2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Takes Safe Route

2017 Taco TRD Pro 2 II

The single, most-echoed question at the Detroit debut about the improved and upgraded 2016 Toyota Tacoma was, "Where's the TRD Pro?" Under strict orders in 2015 not to provide any hints, Toyota engineers were tight-lipped, but from the glint in their eyes it was clear it was coming soon. And now it's just made its debut at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show; it's due to arrive in dealerships this fall as a 2017 model. Click here to see our video. 

We have to admit, the TRD Pro looks good (especially in bright white), but in typical Toyota fashion, the minimum has been done to upgraded trim level for this pickup truck.

Simply put: Just think of all of the upgraded features for the last Tacoma TRD Pro — Fox dual-reservoir shocks, stronger springs, skid plating, bigger wheels and tires, and some nice design features — and apply them to this all-new Tacoma. It features some new design cues, better sound proofing, stronger engine performance, a new interior look, added frame strength, and vastly improved ride and handling dynamics.

To its credit, Toyota has created one of its most capable vehicles for back-road adventures with this Tacoma TRD Pro. Much of the credit for this goes to Toyota's exclusive Crawl Control and Multi-terrain Select systems — standard on all TRD Pro models. This technology alone (available as an option on the Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4x4) is enough to put this new midsize player at the top of its segment, as well as make it one of the most capable off-road explorers around.

The TRD Pro will be offered only in the 4x4 double-cab, short-bed configuration with either the optional six-speed manual (which will have a clutch interlock defeat switch to allow the truck to be started in gear) or the all-new six-speed automatic. Additionally, the new TRD Pro will come in three unique colors: Cement, Barcelona Red Metallic and Super White.

The TRD Pro Look

Like the previous TRD Pro trim level, Toyota is giving the new model the same interior and exterior design changes along with a few more. It gets the heritage-inspired all-caps Toyota nameplate for the blacked-out front grille, blacked-out fender flares and TRD Pro badging on the tailgate. The TRD Pro also will use the hood from the Tacoma TRD Sport, but includes blacked-out hood scoops for a unique look. The headlights and taillights will have black-smoked bezels with LED lighting, projector headlamps and standard integrated fog lights.

Inside, the TRD Pro will — once again — include many standard features to give it a comfortable and sporty feel. TRD Pro logos will be stitched into the leather-trimmed headrests, and the front and rear floormats as well as embossed on the dash. Also, no matter the transmission choice, there will be a TRD shift knob along with a telescoping, leather-wrapped steering wheel and Entune premium audio system with a large, integrated navigation screen. Our favorite feature is the new 4.2-inch information display that offers both an inclinometer and tilt gauge to let you know exactly how crossed up your rig is when you're out on the trail. It also will have the GoPro mount that's standard on all Tacomas.

The TRD Pro Performance

The new TRD Pro benefits from an all-new dual-overhead cam, 24-valve Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V-6 that delivers more power at lower rpm (with a flatter torque curve) than the previous V-6. Combined with a stronger frame, this package continues many of the same suspension improvements we've seen before.

The 2017 model will get 1-inch longer and stronger front coil springs, TRD-tuned and re-arched progressive leaf springs in back, and larger internal-bypass Fox racing shocks. Combine that with 16-inch black alloy wheels and 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain tires, a unique aluminum front skid plate (with the TRD Pro logo stamped on it), an electronically controlled part-time four-wheel-drive system, and a standard push-button locking rear differential, and you can see how hard the TRD engineers worked to build an impressive package.

That doesn't include the additional capabilities available when you engage the Crawl Control or Multi-terrain Select systems. Crawl Control electronically controls braking, acceleration and traction duties while climbing or descending nasty terrain — all you do is steer. The Multi-terrain Select system allows you to set the system for surface type (snow, sand, rocks, etc.), throttle sensitivity, traction control and engine mapping, adjusting to different algorithms. Toyota also included other standard features we like: a standard Class IV tow hitch, trailer-sway control, a larger engine oil cooler, power steering cooler, a 130-amp alternator and hill start assist.

Pricing for Toyota's ultimate off-road package (also the segment's ultimate off-road package) will not be released until the vehicle goes on sale this fall; however, we'd expect pricing to start right around $37,000, which is just a tick above the starting price for the previous model.

