2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Preview
By Christian Wardlaw, February 11, 2016
- Baja-inspired, extreme off-roading version of Tacoma pickup
- Based on Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Off-Road Double Cab short bed model
- Factory-installed, warranted TRD parts
- Unique exterior and interior styling treatments
- Gray, red, or white paint with black wheels
- On sale in fall 2016
At the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, Toyota debuted its second-generation 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro pickup truck.
Based on the existing TRD Off-Road 4WD Double Cab short bed version of the Tacoma, the new TRD Pro is equipped with factory-installed Toyota Racing Development equipment to create the most capable off-roader in the Tacoma lineup.
Built in Texas, the new 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro goes on sale in the fall of 2016.
Available in Cement, Super White, and Barcelona Red paint colors, the 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro looks different from other versions of Toyota’s popular midsize pickup.
Starting up front, a unique grille with large “TOYOTA” lettering sets the tone, positioned above a purposeful, quarter-inch-thick aluminum front skid plate. Projector-beam headlights with black inner bezels, a blacked out hood scoop, and LED fog lights complete the look.
Moving to the side, black overfender trim and black, door-mounted TRD Pro badges rendered in a knurled metal finish signal that this is a special truck. The Tacoma TRD Pro rides on black 16-in. aluminum wheels with Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain tires that are reinforced with Kevlar, and the truck’s track is slightly wider than stock.
Around back, the TRD Pro gets a body-color rear bumper with park-assist sensors, black taillight bezels, and a black TRD Pro tailgate badge.
While the Tacoma TRD Pro’s black leather seats with a unique TRD Pro logo on the head restraints are nice, especially because the front chairs are heated, what’s most important given this truck’s mission is the upgraded instrumentation. For this version of the Tacoma, Toyota includes an inclinometer and a tilt gauge with the 4.2-in. driver information display located between the main gauges.
Additionally, the Tacoma TRD Pro has a TRD shift knob and TRD Pro floor mats. Like all Tacomas, a GoPro camera mount is standard equipment.
Under the Hood
Toyota equips the 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, but did not confirm horsepower and torque ratings, perhaps because this truck also has a TRD exhaust system that potentially allows it to make more than the official 278 horsepower and 265 lb.-ft. of torque. Such was the case with the first-gen Tacoma TRD Pro, which supplied slight increases of both horsepower and torque.
A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard, along with a part-time 4-wheel-drive system with a transfer case and an electronically controlled automatic limited-slip differential. The 6-speed manual includes a clutch-start cancel switch to make it easier to get the Tacoma launched when the truck is on a hill. An Active Traction Control system is also standard with the manual transmission, controlling power flow to the front and rear wheels without disrupting throttle input in order to improve traction.
A 6-speed automatic transmission is optional and includes Multi-Terrain Select, Hill Start Assist Control, and Crawl Control technologies. Multi-Terrain Select provides five different driving modes tailored to specific types of terrain, while Hill Start Assist Control is designed to prevent the truck from rolling backward on a hill as the driver switches from the brake to the accelerator pedal. Crawl Control modulates the throttle and braking system in accordance with five different low-speed settings. This allows the driver to focus on plotting a path forward and successfully steering across difficult terrain.
In addition to the TRD exhaust system, the Tacoma TRD Pro is fitted with Fox 2.5 internal bypass shocks tuned by TRD, TRD front springs that provide a one-inch lift, and a TRD-tuned rear suspension with progressive-rate off-road leaf springs. The modifications, according to Toyota, improve suspension travel while resisting the tendency to bottom out.
Note that Toyota’s factory warranty covers all Tacoma TRD Pro components for 3 years or 36,000 miles. The powertrain warranty is good for 5 years or 60,000 miles, and Toyota supplies free scheduled maintenance for the first 2 years or 25,000 miles.
In addition to a reversing camera and rear park-assist sensors, the Tacoma TRD Pro is equipped with a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert technology. Crash-test assessments had not been completed for the Tacoma as this article was written.
Toyota’s premium infotainment system is standard for the Tacoma TRD Pro, equipping the truck with a 7-in. touch-screen display, integrated navigation, and App Suite technology. The system also includes a quick-charge USB 2.0 port, voice recognition, Siri Eyes Free, satellite radio, HD Radio, and HD predictive traffic and Doppler weather map overlays.