Toyota is a relatively small-time player in a full-size pickup market dominated by domestic brands, but this Japanese company is making an effort to keep its Tundra fresh with a 2018 update that brings styling tweaks, more standard active safety features and a new TRD Sport trim level.
The TRD Sport is mostly a cosmetic package that brings colour-keyed bumpers, mirrors and hood scoop, 20-inch silver wheels, LED headlights, fog lights and a mesh grille, but it does include Bilstein shocks and sway bars from the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) parts catalog. This new trim is sort of a low-calorie variation on the TRD Pro model, which boasts shocks with remote reservoirs and underbody skid plates.
All Tundra models gain Toyota's Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite of active safety kit, which comprises pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, lane departure alert, automatic high beams and radar cruise control.
Various Tundra trims also get cosmetic updates: Some trims get a new mesh grille, while Limited and 1794 edition models will sport a billet-style grille. Limited, Platinum and 1794 models will get the TRD Sport's LED headlights and LED fog lights, both of which now also come with the SR5's optional TRD Off-Road package.
The Tundra otherwise carries over from 2017, including under its hood, where you'll find power from a choice of V8 engines. The standard mill is a 4.6L that makes 310 hp and 327 lb-ft of torque, which can be optioned to a 5.7L good for 381 hp and 401 lb-ft. A six-speed automatic transmission gives up at least two ratios to Tundra's domestic-branded competitors.
Still, the Tundra will tow as much as 4,760 kg and carry as much as 800 kg of stuff in its bed. And like other big pickups, the Tundra comes with a choice of regular, double and Crew Max cabs and three box lengths whose availability depends on which cab size you choose.
While all Tundra models have a 6.1-inch infotainment touchscreen that can be upgraded to a 7.0-inch display with navigation, Toyota has yet to fit its largest truck with the latest toys, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration platforms.
All told, the 2018 update isn't much of an effort to keep up with the domestic trucks, which suggests Toyota is unwilling to invest too much in a pickup it knows will never truly compete with Ford, GM and Ram for sales supremacy.