and needed by your customers, most likely on your own dime, is to make a statement that there’s more in the car business than making a profit.
Apart from safety features not being generally available on lower trim levels, trucks have been behind the curve slightly in having those advanced features. Now, though, the Toyota Tundra will have Toyota Safety Sense P, which is Toyota’s suite of advanced safety features, as a standard feature across all Tundra models. So, from the SR to the TRD Pro and the Platinum, you will now have a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. This is in addition to Trailer-Sway Control and Integrated Trailer Brake Controller with Multi-Information Display. Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert is not a standard feature across the board, but it is available on certain trim levels and found standard on the Platinum and 1794 Edition models.
One of the most anticipated updates to the Tundra has nothing to do with a new, high-performing engine or even stylistic and design changes. Rather, the hot updates sweeping across the nation and seemingly into every single vehicle there is, are the additions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Although we already talked about safety in the first section, one of the best things about these two functionalities is that they’re intended to make driving in a vehicle safer and more intuitive for the passengers. As a driver, your focus should be on the road and not on your phone. It should be a hands-free experience, which is why Apple and Android phones can now be connected to compatible vehicles, and your phone screen will then appear on the car’s display. At that point, you can then use the display as if it were your phone, pulling up the different navigation options, playing music, and using voice commands to send text messages or make phone calls.
It’s clear why so many people wanted these to become widespread, and it’s smart of Toyota to include them on the 2020 Tundra. Since the technology is relatively new to the market, not every vehicle is coming equipped with it. Most new vehicles are, but it’s actually a big enough factor for a lot of people that they would go for a newer model just to have these features. Now they just need compatibility for Windows phones, said no one ever.
To go along with your Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, all 2020 Tundras will also receive larger display screens. An 8-inch touchscreen will be the standard, although the SR model gets a 7-inch screen. For comparison, the 2019 Toyota Tundra models had screens that ranged from 6.1-inches to 7-inches, so it’s not the biggest upgrade in screen size, but when you’re already talking such small numbers, it makes a difference.
The 5.7L Engine Stands Alone
Previous model years of the Tundra saw two available engines, the 4.6L V8 and the 5.7L V8. With the new Tundra, we’re only going to see the 5.7L V8, and it’s not a bad thing. This engine produces up to 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque, providing a very powerful base to an already rugged machine. If you aren’t convinced, maybe the 10,200-pound towing capacity or the 1,730-pound payload capacity might persuade you.
Up the Features, Up the Prices
Everything comes at a price, right? Unfortunately for us, Toyota can’t just add lots of new goodies and still expect to sell their vehicles for the same prices. The good thing is, for what has been added, the price hike isn’t too bad.
For the 2019 model year, the Tundra trims, along with their prices, were the SR ($31,670), SR5 ($33,470), Limited ($40,935), Platinum and 1794 Edition (both $47,630), and TRD Pro ($49,895).
Now, for 2020, you have the SR ($33,575), SR5 ($35,245), Limited ($42,270), Platinum and 1794 Edition (both $48,775), and TRD Pro ($48,655).
Interestingly, the TRD Pro, which is a very popular trim on many Toyota models, has gone down in price for the 2020 Tundra. The rest of the trims have gone up in price, but as was mentioned, it’s not a huge increase across the board and shouldn’t have too much effect on overall sales. If you do your research and see all the updates for this year’s model, then you’d probably agree the price is worth it.
Some Great Additions
The Toyota Tundra hasn’t undergone a complete overhaul in quite some time, and it’s probably due for a redesign any year now. However, this year wasn’t its time. Still, we’re seeing some positive changes that will surely attract and bring back a lot of customers. If nothing else, Toyota is able to show how it can be such a fierce competitor with just technology alone and keep the other car companies on their toes. A lot of people will go for the added safety and convenience factors if everything else is lining up similarly, and I think Toyota knows that.
We look forward to seeing the third generation of Tundras in the future, but for now, we’ll be happy with the updates that keep coming our way. Word is the 2021 Toyota Tundra will have some special editions available, so that’s pretty exciting.