2019 Toyota Tundra
What could Toyota have up its sleeve?
The current Toyota Tundra has been around since 2007, with only a modest update for the 2014 model year. This makes Toyota’s full-size truck the oldest in the segment, falling well past its competition. News from Toyota is nearly nonexistent on an update, but there is a solid case for 2019 being the target year. In typical Toyota fashion, a game-changing update isn’t expected, but rather a well conceived renewal of what works. In an attempt to capture this, we’ve created a rendering that plays off the Tacoma’s detailing yet still captures the Tundra’s main theme.
As for what’s under the bodywork, well, there is speculation Toyota will employ its newest D-4S dual fuel injection technology into a heavily revised, if not all new, V-8 engine. An eight- or 10-speed automatic transmission might be in the works, while a strengthened steel frame gives the pickup a stronger backbone.
The Tundra’s reach into the luxury truck stratosphere is also expected, with upscale equipment and niceties added to the 1794 Edition and Platinum models. Toyota could also introduce a new Limited Platinum model as a range-topping trim, just as on the Highlander. Trucks like the Ford F-150 Limited and GMC Sierra 1500 Denali offer luxuries far beyond what’s available on the Tundra. The remaining trims will likely carry over, including the SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition, and TRD Pro. The three cab configurations are expected to make the generational jump, including the Regular Cab, Double Cab, and CrewMax cab.
For more speculation on the 2019 Toyota Tundra, click “continue reading.”
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Transmission:Eight-speed automatic (Est.)
Horsepower @ RPM:400 (Est.)
Torque @ RPM:430 (Est.)
Displacement:5.7 L (Est.)
0-60 time:6.4 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:108 mph (Est.)
Layout:Direct & Port (Est.)
Note: Our Tundra rendering vs current Tundra.
We weren’t kidding about mild changes to the bodywork. While Toyota has done surprisingly youthful work in recent memory (here’s looking at you 2018 Camry), it’s doubtful the same vigor will be used on the Tundra. The Tacoma’s 2016 revamp brought a new fascia and rear, but left the truck’s roof, doors, and sills intact from the previous generation, after all. We expect its reserved styling to stay intact, though with influences from other Toyota products. Headlights styled after the Tacoma’s are clearly seen, as are the fender bulges. LED daytime running lights, turn signals, and fog lights will be present. The lower bumper might wear a stronger design with a faux skid plate bringing a toughened look.
Our rendering gives the grille a revamp with more chrome and a larger Toyota badge. And though it isn’t shown, larger wheels are expected. Currently, 18-inch rollers are the largest available on the Tundra. The competition is offering 20-inch wheels on range-topping models, with optional 22-inch wheels available at the dealership.
Toyota could bring some innovation to the cargo bed, however. It would be great to see a built-in 110-volt power outlet, in-wall storage boxes, and a revised cargo tie-down system. What’s more, we’d love to see Toyota make getting into the bed easier – either with a bumper step, ladder system, or other not-yet-seen method.
It is hard to imagine Toyota’s future interior design stylings at this point. The Tacoma remains Toyota’s newest truck product, so it’s possible the Tundra could borrow interior designs there. But the Tacoma and Tundra have traditionally had separate designs for their dashboards, making the theme sharing unlikely. Whatever Toyota does here is expected to trickle to the Sequoia SUV, so a family friendly, intuitive design with tons of storage space is needed.
Note: Tacoma interior shown here.
Topping the list of needs and wants is an updated infotainment system and gauge cluster. The current Entune system is outdated and offers no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. A single USB port must be shared by everyone, and there is no option for a 110-volt power outlet. Both Ford and GM come bristling with USB ports and offer the household plug as an option.
The popular CrewMax model isn’t likely to grow larger thanks to competitive levels of legroom, headroom, and shoulder room. However, a taller rear bench seat would add comfort, while increasing under-seat storage space. The addition of a completely flat load floor would be a very welcomed addition, too. One aspect we desperately hope the Tundra keeps is its roll-down rear window. We loved that feature during our last Tundra test drive.
Note: Current Tundra engine shown here.
