ScionLife Review: Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Driven!

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ScionLife.com 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Drive Review

Dust and dirt are nicely offset by this Tacoma’s bright blue paintwork.

This is the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. Of course, you already know this, enterprising reader, because you read the headline. It features a 278 horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission, and a four-wheel drive system that is way smarter than us mere mortals.

This, naturally, makes it an excellent tool for clearing the brush on this dusty Malibu trail. It’s all a part of the annual Droptops & Dirt event, hosted by the Motor Press Guild. This event, as the name implies, features convertibles, and off-road-ready trucks and SUVs. The chosen trail is narrow, rutted and dusty. There are few places the Tacoma TRD Pro would rather be.

Let’s go back to that powertrain. The 3.5-liter V6 has reached ubiquity in the Toyota line-up, it needs no elaboration beyond the fact it will last forever. The four-wheel drive system is the big talking point about this latest Tacoma.

 

Read the full story of the Tacoma TRD Pro at YotaTech.com

 

The Tacoma TRD Pro features two pieces of technology Multi-terrain Select, and Crawl Control that are real game changers on roads less traveled. The former offers different drive modes calibrated to get the Tacoma through differing terrains, like rocks, sand and gravel. Crawl control is exactly what is sounds like: low-speed cruise control for off-roading.

During my drive with the Tacoma the various drive modes, and different speeds on the adjustable crawl control prove their merit. These systems work excellently, so much so that it keeps knuckleheads like me out of trouble.

ScionLife.com 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Drive Review

Day-to-day usability

The Tacoma is a capable off-roader that also can prove its merit on road. Carting around 4,400 pounds of mass can’t be all that fuel efficient, right? Well, despite having ample passing power, the V6 is an efficient mill, especially when paired with the 6-speed automatic. While a manual is available at no cost, the automatic offers more flexibility, and improved fuel economy. To that end, the Tacoma TRD Pro returns 18 MPG city, and 22 MPG on the highway, which is commendable.

Interestingly, Toyota is in a unique position with the Tacoma. Supposedly, American audiences dislike small trucks, and manufacturers have generally switched to producing only large, and full-size pick-ups. The only direct competition the Tacoma faces is the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins. Despite the common belief that Americans don’t want small pick-ups, Toyota managed to sell nearly 200,000 Tacomas in 2017. That’s not chump change. It’s also nearly 30% more than the sales figures for the Colorado, and Canyon combined.

ScionLife.com 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Drive Review

While a Tacoma TRD Pro has a starting MSRP of $41,520 for the manual-transmission truck, and $43,520 for the automatic, Toyota has no problems selling them at sticker price. Toyota has built a rugged, reliable and truly usable rig in the latest Tacoma, and people have noticed. The consumer demand for these trucks is insane, and explains the sales advantage. This also explains why this truck is a borderline investment purchase. The residual values on a Tacoma of any sort is wild, with trucks losing nearly no value on the second-hand market, and trading hands very fast when they do end up for sale.

It’s not often a car can be described as an investment, but with the Tacoma, and especially the TRD Pro, you get cool looks, great all-terrain capability and solid ROI promise.

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