Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Series Loves Playing in the Mud: Review
Toyota, as a whole, has been on a bit of a hot streak lately. It introduced the lovely FR-S a few years back, injecting a bit of life into the previously lifeless Scion lineup. And Lexus has been building some of the best cars that this writer can remember. But there is one thing that’s missing — the Toyota brand itself. Sure, you can put new faces on the Camry and Corolla and sell a bajillion of them, but Toyota really needed to get to the heart of the brand. That’s where the new TRD Pro Series comes in. The 4Runner, Tundra, and Tacoma all got the special Pro Series makeover, calling upon the great FJ and Hilux off-roaders of past for inspiration. Toyota gave me the new Tacoma to play with, and told me to get it as dirty as possible. Challenge accepted. PHOTOS: See More of the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Series
Off the bat, you come face to face with an Inferno paint job, black accents, and wheels and tires that look like something out of a cartoon. It is amazingly cool looking, and that classic Toyota emblem on the front is a perfect nod to Toyota’s past.
The wheels are a 16-inch aluminum beadlock-style wrapped in 265/70 BFG All Terrain AT K/O tires. For the layman — they’re big and made for going off road. A lot. You also get TRD-tuned Bilstein off-road shocks and springs, and a big lift to add to the 4x4 experience.
As old as the Tacoma is, the new Pro Package really keeps things fresh. The ride is nimble, composed, and keeps you well in control. Oh, and it’s not bad on the road either. Although, those monster cartoon tires do make things a bit noisier than I’d like and the 236-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 is nothing to shout about. As much as the custom TRD exhaust attempted.
PHOTOS: See More of the 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Series
Taking Toyota’s advice, I attempted to get this thing as dirty as I could. Down in a mosquito infested mud covered swamp hell just west of Ft. Lauderdale, it performed about as nicely as I expected it to. Stuck in the mud, you’re paired with a few options; either four-wheel or two-wheel drive, and high or low range. At the flick of a switch, the tires were grabbing onto whatever solid earth was left, and heaving me as quickly as possible from that godforsaken piece of swamp, barreling down a dirt road and back to civilization. Thank god.
It all felt really natural. No, it doesn't need a massive engine or more power to make it better. The adjustments TRD engineers made to the suspension and wheelbase were all this thing needed.
I’m not a 4x4 guy, per se. I know— shocking. But the Tacoma Pro Series was an amazingly fun little thing. I suggest all you hardcore Jeep guys at least give the Tacoma a chance before writing it off.
PHOTOS: See More of the 2015 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Series
Engine: 4.0L V6
Price (as tested): $38,300
Cool old-school design elements
Plenty of interior space
Noisy at speed
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