2019 Toyota Tundra SR5: The Unsuspecting Workhorse

A modestly equipped Toyota Tundra SR5 isn’t what we’d usually feature here at RealPoshCars.com but a weekend adventure gone bust allowed us to spend some quality time with the least suspecting American built truck on the marketplace today. We enlisted the talents of the Tundra for as many community outreach projects as we could in a short period of time. The optional plastic drop-in bed liner ($345.00) without the deck rail system was fantastic for the task of Adopt-a-Highway’s road cleanup program.

Surprisingly we missed the cancelation of the single cab Tundra, making this Double Cab with six and a half foot bed the shortest possible. An 8.1 foot bed is optional, and appears to make the truck approximately the same size as the Titanic. The double cab was a perfect size for short trips with four full sized gentleman, but I would be interested in exploring cavernous CrewMax for our needs. Rear seat accommodations are sparse, with forward center console cup holders and no center arm rest. Our test truck has the manual sliding rear glass, which was nice to include but difficult to open without climbing inside first.

Standard direct injection 4.6L V8 310hp 327 lb/ft of torque was adequate, but in hilly conditions it’s felt as if it was hunting for gears to maintain a constant speed. Payload in this configuration allowed for a maximum of 1,490lbs. If towing anything of significant heft consider the optional 5.7 V8.

Standard issue of Toyota Safety Sense is a great addition to an affordable full-sized pickup truck. Not a single competitor offers adaptive cruise control as standard, and a select few don’t offer it at all. We would ideally like to see full speed range ACC trickle into the Tundra, but available from 20mph was fine. The lane departure warning worked well (with easy to disable button for country lanes). Angled parking spaces allowed the dense B and C pillars to become obvious and were a bit difficult to see around from drivers seat.

A $970 Convenience Package provides blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert (illuminated RCTA indicator in instrument cluster was a bit annoying)  and worked exceptionally well. This package also includes front and rear parking sensors, and a color keyed rear bumper. We’d like to see the front bumper color keyed in this instance also, rather than remaining chrome.

Toyota’s Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite is a remarkable $525 value and should under no circumstances be passed up. SiriusXM capability as well as Bluetooth phone and music streaming are included and operate very well. Of course we’d like to see an offering of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, hopefully in the future. The navigation system works well, and the voice prompts are consumer friendly.

The four wheel drive is controlled by an electronic switch on the dash near your right knee, and the outer ring moves to position the indicated mode. This felt little counter intuitive. Two wheel drive, four high and four low are driver selectable, and an auto LSD is included.

Fuel economy was 15.9 mpg over 450 miles (before our off-road extravaganza) right in target with EPA estimates. A 26.4 gal tank is standard on SR5 trim and the fuel range estimate may have been slightly off, with a distance to empty of 22 miles it only ingested 17 gallons of fuel. We managed to squeeze in just over 17MPG on the highway, a bit lower than some of the newer trucks on the market these days.

Standard issue Michelin tires appeared to be an appropriate fit, especially for the price point. Michelin managed to balance the qualities of a truck tire handling light off-road cuties with ease, and keeping tire noise to an absolute minimum. Well done on this selection!

Our final take is that the 2019 Toyota Tundra SR5 is a truck that’s naturally set up for both work and play. While it may be one of the oldest players in the game old adage “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” comes into play. The current facelift looks quite alright, interior appointments were nice enough, and what tech is available is well integrated. For $40,829 we feel it makes of the best low/mid trim values in the segment.