2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO 4×4 DBL. Cab Review

Saturday October 21st, 2017 at 2:1010 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO 4x4 DBL. Cab

Hypes: Rugged Old School Pickup
Gripes: Needs Hydraulic Hood Prop

Opt for the TRD PRO version of the Tacoma compact pickup and you’ve got a military spec off-roader that will out-butch everything but a monster truck. Toyota Racing Development (TRD) is hardly a newcomer to assaults on Baja, or the urban jungle for that matter. TRD trucks have been running and winning the Baja 1000 for decades, and the breeding that goes into making the Tacoma competitive there shows everywhere you look here. First, there’s the truck’s sky high ride height which necessitates a healthy jump step to insert yourself in the cab. Next, there’s the no-nonsense look of this “Cement” colored brute. With its monochromatic grey paint highlighted only by “TRD PRO” informational placards on the flanks, this Tacoma stands ready to battle the toughest terrain you can throw at it.

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO 4x4 DBL. Cab

To that end, Toyota equips it with black alloy rims highlighted by red TRD center caps. On each rim you will find a 265/70R 16 Goodyear Wrangler off-road tire with more writing on its sidewall than a Dead Sea Scroll. The most pertinent notice concerns the wear rating (WR) of these Kevlar-reinforced Goodyears. With a WR of 640, you can bet these tires will take a real pounding while enjoying a long tenure on your Tacoma. You can also expect them to afford less than sticky traction on hard shell pavement, since their compound lies at the rock end of the tire wear spectrum. I found this out first hand when I pitched the TRD PRO into a tight turn. The front tires lost traction, and the truck washed out in understeer. Caution is essential when driving this Tacoma on pavement. In the dirt, however, no impediment is too great for this race bred package.

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO 4x4 DBL. Cab

Up front you’ll find a bullet proof TRD branded skid plate, which is easily seen because the TRD sits so high off the ground. Also a pair of sly looking Rigid Industries LED fog lamps. Do a walk around and you can peer into all four wheel wells and admire the structural soundness of the frame rails, the immense solidity of the TRD racing shock absorbers wrapped in coil springs, and the massive size of the front anti-sway bar and its drop links. Of course all this super size componentry affords the stiffest ride you can imagine. The TRD hops and bounces like a thoroughbred stallion kicking the stall at post time. Once you get acclimated to the handling idiosyncrasies of this Tacoma, it’s really a blast to drive. Its handling is so direct and elemental that nothing cushions or decompresses the joy of driving it. What you see is very much what you get. There are few vehicles left for sale as honest and straightforward as the TRD PRO, so enjoy this breath of fresh air.

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO 4x4 DBL. Cab

Like the ride, the interior too is uncomplicated, and as useful as a work boot from Acme. The dash is delightfully straightforward in an old fashioned way. There are big fat knobs for every vital HVAC function, and a useful 7 inch touchscreen for audio and navigation override. The seats slide and tilt with manual controls, but they are thoughtfully equipped (up front) with 3-stage heaters. There’s an electrically operated center rear window at the back of the cab, should you need to carry items longer than the 6 foot bed will accommodate. The back seats also flip and fold against the front seats, so you can easily convert unused cab space into additional storage room.

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO 4x4 DBL. Cab

The 3.5 liter V6 engine, which produces 278hp, sounds off through a TRD exhaust system that issues a guttural blat when you nail the throttle. The engine has enough torque (265lb.-ft.) to tow a trailer weighing 6,400 pounds, and the TRD comes equipped with a proper receiver hitch plus all the ancillaries needed to cool the driveline when towing: Automatic Transmission Fluid cooler, Power Steering cooler, Engine Oil cooler, plus a 130 Ampere Hour alternator. 4 Wheel Drive is available either full time or part time, and Toyota supplies the TRD PRO with an electronically controlled transfer case and a limited slip differential. It’s hard to imagine an on- or off-road situation that would stymie this truck.

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO 4x4 DBL. Cab

The TRD PRO version of the Tacoma pickup looks like a Baja winner. About the only phony note to its cowboy get-up is the hood scoop which doesn’t actually vent cold air into the engine room. That’s a mighty small complaint list for a very fetching truck.

2018 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription

  • Engine: 3.5 liter V6 with Dual VVT-i and TRD Exhaust
  • Horsepower: 278hp
  • Torque: 268lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 18MPG City/23 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $45,042
  • Star Rating: 10 out of 10 Stars

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2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited 4×4 Double Cab Review

Wednesday March 30th, 2016 at 12:33 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited 4x4 Double Cab

By David Colman

Hypes: Ferocious New Look, Beefy V6 Power
Gripes: Hood Prop Hard To Operate, Unsupportive Seats

The Tacoma’s legion of young followers will love the changes Toyota has wrought with the latest version of this sturdy off-road capable sport truck. The Tacoma has come a very long way from its introductory appearance and size. Toyota debuted the Tacoma in February, 1995 as a compact pickup intended for personal rather than business use. Two four cylinder engines (142hp and 150hp) were available at the time, as well as one V6 (190hp). Muted styling and rounded edges keynoted the truck’s initial appearance.

