By on August 17, 2018

Image: Toyota

With half-ton pickup facades now verging on grotesque, we’ll miss the Toyota Tundra’s appealing, chrome-heavy grille when the model inevitably gives way to a fresh generation. Speaking of fresh, the Tundra ain’t it. Bowing for the 2007 model year, the second-generation Tundra soldiers into 2019 relatively unchanged, though there’s improvements at the top of the range.

No, Toyota hasn’t put the model on a weight loss regimen or finessed its powertrain, but it has added off-road capability. And for this newfound ruggedness, you’d better be prepared to cough up more cash.

According to order guides seen by CarsDirect, the Tundra TRD Pro, back and somewhat better than ever after skipping a model year, sets the pricing bar high. Featuring the toughest legs in the Tundra line (read about the TRD Pro upgrades here), the 2019 model reaches $51,275 after destination. That’s $3,870 more than the 2017 model and less than a grand below the 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCab’s sticker.

Image: Toyota

Available only in crew cab guise, this TRD Pro approaches the price of a 2018 Tundra 1794 Edition — the gaudy, ultra-lux Tundra variant that didn’t exactly find a home in my heart. That King Ranch rival tips the pricing scales at $51,725 after destination.

Perhaps that double hood scoop is for hoovering up money.

Regardless of the canyon-bombing potential of the off-road Tundra’s new 2.5-inch Fox internal-bypass shocks and other specialized suspension kit, this model’s bones are painfully dated compared to its full-size competition. Ford’s F-150 is still young, and both the Ram and General Motors twins gain new engines and a lighter, restyled body this year. And yet the Tundra seems unwilling to move on. Toyota clearly has better things to invest in.

Automotive News‘ product pipeline says a full revamp won’t occur until the 2022 model year, so there’s still time to get into a strong-but-dated pickup with a great grille and dismal fuel economy. Tundra sales fell 10.1 percent in July, year over year, but the model’s year-to-date tally remains in the black. Over the first seven months of 2018, Tundra sales rose 1.7 percent.

Indeed, U.S. Tundra volume remains extremely consistent, varying only by a few thousand units each year since 2013.

[Images: Toyota]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

43 Comments on “Two Scoops of Brawn: 2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Packs a Premium...”


  • avatar
    stingray65

    I think Toyota’s lack of investment in their pickups is a sure indicator they do not believe they will ever take any significant share from GM, Ford, or RAM, and have to limit themselves to that small niche of Toyota “true believers” who don’t want a hybrid.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Honda won’t touch a full size truck, nor offer a V8 anytime soon. They just received their first mass produced 2.0T this year!

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Who says Honda needs to offer a full size truck or V-8? Not every car company thinks it needs to offer its American and Chinese customers every vehicle combination ever. The Ridgeline comes with the 3.5 V6, not a 2.0t. Darned hard to find a Ridgeline in base trim; far less at deep discounts only 90 days after their North American debut unlike some -ahem- unnamed marques. https://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-ats-performance-forum/613529-2-0t-bad-pistons-roll-call.html Glad to see Caddy is “Standard of the World” again. The phrase “ECO” well, anything should never ever be used in the same sentence as Cadillac or Buick.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      This. IIRC when the 2007 debuted it was highly competitive in the half-ton field and addressed the 7/8ths scale criticism levied against the T100 and first Tundra. That still didn’t convince a chunk of domestic buyers to give it a try. And now they criticize Toyota for not sinking itself in the R&D costs needed to war with the Big 3 to create a vehicle they wouldn’t purchase anyway because it has the wrong badge.

      I could be way off. I’d be curious to hear from anyone who bought a half-ton pickup in 2007-2010. What made you choose a domestic over the Tundra in those years? It seems like it wasn’t until 2011 or so that the next wave of domestic pickups again put some real distance between themselves and the Tundra.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        …it did take Toyota three tries to get it competitive.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        You are off by about two years. The 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 made the Tundra look ungainly and feel antiquated, with the upgraded Hemi, coil springs, full size crewcab, and a real truck frame.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          ” with the upgraded Hemi, coil springs, full size crewcab, and a real truck frame.”

