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Sunday Drive: Unleashing the brute – A weekend with the 2024 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

By Craig and Deanne Conover - | Apr 6, 2024
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Deanne stands in front of the Tundra TRD Pro on a bridge that we encountered on our way for a hike on the Wire Mesa, which proved to be a challenging day for us — but not for the Toyota, which got us there with ease.
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Inside the 2024 Toyota Tundra Platinum.
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Deanne with the Tundra at the trailhead for the Wire Mesa Trail. It was a great, warm afternoon.
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Inside the 2024 Toyota Tundra Platinum.
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Inside the 2024 Toyota Tundra Platinum.

In the world of pickup trucks, the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro stands tall as a formidable contender, boasting an impressive array of features that combine power, performance and ruggedness. Recently, we had the opportunity to take this brute of a truck on a journey from our home in Springville down to St. George, spending an extended weekend during which we delved into its capabilities both on and off the road.

Setting off in early March, late on a Thursday afternoon with the sun trying to warm the crisp air, we embarked on our adventure with the Tundra TRD Pro hoping for warmers climes and adventures over the next four days.

As we hit the freeway, the first thing that struck us was the commanding presence of the Tundra on the road. Its bold design and muscular stance did indeed have people taking a second look as we made our way southward.

One of the features that has impressed us the past couple of years as Toyota has made some basic changes to many of their vehicles in the powertrain department is the new way the Tundra is powered.

The engineers have chosen to go with an all-new “I-Force Max Twin Turbo V6 Hybrid” engine. This is a 24-volt system that has an electric motor/generator to help the V-6 engine. Together, they produce an awesome 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque.

One would think the smaller engine would lessen all of the important numbers from the previous V-8 set up; this, however, is not the case. The previous generation of Tundra clocked in at 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque.

The even larger question for us would be can it tow and perform as well as its V-8 predecessor? Yes, it does. The TRD Pro of old could manage up to 9,900 pounds of towing capacity; this year, that number leaps to 11,180 pounds!

As we cruised along Interstate 15, the Tundra’s smooth ride and refined cabin made the journey a comfortable one. The spacious interior offered plenty of room for both driver and passengers, along with our luggage and other essentials packed into the back seat, with luxurious touches and premium materials throughout.

Even during long stretches of highway driving, road noise was minimal, allowing us to enjoy the crisp sound system and connect seamlessly to our phones with the truck’s advanced infotainment system.

Featuring a huge 14-inch touch screen display, we agree that Toyota now leads the truck pack in the infotainment world. The huge maps and the fact that it wirelessly connected to our phones was a huge advantage when out on the road in unfamiliar territory.

Arriving in St. George late Thursday evening, we were eager to put the Tundra’s off-road capabilities to the test. Southern Utah is renowned for its rugged terrain and stunning natural beauty, making it the perfect playground for adventurous souls.

So the next morning, we set off. Our destination? The Wire Mesa Hiking Trail, a scenic route that winds its way through the breathtaking landscapes of a desert mesa with daunting views of Zion National Park.

Engaging the Tundra’s TRD Pro package, which includes specialized off-road suspension, skid plates and all-terrain tires, we tackled the challenging terrain to get there with confidence, climbing over 1,800 feet to arrive at the trailhead. The truck’s impressive ground clearance and four-wheel-drive system effortlessly conquered rocky inclines and sandy washes, ensuring a smooth and controlled ride even in the most demanding conditions.

As we ascended to the trailhead, the panoramic views of the surrounding red rock formations took our breath away. The Tundra’s high vantage point offered us a commanding perspective of the landscape, allowing us to truly appreciate the rugged beauty of Southern Utah. It was a reminder of the incredible versatility and capability of the Tundra TRD Pro, which seamlessly transitioned from highway cruiser to off-road conqueror with ease.

After a day of hiking and driving adventures, and enjoying temperatures over 60 degrees, we returned to St. George, exhilarated and impressed by the Tundra’s performance.

Saturday came with clouds covering the sky in Southern Utah, a wind whipping in from the south and temperatures dropping about 15 degrees from the previous day, so we spent the entire day in the Tundra.

With the change, we took the old road from St. George to Mesquite and were able to get in some more off-road adventure as we turned onto the Mohave Desert Joshua Tree Road. This route took us on a three-hour off-road adventure though some beautiful desert scenery and eventually connected back to old Highway 91 just outside of Beaver Dam, Arizona.

Having the Tundra TRD Pro along as our adventure vehicle proved invaluable and liberating, as is it seemed there was really nowhere we could have gotten too far off the beaten trail that this commanding 4×4 could not have handled.

As the cloud-covered sun dipped below the horizon on our last day in Dixie, we reflected on our journey so far with this remarkable truck. From its powerful engine to its rugged off-road prowess, the 2024 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro had exceeded our expectations in every way.

The 2024 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro proved to be a true standout in the world of pickup trucks. With its potent powertrain, luxurious interior and unbeatable off-road capabilities, it’s a vehicle that’s ready to tackle any adventure you throw its way. Whether navigating city streets or exploring remote wilderness trails, the Tundra TRD Pro is the perfect companion for those who demand the best in performance and versatility.

Base price: $72,130

Destination charge: $1,850

Price as driven: $74,295


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