More sport & added safety for Toyota’s aging Tundra

The current Toyota Tundra has been around since 2007 and has undergone only one update in the last decade. It was the 2014 model year that brought the upgraded styling and improved interior. Aside from that, the truck remains the oldest full-size pickup in the American market. Thankfully Toyota is giving the Tundra some attention for the 2018 model year, adding both new active safety systems and a new trim level – the TRD Sport.

These updates are a drop in the bucket compared to a full-scale update, but they certainly help keep the Tundra (and the 2018 Sequoia, which shares the updates) trekking in modern times. Of course, the off-road-focused Tundra TRD Pro is a newer development, but aside from its suspension, its bones haven’t changed. And keep in mind the Tundra’s competition: the perpetually updated Ford F-150, the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, Ram 1500, and the all-new Nissan Titan.

Despite the updates for 2014, the Tundra continues to utilize the same underpinning from 2007. These include the C-channel frame, 5.7-liter i-Force V-8, and six-speed automatic transmission. Toyota Tundra head engineer Mike Swears says the 5.7-liter might not employ head-turning technology like turbocharging or cylinder deactivation, but the dual-overhead cam V-8 with variable valve timing is still an advanced engine with a clean reliability record. Reliability, after all, is what Toyota hangs its hat on.

So what are these changes all about? Keep reading for the full run-down.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Package.

What makes the Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Package special

2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Package - image 704894

The headlining update for 2018 is the addition of the TRD Sport trim package. The TRD Sport package can already be found on the mid-size Tacoma pickup. It represents the sportier side of TRD’s three-tier trim packages. There’s the street-smart TRD Sport, the off-road capable TRD Off-Road, and the highly capable off-road package, the TRD Pro. And like the Tacoma TRD Sport, the Tundra (and Sequoia) receives an updated suspension and trim-specific appearance add-ons.

The Tundra TRD Sport gets a unique, two-level grille color-keyed to match the body color. The bumpers and side mirror caps are also color matched, giving the truck a monochromatic theme. A non-functional hood scoop and updated headlights round out the exterior updates. Those headlights now feature LED technology with LED daytime running lights. The fog lights are also LEDs. Furthermore, the TRD Sport adds 20-inch alloy wheels and the LED fog lights. Things inside change even less, with the only additions being a TRD-branded gear shifter and TRD Sport-branded floor mats.

2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Package - image 704891
2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Package - image 704892
"The Tundra TRD Sport gets a unique, two-level grille color-keyed to match the body color. The bumpers and side mirror caps are also color matched, giving the truck a monochromatic theme."

Mechanical changes also make their way onto the Tundra by checking the TRD Sport option box. TRD-branded and sport-tuned Bilstein shock absorbers are mounted at each corner for an improved on-road feel. Thicker TRD-branded anti-sway bars are bolted on at both front and rear ends. Otherwise, the independent front suspension and leaf spring rear suspension remain unchanged.

2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Package - image 704896

Also unchanged is the 5.7-liter i-Force V-8. It continues to produce a respectable 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is standard equipment, while an electronically controlled, two-speed transfer case is optional. The 4WD system also includes Toyota’s A-TRAC system, which uses the brakes as a substitute for a locking differential. A-TRAC keeps wheel spin to a minimum by applying the brakes to wheels with no traction, forcing torque to the wheels with traction.

Subjectively, I’ve found the 5.7-liter V-8 to be a sweet engine that’s best paired with the optional TRD cat-back exhaust system. A throaty roar accompanies generous amounts of acceleration. Fuel economy is the V-8’s biggest downfall. In a Tundra Crew Cab with RWD, the truck only earns an EPA-estimated 13 mpg city, 18 mpg highway, and 15 mpg combined.

2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Package - image 704895
"Toyota is on a quest to add its suite of active safety systems to its full vehicle lineup."

Toyota is on a quest to add its suite of active safety systems to its full vehicle lineup. Called the Toyota Safety Sense-P, or TSS-P, the suite includes Pre-Collision System with automatic emergency braking; Lane Departure Alert; Automatic High Beams; Pre-Collision with Pedestrian Detection Function; and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. TSS-P comes standard on all but the base trim levels of most of its models, including the Tundra.

These active systems will likely garner attention from customers, but the Tundra still falls short in crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The truck scores a Marginal in the IIHS’ small-overlap front crash test and an Acceptable in roof strength. Its rear child seat LATCH system only scored a Marginal for ease-of-use, and its headlights scored a Poor in the IIHS’ new headlight evaluations for 2017. The Tundra does earn a Good rating in the Moderate-overlap, side impact, and head restraints and seating tests. The Tundra does not earn a Top Safety Pick award for 2017 and that won’t change until Toyota updates the Tundra’s structure to accommodate for the small-overlap crash test and reinforce the roof structure. It will be interesting to see how the Tundra’s new headlights fair is the IIHS’ new headlight evaluations.

But safety ratings aren’t what the 2018 updates are about. Rather, the Tundra is now a more appealing truck for those who want a “custom” truck with better on-road handling and who appreciate a helping from modern active safety equipment.

