2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro CrewMax: Powerfully Authentic

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Sadly, the current state of humanity is living in fear, but the world needed to slow down to gain perspective on the pillars that matter most in life: family, health, and mindfulness. For me, purging and reducing unnecessary – or old- goods bring clarity to help focus on other essential tasks. With that, I decided to use the 2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro CrewMax to clean up the yards, shed, and remake the garage into a garage gym. As well, I lent a hand to neighbors as they too were purging. So, let’s say that our local recycling center is now my best friend.

Aesthetically, the Tundra TRD Pro is a paragon of excellence with conspicuous TRD design statements. The pickup arrived in Incredible Hulk mode with its Army Green camo and TRD frame looking chiseled like Greek gods. The merits of the latest Tundra TRD Pro are intriguing. They include a black grille frame, a new hood scoop, revised springs, new shocks and rims, and suspension upgrades consisting of new TRD-tuned Fox 2.5” front and rear internal-bypass shocks, and an additional 1.5” of front wheel travel and 2” rear wheel travel from the springs.  The TRD dual exhaust system in black is pretty throaty, and the black-highlighted LED fog lights and headlights are TRD originals. You will see TRD bolstered all over and throughout the green-machined Tundra. Speaking of which, I initially would not have considered a green pickup truck, but I enjoyed this specific hue as well as everyone else who came into contact with it.

The truck is powered by a robust and reasonably thirsty 5.7-liter i-FORCE V8 exerting 381-horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission with “sequential shift” and a 4WDemand part-time 4WD system with an electrically controlled transfer case. It rolls on beefy 275/65R18 Michelin LTX all-terrain (A/T) tires and 18” BBS 5-spoke rims in black with red TRD center caps. The Tundra is quick and powerful, but honestly, it feels better suited on trails utilized for recreational activities than on paved roads and highways. For example, when I went to the land nursery to score a yard of mulch and a few boulders, the vehicle felt right at home. But on a 2-hour drive up 95N, I  received an upper-body workout, which was good for my health, not so much for comfort.

Keep in mind the Tundra is an ideal pickup for anyone with a need to haul a few items monthly or tow now and then. Yet, it’s not ultra-advanced and replete with sophisticated technologies you receive in RAM and F-150. Car and Driver has the Japanese truck rated at number six out of the six full-size pickups in the current class. Now that was shocking.

Inside the truck, the cabin is very comfortable, especially in the rear, where three adults were just as relaxed as the two up front. The leather bench seat flips up for added storage, and the rear window powers up or down for a fresh flow of air in addition to the sunroof. The only problem was the lack of power or USB outlets for the kids to tap into, so we ran a longer cord to the center stack, which features three USBs. Some of the updated multimedia functions include Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay compatibility, and a 12-speaker JBL sound system to keep the drive alive. Audio activities and dynamic navigation are managed through the 8″ touchscreen, and its large knobs and eight function tabs located on the robotic center stack keep things simplified.

The Tundra TRD Pro is tough as nails with enthusiastic off-road prowess that allows you and the crew to venture into the deep wild whenever requested. Since inception, the pickup has been enthusiastic, hardcore, and unapologetic. It’s slated for nomadic owners who choose adventure first, whether traversing through muddy tracks to the campsite or rolling through woods for a natural high. So, don’t expect fancy amenities (except safety) that sway in the direction of today’s trucks because that’s not this Toyota’s forte.  MSRP is $52,780.

 

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