For those who will criticize Toyota for not going further, it's worth noting that although Toyota clearly had room to raise the bar here, the strategy of simply moving the previous TRD Pro trim level onto the new-and-improved platform was the safe move and, in fact, the same one Ford is taking with the release of its new 2017 F-150 Raptor later this year. It too gets a new engine, transmission, 4x4 system and additional interior features.

Whether the manufacturers of either of these pickups decide to raise their game another notch (or two) in the future will likely hinge on how popular these new off-roaders are to the average pickup buyer. If more people opt for these exclusive off-road packages, you can bet Toyota and Ford will invest more money and technology into a more powerful and capable pickup package. We'll have to wait and see.

Manufacturer images

 

2017 Tacom TRD Pro 1 II

 

Comments

It does look good in brilliant white, I'm glad it isn't one of those blacked out things. Even the black rims seem to suite the brilliant white.

The TRD is probably the best bet for an off roading pickup in the US at the moment. It will travel into places the Raptor can only dream of, and yet still be able to be driven in the desert.

The biggest drawback is the unavailability of the new 2.8 turbo diesel.

Now, a diesel would make this TRD the best off road option available hands down ............... except for the Toyota tax.

Ehh

Eat your heart out GM mini twins with your "midnight" package and all.

VERY NICK LOOKING

you always have to downplay anything Toyota does........ why?

You rant and rave about the raptor but then call it safe in the body of this story yet you headline this article as "Toyota plays it safe again" Really man its just tacky. give credit where its due..... that Tacoma has more power, better MPG, 10 times the durability and better electronics for both convenience and usability yet you still hate........

This will be my next truck.

go buy one, buy it now, did you see the stock market crash and gold up $60 in ONE DAY ?
pretty soon your bank account , 401K will be gone-gone-gone, wiped out
if you know you're going to lose that money you might as well spend it and buy the truck of your dreams cause you may never have the chance again to afford one.
if you don't have the money to pay the full amount get a 80 month loan cause chances are that bank that owns the loan might go bankrupt and you won't have to pay the loan back

ha-ha-ha I bet some of you guys think i'm crazy, ha-ha-ha

Did you know that Michelle Obama has a big fat lard-butt?

That is a lot of negative opinion in there Mark Williams. I have been reading a lot on the internet today about this Tacoma yet you are the only one that is soooo underwhelmed by it. What did you want?
Too many people dump on Toyota only because they know they can. But no one dares look at a Ford crosseyed. I actually own a Ford - 2008 Edge SEL

It's long been known Mark is very against toyota. He's very pro ford.

Negative spin...... wow. Toyota is conservative but because of that builds truly durable products.

I wish the TRD Pro package becomes available in Canada.

Ha, more biased Toyota hate from Williams, you can depend on it like the sun coming up.

Now if ford re-designed the Ranger look out, it would be the best truck ever.

Toyota out sells everybody with this little truck, and the reason is it's extremely durable and reliable, but none of you so-called journalists can grasp that.

DJ - a blogger on another site referred to automotive journalists as "prestitutes".

They have to suck up to the big advertisers and Domestics so they do not loose access to the corporate press fleet.

Safe in headline and in body... yet nothing but awesome stuff reported and don't recall hearing any complaints or omissions, yet says Toyota should have went further... why? What more could you want from a mass produced daily driver? This package adds some damn good stuff to a damn good platform making it more capable while retaining practical performance, QRD and reachable price tag. Who else has a truck in this class that can touch this?

Geez. Negative spin? I didn't get that at all from the article. I thought it was very well written. He didn't say anything bad about it. Just that it was a conservative approach, which it is. He also said it is the same approach ford took with the raptor. There is absolutely nothing negative at all. He even praises it multiple times. It's amazing how pouty some of you get when Mark williams doesn't call your favorite truck the most amazing thing ever built.

And I must say after reading this article my opinion of the tacoma has only gotten better. If I were to buy a midsize, this would be it.

So beebe would consider buying a midsize Tacoma. What a change from your prior comments that no one buys midsize trucks except fleets and urban dwellers. Are you running for political office?

