Around since 2006, the Tundra didn’t change all that much throughout the years. While most of its rivals went through a model refresh, the Tundra still uses the same platform, and technology, used on the truck released more than a decade ago. This is not as bad as it sounds, but it means the Tundra can’t really offer what its rivals do. Most of us expected a major upgrade with the 2018 model while the Tundra forums did suggest a major redesign.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Instead, the 2018 Toyota Tundra refresh is just that, a refresh and nothing more. Toyota added a new trim level and a revised front end, but that’s about it. The truck still gets the same engines as before, the same running gear and mostly the same interior.
It also happens to be one of the more expensive trucks in its class which doesn’t aid its cause. While sales were rising ever since 2011, in 2016 Toyota saw the first dip in sales which will likely increase even more for 2017. This downward trend will likely not increase until the truck’s redesign will be released, and so far this still seems quite far away.
It it still worth it?
Even though it is quite old, there are still people buying the truck. Why? Well, the Tundra remains one of the most reliable full-size trucks around. It also offers unique features which are otherwise unavailable on some of its rivals and it looks on par with the best in its class. The price hasn’t been announced so far, but it seems the base truck will still cost roughly the same. The new trim level is part of the TRD family of cars and trucks.
The TRD Sport has nothing to do with the off-road lineup. Instead, it is meant as a higher performance on-road truck than before which should handle better and also offer better off-road capabilities than the regular truck. The price for this will likely be right in the middle of the range, especially since it won’t offer all that many luxury features.
2018 Toyota Tundra Refresh
The TRD Sport
This is probably the largest change for the 2018 Toyota Tundra refresh. The trim level is mostly an aesthetic package with a few upgrades to the truck’s running gear. Regarding looks, the package will add new LED headlights with a black interior and smoked glass, smoked exterior inserts such as the grille, the window details, and even the wheels. The package also brings color-coded mirrors and hood-scoop and 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels in a dark silver color.
With this version of the truck, the buyer will be able to choose from five different colors for the exterior. Inside the cabin though things are pretty dull mostly because the only change is a TRD badge on the shift knob and that is it. We did hope for something a bit more special, but it seems that it won’t happen.
Luckily though the TRD Sports package doesn’t leave the truck’s mechanical part unchanged. Its running gear gets a new set of Bilstein shocks, different spring rates and also new front and rear TRD sway-bars. These are meant to reduce the body roll to a minimum and make the large Tundra drive a lot like a sports truck.
The off-road capabilities won’t be affected by these, but the all-season tires won’t be suitable for nothing more than unpaved roads. Over all of these upgrades, all of the truck’s versions get a new front grille and a revised set of wheels which should make it look a bit more up to date.
New safety features and old engines?
Unfortunately, the 2018 Toyota Tundra refresh still gets the same engines as before. While the base model gets a rather old 4.6 liter V8 with 310 horsepower, the higher end versions get a larger offering. The 5.7 liter naturally aspirated V8 proved to be one of the most reliable truck engines to date. Its 381 horsepower output will remain unchanged.
However, all models will come with new safety features as standard. Things such as a lane departure warning system, a pre-collision system with automatic braking and even automatic high beams are all going to be on the base trim level which is actually quite impressive.