Welcome to the first of a new series. We call them Quick Spins.
The Toyota Tundra we drove last, in 2014, represented the mid-cycle refresh of the second generation Tundra. Still in its second generation, Toyota has dialed the Tundra’s off-road capabilities up to 11 with the 2016 Tundra TRD PRO.
What does the TRD PRO get you over the a Tundra with the TRD Off Road package? It’s visually very similar, but you’ll notice cues like the blacked out grille, unique black wheels, and the stamped bed sides. It also sits two inches higher as well, and it has, as standard, the annoying and booming TRD dual exhaust. We got tired of the drone in our first test truck several years ago and the story was the same here. The truck rides even better than it’s standard counterpart. The softer suspension pays dividends by making suspension impacts on the road even more compliant. It may be the best riding truck we’ve ever driven. Those shocks are 2.5″ Bilstein units with external reservoirs, a beefier and more athletic shock that shares its design with off-road racers. The big difference however, is how well they work. They allow for an extra two inches of suspension travel, a noticeable trait off road. Our adventures were light duty, but the trucks capabilities are clear.
Inside, the PRO bases itself mainly on the SR5 trim level. Our truck was equipped with navigation as standard and partial leather seats that were comfortable. One annoyance, however, was the terrible fuel economy. We averaged 14mpg for the week in normal driving. The same 5.7L V8 and six-speed automatic that debuted in 2007 still churn out 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed automatic shifted smoothly and without and unnecessary downshifts, but lacked the economy benefits of a 7 or 8 speed unit. It will look scant for choice next year when several 10 speed gearboxes debut.
We quickly noticed how well the PRO exuded its character, and it makes itself a worthwhile nameplate in the off-road truck game. The RAM Rebel, and all-new-for-2017 Ford Raptor are also in the fray, and the Tundra is still a worthy adversary. It’s the oldest of the group, but its excellent ride quality and overall character, especially with the Quicksand paint, allow it to still be a contender for some.
|2016 Toyota TRD Pro CrewMax
|As Tested MSRP||$46,755|