Real-World Review

2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro: Real World Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro November 2014

Following the runaway success of the off-road-ready Ford F-150 Raptor, Toyota has released a trail-riding truck of its own: the 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Boasting a lifted suspension and a series of cosmetic modifications over the standard Tundra, the TRD Pro aims to find the same kind of buyer as the bulky F-150 Raptor. So how does Toyota's latest pickup perform in the real world? We spent a week behind the wheel to find out.

Huge, Enormous, Gigantic

It's hard for us to really express how big the Tundra TRD Pro really is. And that's not just because we're city people who tend to spend all of our time in smaller cars. In fact, several of our staffers have owned full-size trucks and SUVs. But the Tundra TRD Pro dwarfs them all, offering a huge back seat, a huge grille, huge mirrors and most importantly, a huge footprint on the road.

This isn't a complaint, but rather a warning: Don't buy this truck expecting to park it in a small garage, or on the street in a compact city. This is a pickup that's designed for rural areas, wide-open spaces and -- in the case of the TRD Pro model -- dirt roads.

More Than Just Dirt Roads?

Speaking of where the Tundra TRD Pro belongs, it doesn't quite live up to its off-road image. One staffer, Ben, noted that the pickup offers "no big functional differences" from a standard 4-wheel-drive Tundra -- aside from the admittedly impressive shock absorbers, which work well on rutted roads off the pavement. That's a major difference from the F-150 Raptor, which boasts an impressive array of modifications designed for some serious off-road adventures.

As a result, we strongly caution you against buying the Tundra TRD Pro if you're a serious off-roader. One staffer noted that the TRD version "feels like an afterthought," while another noted that it seems like "half effort" was spent creating it -- especially in comparison to Toyota's other TRD Pro models, which seem like they've received more comprehensive changes. Indeed, without some serious modifications, the TRD Tundra can't quite tackle the trails like the best 4-wheel-drive vehicles.

Looks Better, Sounds Better

With that said, Toyota's focus on improving the Tundra TRD Pro's appearance has certainly paid off. The truck looks great, swapping out its big chrome grille for a more utilitarian-looking black painted unit. Not all of our staffers could agree on the black painted wheels, but we definitely liked the unique rear fenders, which include bold "TRD Pro" stamps on both sides.

Another universally acclaimed feature was the truck's exhaust. While the standard Tundra is a little muted with either engine, the 5.7-liter-only TRD Pro model sounds brawny, muscular and throaty -- exactly how we'd want our off-road-ready truck to sound. In the end, however, we wish Toyota had focused a little more energy on improving the truck's off-road ability to match its auditory -- and stylistic -- revisions.

Our Take

Overall, the 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is a handsome truck with great sound -- but it's no trail-ready off-roader. As a result, we'd have a hard time coughing up the $42,300 that Toyota requires for a base-level Double Cab model without options -- or the $45,000 base asking price for a 4-door Crew Cab model. Instead, we'd pick up an outgoing F-150 Raptor for just a little more money, or a "regular" Tundra without all the pricey TRD Pro accessories.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro: Real World Review - Autotrader