The Toyota Tundra may not be the most popular full-size pickup on the market today, nor the most modern, but when we get a chance to see what one can do, we’ll take it. Particularly when the Tundra in question is the TRD Pro version, the Tundra’s most fun-friendly trim level.
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We got a chance to play with it in the dunes of Utah’s Little Sahara Recreation Area, where it impressed with its grip in the sand despite some of the least-aggressive tires you’ll find on an “off-road” truck. The trusty 5.7-liter V-8 produced more than enough power to make climbing dunes a breeze. The one hiccup involved trying to turn off all the Toyota’s safety-nanny systems while in two-wheel drive, but we found that we could do so in four-wheel drive and then switch over to two-wheel without having those features switch on.
A pickup truck is also about utility, however, which called for a towing test using a roughly 6,000-pound trailer with a 1,000-pound tongue weight. We couldn’t find a weight-distributing hitch, which Toyota recommends, and the Tundra squatted quite a bit under the weight. It still performed ably with the trailer attached, remaining “controlled and stable.” We did find the 5.5-foot short bed behind the crew cab of the Tundra too short to provide much use, but those looking to haul more in the bed can opt for a double (extended) cab with a 6.5-foot bed. We also recommend skipping the removable bed mat, as water and debris seemed to get trapped underneath it quite easily. Spring for a spray-on bedliner or skip the protection entirely.
In other truck news this week, the Ford F-150 is under two separate recalls. One, for nearly 14,000 2015-16 models, concerns an engine block heater that may short and melt its wiring or even cause a fire. The other is for more than 166,000 2018-20 models that have daytime running lights that may remain on when the headlights are switched from “auto” to the manual “on” position, which may impact other drivers’ visibility and increase the risk of a crash.
You can catch up on those stories and more below.
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