Big V-8 engines have been the domain of full-size pickups, but that's changing somewhat as gas prices stay high and as domestic automakers put more effort into improving gas mileage.
Those moves, particularly by Ford, put the 2012 Toyota Tundra behind the eight-ball when it comes to gas mileage. The big V-8 versions are at least competitive with Ford, Chevy, GMC and Dodge trucks, but the six-cylinder models are a few miles per gallon off the new normal.
As a work truck, the basic Tundra gets a V-6, an automatic gearbox, and rear-wheel drive. This model's rated by the EPA at 16/20 mpg. A comparable F-150 gets a couple more miles per gallon on the highway side--and that better gas mileage is turning more casual drivers on to six-cylinder trucks, which used to be the fleet-duty specials purchased primarily by governments, utilities, and agencies.
The Tundra offers a choice of V-8s, with decent fuel economy for the class. The mass-market Tundra, with a 4.6-liter V-8, an automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, checks in at 15/20 mpg, according to the EPA. Topping it off with four-wheel drive lowers those figures to 14/19 mpg.
If you opt for the most powerful Tundra with the 5.7-liter V-8, you'll see 14/18 mpg at best--that's with a 4x2 drivetrain. As a 4x4, this Tundra manages just 13/17 mpg.
Toyota has promised hybrid technology for all its products by 2020, but as yet, no hybrid Tundras have been announced or confirmed for production.