5 Things You Need to Know About 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

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After driving the 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro around for a week, I came across several surprises. Here are my top 5.


It is hard NOT to have a good time with this truck.

1. Ride Quality Was Better Than Expected

Before I get a lot of hate mail, let’s all acknowledge, the Toyota Tundra does NOT have the same ride quality of its competitors. Deal breaker? Nope. Just a fact.


This truck feels at home driving on dirt roads.

Now, with the 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, I assumed it would have a worse ride quality since it has a 2″ front lift, Bilstein TRD-tuned shocks and larger tires. However, in my opinion, it has a MUCH better ride quality than the stock Tundra on highways and city streets.

Part of the reason is the Bilstein shocks helped absorb some of pot holes and road imperfections. Another part is the new front springs that are meant to improve ride quality over harsh terrain. While we don’t consider a pot hole “harsh terrain,” we can say with certainty, the TRD Pro rode better.

Note on the tires. As many of you pointed out, the tires we received on our truck are not the stock 18″ black alloys. The ones our truck was equipped with are 17″ forged off-road beadlock style alloy wheels. They are from Toyota’s accessory catalog and you can read more about them here.

We contacted Toyota to find out what was going on and Rick Bourgoise from the Midwest Communications office told us these were put on when the truck was used at a recent Mudfest media event. The reason was the tired is a more better off-road tire with more traction.

Interestingly, this should mean it rode worse since off-road tires are normally notorious for having a bumpy ride. Yet, we found it better than the stock trucks we have driven.

2. Fuel Economy Is Becoming An Issue

During my week of driving, I took a 380 mile road trip to Mt. Rushmore with the family. This was a good way to gauge many things about the truck like ride comfort, fuel economy, storage and off-road worthiness with many trails and mountain, dirt roads in the area (we will get to these items later). Overall, one item definitely stood out to me – fuel economy.

Now, we all know the Toyota Tundra isn’t going to win any fuel economy contests and this is especially the case with the off-road version. Yet, I averaged 13 MPG for the entire trip which just isn’t good. Back a few years ago, we might have brushed off the notion of poor fuel economy with a “who cares” point of view. Yet, that ship has sailed. In today’s marketplace, truck fuel economy, whether it is an off-road truck or not, is a big selling feature.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting Toyota should go all aluminum, use a turbo-charged engine or develop a hybrid truck. I am simply stating, there is room for improvement.

3. TRD Dual Exhaust Worth The Money

Before driving the Tundra TRD Pro, I didn’t think much about exhaust noise. I’ve driven a lot of different vehicles and 99 percent of them had stock exhausts. I was of the mind-set if you had a hot-rod or muscle car then an aftermarket exhaust is a must. For all others, it doesn’t really matter. I’m happy to say I am wrong.


The deep, rich throaty exhaust sound forever changed my view on what a truck SHOULD sound like.

The TRD dual exhaust setup changes this truck more than I would have assumed. Before, I thought the stock truck had a smooth exhaust sound, I see it could be so much more. From the throaty roar when stepped on the gas to the quiet rumble sitting at idle, the exhaust sound is a big improvement.

The sound is so rich and throaty, it lead my wife to question if we were driving in a diesel. It just has that same sound to it.

4. Stance and Inferno Color Make a Difference

Exterior collageWhen Toyota unveiled the latest generation of the Tundra, they talked about creating a truck with a bold, strong look. While the stock Tundra certainly has some of this desired goal with its large grille and presence, the TRD Pro takes it to another level.

Starting with the stance, the additional lift in the front really does create a very bold truck and helps level out the truck. I had never really noticed before how much rake the current truck has until I got into the TRD Pro.

While sure it is mostly aesthetics, it did alter my feeling when driving the truck. It really reminds me of a larger 3/4-ton truck than a half-ton with its higher stance and driving sitting position.

Even though, I am still not a huge fan of the Inferno color, I will say it definitely turns heads and grabs your attention. It is such a departure from stock black, white, red or blue colors found on most vehicles that you spend more time looking at it. I also found this color, combined with the stance and unique TUNDRA grille had many fans among the younger men. Quite often, I would be stopped or driving and could see others spying the truck.
Interior Photo Collage
Also, the blacked out badges and interior treatments help distinguish the truck far more than I would have assumed.

Overall, the designers did a great job blending items together to create a unique product.

5. Off-Road Beast

IMG_4361_550Lastly, how can you not talk about its off-road prowess?!? This truck has the power, off-road suspension and clearance to tackle a variety of terrain. While, I didn’t Baja the truck (no areas I could do so) and can’t speak to the increased wheel travel, I can speak glowing on how it handles dirt and hilly terrain.

