Apr
21
2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Test Drive2016 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Class: Large Pickup Truck

Miles Driven: 616

Fuel Used: 43.0 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 14.3 mpg

Driving mix: 45% city, 55% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 13/17/15 (city, highway, combined)

Base price: $45,060 (not including $1,195 destination charge)

CG Report Card
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Room and ComfortA-
Power and PerformanceB+
Fit and FinishB-
Fuel EconomyD
ValueB-
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyB
Tall GuyA

Options on test car: None

Price as tested: $46,255

Quick Hits

The great: Cavernous cabin boasts excellent seating space front and rear

The good: Plenty of power, reasonably tractable for the size

The not so good: Among the least fuel-efficient large pickups

More Tundra price and availability information

 

John Biel

With its Tundra lineup, Toyota does a pretty fair job of having a large ½-ton pickup for most customers’ needs. There are three cab styles, three bed lengths, a couple of V-8 engines, trim levels ranging from basic SR up to plush Platinum and 1794—and, for good measure, a sport off-roader.

That last truck is the TRD Pro, the one you’ll know by the black-accent trim and wheels, the three-stage shock absorbers, and the rumbly tuned exhaust. It’s also the Tundra that Consumer Guide® editors got to test most recently.

2016 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

The Tundra TRD Pro trim level is offered in both Double Cab (extended cab) and Crewmax (crew cab) body styles. Our tester was the CrewMax model.

Without a single option to its name, the test truck clocked in at the base price of $45,060. It was powered by the flex-fuel version of Toyota’s 5.7-liter V8 that can run on E85 ethanol-blend fuel, though a straight-gas version of this engine is available, too. Either way, the 5.7 makes 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft or torque. The lone transmission/drive combination is a six-speed automatic with an electronically controlled part-time four-wheel-drive system.

2016 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

The Tundra TRD Pro is not plushly appointed, but it is roomy.

These features are available on other members of the Tundra clan. What makes the TRD Pro what it is are front skid plates, black 18-inch alloy wheels on 32-inch 275/65R18 all-terrain tires, specially tuned Bilstein shocks with external reservoirs and three-stage damping, and stainless-steel dual exhaust. Appearance details consist of a distinct blacked-out grille, a “TRD PRO” stamping in the cargo-bed sheetmetal, black exterior badges and highlights, and black leather-trimmed front bucket seats with red contrast stitching and a TRD Pro logo. Paint choices are confined to white, dark-gray metallic, or tan.

Other standard features are typically Tundra. There’s a rearview camera, trailer-brake and trailer-sway controls, an “easy-lower” tailgate, remote keyless entry, and heated power mirrors. Audio is Toyota’s premium unit with HD and satellite radio, navigation, Entune app suite, and Bluetooth connectivity with Siri Eyes Free phone capability. (All 2016 Tundra audio systems are revised for better connectivity.)

Aided by an aggressive rear axle ratio geared towards getaway, the 5.7 V8 pulls strongly off the line but still can cruise easily on the highway. A determined accelerator tromp brings a fairly quick kickdown from the transmission—and prompts a studly bellow from the exhaust. The TRD Pro has a 10,100-pound tow rating.

Whomever is paying for the gas may get a little loud, too. EPA estimates for this powerteam are just 13 mpg in the city, 17 on the highway, and 15 combined—and that’s pretty accurate from this driver’s experience. In the wake of a 108.3-mile stint with 46 percent city-type driving, he averaged 14.71 mpg. Note that the TRD is one of the Tundra models that gets a larger 38-gallon fuel tank as standard equipment for ’16.

2016 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Unique stamped bedsides are part of the TRD Pro features roster.

Yours truly’s two days of on-road commuting revealed a fairly well composed ride, even without a load over the leaf-spring-suspended rear end. Big-bump hits certainly register, but don’t induce sideways hops and jumps from the back. Tires are not extreme enough to make inordinate noise or make handling squirmy.

There’s abundant passenger room in every direction. The back seat is easily a three-dude unit—the seat is wide and the driveline hump is low and flat. Over-the-shoulder vision is very good; even though the Tundra filled the driveway alongside this tester’s house, backing out was uncomplicated thanks to the big windows. One problem is that step-in is very high. Body-hugging tube steps are available for most Tundras, the TRD included, and would be helpful. Controls are easy to reach and use. Audio operation through the seven-inch touchscreen is logical and direct. Three big, well-spaced rotary dials govern the climate-control system—a bear wearing work gloves could work them with no problem. However, inputs for an auxiliary jack and USB connection are low under the dash and somewhat hard to reach. Soft-touch areas of the interior are confined to part of the tops of the doors, armrests, and the console-box lid that doubles as an armrest.

Interior storage is king-sized, starting with an ample, segmented glove box. The console box is deep and. Substantial pockets extend the full length of all four doors, and each pocket has holders for two bottles. Additional rear-seat accommodations include a pouch on the back of the front passenger seat, and a pull-down center arm rest with two cup holders. The rear seat is in a 60/40 split, with cushions that flip up to expose storage space on the floor that would rival some small-car trunks for surface area.

2016 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Along with unique wheels and tires, the TRD Pro also boasts special shocks, skid plates, and other off-road oriented equipment.

A TRD Pro may be a bit much for a truck customer who needs to go four-wheeling once in a while in snow or on unpaved roads, and Toyota makes cheaper Tundras that will do that. The TRD also might come off as a little austere for the all-in luxo-truck crowd, and, as noted, Toyota’s got something for them. A Tundra that does some things none of those other ones do just fills in all the boxes.

Comments from the logbook:

  • Needs running boards
  • Huge back seat
  • Paired my phone no problem, why do I need Entune app?
  • Would love to pilot this rig through some deep snow
2016 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

With 10.4 inches of ground clearance, the TRD Pro rides about two inches higher than other Tundra models.

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