Update: ‘SX Package’ sub-section of ‘New trim/package’ updated.
The Toyota Tundra celebrated its world premiere at the company’s North American headquarters in Plano, Texas, in September 2021. The MY2022 update is the first significant redesign for Toyota’s Ford F-150 rival in fifteen years. The redesigned model has since progressed to MY2023.
Here are the things you need to know about the 2023 Toyota Tundra:
Announced on May 17, 2022
Toyota announced that the Tundra had entered the 2023 model year in the U.S. on May 17. The biggest change was the inclusion of the SX package (discussed later in this story), as well as the inclusion of the rear seat reminder across the lineup.
The lineup for the 2023 Tundra offers something for everyone, with SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum and 1794 grades available. TRD Pro and the new flagship Capstone grade return to the Tundra lineup, and they are both offered exclusively with the i-Force Max powertrain.Toyota Motor announcing the 2023 Tundra on May 17, 2022 via Pressroom.Toyota.com
Character change for the Tundra
Based on the MY2022 truck, 2023 Toyota Tundra packs heaps of design enhancements and the revamp makes the full-size pickup pretty much unrecognizable when compared to the previous generation (2021 model). Its front-end has a new high-tech and more robust appearance. Sleek, LED headlamps with a T-shaped LED DRL, a new hexagonal grille with large honeycomb openings and two horizontal LED fog lights, a noticeably chunkier bumper, and a more muscular hood are the design highlights here.
As compared to the previous generation truck (2021 model year), the sides also carry a whole new look, and the visible improvements are a contemporary greenhouse, beefed-up wheel arches, and more stylish door panels with a slightly deeper recess in the lower section. The regular variant gets a Tundra badge on the front doors and two-tone alloy wheels. While the second-gen model uses five lug nuts, the third-gen model has six lug nuts. One inference is that this change is related to its improved payload and towing capacity, and we’ll get to that later in the story.
The C-shaped outer edges of the taillights look vaguely similar to the Hyundai Palisade. Toyota has confirmed three different bed options: 5.5-foot, 6.5-foot, and 8.1-foot.
2023 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
The generational change has given the Japanese truck plenty of talking points. The extra-rugged Toyota Tundra TRD Pro has a more dominating front-end with “Toyota” in block lettering, a wide central LED light bar, and three clearance lights. Moreover, the hood has more aggressive styling with black TRD Pro plates. On the sides, the marker light on the fenders and the rugged tube steps are unique to the TRD Pro variant. This specification includes 18-inch BBS forged wheels (with a red TRD logo and a red ring) wrapped in wider, 285/65 R18 Falken Wildpeak A/T3W tires. For reference, the second-gen Tundra TRD Pro had 285/65 R18 tires.
The three marker lights positioned above the grille indicate that the 2023 Tundra is no less than 80 inches wide. NHTSA’s regulations require vehicles with a width of 80 inches or more to have front identification lamps to indicate the presence of a wide vehicle.
Compared to the 2021 (previous generation) model, the interior of the 2023 Toyota Tundra is noticeably more upmarket. Toyota’s designers in Calty have used a horizontal layout theme and integrated the dashboard and the center console. The center console design is less cluttered but practical, retaining the physical controls for essential functions like climate control and volume adjustment. A 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster is available in higher trims, but the lower trims settle for a semi-analog instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch MID. A 10-inch head-up display is also among the optional features.
Another highlight of the cabin is a massive 14-inch Audio Multimedia touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto compatibility, a virtual assistant that responds to Hey/Hi/Hello/OK Toyota wake-up phrases, and savable profiles. In addition to being larger, the new central display offers a better viewing angle to the driver because it is much less slanted. Lower trims feature an 8-inch Audio Multimedia touchscreen infotainment system instead.
The 2023 Tundra features a mobile phone holder-cum-charger on the right side of the gearshift lever, which is noticeably smaller than that of the 2021 Tundra. The wireless charger adheres to the Qi standard, which means that it supports all the latest Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
Panoramic roof, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated seats, rear sunshade, and power sliding rear window are some of the main comfort features of the 2023 Tundra. A 360-degree camera system allows parking the large pickup with ease.
The third-gen Tundra has large vertical AC vents instead of the small circular ones. Unlike the second-gen Tundra, it has a chunky A-pillar driver-side grab handle, which drivers would really appreciate when driving off the road. Toyota has fitted an A-pillar grab handle on the passenger side as well, but that’s not a new feature.
The 2023 Tundra TRD Pro sports red upholstery with variant branding on the backrests of the front seats. Toyota has used perforated leather material for the seats of the TRD Pro variant.
