Toyota TRD Pro

The outgoing second-gen Toyota Tundra underwent three facelifts during its 14-year production life from 2007 to 2021. Finally, in 2022, the all-new third-generation Toyota Tundra began rolling out of the assembly line at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in San Antonio, Texas. Bumper to bumper, the 2023 Toyota Tundra is a notably different beast from the outgoing model. 

Among the truck's evolution in styling, the most notable difference is the i-Force MAX 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid drivetrain.

This hybrid V6 engine packs a performance punch that rivals V8-powered full-size competitors with 437 horsepower and 583 lb.-ft of torque. Moreover, the Tundra's 360-view cameras, versatile interior layout, and satisfying performance made it a top candidate to be voted the Texas Off-Road Truck of Texas by the Texas Motor Press Association in 2022.

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TRD Pro and Sport Packages

Among the seven trim levels of the 2023 Toyota Tundra are the two TRD Performance packages. The TRD Pro and the TRD Sport offer a yin and yang choice for Tundra buyers on whether they want their truck to look and perform well off-road or on the streets.

The TRD Pro includes selectable 4-wheel drive, an electronic locking rear differential, and a 1.1-inch lift kit featuring FOX shocks as a mark of its off-road tuned suspension. In addition to 18-inch BBS forged aluminum wheels wrapped in Falken WILDPEAK all-terrain tires. Other upgrades include mudguards and a TRD-branded aluminum skid plate under the radiator.

TRD Pro models are also christened with a heritage-inspired Toyota front grille with embedded orange marker lights and LED light bar. In addition to a TRD Off-Road decal on the side of the truck's bed.

Inside, TRD Pro adds a JBL 12-speaker premium audio system and a Multi-Terrain Select (MTS) drive mode with a Crawl Control (CRAWL) feature. This driving aid works like an off-road cruise control allowing the truck to "crawl" over rugged terrain while the driver focuses on steering and braking input.  

In contrast, the $2,360 TRD Sport package lowers the Tundra's suspension featuring Bilstein shocks. It also includes 20-inch TRD Sport exclusive alloy wheels and a unique TRD grille. TRD Sport decal tells the world that it's been prepared from the factory. Inside, the sport package adds premium details to the interior, like a red ignition button, red TRD branded shift lever, and aluminum pedals. The steering wheel is also wrapped in leather.

Toyota's Twin-Turbocharged Hybrid V6 Engine

The new Toyota Tundra is currently the only full-size half-ton pickup truck without a V8 option. Instead, Toyota offers two variants of its 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 backed by a ten-speed automatic transmission. The standard engine produces a healthy range of 348 to 379 horsepower, depending on trim levels. Meanwhile, the Hybrid variant, dubbed the i-Force MAX produces a satisfying 437 horsepower and 583 lb.-ft of torque.

The secret to its power comes from an electric motor installed in the transmission's bell housing. Like a spotter helping a bodybuilder, the electric motor supports the engine's burden by sending additional power through the transmission. Powering the electric motor is a 288-volt sealed Nickel-metal Hydride battery located under the rear passenger seat.

Moreover, the Hybrid drivetrain earned an EPA-estimated combined 22 mpg, with 18 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. However, given its three-ton curb weight, real-world MPGs could be slightly lower. There is reason to doubt the Toyota Tundra Hybrid will pass gas stations as effortlessly as the Prius.

Compared to its V8-powered competitors, the 2023 Toyota Tundra falls short in payload and towing – but not by much. Nevertheless, the Tundra offers a max towing capacity of 12,000 pounds and a max payload of 1,940 pounds. For comparison, a Ford F-150 can tow up to 14,000 pounds.

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2023 Toyota Tundra's Trim Levels

The TRD Pro Hybrid rests near the top of the 2023 Toyota Tundra lineup and starts at $68,520. The seven available trim levels begin with the SR model at $36,965. For 2023, Toyota introduced an SX appearance package to the SR5 model with 18-inch wheels and black/grey trim for the exterior and interior. 

At the other end of the spectrum is the top-of-the-line Capstone edition with a starting price of $75,245. The Solar Octane painted TRD Pro Hybrid model featured in this article is priced at $69,315.

A significant difference in the interior between trim levels is the 14-inch center-mounted infotainment screen. Entry levels come with an 8-inch screen as standard. In addition, premium models include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Walnut wood interior accents are exclusive to the Texas-proud 1794 edition and top-tier Capstone Toyota Tundra.

 Among the array of trim levels, the 2023 Toyota Tundra is available in two body styles with three different cargo-bed lengths. The double cab (extended cab) can be optioned with a 6.5- or 8.1-foot-long trunk bed. In addition, the CrewMax (crew cab) models offer a 5.5- or 6.5-foot-long cargo bed.

A New but Familiar Alternative to the V8

The 2023 Toyota Tundra Hybrid is setting a new standard for full-size trucks. While electric pickup trucks are still a few years away from overtaking ICE, hybrids offer a suitable alternative. The i-Force MAX twin-turbo V6 engine provides the brawn and the brains for truck buyers who need a vehicle for work and play.