TRD hits the ground running with new off-road-oriented pickup
The 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro arrived just before the midsize truck was updated for 2016, and the Japanese automaker wasted no time following up with the off-road-focused model for 2017. Debuting at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, the off-road-ready 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is based on the Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4×4 Double Cab Short Bed model.
Update from the 2016 Chicago Auto Show: Toyota group Vice President Bill Fay says Toyota sold about 1,200 2015 TRD Pros, and he expects to sell twice as many 2017s, which enter production in August. “It’s been a real halo vehicle that is attracting a younger, mostly male audience of more affluent buyers. The TRD Pro helps us brand our 4×4 vehicles. There’s not a lot of volume, but it adds a nice dimension to the offerings we sell.”
Like the previous TRD Pro, upgrades to the 2017 model are focused on better off-road capabilities and more rugged looks. Less extreme variants can be had with the base 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine, but the Tacoma TRD Pro comes solely with the larger 3.5-liter V-6 making 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission is available.
Standard features include 4WDemand part-time 4WD with an electronically controlled transfer case and an automatic rear limited-slip differential for more grip on low-traction surfaces. Upgraded TRD-tuned suspension bits include Fox 2.5 internal bypass shocks, 1.0-inch front lift springs, and progressive-rate off-road rear leaf springs. The off-road truck rides on a set of black 16-inch TRD alloy wheels wrapped in Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Kevlar-reinforced tires. The truck will also come with 1/4-inch aluminum skid plates, and RIGID brand fog lights, and will be available with a six-speed automatic or manual.
The previous 2015 Tacoma TRD Pro made do with Eibach springs and Bilstein 2.5-inch coil-over monotube shocks for a 1.0-inch higher ride height in front and upgraded 2.0-inch shocks with remote reservoirs in back. That model also rode on BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO tires on 16-inch wheels.
The V6 Tow package is also standard on the Tacoma TRD Pro model and includes a Class-IV towing receiver, automatic transmission cooler (if applicable), engine oil cooler, power steering cooler, 130-amp alternator, four- and seven- pin connectors with a converter, and trailer-sway control.
Manual-equipped Tacoma TRD Pro models feature the automaker’s Active Traction Control four-wheel-drive traction control system, which uses the ABS system to control power to the front and rear wheels without reducing engine power.
Automatic-equipped trucks feature Toyota’s Crawl Control, Multi-terrain Select system, and Hill Start Assist Control. With its five low-speed settings, Crawl Control modulates the throttle and brakes on difficult terrain. The five-mode Multi-terrain Select system regulates wheelspin by adjusting engine speed and traction control. Hill Start Assist Control keeps the pickup from rolling backward on hills while transitioning from the brake to the gas pedal.
In addition to the mechanical and electronic upgrades, the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro gets several functional and aesthetic exterior enhancements, including a TRD Pro Aluminum front skidplate to protect the engine oil pan.
The Tacoma TRD Pro features a blacked-out hood scoop, a hood graphic, black overfenders, and what Toyota calls a “heritage-inspired” front grille with body-colored surround. Other exterior details include projector-beam headlights with black bezels and LED daytime running lights, Rigid Industries LED foglights, taillights with black bezels, TRD Pro door badging, and black TRD Pro and 4×4 badging on the tailgate.
Available exterior colors for the 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro include Cement, Barcelona Red Metallic, and Super White.
Inside, the TRD Pro features black leather heated front seats with TRD Pro headrest logos, four-way manual front seats with driver lumbar support, a TRD shiftknob and floormats, Toyota’s Entune premium audio system with navigation, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and phone controls.
Driver assist features include rear parking assist sonar and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert. All Tacoma models come with a GoPro windshield mount.
The 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro builds on where the last model left off with even more off-road hardware and electronics. Look for the off-road rig to go on sale this fall.
More on the pre-2017 Tacoma TRD Pro: