Modern-day vehicles run on gas, diesel, and electricity. Although some old vehicles have more demands than the regular vehicle available in the market, their numbers are quite negligible in the present world. The best way to increase the lifespan and performance of a vehicle is to use a better version of the fuel.
Toyota Tundra is one of those vehicles that can use two types of fuel, namely Flex-fuel and Regular fuel. This commonly known pickup truck has a V8 engine that generates over 380hp for payload and off-roading purposes. For this reason, you must know which fuel provides this truck with the best performance.
Toyota Tundra Engine Variations
There have been 3 Gen upgrades to the Toyota Tundra truck since its inception. The 1st Gen model of this truck was designed to be compact and carry small payloads. The 1st Gen had lots of engine variations that went up to 4.7l V8 engine. Again, the compact and aerodynamic shape of the engine generates more power and better mileage. The 1st Gen engine was in production from 1999 to 2006.
The 2nd Gen production began right after the 1st Gen in 2007 and made massive sales up to 2021. This truck model has a V8 engine of 5.7l and the large not-so-aerodynamic shape of the truck makes it hard to gain acceleration. Although using a larger, more powerful engine, the truck has 14mpg which is the same as the 1st Gen mileage.
The 3rd Gen Toyota Tundra has had some major upgrades but the engine has remained the same V8 5.7l of the 2nd Gen model. Nonetheless, the truck has been made way more versatile and aerodynamic along with tons of advanced parts that raise the mileage to over 20mpg.
What Is Flex-Fuel
The E85 fuel which is also called regular gasoline is the flex-fuel. Flex-fuel is a natural source of gas found deep in the ground that needs to be refined before using as fuel for vehicles. Unfortunately, only the 2nd Gen Toyota Tundra trucks and above are certified for using the flex-fuel but it’s no concern since all the variations of this truck can use regular fuel.
Vehicles that use flex-fuel are called FFV (Flex fuel vehicle) and have a special badge on their exterior proving it. Another way to know if your truck is FFV-certified is to speak with the sales team of the Toyota dealership.
What Is Regular Fuel
The regular unleaded fuel with an octane rating of 87 is generally known as Regular fuel. Almost every vehicle in the US is built to intake regular fuel and the fuel provides moderate energy for the vehicle to run smoothly. Another fuel you can use for the Toyota Tundra truck is 91 octane as known as the premium fuel.
It’s recommended by the Toyota manufacturers that you use regular fuel instead of premium fuel for all the generations and engines of the truck. According to experts, driving with premium fuel feels the same as regular fuel and only affects your wallet since premium fuel is quite expensive.
Can You Run Regular Gas in a Flex-fuel Vehicle?
Performance Comparison Between Flex & Regular Fuel
It should be noted that all trucks under the name of Toyota Tundra aren’t compatible with Flex or E85 ethanol fuel. So, you must check your vehicle for FFV certification before going further into the article. Through direct comparison of the performances between Flex and Regular fuel, it’s possible to find out the fuel that is best for your truck.
FFV motor engines have a faster and cleaner source of power that generates more combustion than any other form of fuel. Since the flex-fuel is an imported fuel for the US and can’t be found all over the nation, it’s quite rare.
The 2nd Gen Toyota Tundra trucks accelerate to 60mph in under 4 seconds. These trucks are more than just pickup trucks which make their acceleration of equal necessity.
Regular fuel can be found all over the US and has a moderate acceleration speed. A downside to the acceleration of the 2nd Gen Toyota Tundra trucks is that they have a non-aerodynamic shape that makes it harder to reach certain speeds.
A Toyota Tundra that using regular fuel can reach 60mph under 5 seconds. Toyota manufacturers recommend using the regular fuel for their trucks and the reason is that it improves the lifespan of the engine parts.
Poor mileage is one of the biggest downsides of owning a Toyota Tundra so anything that improves the mileage of your truck is useful. The flex-fuel can run the V8 engine faster and get an average speed of 13.5mpg. There have been tons of records about the FFV motor model going 15mpg on highways.
Although E85 ethanol fuel doesn’t raise your fuel economy, it’s good for the lifespan of the engine. Given the speed limit on most roads, the engine doesn’t give out mpg as a regular fuel engine because of excess combustion.
The 87 octane is the better choice in terms of mileage and the burning necessity for the Toyota Tundra. The average mpg of these 2nd Gen models is 14mpg. However, this poor mileage can be improved by using regular octane fuel.
Another astonishing fact about the FFV Toyota Tundra trucks is that they can support both regular and flex-fuel. Just remember not to mix both the fuels together and everything will be alright. You can get up to an average of 17mpg if you maintain your vehicle properly.
The current price of the E85 ethanol fuel is 2.73USD per gallon. Taking into account that the fuel tank of a 2nd Gen Toyota Tundra can intake up to 26.4l of fuel, you’ll need 72.07USD to fill the tank. This clearly shows that the price of flex-fuel is cheaper than regular fuel.
The price of regular fuel is more than flex-fuel and varies in each state. For example, the price of regular 87 octane fuel is 3.4USD per gallon in New York but it’s 2.8USD in Texas. Taking an average of 3.2USD per gallon regular fuel, you’ll need about 84.48USD to fill a 26.4-gallon Toyota Tundra tank.
After comparison between the two fuel types and their core characteristics after using them to ride a 2nd Gen Toyota Tundra, it’s clear that Regular fuel or 87 octane is the better fuel type. Flex-fuel is cheaper but it also provides less mileage per gallon so you get what you pay for.
Overall, both fuels have equal standing in terms of pricing since the price of flex-fuel is fixed but regular fuel changes every year. But if there were to be a clear winner amongst flex and regular fuel, it would be regular fuel due to better performance and most vehicle coverage.