• A Shocking Difference? Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the 2019 Toyota TRD Pro Trucks (Video)

    Toyota has revamped its TRD Pro lineup for 2019 with revised shocks and new accessories

    For those waiting in the wings for Toyota to revamp its TRD Pro lineup, your wait is over! The Toyota TRD Pro Tacoma, Tundra, and 4Runner were not drastically overhauled from the previous models, but there are some important changes to note. To that end, Andre was on hand at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show to ask the Design Engineering Manager to TRD Performance Parts, Jakin Wilson, about the upcoming changes. Here’s what we know:

    2019 Toyota TRD Pro lineup: 4Runner
    [Photo: Toyota]

    2019 Toyota TRD Pro Changes: 4Runner

    One of the biggest changes to the 4Runner for 2019, as with the rest of the 2019 Toyota TRD Pro lineup, is in the suspension. On the 4Runner, Toyota went from Bilsteins to 2.5″ internal bypass Fox shocks. The new shocks utilize a piggyback reservoir to house extra oil for improved cooling and to prevent shock fade.

    As with the previous generation, Toyota lifted the front end one inch over ordinary 4Runner models. Ground clearance and track width remain unchanged from the previous generation.

    2019 TRD Pro lineup: Tundra
    [Photo: Toyota]

    2019 Toyota TRD Pro Changes: Tundra

    Toyota’s bringing back the Tundra TRD Pro for the 2019 model year, after its omission from this model year. As with the 4Runner, there are big changes in the suspension. Again, you get 2.5-inch Fox shocks, but the Tundra has 2.5-inch piggyback reservoirs, more bypass zones. TRD also tuned the Tundra’s suspension specifically to provide better damping performance, given its larger mass over the Tacoma and 4Runner.

    The 2019 Tundra TRD Pro features bespoke rear leaf springs, and its also rolling on some new forged wheels. TRD was able to save 3 pounds per wheel with the new design. Fitted on those wheels are Michelin LTX All-Terrain tires, and each TRD Pro model uses different tires.

    2019 Toyota TRD Pro lineup: Tacoma
    [Photo: Toyota]

    2019 Toyota TRD Pro Changes: Tacoma

    The Tacoma has a unique change over the other two TRD Pro models: its Desert Air Intake. No, it’s not a snorkel, despite its appearance. At least, Toyota doesn’t recommend a greater fording depth for the 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro than they did before. Rather, the Tacoma’s bespoke air intake is meant to provide cleaner air during high-speed desert driving.

    In addition to the intake, there’s also Fox suspension, as well as a skid plate – traits that are shared among all 2019 Toyota TRD Pro models.

    Check back to TFLtruck.com for more updates! Subscribe to The Fast Lane Truck and TFLnow on YouTube for more news, views, and real-world reviews.



    Zach Butler
    Zach Butler is the Managing Editor for TFLcar.

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    105 thoughts on “A Shocking Difference? Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the 2019 Toyota TRD Pro Trucks (Video)

    1. So nice to see a manufacturer that cares enough about its customers to make their engines trustworthy.
      Even the snorkel will make this engine last longer–keeping the dust out of the engine.
      Not to mention the direct injection and port injection setup, and the oil bypass line that keeps the injectors from building up carbon.
      At the end of the day, you just want to get where you are going without a big expensive fuss.
      Makes me ashamed for car companies like Ford that just want to win ts customers by style and cabin tech.

      1. @Jeff Penn: It’s not a snorkel as stated in the article. And realistically, how many TRD Pro Tacoma owners are going to drive a Tacoma to the point of needing bespoke air intake? Already this a questionable addition because you and others are confusing it with a snorkel. To be honest, my first thought was a snorkel too.

        1. I know its not for water, that is why I said it is for keeping the air clean, and thus the engine in good condition for longer.
          That was my whole point, engine reliability.

          Learn how to read.

            1. Ever heard of the concept of context?
              Your below question about water in the air intake also shows you might not have much payload in the noggin.

          1. The snorkel is not going to prolog the life of the engine. If anything, it will prolong the life of the air filter. Doesn’t matter where the air is being sucked in from, it’s the same filter doing the cleaning and it’s that filter only that determines how much dirt gets through to the engine.

