There’s a new Toyota Tundra out, finally! Toyota’s old full-size pickup design was so old that, were it a human, it would have been well-passed ready for that talk about Your Changing Body and These Strange New Feelings. But there’s an all-new design, so let’s really dig into it and see what our strange new feelings are.
First off, I have to note that the new inverted-horseshoe grille design, when bordered in aluminum/chrome-ish brightwork, sure does look like the alabaster moustache of our old pal Hulk Hogan. This may or may not be a selling point to potential buyers; as I feel like I have to say all too often here, I don’t kink-shame.
It not, there are actually several variations of the grille based on trim level. With that grille commanding so much frontal real estate, it’s a pretty effective way to change the overall tone and look of the truck without modifying any body panels.
Overall, the new Tundra is definitely a product of modern truck design, with all the absurdity and caricature that entails. Yes, the grille is massive, the hood is high enough that you may need oxygen if you’re up there changing out a coil pack or something, and the greenhouse seems too short. That’s just the state of modern truck design, and I’ve accepted this, for now, so this is all the bitching I’m going to do about that. It is what it is.
There are some good details throughout the design, even if I don’t think it’s particularly outstanding overall. Toyota’s recent cybaroque tendencies have calmed down over the past few years, and I think the result here is a truck with a number of interesting design choices all over.
Here, I broke them down for you:
Those wheels do seem strangely small, don’t they? Maybe that will feel different in person. Or everyone will just get crazy huge tires.
I think the new Tundra’s best angle is its butt, with a tailgate design that feels unique in this segment. There’s an interesting outward rake to the upper edge of the bed, and the main tailgate area is a horizontal extrusion that lines up with the taillights as well.
Speaking of the taillights, they’re a striking design, and incorporate a genuinely useful feature that would make life with the Tundra appreciably better:
The driver’s side taillight has this little hip-bumpable latch that opens the tailgate, so when your arms are full of sofabed or dead llama or kiddie pool full of gumbo, you can get that tailgate open even if you forgot to do it before you picked up that heavy thing. It’s clever and useful.
Another clever touch, this one in the interior:
The phone wireless charging pads are near-vertical, allowing you to easily glance at your phone (when safely at a stoplight or whatever, of course) to see why the hell it keeps beeping at you. It’s thoughtful.
It’s not a radical design for a modern truck, all told, but there are enough novel touches throughout that I think it stands out, at least a bit, especially from the rear.
I mean, it did take them long enough.