          …and a sad real world payload with those coil springs in crewcab guise.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            You mean a real truck frame also needs a real truck suspension in order to haul like a real truck? That Ram was a nicer mall-crawler though.

            I appreciate Lou’s and ajla’s responses below. Beluga and norm on the other hand are why Toyota shouldn’t bankrupt itself chasing domestic pickup buyers.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @30 – mile fetch – I purchased an F150 in 2010. The Tundra was too expensive for what you got. Ford has multiple option packages and colours. The Tundra had ride quality issues and did not offer a 6.5 box in a crew cab. The tailgate was weak. Add to that mpg ratings worse than the 5.4 Ford. The durability ratings for the 2010 F150 were comparable to the Tundra.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        It was the pricing that sank the Tundra.

        Charging the “Toyota tax” can work out fine in some segments because people are looking to defect after their Intrepid or Windstar or Alero sh*ts all over the place and is worth $5 in resale. But, with domestic trucks most people were happy enough with how their current rigs held up and how much they were still worth.

        When Toyota came out with the LS400 they priced it at way less than the German competition to gain a foothold, with the full-size Tundra they priced it slightly higher than the competition (and way higher once incentives were taken into account). I think the situation called for the Lexus approach.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          ” most people were happy enough with how their current rigs held up”

          To be fair I’ve seen that some of the most stalwart Tundra fans are ex-domestic guys that got burned especially bad by their previous GM/Ford/Ram. Case in point my friend at work that had a 2010 Silverado 1500 that started to foul a plug with oil at 57k miles (afm issue?) and the dealer was no help. Ponied up for a Rock Warrior Tundra Crewmax and hasn’t looked back. It’s a brutally thirsty beast but hasn’t given him a lick of trouble and has held its value absurdly well. My other anecdotal example is my brother’s good friend who owns a shop in Western NY (South Main Auto on youtube). The guy wrenches on mostly domestic trucks all day long and his last two trucks were a Ridgeline that he ran up to 150k miles including hauling a full ton of scrap in the bed several times a year, and now a ’13 Tundra that handles that heavy hauling much better. Krown undercoated and she’s good to go. A minor point of satisfaction is when he goes to replace the brakes on the Tundra, all the parts are made in USA. Brake job or bearing on a customer’s newer GM truck? China/Malaysia.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Yo dawg, we heard you like hood scoops, so we put a hood scoop on your hood scoop.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Color matching skid plates too!

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I hate fake hood scoops.

      “With half-ton pickup facades now verging on grotesque, we’ll miss the Toyota Tundra’s appealing, chrome-heavy grille when the model inevitably gives way to a fresh generation.”

      Since when is the Tundra’s grill appealing?

      As far as a “fresh generation”, we Boomers will be long dead and buried at the rate Toyota upgrades the Tundra.

  • avatar
    Ryan

    Does anyone else dislike the look of Full Sized Truck with a Sunroof/Moonroof? I’ve always thought it looked goofy and out of place.

    • 0 avatar
      pdq

      You mean like how leather seats, tilt wheel, cruise control, climate control, GPS, concert sound packages, power windows/locks/mirrors, fancy upgraded wheels and a gazillion cup holders look out of place?

      • 0 avatar
        Ryan

        Ha! Point taken. I miss those days too. You know, an affordable truck.

        • 0 avatar
          TwoBelugas

          “I miss those days too. You know, an affordable truck.”

          Go down to your local Ford or Ram dealer and they will be happy to sell you a regular cab long bed 1/2 ton with cloth seats, manual windows and locks, manual seats, for about 19k after discounts, and you still get around 300 HP and an 8+ speed transmission.