While i will say Toyota does build some good vehicles but some are not all that great. Some motors were very prone to sludge (3.0 v6 was the worst) and they had to buy back many Tacos due to the frames rotting out and replaced may more tacos frames along with tundra frames. Also v8 engine failures were common Lexus side. Now im not saying somebody else is perfect but some people seem to think that Toyota's are flawless and they are far from it like every other manufacturer out there.

Agree Toyota is not flawless, overall Toyota makes a quality product but they are not perfect. The frame issue on Toyota trucks was the frames made by Dana were without the coating that inhibits rust. Most manufacturers have had issues with parts supplied by outside suppliers and some issues with assembly. Toyota makes a good product but Toyota does not have a monopoly on quality.

I must say it is a nice looking truck. I'd buy a Taco before anything else if I were in the market for a small truck.
Now I wish they would update the Tundra!

Double the size and put 2500hd on the lower front door panel. It would be the best selling big truck. Looks like a work truck to me compared to other brands. The ram looks like a space shuttle ready for takeoff with a Laramie package. This looks fantastic!

I used to own a Tacoma, I LOVED it! but with all the problems and it rusted out after 2 years and Toyota not honoring the warranty I had to get rid of it.
wheel bearings
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Needs the diesel that the rest of the world gets. Black (non-functional) hood scoop looks stupid. I'll hold onto my '11 Taco til the wheels fall off.

Journalists are scared to lose their jobs. Many are disgruntled at Toyota due to small changes that don't sell articles. Unless manufactures make the trucks different each year they have nothing to talk about.

Wish this truck still had the TRD supercharger option from 2015. Don't think they can do it with this Atkinson motor. The 2015 Tacoma supercharged could run neck to neck with the Raptor under acceleration. Would have been a great matchup with the 2017 Raptor. Still will be a great competition for off road ride though.

@tucker
No I would not considering buying a midsize. It would absolutely not fit my need- s. But IF it did fit my needs and I was going to buy a mix size, this is probably the one I would choose. Unlike most people on here I am a reasonable person and not completely blinded by bias.

sad taco wishing it was a raptor

What a piece of crap... Oh no.. someone doesn't like the Toyota trucks.. lets divert attention to Ford and blame Ford....

Oh wait it should have a diesel...

What a joke from a lot of posers here.

Time for a real comment section with moderators.

@lou, you didnt buy a new tacoma that rusted out in 2 years.

A bunch of bias bigots on this site. How can a rusted out Toyota be ranked as the most reliable and have the best resale value of any pickup? Go back to school and get an education. You can earn more respect that way.

As an owner of a 2010 Tacoma I can't agree with all those who say the Tacoma has "bulletproof reliability". I bought mine new and has to take it back to the dealer 8 times for various recalls and warranty issues - it's only got 70,000 kms on it. This is more dealership work than any new vehicle I have owned (the last 2 new vehicles being an Accord and Xterra).

Go on the tacomaworld 3rd gen forums and see some of the complaints new owners are having with their trucks - a lot of them are the same issues that the 2nd gen had...still not fixed. Plus Toyota offers a new engine/transmission but on the 4x4 you only get 1mpg better as compared to the old transmission/engine WTF. There is conservative and there is Toyota conservative.

Long gone are the days of the Hilux/Pickup and when Toyota trucks were truly bulletproof.

Flashee - statistically the Tacoma rates better than other trucks. In other words, on average they are better.

They probably have good resale because Toyota bought so many back there are not many left. Toyota also over paid for the buy backs at 150% of kkb so that could also drive the resale up.

Hey Mark, where the Chevy Colorado ZR2 concept again? That's what I thought, still a concept and not a production model.

@Can of beer

I was being sarcastic. My comment was directed to the poeple who has no common sense and make bias comments towards the Tacoma. My brother owns a 2005 Tacoma that he beats the crap out of and still keeps running strong with almost 200k miles with little maintenance. In a few more years my son will be old enough to drive and I won't hesitate to buy a used one for him.

I buy one for myself over the other mid size if I didn't need a full size pickup.

The Tacoma has a great engine and transmission but everything else is generic and junk

I think Toyota did a fine job with this one. Why go further, plenty of after market support!

Toyota did a fine job and a solid base to build with and plenty of off-road abilities even stock!

Good job Toyota!



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