The TSS-P system will come standard on most Tundra trim levels, while updated grilles and the new headlights are seen on the Limited and 1794 Editions. The headlights will also be available on the SR5 trim when paired with the TRD Off-Road package.

Toyota has not released pricing for the 2018 Tundra, but we suspect only a slight increase over the 2017 model year. Prices currently range from around $30,000 to upwards of $50,000.

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Press Release

Families on the go, TRD style! Toyota’s Tundra full-size pickup truck and Sequoia large SUV have long been ideal for adventuresome families in need of that unique combination of performance, utility, towing ability and comfort. For 2018, the experts at Toyota Racing Development (TRD) have developed the new TRD Sport grade for Tundra and Sequoia, offering active families an extra dose of sportier styling and performance for added fun and excitement on their next journey.

2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Package - image 704891

In addition to the new TRD Sport grades, Tundra and Sequoia will receive new styling, convenience and safety features for all 2018 models, including Toyota Safety Sense-P (TSS-P) as standard equipment.
Outdoor family fun isn’t exclusive to Toyota’s two largest truck and SUV models. For the 2018 model year, the popular RAV4 compact crossover adds a new Adventure grade for young families looking for fun in out-of-the-way places. Already a fun-to-drive crossover for young families with active lifestyles, the new RAV4 Adventure adds a sportier take-me-anywhere attitude for the weekend warrior.

2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Package - image 704892

Tundra TRD Sport
The new Tundra TRD Sport is available on 4x4 and 4x2 grades in CrewMax and Double Cab configurations and powered by the proven 381-horsepower 5.7-liter i-Force V8 engine. Driving performance will be enhanced with the addition of TRD Sport Tuned Bilstein Shocks and TRD front and rear anti-sway bars. Key exterior features for the TRD Sport include:

Color-keyed mirrors, front and rear bumpers
Color-keyed hood scoop
20-inch alloy silver sport wheels
LED Headlights with smoked chrome bezel, Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and LED Fog Lights
Mesh grille with body color surround
TRD Sport bedside graphic

Exterior colors for the TRD Sport will include Super White, Magnetic Gray, Midnight Black Pearl, Blazing Blue Pearl and Barcelona Red Metallic.

The exterior styling is complemented with interior features that include a TRD shift knob and TRD Sport floor mats.

2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Package - image 704895

The TRD Sport is just part of an overall refresh for the 2018 Tundra. Safety will be enhanced on all Tundra models with the addition of Toyota Safety Sense™ (TSS-P) as standard equipment. This multi-feature advanced active safety suite bundles a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Auto High Beams (AHB) and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). Drivers can view the status of TSS-P through an upgraded Multi-information Display.

The 2018 Tundra will receive exterior updates that include a new mesh grille on select trims while the Tundra Limited and 1794 Edition will receive a new billet style grille. The Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition will be equipped with new LED Headlights and Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and LED Fog Lights. LED headlights and Fog Lights are also available when the TRD Off-Road Package is selected on SR5 models. The SR and SR5 grades will receive halogen headlights with a black bezel and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL).

2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Package - image 704896

Sequoia TRD Sport
The brawny 2018 Sequoia TRD Sport will be available in 4x4 and 4x2 models equipped with the 5.7-liter i-Force V8 engine. Road handling is enhanced with TRD Sport Tuned Bilstein Shocks and TRD front and rear anti-sway bars. Key exterior features on the Sequoia TRD Sport will include:

New front grille and bumper grille insert
Metallic black mirror caps
20-inch alloy black sport wheels
Darkened rear tail light housing
Black satin finish TRD Sport badging on the front doors and a Metallic black and chrome Sequoia badge on the liftgate

Exterior colors for the Sequoia TRD Sport will include Super White, Magnetic Gray Metallic, and the new Midnight Black Metallic. The stylish exterior treatment will be complemented by an assortment of interior convenience features exclusive to the Sequoia TRD Sport including:

Standard black fabric seven-passenger seating
Optional Black leather captain chair seats (part of the optional Premium Package)
TRD shift knob
TRD Sport floor mats
TRD Sport sill protectors

In addition to the TRD Sport, Sequoia will be available in SR5, Limited and Platinum grades in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations. All will be powered by the i-Force V8 engine. Like Tundra, the 2018 Sequoia will raise the bar in the area of safety as TSS-P will be standard on all models (includes PCS w/PD, LDA, AHB, and DRCC).

All Sequoia models will also come standard with new LED headlights with LED DRL, and LED fog lights. Additional exterior updates include a new front grille and bumper grille insert, distinctive to each grade. A bumper opening chrome surround will be equipped on TRD Sport, Limited and Platinum grades.

The 2018 Sequoia will be available in eight exterior colors including three new colors: Midnight Black Metallic, Shoreline Blue Pearl and Toasted Walnut Pearl. Additional colors include: Super White, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Silver Sky Metallic, Blizzard Pearl, and Sizzling Crimson.

Inside, all Sequoia models will come standard with a new instrumentation panel gauge cluster and 4.2-inch Multi-information Display (MID) that tracks the status of TSS-P. Also new are an updated center speaker grille smoothed to the surrounding dashboard and interior trim with wood-like accents for Platinum grade.

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