Updating the Diesel Tundra Story

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In what we hope will not be the last post we ever write about the subject, we’ve taken some time to create a page dedicated to the story of the diesel Tundra.

As you may or may not know, Toyota has flirted with the notion of building a diesel version of the Toyota Tundra for some time. Originally, Toyota’s plan was to attack the truck market with both a big powerful HD diesel Tundra AND a powerful yet fuel-efficient diesel version of the half-ton Tundra. Sadly, slow sales and a slow economy have halted these plans.

In what may be considered good news, we have it on high authority that Toyota has done more than just design a half-ton diesel – rumors of an actual working half-ton diesel Tundra seem to be legitimate (yet we have no photos). In any case, Toyota’s decision to produce a diesel truck will largely be determined when specific fuel economy and emissions regulations are released by the Obama administration.

Until these emission regs are released, it’s anyone’s guess as to the future of the diesel Tundra. However, at this point, the chances of Toyota producing a diesel truck seem to be very, very low.

In any case, be sure to read our complete history of the diesel Toyota Tundra.

Filed Under: Diesel Tundra

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  1. mk says:

    Don’t think it will happen in the next few years at least. Unfortunately, Tundra sales are down as well and if the gas tundra’s are not selling, the diesel tundras will not as well for sure. With one of the most B.S. recalls in history going on now with Toyota with the brakes computering/accelerator pedal/floor mats (total B.S. recall in my book) and the fact that Toyota is taking a major loss in profits never before seen, there is no way in the near future (2-3 years at least), Toyota will not take a chance on a new diesel tundra that could potentially devistate the company even more. Remember, Toyota rarely leads the pack in new designs instead resting on their belief if it ain’t broke don’t fix/change it.

  2. mk says:

    thanks Jason – for the posting so I am not the ‘lonely’ 1 comment anymore.

  3. sebolt says:

    Well I think it would help tundra sells! If they make the 1st half ton with a diesel, Tons will coming running to buy it! I wanna see them have one SOOO bad!

  4. sebolt – I agree. It’s the classic chicken and egg scenario. Building the diesel will sell more Tundras, but Toyota wants to sell more Tundras before investing in the diesel. Honestly, I think the issue is regulatory. Toyota isn’t going to sell a diesel truck unless they believe it has a long sales cycle, and since the Obama administration hasn’t released the full details on fuel economy and emissions for 2016, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not diesel will be a viable powertrain option in a few years. The best move right now is to do nothing, which is what Toyota, GM, Ford, and Chrylser are all doing…despite the fact each manufacturer has announced plans to produce a half-ton diesel. Still sucks, however. I want a diesel too.

  5. dpd says:

    How much will the diesel option cost? I can buy A LOT of gas with 7k if that’s what they are thinking. In my eyes it would not be worth it.

  6. dpd – Good question. I think $4k-6k over the gas option is the price point that the half-ton market will accept, but it’s hard to say for sure. Ford’s new Powerstroke is nearly $10k over the gas option, yet diesel SuperDuty’s are strong sellers in the HD segment. It’s not just the better fuel economy that people like about diesel. It’s the longevity of the powertrain, the excellent towing characteristics, and the “intangibles” that diesel owners love.

  7. mk says:

    4-6K more will buy me a new tundra gas engine and most anything you would want to pull in a 1/2 ton suspension will be fine with the 5.7L engine vs. a way too expensive diesel engine. I do believe, in my eyes, that there is no market for a 1/2 ton diesel, only 3/4 to 1 ton suspensions. Also, around here and other places, diesel gas is harder to come by that I have noticed, but still available it looking for it, just not all gas stations sell diesel fuel.

  8. sebolt says:


  9. mk – You’re definitely not alone in your sentiments. I think that people currently driving HD diesels (but not really utilizing the HD capabilities) are the most likely consumers…especially those consumers who can’t afford a new HD diesel ($45-55k, depending on features). Used SuperDuty diesel trucks, for example, sell like hot-cakes once they reach the same price point as a new 1/2 ton pickup. In other words, I don’t think the typical 1/2 diesel buyer is necessarily considering a 1/2 ton gas…I think he or she is considering a 3/4 ton or 1 ton diesel.
    Before anyone lights me up for that comment, I do realize there’s a big difference in capabilities between a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 or 1 ton. However, I can say from experience that many people who own 3/4 or 1 ton diesels do NOT need them. Therefore, I believe a 1/2 ton diesel is a viable product…but your point is well taken.