            1. You’ve got it right jerseydirt. Same air filter or equivalent just a different intake point. May make the air filters last marginally longer.

            2. And if an air filter is prolonged, the engine will be too.

              The difference between a Ford and a Toyota is that the Toyota can be abused and keep going.

              The Ford has to be meticulously maintained.

              And this is exactly why Ford mechanics like you like Fords soooooooooooo much.

              Always follow the money and take into consideration Brewhaha’s vested interest.

            3. Ummm actually the dirtier an air filter gets the better it filters, just less airflow.
              Too bad your just an ignorant Toyota fanboy Hal. I’ve probably owned as many Toyotas as you but I work on just as many of them as anything else.

            4. Well at least I have some real world experience with said vehicles and don’t just base my opinion off of a motor trend article

            5. I have plenty of real world experience.

              But I rely on independent testers that I can quote to back up my real world experience, rather than my emotional need to keep those dirty little mechanic secrets.

              “actually the dirtier an air filter gets the better it filters.”


              I’m never taking my truck to James Peterson(Brewhaha) in Wyoming!

        1. Toyota/Lexus developed dual direct and port injection systems many years before Ford and also added an oil bypass to increase longevity.

          Ford was way behind and still is very slow on making an oil bypass.

          So you are the kind of fan boy that doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

          I am not a fan boy, I just state the facts.

          1. Way behind… more like a year and a half. That has more to do with when Ford chooses to introduce powertrain changes, which is generally a mid cycle action.

            When Toyota can build a truck with the same amount of technology through out each major vehicle systems, and at the volume Ford does. Then you can maybe say there behind.

            Right now when it comes to trucks Toyota is the one who is behind.

            The all toyotas body on frame vehucles are dinosaurs. The tundra will he eclipsed from of terminology atand point by every manufacturer next near. When the new Ram and Silverado hit the streets, even the Titan offers more…

      2. Odd that you mention Ford, sounds more like Ram.

        But simce we are talking about offroad variants, the F150 Raptor is has both style and tech in the cabin, along with a chassis and powertrain unmatched by any other vehicle on the market.

      1. If you combine both J.D. power and Consumer Reports dependability and reliability ratings you get this list:

        So if both have some relevance, here are the brands that are in the top 10 in both surveys in order of what average rank place would be (no calculation of actual number of problems in the surveys, since JDP uses PP100 and CR uses % better than or worse than average):

        1. Lexus (1 JDP, 2 CR)
        2. Kia (5 JDP, 3 CR)
        3. Toyota (9 JDP, 1 CR)
        4. Buick (tie) (3 JDP, 8 CR)
        5. Infiniti (tie) (4 JDP, 7 CR)
        6. BMW (8 JDP, 5 CR)
        7. Hyundai (7 JDP, 10 CR)

        1. @Mel: That’s for the manufacturer. I have two completely different experiences for two Toyota vehicles, ’11 Tundra and ’12 Highlander, both with a sticker price of $37K. The Tundra, can be accurately described as Repair/Repeat and the Highland, oozing with QDR.

        2. Kia #2 hahahahaha. By showing this you’ve lost ALL credibility. Kias are nice off the lot until they get over 50k and then they fall apart. Not ti mention the fact parts are WAAAYY harder to get then most everything else

          1. Bewhaha – – –

            BR: “Kias are nice off the lot until they get over 50k and then they fall apart.”

            I think we could enlarge that to: “xxxx’s are nice off the lot until they get over 50k and then they fall apart.” A lot of vehicles may share that dubious honor with Kia.

            And that is the Achilles Heel of both the JD Power and CR surveys. JDP only checks on initial quality of gadgets; CR records anything that causes a repair issue, whether important or expensive or not. Take a look at #6 in Mel’s** list: BMW. I had two: both were reliable for all of 4 years, then WATCH OUT; The steering rack went out in one ($2500), and the ECU failed in the other ($4000). I’d never get another BMW. Yet, if you look at the JDP/CR rankings for Ram trucks***, you’d think they could barely make it out of the showroom: I’ve had three, and yes, there were some goofy minor defect/repair things, but in terms of long-term reliability, I got 22 years 200K miles out of the first 2, with not more than $1000 of total unexpected repairs in each over 22 years!

