Trucks these days. I tell ya.
When I was young pickups were assembled for blue-collar working types – like my dad. And, as I recall, amenities were limited: Three on the tree. Radio. Heater and a fan. That’s about it. And there was nothing better than a ride to the garbage dump.
Fast forward about 57 years and I’m test driving the 2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro CrewMax four-wheel-drive pickup with an eye-popping Voodoo Blue coat of paint.
This year Tundra TRD Pro returns to the lineup. Featuring new Fox Internal Bypass shocks at all four corners, Rigid Industries fog lights and new forged aluminum BBS wheels, TRD Pro offers off-road enthusiasts a truck that both looks stunning, but can also stand up to the toughest terrain.
We’re talking 5.7-liter I-FORCE V8, DOHC, 32-valves with dual independent VVT-i engine that delivers 381 horsepower, and 401 lb.-ft. of torque, more than enough power to tow big-boy toys. It sounded bad. And it was bad. The added growl comes from TRD Pro exhaust fitted with black chrome exhaust tips.
For the record, it’s rated at 10,200 pounds of towing capacity with a maximum payload of 1,730 pounds. All Tundra beds are 22.2 inches deep. The lockable easy-lower-and-lift tailgate lowers slowly with no slam and can easily be removed. Carrying larger items is a cinch with the available deck rail system and a spray-in bed liner.
It was paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift and four-wheel on demand with a transfer case and tow package. Tundra CrewMax seats five adults and there is enough second-row legroom for basketball players.
Tundra is assembled in the heart of truck country in San Antonio, Texas. And unlike yesteryear, it can tackle workhorse duties during the day, and please your toughest critics on the weekend (your family).
Driving the Tundra, one might be reminded of a luxury vehicle by the smooth ride and quietness. Soft-touch surfaces, high-granulated paint on the center cluster and unique seat stitching enhance interior quality and durability. Standard high solar energy-absorbing glass helps to filter out solar heat and UV light energy.
My Tundra included a long list of creature comforts highlighted by leather-trimmed front seats with 10-way power adjustments (driver), air conditioning, Entune premium audio with seven speakers, integrated navigation, seven-inch touchscreen, rear backup camera, CD player, USB ports, Bluetooth and more.
It also comes with Toyota Safety-Sense-P on all trim levels. TSS-P is a suite of safety features that includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian-detection function, lane-departure alert, dynamic radar cruise control and automatic high beams.
The standard Toyota Star Safety System for Tundra includes vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock braking system, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and smart-stop brake override technology.
Sure beats three on the tree. Radio. Heater and a fan. I think my dad would say we’re getting soft. Spoiled at the very least.
Base Price: $51,040.
Price As Driven: $51,040.