  10. Retir@46 says:

    The new EPA standards for a Diesel has killed the fuel economy. A new Superduty fuel economy on a 8,000lb crewcab 4X4 King Ranch 1ton truck is 13 in the city and 17 on the interstate load or unloaded. You want a hard to find vehicle a 6.8L gas Superduty 11 in the city and 15 on the interstate with diesel torque at gas price. You can buy a lot of gas for the saving. One thing I looked at was if I’m gonna to tow 11k on long vacations what gonna to take the beating better. A stouter frame, suspension, brakes on a HD towing what a 1/2 and 3/4 ton would tow will probably last longer then a half ton. All I’m saying is I’m a HD guy and try to find a nice equipped 6.8L gas, there are few and that is the market for the older generation who don’t want to “trick out” a diesel. Make a diesel and inspire to the young kids also. Make a high torque gas with reasonable gas mileage and seize the market. I was the one looking for a 6.8L and settled for the 50k diesel so I know about the MPG, diesel sucks and maintenance is too expensive.

  11. Retir@46 – I hear ya. Those 6.8L V10’s are stout, and dollar wise they make a lot more sense than diesel for a lot of situations. It’s interesting to hear that the emissions equipment have hurt diesel mileage that badly. I’ve heard that the newer Ford diesels typically earn 16-18 mpg (city or hwy, makes no difference), and with minor mods (chip, exhaust, and intake) they can get 20-22mpg regularly. I know that the older 7.3L Ford diesels could get as much as 25mpg with a little work, but they really weren’t any more powerful than a Tundra’s 5.7 (or Ford’s newest 5.4L, really), so I think power has something to do with it. In other words, I think you’re right – emissions and the quest for more power have both hurt diesel fuel economy.

  12. Retir@46 says:

    Jason-Ford diesels could get as much as 25mpg with a little work, but they really weren

  13. Retire@46 – Please re-read my comment. I was referring to the “older 7.3’s” without the turbo, which, apparently, YOU have not driven! 🙂 I should have been more clear that I was referencing the non-turbo version. As far as I know, the older non-turbo 7.3 diesels were the only diesels capable of getting 25 mpg…but I suppose some people can squeeze that out of a turbocharged model. The older 7.3, by they way, had about 200 hp and 400lb-ft of torque, which is comparable to the Tundra’s 5.7, Ford’s new 6.2, Chevy’s 6.2, and Dodge’s 5.7.
    In other words, to make a long, labored point, as diesels have gained power, their fuel economy has suffered. I definitely agree that emissions have hurt fuel economy too.
    Finally, as for your statement that a 6.8 can pull more than a 5.7, you’ll get no argument from me. It’s a stump puller for sure and a nice engine.

  14. Otto says:

    What Tundra needs, IMO, is a flat 6 turbodiesel with about 300hp and 500flb that averages about 22-24mpg

  15. Jeff says:

    i dont understand why the dont run the euro spec 4.5 v-8…..479 ft lbs and 20+ mpg….if it fits under the hood of a land cruiser itll fit in a tundra

  16. TXTee says:

    I’m happy with gas alone as I have no need for the diesel. I think Toyota should personally wait and see in this case. The total chicken/egg concept is in play here but doesn’t sound like a great time to be too innovative in that market.

  17. Jeff – That’s the diesel they’re considering…it’s already being tested from what we’ve heard.
    TXTee – Discretion IS the better part of valor – your sentiments are very reasonable…but I want a diesel Tundra stat! 🙂

  18. TXTee says:

    Jason – did you ever sell the white Tundra? 🙁

  19. TXTee – That white truck wasn’t mine, but yes I am no longer a Tundra owner. I only had one for a short time, then I sold my truck and started moving around. I’m sort of living between Denver and Manhattan, NYC, right now for work, and I don’t own or drive a vehicle currently. HOWEVER, I fully expect to be a truck owner once again next year.

  20. Jeff says:

    If Toyota puts a diesel in their Tundra, it will sell. I’m not sure how anyone can look at their own set of needs in a truck, and since it will not work for them, they think it won’t work for the rest of the nation.

  21. Jason says:

    Jeff – I think it would sell provided the price isn’t too much greater. The problem is, with all the mandatory emissions equipment, a diesel might be a $5k option…and that would probably be too much. I’m a true believer, but I think it’s safe to say that the diesel half-ton died on the table.

  22. It’s a shame that the diesel tundra is probably an after thought at this point. I have long dreamed of owning one of these ever since it was first mentioned. I guess that’s how the ball bounces, but something tells me that this truck will resurface down the road (I’m crossing my fingers at least =)

  23. Samy says:

    I just purchased a TDI diesel and I love the 38MPG city and 45MPG Hwy. Just purchased an 2007 Tundra….Goo Diesel. Gas has to get to be 6 bucks a gallon for fuel for it not to make sence to go Bio. My TDI burns 98% clean….

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