The current Tundra is offered with two engine options: the 4.6-liter V-8 and the 5.7-liter V-8. Both engines are long in the tooth, with the 5.7-liter dating back to 2007 when the second-generation Tundra was introduced. The 4.6-liter replaced the 4.7-liter V-8 in 2010. A five-speed and six-speed automatic backed up the engines, and an electronically controlled, part-time 4WD system offered better traction in adverse conditions.
As for the future, the both engines should undergo heavy changes for emissions, fuel economy, and power. Expect Toyota’s D4-S direct and port fuel injection system to be incorporated, while the Dual VVT-i variable valve timing system carries over. Displacement could change, as well.
Toyota could use the 5.0-liter V-8 found in the Lexus lineup in an effort to increase efficiency without a loss in power. Tuned for the Lexus LS600h, the 5.0-liter makes 394 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. Some longer intake runners and some modified software could have torque ratings passing 400 pound-feet. That would make for an excellent replacement for the 4.6-liter.
As for the 5.7-liter, Toyota will likely introduce a second-generation version with D4-S. Perhaps some better flowing cylinder heads or a wider range with the variable valve timing could push the venerable engine well past its current 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. To be competitive, Toyota should shoot for at least 400 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. The extra power wouldn’t only look good on sales brochures and TV commercials, but would help facilitate increased towing and payload capacities. (More on that in a second…)
Currently, General Motors offers the most powerful V-8 in the half-ton class – the Corvette-derived 6.2-liter with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, available only in the upper trims of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. GM’s more commonly used 5.3-liter V-8 makes 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. Ford, on the other hand, is hawking its EcoBoost as the range-topping mill. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 kicks out an impressive 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. As for Ram, the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 makes 395 horses and 410 pound-feet of torque.
Now as for payload and towing, the Tundra currently maxes at 2,060 pounds of payload and 10,500 pounds of towing. That’s fairly competitive with the majority of half-ton configurations but falls short of the high-number maximums other automakers quote. The Silverado, for example, offers 12,500 pounds of towing and 2,250 pounds of payload with rear-drive Double Cab models. The Crew Cab Silverado is limited to 9,800 pounds of towing and 1,980 pounds of payload. Needless to say, reading the fine print on the exact model you’re looking at is imperative.
Toyota must also strengthen the Tundra’s frame. The truck currently uses Toyota’s “TripleTech” fame consisting of a fully boxed front section, a reinforced C-channel center section, and an open C-channel rear section. All competitive trucks boast fully boxed steel frames for added strength, cutting weight elsewhere. For example, Ford uses an aluminum body to reduce weight.
The Toyota Tundra has an interesting pricing chart. The single cab, 2WD truck with the base SR trim isn’t the least expensive. Rather, it’s the SR Double Cab with the 4.6-liter V-8 in the SR trim. It starts at $30,120. The regular cab isn’t even offered with the 4.6-liter. It carries a base price of $30,500. The four-door CrewMax starts at $34,250 with the 4.6-liter in the SR5 trim and in RWD.
Expect Toyota to push pricing further northward with the next generation. Prices across the board could start $500 to $1,000 higher; with a larger price jump for any new range-topping trim levels. The competitive trucks have prices that exceed $60,000, while the Tundra tops out just over $50,000.
Ford is the undisputed leader in the half-ton pickup segment for 40 years. Though Chevy has always been one step behind followed closely by Dodge/Ram, the Ford always manages to grab the sales goal. Much of that can likely be attributed to the F-150’s vast array of cab and bed configurations, powertrain choices, available options, and widespread dealer support. For 2015, Ford introduced the current F-150 with its aluminum body, steel frame, and SUV-like interior. A slight refresh is coming for 2018, including a new 3.3-liter base V-6 and a light-duty turbodiesel to follow.
Currently, the F-150 has four engines to choose from: the 3.5-liter V-6, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, the 5.0-liter V-8 and the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. A six-speed automatic is used throughout the lineup, save for the range-topping 3.5-liter EcoBoost. It gets Ford’s new 10-speed automatic. Of course, 4WD is optional, as is an electronically locking rear differential.
Pricing starts at $27,110 for the regular cab F-150 with the base V-6, RWD, and the XL trim package. Check the box for the most expensive, and you’ll be spending $60,200 before options for the Limited trim level.
Learn more about the Ford F-150 here.