Stick Shift: 2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Photo via: Toyota

Compared to the rest of the Tundra line, the TRD Pro makes a visual statement like no other. New for 2020 is an especially compelling color option called Army Green. With all of the matte black finishes on the exterior, from the grille to the door handles, this is a combination that will appeal to many. Don’t worry, it’s also available on other TRD models like the Tacoma, 4Runner and Sequoia.

 Unique to the TRD Pro model are beautifully shaped and forged BBS 18” wheels. TRD dual exhaust. TRD front skid plate. Black TRD Pro leather-trimmed front bucket seats with red contrast stitching and TRD Pro all over the front grille and stamped into the bed liner. Just in case you forgot what you were driving. The hood scoop makes a dramatic statement. As does the red suspension pieces tucked behind the meaty tires and flat black BBS wheels.

This suspension isn’t just pretty to look at, it’s also very functional in improving comfort and performance while driving both on and off the road. TRD-tuned FOX Racing shocks with remote reservoirs offer 3-stage compression dampening. This delivers more cushion in the day to day. Reducing cabin movement over speed bumps at your local mall or big rocks on rugged back-country trails. The front skid plate will keep the undercarriage safe. With a 31-degree approach angle, you’ll tackle some of the toughest trail conditions with confidence. The 2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro also comes equipped with different driving modes to assist with towing. A 4WD system with electronic control and an automatic limited-slip differential for those low-traction moments in life.

As good as the new Tundra TRD Pro looks, and capable as it is off road, a continued area of weakness is the interior. It’s beginning to show its age with each year that passes without a big redesign. A new 8.0” touchscreen display is a nice addition. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa also come standard. But the instrument cluster has a clear previous generation look and feel that’s in need of a refresh. 

Photo via: Toyota

The 5.7L V8 is strong, producing over 400 lb ft of torque. It can also tow up to 10,200 pounds. Paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential shifting. The combination remains good, but is also falling behind the competition. The big three out of Detroit like Dodge, Chevy and Ford, are investing heavily in new technologies. There’s Chevy’s 4-cylinder engine, tuned for maximum towing and optimal fuel efficiency. Dodge Ram’s eTorque engine, and others. What’s more, Ford and Chevy have new transmissions with a 10-gear option in their trucks, while the Tundra is stuck with 6. These modern changes would be a welcome update in Toyota’s full-sized pickup, and I hope we see them soon. More engine options, a better powertrain with at least 8 gears, and a fuel economy rating that’s better than the current 14 mpg. Pair these changes with the already undeniable strengths of the current generation Tundra TRD Pro, and you’ll have a complete package that’s difficult for any major truck manufacturer to beat.

Price as tested: $55,143.00

By: Brandon Randall

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