While the Tundra and 4Runner can also be had with the TRD Pro package, the new 2017 Toyota Tacoma sets itself apart in this group thanks to its unique off-road components. It also doesn’t hurt that the Tacoma’s small size inherently makes it ideal for squeezing through tight trails and over big rocks.
Let’s take a look at exactly what makes the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro different from the regular Tacoma.
The Tacoma uses a brand new set of Fox 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks that are position sensitive, which allows for a fairly tight setup on the road and a plush suspension that soaks up the bumps when you leave the road. New spring rates, specially tuned leaf springs, and a one-inch lift complete the suspension package, which is what truly makes this truck so fun. Best of all, the Tacoma TRD Pro didn’t give up much in capacity, with its tow rating falling a few hundred pounds to 6,400.
Toyota knows that its special models should look the part, and this Tacoma doesn’t disappoint. The heritage-inspired grille that reads ‘TOYOTA’ is a personal favorite, while blacked out, thick TRD Pro badges offer a tough look. A new hood scoop completes the front-end style, although it isn’t functional.
Inside, TRD Pro badges are found on the seats and floor mats along with the shift knob.
To allow for some night time adventures, Toyota teamed up with Rigid Industries, which installed a set of LED off-road lights on the front of the TRD Pro. They may look small, but they can pack a pretty good punch at night time.
There’s a Manual!
It’s rare these days to find a manual in a pickup truck, and even rarer still to find one in a specially built off-road model. But for those few looking specifically for a manual off-roader, Toyota has you covered, pairing the TRD Pro’s 3.5-liter V6 with either a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual.
Best of all, the gate on the manual are fairly notchy, feeling good in your hand as you row through the gears.
While not exclusive to the TRD Pro lineup, Toyota has a few different features that are helpful off-road. If you opt for the automatic transmission, you get Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select (MTS). The MTS system will adjust the shift mapping, throttle, traction control and more to deal with different types of terrain the best, but what is truly special is Crawl Control.
It allows you to forget about the gas and brake and focus on steering the truck. The Tacoma takes care of the rest as a nice, slow, even speed.
If you go for the manual you can’t get MTS or Crawl Control, but you do get something equally useful off road: clutch start cancel. This allows you to start the truck in gear, essentially using the starter motor to chug up a hill for you. It prevents rolling backward and it gives you a nice, even start every single time, perfect for when you’re stuck on a muddy hill and can’t afford to roll back even an inch.
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