2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited 4x4 Double Cab

Now shift to 2016. The Tacoma has grown so much in size that when we passed an original version on the highway, I could hardly believe that it too was a Tacoma. The new version absolutely towers over the original in every way. Look at the new sheetmetal for 2016, and you’ll see trace design elements from the latest Ram truck, as well as Chevy’s Colorado, and GMC’s Canyon. The Tacoma’s blunt snout looks like it could survive a Monster Truck bash without damage. Beneath the grill lies an ABS skid plate. Driving lights are embedded in protective alcoves, and headlamp jewels stand tall in the blocky fenders.

Side profile reveals that the bodywork of the truck is substantially elevated to allow generous vertical suspension travel at all four corners. This 70.6 inch height, in turn, means climbing into the cab poses something of a chore. But it’s a chore eased by a well-placed grab handle on the passenger’s side of the cab. Running boards would be useful, though detrimental to off-road clearance.

2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited 4x4 Double Cab

And make no mistake, the prime mission in life of the new Tacoma 4×4 is to promote off-road fun. To start with, Toyota has provided a windshield mount for a Hero G-Pro camera. They’ve fitted the polished alloy rims with Michelin’s best outback rubber, 265/60R18 LTX MS tires. On pavement, these tires provide a springy ride thanks to their tall 60 series sidewalls. But when you tackle unpaved surfaces, they come into their own. In fact, the entire suspension system of this Tacoma is calibrated for unimproved driving conditions. Four wheel drive is available on demand, and offers two different speed ranges. An electrically controlled transfer case and automatic limited slip differential insure that even the most daunting off-road travails will be dealt with successfully. Toyota fitted our test Tacoma with its most powerful available engine, a 3.5 liter V6 which makes 278hp and 265 lb.-ft. of torque. If you don’t require this much motor, you can order a 159hp 2.7 liter inline 4. But really, for a Double Cab model weighing in at 4,525 pounds, the V6 is the only way to go. It even posts a respectable EPA fuel economy rating of 20 MPG in overall driving.

2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited 4x4 Double Cab

Although the Tacoma’s jacked up Hitachi shocks will never let you down, the interior of this truck is a bit disappointing. The front seats, although heated, are flat and hard, fitted with manual adjustment paddles for both fore-aft travel and backrest inclination. The steering wheel lacks telescopic adjustment, and we found the air vents blowing cool air even when the fan was shut off. Our test vehicle included an optional $650 hard plastic folding tonneau cover for the truck bed. Years ago, this was an item I made for myself out of plywood to protect goods stored in the bed of a pickup going cross country. Now all you have to do is pay $650 and Toyota takes care of the rest. The Double Cab’s rear seats can be folded up for interior storage, and Toyota provides a couple of side lockers inside the pickup bed. The tailgate of the Tacoma is hydraulically actuated so once you unlatch it, the gate glides open without the usual clatter. However, we found it odd that when you lock the truck with the keyfob remote, the tailgate remains unlocked until you physically turn the key in the lock. Some thefts might occur before owners discover this idiosyncrasy.

2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited 4x4 Double Cab

The new Tacoma has strong competition in the marketplace from Chevy’s Colorado and GMC’s Canyon. Toyota’s answer to them is this attractive redo of the Tacoma for 2016. This truck is fast enough to cut a 15.4 second quarter mile at 91mph when equipped with the V6 engine. If you pay an extra $650, Toyota will add a Class IV towing hitch, an engine oil cooler, a power steering cooler, a 130 amp alternator, and 5 and 7 pin connectors for trailer lights and brakes. Even if you don’t tow so much as a dinghy, this package is worth its weight in gold. If you do plan to tow a trailer, your weight limit is a whopping 11,330 pounds.

2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited 4×4 Double Cab

  • Engine: 3.5 liter V6 with Dual VVT-i
  • Horsepower: 278@6000rpm
  • Torque: 265lb.-ft.@4600rpm
  • Fuel Consumption: 18 MPG City/23 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $40,020
  • Star Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Stars

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2012 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4×4 Review

Monday October 8th, 2012 at 4:1010 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: Prodigious Off-Roader, Stylish, Made in USA
Gripes: TRD Exhaust Noise, Annoying Cruise Control

Sometimes it takes an old school truck like this Tacoma to reaffirm that the simple virtues are best. Take the key to the Tacoma, for example. It’s small, light weight, and unpretentious looking. And you actually need to insert it into a slot on the steering column and twist it clockwise to start the Tacoma. After testing an endless stream of keyless entry vehicles with starter buttons instead of key receptacles, I found the Tacoma’s throwback system such a delight that it made me wonder why manufacturers ever gave up on it.

