In a year in which new Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado, and GMC Sierra pickups all hit the market, full-size trucks that sell at lower volumes couldn’t help looking dated.
That list includes the Toyota Tundra, last redesigned for the 2007 model year. While the brand’s crossovers and sedans have continually become more refined over that time, Tundra (along with SUVs like 4Runner) stayed rugged and not as hospitable for passengers.
But that doesn’t mean Toyota’s pickup lacks strong points. All along, it’s been a powerful option that’s also the most reliable pickup on the U.S. market. For 2019, Toyota will look to expand the Tundra’s audience by adding more appearance and off-road options. Here’s what’s new for the upcoming model year.
1. SX package
While there aren’t any engine updates for 2019, Tundra buyers can personalize their trucks with the SX package. Available on SR5 Double Cab models ($36,270), this package strips all the exterior badging and blacks out the grille, 18-inch alloy wheels, mirrors and door handles.
The front bumper caps, rear bumper, and front grille surround match one of three body colors: Super White, Midnight Black Metallic, or Barcelona Red Metallic. Inside, bucket seats go up front for driver and passenger. This package will be available from the start of the model year, Toyota said.
2. TRD Pro’s return
After its introduction in 2018, the Tundra TRD Sport package ($4,220) returns as an upgrade over the SR5 for 2019. This package brings in LED lighting, 20-inch wheels, TRD Bilstein shocks, and a TRD anti-sway bar. A TRD Off-Road package ($2,970) will also be available.
However, the bigger news is the return of the range-topping TRO Pro ($49,645) for the upcoming model year. Right away, you’ll notice the new hood scoop, LED lights, and Toyota badging on the grille. Meanwhile, new 18-inch aluminium wheels in satin black add style and reduce weight by over 13 lbs.
On the performance front, TRD Pro will have new 2.5-inch Fox shocks that deliver an extra 2 inches of lift up front. (Front-wheel travel increases 1.5 inches). In the back, 2.5-inch Fox internal bypass shocks also increase the rear-wheel travel by over 2 inches.
A one-quarter-inch TRD Pro skid plate, black chrome dual exhaust, special badging, and interior details are a few of the style upgrades involved. This model comes only as a CrewMax with the option of Super White, Midnight Black Metallic, and or the TRD-exclusive Voodoo Blue.
3. Interior and safety tech
Inside the cabin, Tundra SR ($34,470) buyers get the Entune Audio system with 6.1-inch touchscreen. Hands-free phone, AM-FM radio, and a CD player also come with the base model. SR5 and higher models get Entune Audio Plus with a 7-inch touchscreen, navigation, and Sirius XM entertainment.
In the TRD Pro and Limited ($43,735) model, Entune Premium Audio with navigation, iPod connectivity, and HD Radio enter the picture. Platinum ($50,430) and 1794 Editions ($50,430) get a Entune Premium with a 12-speaker JBL sound system.
On the safety front, every 2019 Tundra gets the Toyota Safety Sense-P suite. That guarantees a pre-Collision system with Pedestrian Detection, lane-departure alerts, dynamic-radar cruise control, and auto high beams. The pedestrian-detection function prompts brake-assist features when danger is recognized.
4. Fuel economy and safety ratings
While the Tundra has excellent advanced safety tech in place for 2019, its overall structure shows its age. In the last round of IIHS crash tests, it scored a “marginal” rating for small overlap driver-side crashes and headlights as well as “average” for roof strength.
As for fuel economy, the 4.6-liter V8 has the top rating at 16 mpg combined with four-wheel drive. The 5.7-liter models get either 15 mpg (two-wheel drive) or 14 mpg (four-wheel drive).
As of mid-November, the 2019 Tundra was already shipping to Toyota dealerships.