Updated Tuesday September 21, 2021 07:05 p.m. EDT:
Toyota reached out to us, and the carmaker says the max payload rating for the Tundra TRD Pro is not 1,455 pounds, but 1,600 pounds. This article cited a report from Expedition Journal, which includes a photograph of the rating decal found on the door sill of a TRD Pro, but Toyota is holding firm to the 1600 pound number.
The new Toyota Tundra is a big truck, no doubt about it. Well, it is a full-size pickup, which means that most drivers would expect correspondingly big numbers on its spec sheet, but the ’22 Tundra is beat by some smaller trucks in important specs, such as payload. As noted by notable Jalopnik alum Wes Siler, the Ranger that Ford currently makes has a max payload higher than Toyota’s gnarliest new Tundra, the TRD Pro.
The TRD Pro has a max payload of 1,455 pounds, as Expedition Portal noted. The Ranger, on the other hand, will support from 1,478 pounds up to 1,905 pounds, depending on the trim. Notice that the term carmakers usually steer you towards is “up to.”
The new Tundra’s payload rating is up to 1,940 pounds, but the TRD Pro will carry much less. Funny how the “up to” phrase doesn’t apply to price, though. When discussing price, the clause is almost always “starting at.” Toyota is not the only company that does this; all carmakers do this. Phrases like “up to” and “starting at” are common practice.
But it’s a practice that, in this case, can make the Tundra’s specs confusing to those who aren’t familiar with pickups. There’s a difference between trucks that can tow and haul, and those that are considered performance trucks. The Tundra TRD Pro is very much in the performance camp.
The TRD Pro is powered exclusively by a hybrid drivetrain in the new generation model, which means the latest off-road Tundra in the lineup has to account for an electric motor and a battery. In that sense, it’s one of the few production models in the world that’s an off-road specific hybrid pickup.
If you take a look at the specs of something like the Ford Raptor, you’ll see that it has an even lower payload spec of (a measly) 1,400 pounds. Clearly, there’s an inverse relationship here between off-road and and payload capabilities. But the problem with the ’22 Tundra and current Ranger is that even the Tundra’s max payload of 1,940 pounds isn’t far from the Ranger’s max of 1,905 pounds.
I’m unsure this is going to help the Tundra get out from under the shadow of the last generation’s criticisms, which mostly had to do with its towing and payload ratings being significantly lower than it rivals.
Really, though, what are you hauling that’s more than 1500 pounds anyway?