The rest of this Tacoma follows suit. It has a full-size spare, for example, mounted under the bed for easy access in case of emergency. Because its side windows lack the auto-up feature so common today, you can actually place that plane of glass exactly where you want it without fighting a computer system for control. It has no paddle shifts attached to the steering wheel, but the sturdy floor-console mounted shift lever features sharp detents for each gear. The front seats aren’t 14-way adjustable, but they’re still more comfortable than you would expect given their simple manual controls for backrest angle and fore/aft positioning.

This back-to-basics brand of practicality extends to the pickup bed, which features “heavy duty all weather flooring,” a $50 option. The interior sports $165 worth of “all weather mats and door sills” which look utilitarian enough to cope with the muddiest boots in sloppy weather. On the right rear wall of the truck bed is a 3-pronged 115 volt receptacle with spring actuated, self-closing cover. This nifty device allows you to plug in any electric device, affording 400 watts of output while the truck is idling, or 100 watts when underway.

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Toyota Recalls 8,000 Tacoma Trucks

Wednesday February 17th, 2010 at 8:22 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

2010 Toyota TacomaA broken front drive shaft could end a weekend of four-wheeling prematurely.

GM’s Akio Toyoda voodoo doll must be working, because 8,000 Tacoma pickups are being recalled due to possible cracks in the front drive shaft. The recall is only for the 2010 4WD model. Toyota decided to issue the recall after Dana Holding Corp. issued a report stating up to 34,000 drive shaft components it produced may be defective.

Dana Holding Corp. also supplies drive shaft components to both Ford and Nissan, but the two companies have claimed their trucks are not affected. Toyota has admitted that the cracks in the drive shaft components could lead to a separation of the drive shaft and joint portion.

In a document obtained by Reuters, Toyota has discovered that when the drift shaft fails, it could separate from the joint and hit the road which could potentially cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. This could be a worst case scenario and there are no reports of people being injured as a result of the front drive shaft failing.

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Toyota Trail Teams – My first 4×4 experience

Monday April 21st, 2008 at 3:44 PM
Posted by: Derek

I admit it – I’m just a weenie when it comes to getting dirty and getting close to nature. Mountain biking may be one of my favorite sports, but a hot shower and wall-to-wall carpeting underneath my bare feet awaits me upon returning to my clean suburban home with its soft feather mattress and biodegradable citrus cleaners. Today I took the opportunity to shed my dirt phobias and got an intro to off-roading at the Toyota Trail Teams outdoor demo at the Sea Otter Classic in beautiful Monterey, CA. Essentially, the Sea Otter Classic is northern California’s largest cycling event and I was at Laguna Seca for four days covering the event for our sister sites – mtbr.com and roadbikereview.com.

Toyota Trail Teams - FJ Cruiser

Now, how does a bicycle race fit in with a car review site? Read the rest of this entry »

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2007 Toyota Tacoma Review

Friday June 29th, 2007 at 10:66 AM
Posted by: John G.

By John G.

2007 Toyota Tacoma
Up, Down, and Sideways


-Toyota fit and finish, inside and out: flawless. Classy interior. No rattles or squeaks.
-The 4.0L V6 is a very strong motor.
-Good cockpit ergonomics, even for tall drivers. Steering wheel tilts and telescopes.
-Simple stereo and climate controls.
-Reasonably comfortable rear seats, unlike most double cab pickups.
-Real 4WD: two-speed transfer case and locking rear differential.
-Full size spare tire.


-Spongy brakes.
-Offroad package suspension feels stiff and a bit vague on the road.
-Large turning circle.


-Big. Not a compact pickup anymore. Not even close.


-If you need a pickup with serious off-road capability, this is the civilized choice.

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2007 Toyota Tacoma – Don't you dare call it a mini-truck

Friday June 22nd, 2007 at 5:66 PM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

By Kurt Gensheimer


  • Wider, longer and bigger
  • Toyota durability
  • More powerful 4.0 V6
  • Car-like interior
  • Extremely versatile and offroad capable


  • Wider, longer and bigger
  • Minor interior nitpicks
  • Still drives like a truck, albeit a mannerly one

Ruling: The size may have changed, but Toyota trucks will still outlive your mortgage.

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