Starting with the large -- Toyota has completely revamped its full-size Tundra model. It's a tad bigger, and the grille is a lot bigger, which many people seem to comment on when they see the truck for the first time.
Behind the grille, no more V8 engine for the Tundra. A 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 is now standard across the line, mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Even with two fewer cylinders, there's tons of power and torque, especially with the high-output version. In base SR models, horsepower is 348 and torque is 405. In the high-output version, standard in SR5 grade and above, the numbers jump to 389 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. Toyota says the Tundra can now pull a trailer up to 12,000 pounds, and the truck starts at just under $38,000.
Want the latest technology? It's all here, both in terms of convenience and safety. (Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 is standard across all grades.) Notable is an optional 14" touchscreen in the center of the dashboard for numerous controls. Some truck shoppers may not care for this, but it's the new trend across all facets of the automotive world.
Now the small end -- a new small pickup from Ford called the Maverick. It's built on a car-type platform, and rides very nicely in the grand scheme of pickups. Ford is planning to sell this to people who may not have thought about a pickup, perhaps those who might ordinarily buy a small SUV.
And to craft out a niche, they're encouraging owners to do cool customizations, with help from a video series called "Hack Your Maverick." Step-by-step instructions to build low-cost bike racks, custom bed lighting and so forth.
The Maverick is not only here to woo new truck customers, but to give Ford the broadest size range in the industry. The popular F-150 fills the full-size category; the Ranger is the mid-size; and now the Maverick fills a previous white space for compact pickups.
Hybrid power is being offered in more and more vehicles, and it's pretty safe to say that Toyota leads the industry in that regard, as they've been building the Prius for over 20 years. Now, they've brought a hybrid powertrain option to their big Tundra pickup. The new hybrid Tundra should be along in early 2022, offering 437 power and 583 lb-ft of torque, not to mention improved fuel economy. It should be noted that Ford beat Toyota to market with a full-size hybrid pickup, launching the F-150 PowerBoost early this year.
Speaking of hybrid power, that's actually standard in the new Maverick. Ford claims 40 mpg in the city, another trait to lure those potential city-dwelling truck buyers. And if you can get by with the base XL model, it's just over $20,000, making it the lowest-priced hybrid of any type. Dealers may stock more XLT versions of the Maverick, which costs closer to $23,000.
Pickups for non-commercial use have become much more popular over the years. And with new and improved choices being added this year, their popularity should continue to grow.