            So, what we need (IMO) is:
            a) Analysis on repair frequency between 5 and 15 years of ownership;
            b) Total cost of repairs in that same period of time.

            (I chose 5 years to get over the 3-year Warranty hump; and 15 years as the average period of truck ownership.)

            So, how do we reliably, credibly get those data?

            ** Good job, Mel: that took a bit of work!
            *** Or Ford or Chevy


    2. Once again, the Tundra TRD Pro does not get a locker. Of course there will be an argument that it’s not needed, but the Tacoma can be had with one. Go figure.

      1. Personal experience does not trump the personal experience of millions of people.
        If your life’s purpose is to take on Toyota/Lexus on longevity, I’m sorry to say your life has no purpose.

        1. @Mel: I never claimed there was a problem with Lexus or all Toyota vehicles. And it’s not my life’s purpose. Where do you get that from? Because I’m critical of Toyota trucks? If I were a drunken fan boy, would you like my life still has no purpose?

        2. @Mel: For the record, I made multiple efforts with Toyota to resolve my unpleasant ownership experience. The initial offer I made was “you buy back my Tundra, I’ll by another one”.
          Unfortunately for both of us, there was no deal.

          1. I’ve owned multiple Toyotas. Haven’t had a ton of problems with them but I don’t feel like their quality is any better than the big 3 anymore. Had a 13 Tacoma, nice truck but felt cheep inside and had several trips to the dealer for repairs and got really crappy mileage. Currently have an 11 Highlander and while its a nice comfortable vehicle its rear main seal is leaking and will have to be replaced and its only got 49k on it. Sorry I’ll take my Ford any day of the week over a Toyota product.

      2. Yeah, the fact that there is no locker is inexcusable?

        It really proves the point that they -Toyota do not have any Engineering budget left on this platform of the Tundra, only Marketing Budget!

        1. Thank you for the objective and thoughtful post. You are correct. The platform(s) is(are) reaching the end of life. Toyota is doing the same type things that the big 3 have done at this position of the life cycle. Changing the shocks and adding a desert air intake were fairly routine and inexpensive engineering exercises.

          1. Toyota, or any other manufacturer, will not drop significant money to update any product that is at the end of its lifecycle. This time next year we will see an all new 4Runner and Tundra. They are doing just like every other manufacturer and doing what they can to keep an end if lifecycle product as relevant as possible.

    3. If that “new” tacoma was designed with desert running in mind I would guess they don’t intend to sell a lot of them. What happens in rainy climates when one drives through a heavy rainstorm and water enters the high altitude air intake?

      1. @Joe: I’ll speculate: time was needed to work with Fox to tune the shocks. Second, new supplier for shocks, from Bilstein to Fox. Third, a bit of retooling for the assembly line?

    4. These changes are minimal at best but now that Toyota addressed the rear differential howling in the Taco, I’m a happy camper. The Tundra and 4Runner are great vehicles but are extremely dated and in need of a real redesign.

        1. I posted it on another forum. It depends on long vs short bed. Basically it’s a resonance issue and I tend to agree because the howling doesn’t get any louder. I’ve had a rear diff grenade on me before (many years ago – Chevy, btw) and it got progressively louder until it seized. Google Toyota Tacoma TSB-0013-18. Early reports say the noise is no longer recognizable.

          1. @Moondog: Thanks. My former ’11 Tundra had a resonating sound, but only during very specific conditions, temp and speed. I never had it addressed and summed it up to frame/rear end/component interaction science thingy.

            1. As long as the noise goes away AND there is nothing actually wrong with the differential, I’m happy. Noise is a tough to nail down gremlin.

    5. Moondog, my friend i’m glad to hear you say that toyota is addressing the howling rear problem. I hadn’t heard anything about it myself. Can you fill the rest of us in on what they are doing to help folks like you out. I bet your happy!

