For three years, Toyota Racing Development (TRD) made its mark in off-road competition with their Baja winning Toyota pickup’s spirit. This spirit comes alive through the Tundra TRD Pro. The TRD Pro is Tundra’s flagship model for true “off-road enthusiasts.”
Just what is it that makes TRD Pro so rugged, with the ability to conquer almost any terrain? TRD coil-spring on Fox shock absorbers that provide an additional 2 inches of front lift, along with an additional 1.5-inch of front wheel travel.
At the back, 2.5-inch TRD Fox internal bypass shocks feature piggyback reservoirs to ensure consistent damping performance on the toughest terrains. This rear suspension increases wheel travel by more than 2 inches over other Tundra models for maximum trailing capacity.
Tundra TRD Pro is powered by a 5.7-liter i-FORCE DOHC 32-valve V8 engine with Dual Independent VVT-i, presenting a maximum of 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. The powerplant is partnered with an 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with sequential shift mode.
This powertrain consumes 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway for a combined average of 14 mpg. I averaged a little better than that because I did more on-road driving than off-road.
When equipped with the Tow Package, Tundra has a maximum 10,100-pound towing capacity. This package brings a tow hitch receiver, 4.300 rear axle ratio, TOW/HAUL Mode switch, Integrated Trailer Brake Control, heavy duty battery, 170-amp alternator, and 4-/7-pin connector. The TRD Pro model makes some concession in this department and has a max towing capacity of 9,200 pounds.
Inside the cabin, black TRD Pro leather-trimmed front bucket seats with red contrast stitching and TRD Pro logo keep the front occupants comfortable and firmly supported over rough terrains.
To maximize usable space, the rear seats actually fold up instead of down flat. There is also an optional class-exclusive rear power window that rolls all the way down with a touch of a button.
Adding spirit fuel to off-roading, the Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation infotainment system provides an 8-inch touchscreen, 12-speaker JBL audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, Dynamic Voice Recognition, and Bluetooth hands-free plus music streaming. All these make a functional and welcoming interior, although I would have preferred a little larger screen.
Outside, BBS forged-aluminum 18-inch 5-spoke black TRD Pro wheels, TRD-tuned Fox shocks with piggyback reservoir and 3-stage compression dampening, Rigid Industries fog lights, TRD dual black-chrome-tipped exhaust, and TRD Pro front skid plate work together to make for a fun driving experience over the most rugged terrain.
Standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) provides Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, and Automatic High Beams. These assist technologies bolster the character of safety and convenience for an off-road truck that shines in wilderness.
All these equipment and features lead to an expansive outdoor adventure filled with a confident and assured off-roading experience.
Tundra TRD Pro offered adventure opportunities that I was not able to take full advantage of. Heavy rains caused mudslides across narrow dirt roads, as flooded bar ditches hid fences and high piles of debris. The property owner asked me to hold off for a few days before I tore out across his hilly pastures.
By the time the water receded my opportunity had passed. But there will be another time to experience an off-road experience. I just hope I will have another chance to test the Tundra Pro.
The list price for the 2021 Toyota Tundra starts at $34,025 for the base SR model, and it climbs all the way up to $49,125 for the TRD Pro model.
3 years/36,000 miles Basic Warranty
5 years/60,000 miles Powertrain Warranty
5 years/unlimited miles Corrosion Perforation Warranty
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or email@example.com