          You ARE living the good old days, Ryan.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I have no use for a sun roof and worry that crawling through a washout or over logs will stress the seals and cause a leak. It also offers less protection in a crash. Moose strikes tend to send them up into the windshield and into the roof line. I saw a crew cab recently that had that pattern of damage. The moose rolled along the roof before falling off. I would not want a cab full of ruptured gut sack. I’ve seen that before and it isn’t pretty.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Look at this fat cat over here with his cloth seats. Sticky, searing vinyl is where it’s at if you wanna brag about your stripped-out full-size truck on the Internet.

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            Yeah I’m seeing $25k around these parts for crew cabs from all 3 makes, decently equipped…that’s a lot of vehicle for the money…

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Ryan, for many a full sized crew-cab truck has replaced the vanished full sized North American Market family sedan. Under those rules, a sunroof is allowed and desired by some.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      It’s funny you should mention that – I’ve never had a car without a sunroof. Life is too short. I’m poking around for pickup truck as a weekend player and am aggravated I have to get to the “super crew” size to get a sunroof, the exception being the Ford Lariat SuperCab. Still knocking on $50k; since I want a very specific build (ie not thick on the ground), the local dealer said he’d be glad to order it but the usually advertised $10-12k off wouldn’t apply.

  • avatar
    marmot

    I see the “dismal” fuel economy like this: in a hundred thousand miles you will have spent maybe a thousand dollars more than the Ram or Ford or Chevy in fuel costs. When others have to replace a turbo or two on the Ford; or a transmission on the Ram; plus the front suspension, or who knows what on the Chevy, the 1K in extra fuel will seem cheap as your Tundra soldiers on in perfect condition.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Then go buy the Toyota and live like a king.

    • 0 avatar
      ernest

      I put 585,000 miles on my last two Ford pickups. Durability and reliability aren’t issues with domestic pickups. Which explains the poor Tundra sales. American cars were crap for years, opening the door for a better alternative. American pickups never went through that stage. Tundra owners have turned out to be Toyota buyers that just happen to need a full-sized pickup. Nothing wrong with that, but nothing to add to the full-size pickup market either.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        I’ve yet to see convincing studies showing Toyota builds a more reliable fullsize truck than the domestic brands. We hear a lot more stories about driveability issues with Ford/GM/Ram, but they’re putting out exponentially more trucks.

        Building massive amounts of trucks per year and generation weeds out most issues not possible to find in pre production testing.

        Anecdotally I see way more driveability issues with Tundras, especially on ’07s, the 1st year of the current generation. This is why Toyota is holding off on the next generation Tundra.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          “I’ve yet to see convincing studies showing Toyota builds a more reliable fullsize truck than the domestic brands.”

          Look up literally any reputable source for reliability data and it’s clear as day. Now, that gap for some people might not be worth it given the higher cost, lower MPG, or worse performance in some other metric by the Tundra. But it is easily the least troubleprone half-ton truck on the market, statistically speaking.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Show a reputable source that’s focused on the type of “reliability” mostly related to calling a tow truck, and never gives weight to the user friendliness of infotainment systems and stuff like that, keeping in mind Toyota is the absolute slowest to offer the latest gadgetry, especially on pickups and doesn’t put Porsche high on their list, from so little owner response.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Ford’s still dicking around with cam phaser issues, two decades after introducing an overhead cam engine in their pickup trucks. Through ’14 they were still having water intrusion issues in the rear brake light, and anywhere they salt the roads, you can see even ’11-’14 supercrews with rotted cab corners. And that’s the best built of out the big 3 as far as I’m concerned. I can’t get around consumer reports’ paywall but I’d be curious how the body/electical/powertrain reliability breaks down (thus excluding infotainment issues).

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I can’t judge but buying a Tundra just ’cause Toyota is fairly stupid. Your research may say it beats all others, but talk to independent repair shops. Tundras shouldn’t be more than 1 in 5 pickups, half tons, showing up on flatbeds, or the surveys are flawed.