While in South Dakota, we traversed many dirt roads, trails and one long span of dirt county road at speeds I may not have been so comfortable with in other vehicles. In all cases, the TRD Pro smoothed out the dirt roads and terrain to make it almost indistinguishable to pavement (or oil road as the locals call it). The responsiveness of the Bilstein shocks were incredible and never once did they fatigue.

While on one such dirt road in South Dakota, the reason for buying this truck became clear. We had come around a narrow turn with a nearly washed out dirt road leading upwards to some cabins when a stock half-ton Chevy drove by. I was forced to pull over to watch him pass and noticed how much his truck bucked on the washboard roads and the rear-end slid a bit with the water. Looking for a good comparison, I hit the same stretch of road he had just passed. The Tundra had none of those problems. It was then that it hit me. That guy needs this TRD Pro!

Filed Under: Toyota Tundra Reviews and Comparisons


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  1. Bryan says:

    Well i guess im going to have to be leveling my 2015 TRD if you said it makes that much difference.

    Never had a leveled one before

  2. Randy says:


    As always thanks for solid “balanced” review of the TRD Pro.

    No question the Tundra has the best ride quality and sheer control in this configuration compared to other “so-called” off road trucks.

    The three choices of suspensions and wheel-tire combinations, is something that most do not get, nor the significant benefits it brings to the table.

    The Ram Rebel for example is a poor copycat of the TRD Pro and yet you would not think so from the traditional automotive press.

    Even in mid-level TRD (no Pro) suspension the use of solid mono-tube shocks combined 18” wheels is something those with FX4 or Z71 simply miss out on. Those trucks will typically fishtail all over the place going straight down pot hole ridden roads and the Tundra just effortlessly glides through them in full control.


    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      I can’t honestly say whether it has the “best” ride quality over the other off-road trucks. I have never driven a Raptor and have yet to drive the Ram Rebel (I will next month). I’d really like to get my hands on a Raptor and see what the ride quality is like. Maybe I’ll get a chance when the next one comes to market.


  3. Hemi lol says:

    Great article! Since I have the suspension I already know how much of a difference it makes and its AWESOME! I totally agree the ride quality is WAY better but I do have to point out something about the MPG’s……

    1. the combo tire wheel on the truck you drove has 40lbs PER TIRE more weight changing the MPG’s

    2. the Tire that’s on that truck is 32.7 inches versus the 32.1 inches from the stock set. So at 60mph your going 61.2 and this also throws off the mpg calculations if you used the trucks computer.

    Since I have run quite a few different sets on my truck I can tell you this makes a HUGE difference. I have had the factory 20’s with Bridgestone Dualler HT Alenza (best mpg 32.1 inch tire) I have had 22″ XD monsters with 305/45/22 Nitto Terra Grapplers (the worst 32.8inch tire) and almost as bad the TRD Rock Warrior wheels (same as the truck above) which is a 285/70/17 BFG All Terrain TA KO (32.7 inch tire Load E 10 ply) and now I have the stock 20’s with 275/60/20 BFG All Terrain TA KO2’s (the new design 33.0 Inch Tire Load D 8ply)

    the 22’s have HUGE rolling weight and cause the worst MPG but the Rock warrior wheel and tire was right there with it. If you did that trip again with the black alloy and Michelin 275/65/18 that belongs on that truck it would be better for sure.

    Should they be ready to change something for better MPG yes a agree but don’t give it more of a black eye than it deserves LOL……..

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      Good points on the tires! I don’t disagree different types would yield better MPG. This is the reason why I didn’t “call them out” for terrible fuel economy. I merely stated the fuel economy is becoming an issue. I think it today’s competitive market, Toyota does need to make better fuel economy and bigger priority. They have done quite well with their QRD angle as well as having a strong styling. It is just getting to the point where the next “step” has to be a focus on fuel economy like in the Tacoma.


      • hemi lol says:


        I totally agree they need to work on it, they clearly have the technology now to surpass everyone its time they do it! my defense mechanism was working with the 13mpg comment since I regularly get more (when im driving nice) lol……

  4. DJ says:

    Good write up, Toyota did a great job with the TRD Pro suspensions.

    As I’ve been saying though, the drivetrain is painfully outdated. A bump in HP and especially MPG is LONG overdue, and I won’t consider buying another Tundra (had two) until they update the drivetrain.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      I agree. I do wonder what we will see next year. The timing seems about right for Toyota to offer a mid-cycle refresh at the next Detroit Auto Show for 2017 models. I could see them borrowing a lot of technology things from the new Tacoma. Yet, will they borrow the Atkinson cycle and improved transmission??? That is the big question.


  5. Anthony says:

    Too bad about the fuel economy … everything else about this truck seems awesome!

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