      1. @Dan, See my response to NOQDR above. It’s a resonance issue and the fix depends on long vs short bed. TSB-0013-18 if I recall correctly. This is my only complaint about my third gen. This has been a great truck that is far more refined and quieter than my previous Tacos. I’m happy. Like anyone I’d take more power and would do some things differently if I was in charge but I don’t drag race my trucks. I have cars for that. :). Hope you are well, my friend.

        1. Is it related to the driveshaft length? I know F150s will have either a single or two piece driveshaft depending on the wheelbase. Trucks with the longer wheel base and 2 piece driveshaft had more issues with axle wrap.

            1. @Jay, I will say the second gen Tacos had some issues with the longer WB and 2 piece driveshafts but mostly in the form of vibration.

    6. @Jeff Penn: It’s a bespoken air cleaner, not a snorkel.

      “So nice to see a manufacturer that cares enough about its customers to make their engines trustworthy.”
      * Google search “Toyota Sludge”
      * Remember the recent frame rust settlement for the Tacoma, Sequoia and Tundra?

      So, is Toyota any more trustworthy?

    7. I have 3k miles on my 2017 Tundra. The cone shaped gear spiget for the windshield wiper must have shrunk at -40 this winter and stripped the winshield wipers female gears. When a cone shape shinks the bolt that keeps it compressed is no longer tight which caused it to become loose and strip. I tighted the bolt and its working under compression bu the gear is still stripped. Had a bad ticking in the engine that has settled down to barely noticeable now. Not worth wasting my time bringing it in as I know its not bad enough that they will warranty it. Other than that my Tacoma I had for 3 years in 2014 had just one sensor problem coming out of a warm garage into cold weather that took them 3 months to fix. Happened to both 2015 Tacomas I had. But that is small compared to my friends and family who own other brands.

      All in all Toyota has a good product but as I have said and I think a lot agree that boredom has set in. Hopefully Toyota builds something more modern at some point. The midsize is also very underpowered. And no option for AWD is a big mistake, I wanted to get away from Toyota for that reason when I bought the Tundra. Still regretting it a bit. If that Jeep pick up comes with a V8 and a decent sized box I might make a move.

      1. @Rambro: It would be in your best interest to get the ticking documented should it return.
        As for the cone gear thing; it’ll get worse or fail should the wiper have to move heavy wet snow. That should be covered under the bumper to bumper warranty.

    8. Desert Air Intake.That’s what it is. Completely useless on dusty, forestry road, where I am driving and fine dust goes 30′ high. I would say, it’s even worse for this conditions, because it’s going to pick all of it facing forward.
      Terrible gimmick Toyota came up with in my point of view.
      I can’t wait for people to drown many Toyotas, thinking they have a snorkel , like first comment suggests.

      1. Zviera – – –

        Z: “Terrible gimmick Toyota came up with in my point of view.”

        Yeah. I agree. This “Black Tube Thing” was somebody’s marketing brainstorm that is turning out to be an “appearance” package only, in real use.
        (“I’m real macho: look at me and my desert blaster!”)
        1) Can’t use it for really dusty trails for the reasons you mentioned (It takes an oil-bath air cleaner, or Semi-canister to handle those conditions properly).
        2) Can’t use it for water fording, unlike all the other such attachments that ARE meant for snorkel applications! And that brings up really embarrassing questions: if Toyota went thought all the development to put out this accessory, why not go the extra 10% and make it waterproof for snorkel applications? And if it’s NOT waterproof, does that mean that micro-dust (smaller than water droplets) can find its way into the system anyway??

        Whom does Toyota think they are fooling?


    9. Hey, Andre, did Toyota switch to an an all wheel disc set up on the ’19 Taco?, Or, is it still front disc, rear drum. Could you let me know? Thanks, and keep up the good work!

        1. Moondog – – –

          M: “Still drums in the rear.”

          I know I’m the “odd man out”, but I really like drum brakes. We inherited the disc brake craze from the sports-car racing era, so now everyone’s got them, and customers think they actually need them.
          With modern technology and brake materials, there is no reason why “shoes” can’t work almost as well as disc pads, while being less expensive, simpler, longer lasting, and lighter, — and more protecting of the brake-contact zone from dust and stones (but not seeping mud.)


