Why is Tundra Gas Mileage So Bad

One of the most reported issues with the Toyota Tundra is its bad gas mileage.

Most of the users are not satisfied with the gas mileage of their trucks.

The 2023 Tundra gets an EPA-estimated 15/19 mpg city/highway, which is much lower than many of its competitors.

The Tundra may not be one of the most fuel-efficient trucks available in general.

Yet, it remains an excellent and reliable truck appropriate for various activities.

Today, I have answered why Tundra gas mileage is so bad and what steps you can take to increase gas mileage.

12 Reasons Why Is Tundra Gas Mileage So Bad

Toyota Tundra’s gas mileage can be bad for the following reasons: Tundra’s size and weight, powerful engine, RWD version, dragging capacity, gear ratio, driving habit, large tire, maintenance, parking, performance, and alternative fuel system.

I have explained 12 reasons in detail why the gas mileage is bad in Tundra.

1. Size and Weight

why do tundras get bad gas mileage

Full-size pickup trucks are larger and heavier than small and mid-size pickup trucks, and the Tundra fits into the full-size category.

For instance, the 2014 Ford F-150 is around 4,300 lbs compared to the Tundra’s 4,700 lbs.

Moving this additional bulk and weight takes more effort, which lowers fuel efficiency.

The weight difference affects the fuel economy by around 1-2 mpg.

2. Powerful Engine

You will find a 5.7-liter engine in the Tundra that generates 381 horsepower.

As the engine is powerful, it uses plenty of fuel.

For instance, the Ford F-150 averages roughly 18/24 mpg city/highway, compared to the Tundra’s 13/17 mpg city/highway.

Because of the bigger engine in the Tundra, there is an increase in fuel efficiency.

3. 4WD Version

The Toyota Tundra has rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive options.

Compared to the RWD version, the 4WD version uses more fuel.

The RWD Tundra achieves approximately 13/17 mpg on city/highway, whereas the 4WD Tundra achieves about 12/16 mpg on city/highway.

4. Towing and Hauling

why is tundra mpg so bad

Tundra has excellent towing and hauling capacity.

Yet, fuel efficiency decreases as a result of the features.

For instance, the Ford F-150 can tow up to 14,000 lbs., compared to the Tundra’s 12,000 lbs.

5. Gear Ratio

The kind of installed transmission and gear ratios impact the Tundra’s fuel efficiency.

A truck with a manual transmission and low gear ratios will have superior fuel efficiency compared to a truck with an auto gearbox and greater gear ratios.

6. Driving Habit

How you drive may impact the Tundra’s fuel efficiency.

Reckless traveling, rapid acceleration, and hard brakes can all reduce fuel efficiency.

Furthermore, traveling on uneven surfaces or in rush hour traffic might affect fuel economy.

For instance, traveling at an ongoing speed uses less gasoline than continually speeding and braking.

7. Large Tire

why do toyota tundras get such bad gas mileage

The type of tire you choose also impacts the Tundra’s fuel consumption.

Off-road trucks frequently have wider tires and extensive, aggressively shaped tires, which boost friction and reduce fuel consumption.

You can use a narrower tire than the stock tire to increase fuel efficiency.

By using less energy to maneuver the truck, tires with minimal rolling friction, for instance, can increase fuel efficiency.

8. Incorrect Tire Pressure

According to Toyota’s recommendation, the tire pressure of the Tundra should be 30 psi.

Most Tundra owners don’t follow this advice; they tend to keep the tire pressure at 35 or 40 psi.

If you don’t follow Toyota’s advice and don’t maintain the recommended tire pressure, your gas mileage will be below average.

9. Maintenance

You can enhance the fuel efficiency of your Tundra by keeping it well-maintained, including frequently cleaning the air filter.

The efficiency of an engine is decreased by limiting airflow through a blocked air filter.

For instance, replacing the filter every 6 months will increase fuel efficiency by as much as 10%.

10. Idling and Parking

Since trucks such as the Tundra are commonly used for jobs such as transporting, there may be a lot of idle time.

Prolonged idling uses fuel but doesn’t increase mileage.

Reducing unnecessary idle times can increase gas mileage.

For instance, switching off the engine after more than 10 seconds of idle time can increase fuel efficiency by up to 8%.

11. Performance

Like most trucks, the Tundra is built to fulfill specific emission-related and performance criteria.

It may affect how the engine and other parts are designed, affecting fuel efficiency.

For instance, a truck built to adhere to more stringent emissions regulations can have a poorly designed engine.

12. Alternative Fuel System

There are currently hybrid and fuel-efficient models of the Tundra.

Such choices may preserve performance and enhance fuel efficiency.

The Tundra Hybrid, for instance, can achieve more than 22/28 mpg city/interstate.

How to Improve Tundra MPG | 8 Tips

How to Improve Tundra MPG

Follow these 8 tips to improve mpg in your Tundra:

1. Drive effortlessly and gently. Your truck will consume more gasoline since you travel quicker. Reduce harsh starting and stopping by accelerating and braking carefully.

2. Idleness should be avoided. Put the engine in “off” mode once you’ve parked. You’ll save gasoline by doing this, particularly if you’re parked for a while.

3. Maintain the correct tire pressure. Proper tire pressure can improve fuel economy by up to 3%.

4. Get rid of extra pounds. Your truck will get less gas mileage for each pound you add to it. Remove unnecessary items, like robust windshields, toolboxes, and rooftop cages.

5. Apply the cruising limit. You can get better gas mileage by maintaining a constant speed with the cruise control feature.

6. Maintain proper engine tuning. Improved gas mileage and quicker operation are also benefits of engine tuning.

7. Travel in the appropriate gear. Avoid lugging the engine by using a high ratio. If necessary, downshift and abstain from excessive engine spinning.

8. Choose the proper fuel. Sometimes, high-quality gasoline can increase gas mileage in some trucks. To determine whether your Tundra is one of them, follow the owner’s manual.

What Tundra Has Best Gas Mileage?

Three engine options are available for the 2023 Toyota Tundra: a 4.7L V8, a 5.7L V8, and an i-Force Max hybrid.

The hybrid i-Force Max gets the best mileage, with an EPA-estimated 22/28 mpg city/interstate.

According to the EPA, it performs far better than gas-only V8 trucks, which get an estimated 15 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway.

The hybrid Tundra is a better choice for hauling and transporting because it has more torque than gas-only models.

I have made a chart of the EPA-estimated gas mileage for all the Tundra engine options:




4.7L V8

15 mpg 19 mpg
5.7L V8 15 mpg

19 mpg

Hybrid i-Force Max

22 mpg

28 mpg

The chart clearly shows that the hybrid has the most gas mileage among all the Tundra variants in 2023.


The Tundra’s gas mileage is debatable, though the Tundra has always been popular as a full-size truck.

Tundra will give you good service if you can maintain it properly.

Now you know the details about why the gas mileage of the Tundra is bad and how to increase it.

But if you have further queries about the Toyota Tundra, let me know in the comment section of this blog post, and I will try to clear all your doubts.

Want to explore Toyota Tundra’s other problems? Check out the following articles:

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