New rear suspension system
The 2023 Tundra has a new rear suspension setup in the interest of ride comfort. Toyota offers it with a multi-link suspension with coil springs instead of a leaf-spring suspension. The 2023 Tundra TRD Pro boasts higher ground clearance with Fox dampers and a red anti-roll bar. A TRD-branded front skid plate is also a part of the TRD Pro variant’s exclusive equipment.
The Toyota Tundra has moved from its TripleTech frame. Previously, it had fully-boxed rails for the front portion, a reinforced C-channel under the cab, and an open C-channel beneath the bed. Now, it has a fully boxed frame, which has brought a significant improvement in rigidity. With a widened rear frame member, the full-size pickup has improved on stability and towing capability aspects.
2023 Toyota Tundra Hybrid
When the Tundra changed generations in 2021, for the first time, the range included a Toyota Tundra Hybrid. The electrified variant employs a new i-Force Max powertrain that teams up a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 gasoline engine with an electric motor. The hybrid powertrain produces 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission channels the power to the wheels.
The motor draws the supply from a 288-volt Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery located under the rear passenger seats. It does most of the power delivery at low engine speeds. Once the speed of the pickup increases above 18 mph, the engine constantly remains in operation.
As before, Toyota doesn’t plan to launch a Tundra diesel. The company sees the Tundra Hybrid fit for potential diesel customers. Mike Sweers, the Tundra’s executive chief engineer, has told Driving.ca that he loves diesel engines and would have liked the line-up to include one. However, following the Volkswagen Group’s diesel gate scandal, certifying a diesel engine in North America takes three years. Plus, the hybrid engine offers a faster response compared to a diesel engine, Sweers said.
You’re getting that diesel-like torque and you’re getting a gas response and you’re improving fuel economy.Mike Sweers, Tundra, Sequoia, Tacoma, and 4Runner chief engineer, Toyota Motor North America, Research and Development (TMNA R&D)
Official fuel economy figures or company estimates for the 2023 Toyota Tundra Hybrid aren’t out yet. The EPA-est. combined fuel economy could be the same as that of the 2022 model – 22 mpg (as reported on Car And Driver).
The third-gen Tundra’s maximum payload capacity is 1,940 pounds, which is an improvement of more than 11% over the previous generation. The all-new model has a maximum towing capacity of up to 12,000 pounds, which is an improvement of 17.6% over the second-gen Tundra. But, as Motor Trend notes in its review, that’s not achievable in the hybrid variant. However, the hybrid variant’s maximum towing capacity is not very far from that figure – 11,450 pounds.
The Tundra Hybrid is probably one of the most refined Tundra models to date. Motor1 has driven it, and it says that while it doesn’t feel like a performance pickup, it offers plenty of torque and quicker, smoother inputs than the gasoline variant. It’s quiet, and it offers a pleasant driving experience, just as you’d expect from a hybrid. The only issue, and it’s a small one, eradicable once accustomed to the pickup, is that the braking system is way too responsive because regenerative braking adds to the stopping power of the discs.
The hybrid variant’s extra 48 horsepower and 104 pound-feet of torque don’t make it a significantly better performer, suggests Motor Trend’s review, which also mentions the downside of an oversensitive braking system. Tech enthusiasts may find the lack of special graphics displaying the power flow or energy regeneration. A serious let-down is the unavailability of an EV mode, although Toyota probably figured it might not be of much use to most customers in everyday driving.
The Toyota Tundra continues rolling out of the company’s San Antonio (Texas) plant in the U.S. Toyota announced on December 3, 2021, that it has started manufacturing the new Tundra here, which has an annual production capacity of 208,000 vehicles.
Below are the 2023 Toyota Tundra color options:
- Wind Chill Pearl
- Magnetic Gray Metallic
- Celestial Silver Metallic
- Midnight Black Metallic
- Super Sonic Red
- Army Green
- Lunar Rock
- Smoked Mesquite (Limited and 1794)
- Solar Octane (TRD Pro exclusive).
Toyota Tundra Capstone
On January 11, 2022, shortly after launching the all-new Tundra, Toyota announced a new Capstone grade that offers more contemporary styling and sits at the top of the range. The Tundra was an MY2022 truck at this time.
The 2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone flaunts a unique grille featuring a color-keyed outer frame and chrome inner mesh pattern to stand out from other grades. Chrome mirror caps, chrome trim accents, 22-inch chrome wheels, and chrome “TUNDRA” tailgate inserts are also part of its special styling. The driver and passengers can conveniently enter the cabin, thanks to power bed steps.
