2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro 4X4

Perfect for both off-road and pavement
January 4, 2021 Updated: January 4, 2021

Toyota Tacoma is a sturdy and economically sound mid-size pickup that is perfectly at home on paved roads and off the grid. My favorite place to drive Tacoma is off road.

The TRD Pro crew cab (double wide) is the Tacoma to buy, providing you get the V6 option with the six foot bed.

The V6 Tacoma’s fuel economy is rated at 18 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, for a combined average of 18 mpg.

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TRD Pro 16-inch black alloy wheels. (Courtesy of Toyota)

Some owners have told me the manual six-speed rather than the automatic is better, especially for off-road.

Personally, I liked the automatic transmission when off-roading. Really rough terrain took all my attention focusing on the path, and the automatic transmission appeared to adjust the shifting responsibilities quite nicely.

Tacoma TRD Pro 4X4 can tow up to 6,400 pounds, while the base 4X2 model can pull up to 3,500 pounds.

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Tacoma can tow up to 6,400 pounds. (Courtesy of Toyota)

My test Tacoma was powered by a 3.5-liter V6 with Dual VVT-i, producing 278 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 265 lb-ft or torque at 4,600 RPM. TRD exhaust ensure optimum air flow through the engine.

Power is sent to the wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission with 4WDemand part-time 4WD. This part-time 4WD system with 2-speed electronically controlled transfer case, Automatic Limited-Slip Differential, and Multi-Terrain Select is perfect for rough terrain adventures. This is especially true when accompanied by Crawl Control and Hill Start Assist. Go where there is no road.

Features like towing receiver hitch, power steering cooler, and trailer sway control help provide extra assurance when you need to pull any extra gear you may need.

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TRD Pro aluminum skid plate. (Courtesy of Toyota)

The Tacoma TRD Pro is one of the best, if not the best, off-road capable and comfortable mid-size trucks in the market. It has many remarkable upgraded hardware, such as TRD-tuned 2.5-inch FOX Internal Bypass coil-over with rear remote reservoirs shocks, TRD Pro front skid plate, and TRD Pro cat-back exhaust; all-aboard on TRD Pro black alloy 16-inch wheels.

Inside, you are presented with Black TRD Pro leather-trimmed heated front seats. The driver’s seat is 10-way power-adjustable 2-way lumbar support. There is great head and leg room front and back.

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The interior with Multi-Terrain Monitor. (Courtesy of Toyota)

Tacoma TRD Pro boasts an 8-inch touchsscreen Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation infotainment system, hooked up to JBL amplifier and six speakers including subwoofer. Going quite nicely with this music ensemble are Bluetooth hands-free and audio streaming, USB media ports, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

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JBL speakers. (Courtesy of Toyota)

The exterior of the test Tacoma was painted in Lunar Rock greenish gray. There are LED head lights with sequential LED turn signals and black sports bezels, adding plenty of visibility well ahead.

Smart Key System on front doors helps get you inside quickly. Multi-Terrain Monitor is a super useful camera system that gives you a specific view of the 4 sides in relation to the vehicle body, so you can better gauge distances to potential obstacles while seated in this big vehicle. The camera system also constructs a birds-eye view for an overall picture.

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4.2-inch Multi-Information Display. (Courtesy of Toyota)

Manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the Tacoma TRD Pro starts at $44,075.

Warranty Coverage
3 years/36,000 miles Basic Warranty
5 years/60,000 miles Powertrain Warranty
5 years/unlimited miles Corrosion Perforation Warranty

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or durhlcaussey@gmail.com.