TOYOTA TACOMA TRD PRO - Why it has Serious Off Road Credentials - Ottawa Gatineau International Auto


Paul Richard / SST Vehicle Overview / TOYOTA TACOMA - TRD PRO

Ottawa Ontario:With Review Material From Ottawa Gatineau International Auto Show

Warm weather is upon us, and for 4X4 enthusiasts that means thoughts turn to off roading, and that's where the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro comes in.

Toyota says this is a truck that "does it all, fearlessly"- with factory installed off-road gear that has been developed by the team at Toyota Racing Development.

“Toyota trucks already have a well-earned reputation for conquering the toughest conditions on the planet,” said Cyril Dimitris, Vice-President, Toyota Canada Inc. “With the Tacoma TRD Pro, we add exclusive performance and capability equipment to an already tough pick-up truck – ready to take extreme off-roading enthusiasts to places they’ve never dreamed possible.”

Toyota continues to make inroads in the truck market in North America. While at the Ottawa Gatineau International Auto Show we noticed more buzz around the Toyota trucks than usual. We spent quite a bit of time inspecting the Toyota Truck line up in Ottawa, at other auto shows, and we have been cruising through some dealerships too, just to get a feel for what's out there.

Now, in this article we are focused on the Tacoma TRD, which is built off the 2017 Tacoma 4x4 with a five-person double cab and a five-foot cargo bed. TRD engineers have added enhanced capability for off-roading Toyota style.

What sets this truck apart form its tamer version are features like Kevlar-reinforced tires that can take one heck of beating even when navigating over rocky terrain.

Performance upgrades include the TRD Remote Reservoir Suspension Kit, TRD-tuned front coil springs with Fox Racing Shocks (with a one-inch lift and progressive-rate rear leaf springs), a TRD Pro quarter-inch aluminum skid plate, and P265/70R16 Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Kevlar-reinforced tires and TRD-tuned stainless steel exhaust.

This is a truck with off-road-credibility. Inspiration for this beast come from TRD’s history of competing – and often winning – tough off-road endurance races in Baja, California and around the world.

Toyota has tried to strike a balance between power and efficiency with their 3.5L V6 Atkinson cycle engine. It does the job nicely with 278 peak horsepower and about 265 lb-ft of torque. This engine is fitted to a choice of six-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual gearbox, and on-demand 4WD with a transfer case and automatic limited slip differential and Active Traction Control.

Oh...you wanna do more than just climb hills and run it through mud? You actually want to tow something? Here are the specification that will matter when you hook on to a load for towing.

With a 2,900 kg (6,400 lb) towing capacity, every Tacoma TRD Pro is standard-equipped with a towing package that includes a Class-IV towing receiver hitch, engine oil cooler, 7-pin and 4-pin trailer wiring harness, trailer sway control, and more.

The truck bed is five feet long. It has an integrated 400w/120v AC Power outlet, whcih will prove convenient and practical on jobs sites. Payload: 430 kg (950 lb) for manual-equipped models, and 450 kg (1,000 lb) for automatics.

Inside we found the cabin to be attractive and comfortable. Your get an instrument cluster with a 4.2” colour multi-information display with integrated inclinometer and tilt gauge. The steering wheel is leather-trimmed, and audio centre controls are mounted right on the wheel for safety and convenience. You also get, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety technologies, and, on models equipped with the automatic transmission, smart key system with push button start.

Plus...all Tacoma TRD Pro models come with locking rear differential.

Back to climbing for a moment. If your Tacoma TRD Pro is equipped with a manual transmission you will get Hill Start Assist Control. Go for the automatic transmission and you will get Hill Start Assist Control, plus Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select.

The purpose of this article is to layout the specifications, and some of the facts. We haven't had much seat time and have not taken this truck off-road so we can't say with any degree of authority exactly how capable it is, but the numbers certainly look impressive and our initial impression is that the Truck has great fit and finish. The interior is laid out well, and we think the design is right on target. This is an attractive truck and the TRD Pro badging and trim set the truck off nicely giving it real appeal. In short, on first impression we like this truck. We plan to get some time behind the wheel to see if it performs as well as it looks, and we suggest you do the same by booking a test drive if you are thinking of buying a truck in this market segment.

These trucks are priced competitively. They start with an MSRP of $50,000. You can add about $3000 more for an automatic transmission.

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