Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro on the Off-Road Track.
The Tacoma (nicknamed the Taco) has been America’s best-selling mid-size pickup for 10 years consecutively.
Some of that may be part due to the fact there hasn’t been a whole of competition, with Ford ending production of the Ranger in 2011.Dodge also ended production of the Dakota and Chevrolet and GMC also did the same with the Colorado and Canyon. Toyota, however, continued with the Tacoma and redesigned the mid-size truck along the way. Today, the market for mid-sized pickups is back and with other manufacturers bringing back the trucks, there is steep competition. Chevrolet have picked up their game with the Colorado ZL1 and of course, Toyota is doing the same with the Tacoma TRD Pro.
The Tacoma TRD Pro is the top of line off-road truck from Toyota.Standard, the truck has a 3.5 liter V6, that puts out 278hp @ 6000rpm and 278lb-ft torque. Available in a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual. Available in only 3 colors; Barcelona Red, Super White and the one I drove which was in Cement. Fuel consumption figures are 18 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. 3500 lb standard towing capacity and seats 5 people.
- body on frame construction for challenging off-road terrain
- Front and rear TRD springs with 1″ lift
- TRD tuned 2.5″ Fox aluminum shock absorbers
- Crawl Control, Multi-Terrain Select, Locking rear differential, Hill Start Assist and Active Traction Control
- TRD Pro aluminum skid plate
- LED Fog lights
- Projector Beam Headlights
- Black bezelled tail lights
- 16″ TRD black alloy wheels with Kevlar-reinforced Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Tires.
- Manufactured in the USA (San Antonio, Texas)
- Catback exhaust
- V6 Tow Package standard
- Black and red leather
What about that Crawl Control?
It’s a button in the front center of the roof with a rotary dial surrounding it. Press the button to engage and then turn the dial from left to right to increase speed or vice versa. Similar to hill descent control, you take your feet off the pedals and let the truck do all the work. If you are not comfortable with the speed you set it at, it’s easy to change it at any time by rotating that dial. I liked that it was on the roof, meaning I can reach up and change it without having to take my eyes off the course. Using the brake or accelerator during operation will cancel the system, however, upon release, it will re-engage until deactivated by pushing the button.
During the off-road course at CORE in Colorado, I had the opportunity to use this system over a rock garden. It was reassuring to hear the system in action whilst the truck made light work of the course. I also used it for the steep downhill descent and it on the 3rd slowest setting which had the truck at very slow walking pace. There was no need to use it for the steep ascent, the truck didn’t even hesitate. I did use the crawl control for the moguls and at a faster pace, the truck replied with, “not a problem”.
I continued along the course to a Baja section, still, in low range, the truck likes to rev and picked up power at around 3000rpm. The TRD tuned Fox aluminum shocks got to work. I did make the Toyota representative (riding shotgun) reach for the grab handle, but the truck handled it just fine. Kidneys not affected. He did tell me that it takes 7 years to develop a Tacoma generation and when Toyota are testing products at Toyota Off-Road, they use the Tacoma as their chase vehicle.
There were some vehicles at the course that could not complete all the obstacles. The Tacoma was not one of those. There was not an obstacle that the Tacoma couldn’t tackle, or even struggled with.
With a little higher price tag than it’s competitors, you get a Tacoma because of reliability, longevity, it’s good off-road and it’s a good investment. TheTacoma was awarded the 2017 Kelley Blue Book ‘Best Resale Value for Mid-Size Pickup’.
Lauren has been working in the automotive industry both in the U.K and in the U.S. for over 10 years. She has driven hundreds of vehicles, not only new cars but beaters without heaters, fast cars on fire, slow cars in snow, off-road trucks in the mucks, and old pickups with pups. She’s driven heaps of Jeeps, miles in muscle and once took her gran in a car from Japan.