The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Toyota’s Tundra series of full-size trucks have been around for many years now with minimal changes – and it’s definitely one of the older designs in this fiercely competitive market. But even when compared back-to-back with some of the newest models from GM and Ford, for example, there is still something amazing about the Tundra.
The Tundra is simple to drive and operate, delivers great performance, and offers the beauty of a solid V-8 engine. And in the top-level TRD Pro, the Tundra is the king of the road.
The Tundra TRD Pro is a limited edition vehicle that blends power, off-road capability, comfort, safety, and heavy duty performance in one full-size pickup. The TRD namesake is an acronym that stands for Toyota Racing Development, and the Pro version is the ultimate TRD model.
The performance tuning and suspension are at the core for TRD Pro – it represents improvements to the suspension system to substantially increase off-roading capability. TRD Pro for the Tundra kicks it up a notch as Toyota’s ultimate off-roading package, and is available in the 4x4 CrewMax and Double Cab versions, all equipped with the proven 5.7-litre V-8.
The Tundra TRD Pro boasts unique items that differentiate it from other TRD models. This includes a TOYOTA heritage grill, TRD stamped skid plate in the front, TRD performance exhaust with a black chrome tip, Rigid Industries LED fog lamps, and 18-inch forged-aluminum black wheels. Exterior colours for the TRD Pro are limited to the Super White, Midnight Black Metallic, Magnetic Grey Metallic, or Army Green, which is new for 2020. Choosing the CrewMax Cab will get you more space for rear passengers, but shorter truck bed for hauling. The Double Cab option will get you a smaller interior space with only two full doors and restricted space for the rear passengers – but a larger area in the back for truck bed. Either option offers spacing for five passengers. The Crewmax provides enormous rear passenger space, almost like a limousine back there.
Inside the Tundra TRD Pro we find attractive black leather seating with red stitching, a 12-speaker JBL Audio System (with the Crewmax option only), and a four-way power passenger seat in addition to all the other interior treats.
Technology in the 2020 Tundra TRD Pro is plentiful, thanks to the new upgraded infotainment for 2020. Connected services offered by Toyota include Remote Connect, Safety Connect, Service Connect as well as Destination Assist. Remote Connect will allow you to use an app to find where you are parked, check status of windows and moonroof, lock/unlocking, and remote start.
You can even connect your Tundra using Amazon Alexa to verbally do these actions as well as check things such as fuel level. Destination Assist features speaking with a 24/7 live agent who will assist you to locate places to go and things to do, and then send the navigation information to your vehicle so you can keep your eyes on the road. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported.
Safety Connect will help assist in times of emergency to something as simple as a flat tire. As with other connect services, the system will connect you to a live agent who will send the appropriate assistance. A stolen vehicle locator will assist to locate the vehicle in the case of theft. As well, Toyota Safety Sense is included, which features such as auto high beam, high speed dynamic radar cruise control, and pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.
Only one option exists for the Tundra TRD Pro, a 32-valve 5.7-litre DOHC i-FORCE V-8 with VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence). This produces a strong 381 horsepower and 401 foot-pounds of torque. Paired to this is a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy for the Tundra is 18.0/14.2/16.3 litres/100 kilometres for city/highway/combined, respectively – it’s obviously the weak point for the Tundra.
As mentioned, this vehicle comes equipped with special off-road suspension. The TRD Pro comes with 2.5-inch FOX coil-over performance shocks in the front and remote reservoir internal bypass shocks in the back. It’s also equipped with heavy duty brakes as well; four-piston callipers and 13.9-inch front brake rotors will ensure you have ultimate control.
Towing is a breeze for the Tundra thanks to its max towing capacity of up to 9,700 pounds. The vehicle comes factory equipped with front tow hooks, heavy duty tow hitch receiver, four- and seven-pin connectors, transmission fluid temperature gauge, as well as a trailer brake controller.
There are many other TRD trims offered for the 2020 model year: TRD Sport, TRD Sport Premium, TRD Off Road, or TRD Off Road Premium. The TRD Premium models essentially replaced the Limited model that was offered in 2019 (I still don’t understand why Toyota removed the Limited name). While all TRD models represent good value, the TRD Pro still stands out as something special.
The 2020 Tundra 4x4 CrewMax TRD Pro starting price is $67,270. If you opt for the Tundra 4x4 Double Cab TRD Pro, the price is slightly less at a starting MSRP of $64,400. Either way, you are looking at a significantly higher price than the 4x2 Double Cab SR5 base level model, which runs around $40,190.
For those who think the price is too much to swallow, any of the other TRD models can be a good compromise. They all share some basic elements with the Pro model, such as the aforementioned V-8 engine, spacious cabin and updated technology.
The question is: is it worth it to make the jump to the performance model with the TRD Pro trademark? Combining luxury, safety, heavy duty off-roading performance, style, and technology, the 2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is an excellent choice for those who will settle for nothing less than the very best pickup.