By: Yousef Alvi and Jonathan Wooley
First off – we are really fortunate to be able to use this Tundra TRD Pro for road trips to a lot of our out-of-town events, so we’ve spent a lot of time getting to know it.
And if you’re looking for a new 4×4 full size truck, and you’re the kinda guy/girl who reads this magazine – then this is the one you want!
A lot of trucks out there try to separate themselves in the pointless differences. You know why? It’s because they’re all the damn same – minus the emblem. One has squared-off wheel wells, another has rounded wheel wells – who cares. One gets product placement in a lot in country pop songs, another looks good tailgating, and a third loves to run commercials of their truck towing a boat – who cares.
Let’s be honest – pretty much any full size truck will get a nine-to-fiver to Home Depot & back on a Saturday. But as car enthusiasts, we want to take it further than that. We don’t like cars/trucks that make compromises. And this is where the TRD Pro comes into play.
The TRD Pro comes with a reworked front nose with black accents (no chrome) and hard-amber rescue-style running lights.
It’s made in San Antonio. It has a leveled 2-inch suspension lift with high-travel Bilstein reservoir shocks and TRD springs – for 10.5” travel front and 9.5” rear. It’s got 4-wheel-drive with a locking rear differential. It’s got a burly skid plate, and a burly TRD exhaust which stays pretty mellow at cruising speeds, but thunders like a trophy truck at wide open throttle.
It’s got enough interior space to sublease. The back window goes down – never underrate this feature, because once you have it, you’ll never want to go back. It’s got ‘TRD PRO’ embossed in the sides of the bed. It’s got signature, ‘form=fashion’ red-accented TRD Pro seats. It’s got good sound waves with good bass for an OEM truck. At a little over 6.5-feet wide, it’s too damn wide to get down narrow ‘Jeep’ trails, but we never found trails that tight on the moon.
You can get it in white, black, or Inferno orange. It gets comically poor gas milage (about 14mpg)… but the tradeoff is: this truck will absolutely solve all the little dilemmas, irritations, and annoyances of your life.
Going to the beach for the day and don’t know what umbrella, stroller, or cooler to take – take ALL of them. Wanna go see what’s down that wet dirt road, but scared to might get into a jam – you won’t. Go to the mountains & your wife sees an oak table she’s gotta have – heave it in the back. Pull up on a car full of nuns in a station wagon getting washed away by a Texas flood – throw ‘em a rope and drag ‘em out. Stuck in a neighborhood full of speed humps – ramp them. Approaching traffic on the horizon – hit the grassy median & and set cruise control.
The TRD Pro is not for everyone – that’s why it’s a special-purpose build… that will go down as yet another one of Toyota’s legitimate 4x4s. On the other hand, for being a significant model, Toyota has managed to keep the price pretty reasonable – at only a few grand more than an SR5. Some mass-population reviews hint that the TRD Pro’s off-road capabilities result in a soft ‘on-road’ ride. Professionally speaking – durr. But from one enthusiast to another – I say don’t even sweat it. Toyota did an amazing job with the TRD Pro.
Look – this is a giant, bright orange, rumbling/roaring, post-apocalypse-prepped truck. And the kind of people that this truck attracts… are not bankers. Criticizing the soft ride on this truck is like criticizing a jet for its ‘ground’ handling. As a buyer – you just have to ask yourself, what features do you really want in your next truck. And where do you want to set your limits?