2019 Toyota Tundra Review

Tundra

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2019 Toyota Tundra Overview

Generally speaking, the Toyota Tundra has long been outclassed by established names from the domestic Big Three, all of which had recent redesigns. But the Tundra is more than enough truck for most jobs -- and it has that famous Toyota-build quality going for it. Toyota’s full-size Tundra pickup goes into 2019 with an updated TRD Pro model. It’s taller, beefier, flashier, and more capable when the going gets rough. Otherwise, the rest of the Tundra range -- including the SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, and Western-themed 1794 Edition models, carry over. The Tundra is available in extended and crew cab body styles with three available bed lengths, depending on body style.

Unlike the offerings from Ford, GM, and Chrysler, Toyota offers the Tundra only with a V-8 engine. The standard powerplant is a 4.6-liter unit with 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque, but many buyers want to step up to the 5.7-liter engine with 381 hp and 401 lb-ft. Both engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, which gets the job done but seems a little old-fashioned when there are 8- and even 10-speeds out there on the market. Available in either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD), the Tundra, when properly equipped, can tow up to 10,100 pounds. The fuel tank is a massive 38 gallons in the Limited, Platinum, and 1794 trims, so the needle will move slowly enough to let you think you’re getting good gas mileage. The SR and SR5 trims offer a 26.4-gallon tank. A 4.6-liter engine with rear-drive is rated at 15 mpg city, 19 highway, and 16 combined. Adding four-wheel drive drops city and highway ratings by 1 mile per gallon. The 5.7-liter engine isn’t much thirstier, with a rating of 13 mpg, 18 mpg, and 15 in rear-drive configuration and 13 mpg, 17, and 14 with four-wheel drive.

The Tundra’s construction follows the tried-and-true body-on-frame with live rear axle formula. While all Tundras have a limited-slip differential, the updated TRD Pro model features new 2.5-inch Fox front shocks and TRD-tuned springs that provide an extra two inches of front lift and 1.5 inches of wheel travel. Out back, there are 2.5-inch Fox shocks as well as an extra two inches of wheel travel. The TRD Pro also gets new 18-inch BBS forged aluminum wheels finished in black and special TRD dual exhaust with black chrome exhaust tips.

Inside, the Tundra varies widely, depending on trim level. Base SR models get a 6.1-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system with USB and Bluetooth, but not much else. The SR5 model includes a 7-inch touchscreen, a smartphone-connected navigation system, HD Radio and satellite radio compatibility, chrome bumpers, and an optional power driver’s seat. The TRD Pro model gets a little flashier with a new grille, a hood scoop, plenty of badging, TRD Pro logos scattered through the interior, red contrast stitching, special floor mats, a special shift knob, a special center console, and an available moonroof.

The Limited model adds leather seats, woodgrain interior trim, heated front seats, and a built-in navigation system. The 1794 Edition, named after the founding year of the San Antonio ranch near where Tundras are built, gets better leather, cooled front seats, and plenty of chrome trim. Drivers can choose to add optional 20-inch wheels. The Platinum model is similar to the 1794 Edition in terms of features, but it’s a little more subtle, featuring less chrome.

For 2018, Toyota added automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, and automatic high beams as standard equipment across the Tundra range. Optional equipment available on most trims includes blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alerts. The Tundra earned four out of five stars in federal crash testing and an unusual “Marginal” score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for its headlights.

Updated

Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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