SEATTLE — For Toyota lovers, there is no other full-size truck option other than Tundra. While the Ford F-150 is the sales champ, Toyota loyalists remain faithful to the brand and Tundra. Its current design language is definitely the most masculine and modern we’ve seen to date. Add in the TRD-Pro package and you up the ante on masculinity. The bold, “Voodoo Blue” color (new for 2019), to the 18-inch BBS forged wheels and an exhaust note that rivals sports cars all add to the luster.
Photo by Duane PembertonPowering this 4-door Crewmax version is Toyota’s trustry 5.7-liter V8 engine that produces 381` horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. While the fuel economy is a rather dismal 13mpg around town and 17 on the highway, I’m not sure full-size pick-up buyers have a primary concern of gas milage. Additionally, it’s rather par for the course in today’s full-size trucks. Power is transferred via the 6-speed automatic transmission that very much shifts like a truck should. Gear transition is smoother than anticipated and it never played the game of “hunt for the right gear”. It seemed to always know the best gear to be in, given conditions.
One of the first things you’ll notice, inside, is the vast amount of roominess for all passengers. Even those in the back seats have an unbelievable amount of legroom. Creature comforts and convenience abounds with charge ports front and rear, as well as comfortable leather seating and a great-sounding audio system. The only downside is that the interior is getting a little stale, this late in the game. It’s been around for several model years now and could use a refresh.
This need for an inside design facelift is ever paramount by seeing the dated-looking 7-inch infotainment screen. While it is easy to use and has virtually no lag while navigating around the various input screens, it simply looks “old” by today’s standards. Be that as it may, however, it likely won’t be a deal breaker for most truck buyers who are mainly concerned with payload capacity and towing. Additionally, the inclusion of the JBL speakers and high-power amplifier, do make for a very good-sounding system overall.
The sheer amount of TRD-Pro features, make it worth the upgrade in price. Features include, a 4WDemand, part-time 4WD with an electronic transfer case, active traction control, limited slip differential, coil-spring double wishbone suspension, FOX shock absorbers in the front, 10.6 inches of ground clearance, black-chromed exhaust tips, LED headlights/running lights and a front skid-plate.
Let’s get to the important things about trucks. Capacities. How about a 9,200 pound tow rating? Or its payload rating of up to 1,560 pounds? Sure, it has a shortened bed because of the Crewcab configuration, but that’s what hitching up a trailer is for. Not to mention, the built-in trailer braking system makes doing so a breeze.
It’s hard to deny the Tundra as being a very capable work-horse on the job-site, farm or for those chores you need to run in your personal life. In addition, the TRD-Pro is also very capable off-road as well, even with the factory all-terrain tires.
On-road, the ride quality is very good and mostly smooth. It’s easy to forget you’re driving a truck that does so well as a workhorse. The quiet cabin at freeway speeds, comfortable seating and adaptive cruise control make it seem less truck-like. Toyota did a phenomenal job of making this beast of a truck feel very tame, on-road.
Overlook its ultra-thirsty desire for fuel and a slightly dated-looking interior, the 2019 Tundra TRD-Pro looks to continue to give truck lovers the features and capacities they look for — all wrapped up in a badge that represents reliability.
As a side note, the Voodoo Blue color of our test model was quite the head-turner and received many compliments from on-lookers. There’s no doubt that the start contrast of the blue and black trim makes for a stunning appearance.
If you’re in the market for a capable, full-size pickup with seating for up to five, then make sure to test drive a Tundra TRD-Pro.
For more info, visit: www.toyota.com