Photos & Words: Evan ‘Evo’ Yates
Exterior: Toyota has done a stellar job in keeping the aging Tundra platform relevant and most noticeably in the TRD PRO form. In its Inferno orange hue, the truck screams for attention and the complete absence of chrome swapped for matte and gloss black accents lets you know this truck means business. My favorite aesthetic attribute of this particular Tundra by far is the TRD PRO stamped right into the steel of the bed. This type of branding goes so much further than adding another badge or decal because you acknowledge the fact that Toyota probably spent some serious coin getting that integrated. Speaking of the bed, it’s tiny, but you already knew that because the crew max has been around since 2007. Thankfully, the bed is rather tall so it adds another dimension when hauling items, which I found first hand when moving furniture. Exclusive to the TRD PRO package are the off-road style, black 18-inch wheels that look so good you would be a fool to swap them out for anything aftermarket. Unfortunately, those 18s are wrapped in some rather stock rubber which is the exterior’s solo flaw.
Interior: The interior could be the biggest beneficiary of the tundra crew max’s gargantuan size. It basically feels like a mobile home inside the Tundra. The front seats are wide, the center console is massive and there are a plethora of cubbies to put your phone, business cards and anything else you EDC’ers can manage to dump out of your pockets. In the rear, there’s room to seat three full-grown men with plenty of leg room. And if you put the seat up, there’s also room for a full-sized dresser to fit horizontally. You’re welcome, Goodwill. The bountifully bolstered buckets with the TRD insignia are a nice touch, however for the price of the truck it would be nice to have the option for leather instead of cloth.
A/V: The infotainment system is pretty standard Toyota; no-frills and practical. The touch screen interface works great, the iPhone always syncs up properly and the tunes are about as good as they can be in such an acoustically-challenged environment. Everything performs as it should.
Performance: The Tundra TRD PRO doesn’t seem to be cut from the same cloth as its smaller, more nimble cousin, the 4Runner TRD PRO which we reviewed here. To be fair, though, I didn’t dare take the Tundra off-road for the sheer fact that I was a little worried about driving such a large vehicle on narrow, muddy trails. The Tundra TRD PRO was the recipient of some new, upgraded Bilstein shocks and I think that could be the extent of added off-road upgrades. I’ve driven plenty of Tundras and I can’t say that it felt entirely different than any other Tundra and I sort of expected it to. That being said, I’ve seen some YouTube videos of this bad boy and it seems to shine not only in the wide-open desert but the backwoods as well and I’m sure if you’re a seasoned off-road vet you could have some serious fun in it. Maybe next time I’ll have more balls and give it a real try. The acceleration of the 5.7L V8 was impressive for the size and the overall ride and body roll were manageable during daily commutes. Even though the dimensions make you feel as if you’re driving an eight-foot-wide tractor trailer, the Tundra TRD Pro performs like a smaller vehicle.
Final Verdict: Toyota has certainly done their best at creating some hype for an aging truck that could probably use a complete overhaul sometime in the near future. For what it’s worth, even though I couldn’t see myself buying the Tundra TRD Pro to hit the trails with I certainly felt badass driving it around town.
Damage: $48, 805.00
Power: 381 hp, 401 lb-ft
0-60: 6.5 sec
Gas Cash: 15 MPG combined