All the things we like, love and hate about the 2023 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro’s interior
I’ve lived in Los Angeles for the past 20 years, long enough to form enthusiastic opinions about the things I like, like, and unfortunately don’t like about living here. On the rare occasions that I take a vacation or (more likely) visit a beautiful or interesting place on a business trip, I often find myself standing in front of the windows of a realtor’s office looking at the printed listings taped to the exterior windows and weighing my options. The grass is always greener, and all that bullshit.
So it wasn’t a completely strange feeling when after a weekend in the upscale-feeling, two-tone perforated leather interior of a 2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 Bison, I found myself on the Chevy components website, going through the motions of building my own ZR2. This got me thinking critically about the 2023 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro’s long-term interior and the things I like and hate after living with a Toyota truck for the past six months.
Things we love
14.0 inch screen
If there’s one feature I’d cite in the Tundra’s cabin as the one I like the most, it’s the large 14.0-inch central infotainment screen that dominates the dashboard. Fourteen inches may seem excessive, but once you try it, it’s hard to go back to something smaller.
I don’t subscribe to Toyota’s $15-a-month navigation service, so my primary use of the screen is to interact with wireless Apple CarPlay. The large size means the app icons are large and easy to spot on the go. It’s like one of those simplistic Jitterbug phones with big buttons designed for seniors. The large screen size also makes it easy to read and follow maps, which is useful if you’re like me and keep your directions silent while navigating.
The screen is bright enough to see easily in the daytime, and the scrolling interaction is smooth and quick, like having an iPad on your dashboard.
Panoramic display and multi-terrain display
When parked, the screen shows you an interesting, if not useless, panoramic display that shows a bird’s-eye view of your car. The camera angle slowly pans around your car from a third-person perspective to show the surroundings. It also has the option to change the color of the pickup truck displayed on the screen to match your color. In theory, a person could use this angle to make sure the surroundings are free of small children or animals before turning into drive or reversing.
Once you turn the Tundra on, the available camera angles expand dramatically. You have the freedom to choose between a split screen featuring a top-to-bottom view, or rear and front cameras. You can also switch between side-view cameras that show your front and rear wheels, as well as a bed camera that lets you keep an eye on your load if you’re moving something. If you want to zoom in on any particular view, you can switch out of split-screen mode and get a full-screen version of the corner.
Multi-Terrain Monitor mode is dedicated to off-roading and shows a low, wide-angle forward view; It also uses cameras mounted under the mirrors to let you see obstacles on the side of the truck. This is very useful on narrow lanes, especially considering the width of the Toyota. When interacting, the screen also displays steep meters so you can show off to your friends how steep the hill is.
It’s big, chunky and very comfortable. In general, I prefer a thicker steering wheel, and the Tundra TRD Pro fits my hand well. The central red stripe adds a touch of color to the interior and is Toyota’s way of bringing racer design cues into the driver’s cabin. The steering wheel-mounted stereo controls are easy to find, as well as cruise control and lane departure controls.
The Tundra’s panoramic sunroof is huge, spanning almost the entire roof. With the lid retracted, it allows a large amount of natural light into the dark interior, and when fully opened, allows a large amount of fresh air. Often times, at the end of a long photo session, I feel tired, sweaty, and maybe (definitely) smelly. Opening the sunroof and fully opening the rear window and side windows provide a refreshing outdoor experience. The fact that it allows my fickle odor to quickly escape from the driver’s cabin is appreciated.
Things we love
People come in different sizes, so this is subjective, but the seats in the Tundra are very comfortable. I don’t like the fake digital camo design of this material, but most of the time you’re sitting in the seats, not looking at it.
One thing I absolutely hate about the Tundra TRD Pro seats are the loud seat cooling fans. They pump out a fair amount of cool air, but I’m always amazed at how quiet the interior gets when they’re turned off. Fans are just as loud as an air conditioning fan when it’s running at maximum capacity.
The Tundra’s center console storage compartment is large and deep, with different compartments and trays to store all your stuff. The main compartment is large enough to store your camera while moving between photo locations. However, I don’t leave it there, so don’t get any ideas if you see me out there. Unfortunately, Toyota thought this large horizontal surface was a great place to put the piano black plastic, which is constantly covered in dust, dirt and dog hair.
Things we don’t like
I don’t know about you, but I don’t spend a lot of time touching my panel, so I’m never offended when companies don’t use soft-touch materials there. However, the top of the Tundra’s dash is lackluster compared to many competitors, which use soft-touch materials. Toyota also used a lot of satin plastic. This won’t win any design awards, but it kind of blends into the background.
What car do I drive again? Oh, that’s right, Toyota. It’s a good thing they added a huge Toyota badge on the dash, otherwise I would have forgotten what I was driving in the time it took me to shift my focus between the Toyota badge on the steering wheel and the passenger-side dash.
The Tundra TRD Pro’s outward visibility is poor, and that’s what makes it good. The dash is long, giving you a nice cockpit-like feel, but combine that with a very long hood adorned with fake plastic vents, and it’s very difficult to tell where the front end of the truck is. I’m 6-foot-2, and even with the seat up, a position I’ve never driven in, I still can’t see where the hood ends.
The body lines in the hood are pointed inward at a sharp angle, so you get this weird sensation while driving that the truck is pointing more to the right than it actually is.
Height in the back seat
As mentioned before, I’m a big guy, and although my head isn’t pressing hard against the rear headliner, it’s close enough that it touches my hair. I can’t imagine riding in the back seat on rough terrain.
The Tundra TRD Pro’s interior is one of the things I like most about the truck. Although it may not use the highest quality materials, the overall design pleases me, and it is comfortable and easy to use.
You may have noticed that MotorTrend has re-enabled commenting on stories recently, so I’m curious: What do you want to know about the 2023 Tundra TRD Pro in the long term? Go create a profile and post your questions below, and I’ll do my best to answer any questions in a future update.
Learn more about the long-term 2023 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
|Toyota Tundra TRD Pro 2023 from Motor Trend|
|Service life||6 months/13,893 miles|
|Base/By tested price||$68,520 / $71,998|
|Options||Paint Protection Film ($439); Solar Octane Paint ($425); bed step ($399); bed mat ($220); Wheel locks ($80); Spare tire lock ($75); Small hook ($45)|
|EPA City/HWY/CMB Fuel ECON; CMB range||18/20/19 mpg; 608 miles|
|Average fuel economy||15.8 mpg|
|Energy cost per mile||$0.35|
|Maintenance and wear||$1,573.40 (6/3: tire rotation, N/C; 8/4: oil change, N/C; 8/17: four new tires and installation, $1,573.40)|
|Damages||$0 (8/17: A/C condenser damaged during off-road driving and replaced under warranty, not available)|
|Days out of service/no loan||no one|
|Delights||Fast and convenient sometimes.|
|He remembers||no one|
(Tags for translation) trucks