2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO: Ruggedness defined

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Toyota likely has the most varied lineup of pickup trucks. The offerings expand again with the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO, the compact’s sixth available trim in extended or double crew cabs.

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro: Ruggedness defined.
2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro: Ruggedness defined. Images © James Raia/2016

The Tacoma TRD PRO returns after a one-year absence. My test vehicle included the optional 3.5-liter V6 with 278 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

Despite its emphasis on off-road responsibilities and possibilities, my test week with Tacoma TRD PRO was road-driving mode only. Scooting around in mud and up, down and all around on fire roads would have been invigorating. But a week in a 4×4 workhorse pickup on the road is a good thing, too. It takes a truck like the TRD PRO out of its preferred environment and tests its versatility.

I’ve never been a pickup kind-of-guy, but the Tacoma could change my ways. It certainly did for a week. With its high-positioned frame, occupants ride high and in command of the road. I powered along with a sense of security in a hunk of reinforced metal. A lot of off-road gearing, towing options and additional ruggedness are available, like hill start assistance and 4-wheel drive on demand on stand-by.

The Tacoma’s 5-foot bed is sturdy with plenty of toggles and a 12-volt power outlet. The included bed mat is thick and looks plenty durable for hauling whatever the day’s tasks might require.

The re-issued Tacoma has an overall ruggedness and a mighty growl. It makes even a trip to the corner market seem like a proper adventure.

Standard features are plentiful: Bluetooth, a rearview camera, a USB port, a windshield mount for a GoPro camera, and Toyota’s Entune infotainment system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen. Heated front seats, a power moonroof, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, navigation, and a premium JBL audio system added to the lengthy features list.

Two small options add style: Universal tablet holders on top of the front seats and a small camera mount on the interior of the front windshield.

Likes:

Lengthy standard features list.
Comfortable ride.
Powerful and versatile.

Dislikes:

Sluggish acceleration.
Obscured view over the raised front hood.

Facts & Figures: 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO 4×4

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, unavailable.
Airbags: 8.
Fuel economy: 18 mpg (city), 23 mpg (highway), 20 mpg (combined) six-speed automatic transmission.
Horsepower: 278.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $42,760.00.
Manufacturer’s Website: www.toyota.com.
Price As Tested: $45,042.00.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles.

What Others Say:

“Whether you use it to play in the sand or bash rocks, the TRD Pro stands out as one of the few convincingly off-road-focused trucks you can buy new from a dealership.” — carandriver.com.

“Toyota has another hit on their hands. This king of the Tacomas has it all: modern good looks, incredible off-road performance, mild highway manners, and Toyota’s legendary reputation.” — msnautos.com.

“Overall, the materials and design give a sense of upscale functionality — the Tacoma TRD Pro cockpit never coddles, but it doesn’t come across as cheap either.” — autoweek.com.

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“Big and bad for the Toyota Tacoma lineup, the TRD Pro has a lot to offer, most notably versatility. It’s a daily driver with the proper equipment for its off-road specialty duties. The only shortcoming is sluggish acceleration.”


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