          1. Bernie, I like drums as well. It’s great to run one to 150K miles or more and still not have to replace the rear brakes. If done right, and Toyota has set the drums on the Taco up right, they perform well. The Taco has class leading brakes. I know that discs perform better in most applications but they don’t last as long.

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    11. To me, the Toyota brand is extremely boring, and I’m sure the product is decent. I could not get excited about the 2017 Tacoma I test drove, still felt dated. The dealership was pushing hard for me to purchase, but I’m the one that would have to live with it, not them. I gave them critiques on the powertrain when they asked what I thought. They made it seem like I was offending them. I am 100% sure they sold the one I test drove, but I wasn’t their buyer.

      1. @Lloyd: Regarding the lack of a locker for the Tundra: MS claims there’s not enough demand for this feature. My source is the AutoGuide interview MS participated in. Here’s a link to the youtube video:


        Shortly after the video starts, there’s menu at the top; click on limited slip/downhill descent to jump ahead to the segment for the topic.

        1. I guess they could say not enough demand but if you’re not listening to your customers, how would you know? I can guarantee you that virtually no one requested that snorkel thing, or whatever it truly is. This was a relatively cheap add on in hopes of making it look cool for the mall queens. Epic fail.

    12. Tundra still gets BS Michelin tires. Michelin is fine but the tire type and size are crap for an off-road truck. At least slap some Nitto G2 or other all terrain and slightly larger too like 33s or something. Disappointing to get a truck with 2.5″ remote res suspension and get normal tires found on other stock tundras.

      1. The Michelin tires are fantastic street tires but terrible off road. I agree with you. This has always been an issue with Toyota for as long as I can remember. They make a very capable truck and then slap street tires on it. I remember the awful Dunlop’s back in the day. Just because a tires says AT doesn’t necessarily mean it is, practically speaking. This year Duratracs are an optional tire for the Taco but it should be standard on the OR and Pro. I suspect the next gen Tundra will have some much needed improvements but they shouldn’t call anything a Pro unless it has at least rear lockers.

          1. Any time I hear anything that says more than 1 piece bumper, I cringe. I hate some of these new bumpers. The rear bumper of the Taco is a joke. I plan on replacing mine with an aftermarket one.

            1. @Moondog: There was a “message” in my response, not intended to insult you by any means. My point being MS added the three piece bumper, but a common gripe of some Tundra owners was the missing option of a rear locker. I’ve never seen a request for a three piece bumper when I was active on a couple of Tundra forums. Another mystery I guess.

            2. Zman if you saw what was underneath the side panels (rear bumper caps) on the rear bumper you would laugh at first and then, as a truck guy, get upset. There really isn’t anything but two plastic rear bumper caps with nothing under them. So, there is no rear bumper to speak of, especially for the select few that don’t have a towing package (I do). Toyota really screwed up here.

          2. NoQDR, I got the message about the rear locker. Toyota won’t add anything like that late in the production cycle. In fact, no manufacturer will. It’s easy to change a bumper but not so much for something like a rear locker. But, as I’ve said time and time, nothing should wear the Pro badge unless it has at least a rear locker. I will say that my Taco is a mountain goat off road. I’ve yet to have to use my rear locker. I used it on previous ones just for the heck of it but I haven’t needed it yet and my hunting land has some hairy places after it rains.

      1. Moondog, sorry for the delayed responce! I just happened to remember my question to you this morning after seeing the article about the tundra on Gold Mine Hill. Real glad to here that your “howling problem” is do to resonance and not a major mechanical problem. Now it will be much easier to live with. This reminds of the 1964 “whistling fords”. Your are probably ( hopefully) to young to remember, but the 1964 fords would make a whistling sound as they drove down the road. It was so distinctive that you knew one was coming from a distance of over 100 yards away without even looking up. That was a resonance thing as well. Other than that, those were great cars. As a matter of fact, one of my customers owned one for many years and he always said it was the best car he had ever owned. Whistle and all! Yes, my family has enjoyed good health this winter, thanks! Here’s hoping you and your wife enjoy a better year. I do think about you two often.

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