            You won’t get a bad 1/2 ton no matter what you buy, but what works for Camrys may not work for Tundras. It’ll recommend Tacomas all day, but from what I’ve seen, I can not say the same for Tundras.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “but talk to independent repair shops”

            The consensus seems pretty unanimous across the board in favor of “Honda/Toyota” from the guys I know personally, even if on a hobby level they might be huge Jeep guys or grew up eating/sleeping/breathing GM trucks.

            For what it’s worth:

            youtu.be/trHPo2KID3s?t=171

            youtu.be/PIXCTNW-KTc?t=1191
            youtu.be/1YmBJ7r7ei8?t=273

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The great assumption is “Their cars are great, so their fullsize pickups must be no different…”

            Why not “Big 3 fullsize pickups are great, so their cars must be no different…”?

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “Their cars are great, so their fullsize pickups must be no different…”

            Well, that’s basically what everyone is saying, as far as reliability is concerned anyways.

    • 0 avatar
      wayneoh

      Only a thousand ? My golf buddy’s 2015 Tundra might get 15 mpg on a good day, usually 12-14. My 2.7 Ecoboost has a verified miles driven divided by gallons used since new of over 20 mpg.
      My math skills may be poor, but I come up with over 6,600 gallons for him to go 100k. It will only take 5,000 gallons for me to go that same 100k.
      1,600 gallons at today’s price of $2.75 will be over $4,000.

  • avatar
    amca

    Not just a TuRD, but a TuRD PRO! That makes all the difference.

  • avatar
    ernest

    JD Powers three year dependability survey.

    http://www.jdpower.com/Cars/Ratings/Dependability

    Ford SD ranked top in the HD category, the Silverado ranked #1 in the LD category. The differences between the highest ranked trucks were really statistically insignificant.

    Again, durability and reliability just aren’t issues in full-size pickups. But pickup buyers tend to be pretty loyal to their chosen brand. My son bought a F250 not long ago, and there was no thought of which other brand he’d be shopping. His s/o drives a Chevy crew cab- the “girl truck,” (her words). It’s a 1/2t, and a very comfortable truck. All a question of priorities.

  • avatar
    CombiCoupe99

    That tiny bed is so cute!

  • avatar
    ernest

    I know some don’t like it when I drag out sales reports, but here goes.

    1. The Ford outsells the Tundra by a margin of approximately 5:1.
    2. On top of that, Ford increased their average transaction price by $1500 from 2017 to 2018.

    http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2018/08/best-selling-pickup-trucks-in-america-july-2018/

    So to recap- Ford not only increased their sales, but their profit margins by a significant amount. The Tundra has had it’s best sales ever this year. In spite of this, it still amounts to less than 10% market share in the segment. Significantly less, I might add, than they were booking before this generation Tundra hit the showrooms. (Oops). The Titan sales makes one wonder why Nissan even bothers, which could be said about the Ridgeline as well.

    So… whatever anyone thinks the durability and reliability of domestic vs. import (branded) pickups is, the buyers have been voting with their wallets. For decades and decades.

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    Third rate truck maker who doesn’t appear to be very serious about keeping their product current. At least these third rate trucks are durable and relatively maintenance free. Otherwise ISIS and the related middle eastern nice people would be buying Honduh Ridgelines – the sticking point is how do you mount the required guns when the covered catbox in the bed of the Ridgeline is in the way?

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Needs a raisin theme on the inside to go with the two scoops…

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Pig_Iron: Who built the “the most extensive and inclusive VOTER FRAUD organization in history” Joe?
  • Pig_Iron: I rather like those Nissan wheels.
  • Lie2me: Whenever I think of a basic generic “car” this is the car that pops into my head. If there was a...
  • Pig_Iron: No, the media has not been “fair and honest but critical” toward non-Democrats since forever. I used to...
  • Pig_Iron: That acronym sounds dirty. ;-)

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber