Why Do Toyota Tundras Cost So Much? (Explained)

The Toyota Tundra is a Japanese-manufactured pickup truck line that has been in production since 1999, but if you’re thinking of picking up one of these beauties, then you might be surprised to learn that they retail for over $37,000. Here’s why Toyota Tundras cost so much.

The 2022 & 2023 model Toyota Tundra is over $3000 more expensive than the previous year’s model and significantly more expensive than other pickup brands due to the fact that it is the most reliable truck on the market, its improved fuel mileage of 20 MPG, a more powerful engine (389 hp), and a coil-spring chassis that’s perfectly off-road ready.

As it turns out, the Tundra really holds its value and has a lot of great features to justify the purchase price. The rest of this article will walk you through the great features of the Toyota Tundra, how it stacks up against the competition, and whether it’s worth your time.

Why Is the Tundra So Expensive?

Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra is well known for retaining its value, which makes the asking price even for a used car feel pretty steep, especially when you compare it against Toyota’s competitors like Chevrolet, Ram, and Ford, which can cost thousands less to purchase.

The Toyota Tundra is also very well known to be the most reliable truck on the market. We actually did a bunch of research about the reliability of trucks comparing the most popular trucks against each other to see which one is the most reliable. The Tundra is hands-down the best truck in terms of long lasting, less repairs and reliability in general.

From our research on the average lifespan of a pickup truck we found out that an average pickup will drive 200,000 miles and the special ones will go past 300,000 miles with regular maintenance. And of course the Tundra beat all the rest in this comparison also.

The Toyota Tundra, however, comes outfitted with several different features that distinguish it from the competition. The 2022 Tundra base price of $37,645 is $3,000 over the base-model truck from the previous year. The 2023 base model is $40,800, which is $3,000 more than the previous year.

One of the reasons for the price is that Toyota has upped the ante with their internal combustion engine with an all-new Toyota engine. The Toyota Tundra is one of the first models to get one of Toyota’s third generation engines that features an engineering overhaul and significant fuel economy improvements.

The engine is a twin turbo V6 capable of pumping out 389 hp and getting an impressive 20 MPG, an improvement over the 5.7 Liter V8 from the previous meals.

The coil-spring chassis is another major reason for the price increase, with the Tundra outfitted with a fully boxed frame and a composite bed for better weight distribution. In addition, all models of Tundra have either an extended or crew cab, a feature not offered by some of Toyota’s competitors that offer two-door pickups at a cheaper price.

The iFORCE MAX Toyota Tundra

Toyota Tundra iForce Max

The iFORCE MAX is an engine upgrade with a deluxe drivetrain with an electric motor, automatic transmission, and regenerative braking, allowing for better fuel mileage. In addition, the Tundra with an iFORCE MAX hits an impressive 437 hp and can top 580 lbs-ft of torque.

A Tundra outfitted with the iFORCE MAX has a 12,000-pound tow rating.

Quality Construction

The Tundra is a full-size pickup that has been manufactured in the U.S. since 1999 and has been credited with several awards including the MotorTrend’s Truck of the Year in 2000 and 2008.

It is built with a powerful engine, comfortable seats, and a next-gen entertainment system. These upgrades from the previous model have led to an uptick in the asking price for the Toyota Tundra.

It’s fair to say that whatever model of Tundra you go with, you’ll be getting a truck that is competitive with other brands in nearly all aspects, including its fuel economy, engine power, and interior design.

The Tundra might not be your go-to, however, if towing and hauling are your main priorities. Even so, with the average mid-level truck price over $40,000, the base price of the Tundra ($37,000) is certainly respectable for the features it offers.

Supply and Demand

Another important factor to consider when it comes to the pricing of the Toyota Tundra is that location, model, year, and demand all play a big role in the price of the truck. Compared to other trucks, Tundras have gotten more expensive to the tune of a 26% increase compared to the average of 17%.

The reputation of the Tundra is certainly at play in these numbers, and the reliability of this powerhouse is unmatched, boasting up to 300,000 lifetime miles.

By and large, it’s the trustworthiness of the Tundra that enables it to hold its value, and as a result of its good reputation, Toyota feels justified to raise their prices for newer models that boast the same reliability but with additional bells and whistles.

In addition, the 2022 Tundra is really hot right now because it’s had a facelift as well as some engineering changes, making it appear vastly different than the models that have appeared in the 2014 and 2021 lineup. As a result, you can expect to see older models of Tundra maintaining their value well, while newer models will be on the pricier side.

Even the older Tundras are more reliable than any other truck, so if the newer ones are a little out of your budget, do consider the older models. They are proven to be great, plus you can probably get better options for less money if you opt for an older year Tundra.

Perception & Reputation

I don’t know about you but in the circles I run in, the Honda and Toyota are considered the best car makes. But for trucks, Honda doesn’t quiet make it and Toyota is commonly known to be the go-to truck make. This can even be called a peer pressure of sorts. Everyone knows if you want a reliable pickup, Toyota is the one you get. For business it is another story, and Dodge Ram is the truck for the job when it comes to hauling stuff, but for a typical pickup for residential use is a Toyota.

People just love these trucks and they last so long that people just don’t want to get rid of them. They drive them until they rot.

I used to have a Toyota Tacoma once with over 300,000 miles on it. It was leaking like a sieve, but still drove like a champ. This truck could have easily been cleaned up, some gaskets replaced and it would keep driving another 100,000 miles no problem.

When people have a perception of value, even without much data to back it up, just a hunch, they will always be willing to pay more and this will raise the price.

Reviews & Consumer Reports

Toyota Tundra Reviews

Although not perfect, the consumer reports shows top scores for Toyota Tundra’s reliability compared to other trucks. It is the only truck that has so many of its year models get 5 out of 5 stars for reliability. The same goes for owner satisfaction scores, more of this trucks year models got 4 out of 5 and 5 out of 5 than other trucks. This tells a story about these trucks, it’s not just hype or hear-say.

Looking through many reviews on multiple websites, the picture is same… this truck gets 4 to 5 stars consistently across all review sites I was able to search through. Like I said before, people love their Toyota Tundras and they want to tell the world about it.

Can you imagine having a truck that you are so happy about that you want to go and leave a review online for? This doesn’t happen if your truck is just OK, it only happens if you are so satisfied that you want to share it with everyone.

Is the Toyota Tundra Worth It?

To make a long story short, the Toyota Tundra is something of a luxury vehicle in the pickup world and offers more advanced technology and features than its competitors. It is also the best truck to buy in terms of having the least amount of problems.

Naturally, this commitment to a high-quality product means that the truck will have a higher price tag as well. More expensive parts equals a more expensive final product.

The Tundra is a mid to top model of truck with some pretty snazzy technology to speak of and includes several next-gen features.

The chassis and engine are two of its most noticeable features, but it also has a stunning 14-inch touchscreen with underbody trail cameras available on some models. The TRD Pro is comparable to the Ford Raptor and suitable for desert racing, while the Tundra SR5 boasts lowered suspension, dampers, and bigger rims.

The iFORCE MAX engine is also nothing to scoff at and boasts lots of great features that are well worth the price.

Final Thoughts

The Toyota Tundra is a respectable pickup that boasts a lot of good features, just as a mid to high-end truck should do.

All of the bells and whistles added to the 2022 model, such as the improved engine, chassis design, and suspension system, contribute to the price. The reputation of the Tundra for reliability is also a significant factor in the recent price increase of $3000 between models.


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