TACO SUPREME: 2019 TOYOTA TACOMA TRD PRO
It doesn’t take much of a maven to appreciate the rhythm of the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro’s stature. Encompassing the theory of what most off-road, trail happy taco enthusiasts would do to their trucks to support their love for the outdoors, the TRD Pro suits the best of both worlds wrapped up into one healthy price tag.
Going Pro isn’t for the faint of heart. Those with the lifestyle of the suburban, city gauntlet should stick to the Limited or below trims as the Pro will be for those seeking something more serious than a drive down a dirt road to the pre-paid camping spot number 19. Circling back around in 2017, a year after the redesigned Tacoma was released; Toyota has worked out some of the major kinks that the Pro was faced with. Based off the already beefed up TRD Off-Road model, the TRD Pro steps up its capability to a new level and we don’t just mean by the one inch ride height increase.
Given the host of TRD stamped emblems and upgraded design cues, there is more to the Pro than the hood scoop, black grille, branded 16-inch wheels, front skid plate, sport exhaust and vinyl graphics. With increase in lift, all-new 2.5-inch FOX internal bypass shocks, re-tuned rear suspension and Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Kevlar tires, the Tacoma TRD Pro is ready for a battle field take down.
One can have a Tacoma TRD Pro anyway they want as long as it’s a four-dour, double-cab, five-foot bed with the 278-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6. At least the choice between a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic remain the same. With a rugged appearance, performance falls a little behind its muscular physique – all brawn’s and no go gives our Pro a nearly 8-second time slot to 60 mph as it tries to haul all of its 4700lb weight around.
Despite its best efforts, the six-speed automatic is gear toward a more economical state of mind. With a button labeled ECT Power, the transmissions enthusiasm changes behavior to a lackadaisical implication as the gearing transitions shifts early and hesitates to downshift. If opting to switch the gear lever into manual mode to determine the solution to the problem, the computer would disregard our regimen, as it feels it knows better than the driver. Allegedly. All of this would be circumstantial if it wasn’t for the drone of the upgraded TRD Pro performance exhaust that was constantly reminding us of its un-energized arrangement. This could all be a nuisance by simply opting out of the $2705 automatic for the less expensive manual.
With our test subject coming in at $48,000 with some added accessories – its price point falls relatively close to the Ford Raptor territory. Granted, the Tacoma TRD Pro isn’t quite Raptor status, but its upgraded, TRD-tuned FOX suspension enhances articulation and provides a more comfortable balance on and off the road. At higher speeds, the suspension handles the roughness without sending harsh feedback into the cabin, and in the event of the “oh shoot”(nobody says ‘oh shoot’, but this is a family friendly website) where one might find themselves in the air for a brief moment, the shocks feature a remote reservoir near the rear axle that in return immerses any hard landings.
In the event one perhaps finds themselves amongst murky territory, the Tacoma features a five-mode Multi-Terrain Select traction-control feature ranging from just about any kind of surface. Add that to a crawl control feature, locking central differential, and 9.4-inches of ground clearance – it would take quite a bit of effort to get the Tacoma into a situation it couldn’t get out of. Falling similar to the Jeep Wranglers approach and departure angle, anywhere a Jeep can go, the Tacoma can follow with a 35-degree approach angle and a 42-degree departure angle.
Supporting the comfort creatures of a Tacoma Limited, the TRD Pro carries no shortage from the options menu presenting a leather interior, heated seats and mirrors, Entune Navigation and the newly retrofitted Toyota Safety Sense feature with Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Emergency Detection with Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning and Automatic High Beam Assist.
With a pleather of off-road upgrades, the TRD Pro is not one to mix in with the crowd. Saving from the extra aftermarket add-ons, the most important thing to know is, its all covered under warranty and one single insurance policy. Whatever one decides to do with their Pro, the ability to continue living day-to-day go interrupted.
Model: 2019 TOYOTA TACOMA TRD PRO
Starting Price: $42,960
As Tested: $48,454
Engine: 3.5-LITER V-6
Horsepower/Torque: 278-HORSEPOWER / 265 LB-FT TORQUE
Transmission: 6-SPEED AUTOMATIC
Drivetrain: FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE WITH TERRAIN SELECT MANAGEMENT & CRAWL CONTROL
Fuel Economy: EPA RATED: 18-CITY / 22-HWY / 20-COMBINED
(AS TESTED: 16.3 MPG COMBINED)
Fuel Range: 300 MILES
0-60 MPH: ±8.0 SECONDS