Inside, the 2023 Tundra Capstone features semi-aniline leather-trimmed seats in an exclusive black-and-white color scheme, Dark American Walnut accents on the center console and passenger-side dashboard, and a Capstone logo on the dashboard. With acoustic glass used on the front doors, the Capstone grade of the all-new Tundra should offer a quieter ride. No other trim comes with this extra sound-deadening feature.
Toyota introduced an SX Package for the Tundra as part of its MY2023 updates. 2023 Tundra customers can specify it if they go for the Double Cab 6.5-ft bed and CrewMax 5.5-ft bed configurations.
The SX Package offers enhanced styling with 18-inch wheels in Dark Gray Metallic and features black door handles (instead of black door handles) and rear inboard bumper. Toyota has avoided using the Tundra door badges on this trim for a minimalist look. Inside, the company has used black accents instead of smoked silver for the trim.
Toyota offers the SX Package exclusively on SR5 grade. The current Tundra SR5 is not available with the i-Force Max powertrain, and the 2023 Tundra SR5 probably won’t be available as a hybrid either. Customers specifying their 2023 Tundra SR5 with the SX Package will have four color options: Magnetic Gray Metallic, Midnight Black Metallic, Celestial Silver Metallic, and White. The walkaround video embedded below, courtesy of YouTube channel ToyotaJeff Reviews, shows a Magnetic Gray 2023 Tundra SR5 SX Package:
Video Source: YouTube/ToyotaJeff Reviews
Toyota Tundra Hybrid price
Toyota has not yet revealed the price of the 2023 Tundra Hybrid. Current Tundra Hybrid prices range from USD 53,000 to USD 74,230. Five variants are available across 14 different configurations, providing a range of choices to customers based on 4WD, RWD, and the length of the payload area.
The base Limited CrewMax variant priced at USD 53,000 is RWD with a standard 5.5-ft bed. Customers can shell out extra money for a 4WD system and a 6.5-ft bed. TRD Pro and the Capstone are feature-rich variants.
|Toyota Tundra Hybrid variant||Drive/Bed size||Price (USD)|
We’ll update this section when we have the MY2023 Tundra prices.
Toyota Tundra Hybrid sales
In the first half of 2022, Toyota delivered 1,183 Tundra Hybrids in the United States—396 in the first quarter and 787 in the second quarter. Including the gas-powered model, Tundra’s year-to-date sales at the end of June 2022 stood at 44,316 units. This represents a 1% increase over the first half of 2021 (43,865 units).
On the Toyota Tundra Electric (Toyota Tundra EV)
Introducing the Toyota bZ4X electric SUV concept at Auto Shanghai 2021, Toyota said it intends to release a pure electric pickup truck and a hybrid pickup truck. Later this decade, a Toyota Tundra Electric or a Toyota Tacoma EV could arrive as the company’s first zero-emission pickup truck.
Toyota plans to expand to around 70 electrified models globally by 2025. This future lineup will feature 15 dedicated BEVs, including seven carrying the bZ (Beyond Zero) brand moniker. In addition, Toyota intends to bring electrification to its pickup truck lineup in the near future, including hybrid and BEV powertrains.Toyota Motor at the debut of the bZ4X concept in Shanghai, April 2021
Toyota Tundra History
Introduced in 1998, the Toyota Tundra became the first full-size pickup truck made by a Japanese automaker in North America when it entered production in May 1999. Toyota made it in Indiana before relocating the production to Texas in 2008.
The Toyota Tundra’s American roots have spread over time, with everything from design to development and core component (powertrain, transmission, and more) production localized. The second-gen Tundra’s design work primarily took place at the company’s Calty Design Research Centers in Newport Beach (California) and Ann Arbor (Michigan). In addition, Toyota did some engineering work at an in-house facility in Ann Arbor.
Despite 2.2+ million units sold to customers, the Tundra is not as popular as competitors from American automakers, like Ford’s F-150 and Chevrolet’s Silverado. The American competitors have outsold the Tundra by 5-7 times in the last decade.
The Toyota Tundra has, however, proven to be among the most reliable models in its segment. Loyal customers have owned it for years, with some having clocked more than a million miles behind the wheel. One such customer was Louisiana-based Victor Sheppard, who owned his 2007 Tundra for eight years and drove it for more than a million miles.
2023 Toyota Tundra Hybrid FAQs
What is the 2023 Toyota Tundra release date?
The 2023 Toyota Tundra and its Hybrid variant will go on sale by the end of 2022.
Will Toyota offer the 2023 Tundra as a Hybrid?
Yes, Toyota continues offering the V6 Hybrid engine in the 2023 Tundra range.
What is the 2023 Toyota Tundra Hybrid price?
The 2023 Toyota Tundra Hybrid range should cost between USD 53,000 and USD 75,000.
Featured image: Toyota