The 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro should be the final, big finish for this platform. Let’s not mix words here; the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is based on ancient bones. Yet, despite having some components that date back to the Games of the XXVI Olympiad, the addition of the beefier off-road package brings the old Tacoma to life.
Let’s get right into it: the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is a mean muther’ with nearly enough off-road kit to challenge a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. Nearly. The front is lifted 1 and 3/4 of on inch. This gives the 2015 Toyota Tacoma aa additional 1.5″ of articulation up front and one-inch additional articulation in the back. The front, red springs are Eibach and are calibrated for off-road capability with great road feel too. There are Bilstein 2.5-inch front shocks and 2.0-inch rear shocks with remote reservoirs.
Add to that: a set of 16-inch black on silver bead-lock “style” wheels with trusty BFGoodrich all-terrain tires, electronically locking rear differential, hill-start assist, a cat-back TRD exhaust system that is said to add a bit of torque and horsepower (Toyota still rates the 4.0-liter V6 at 236 horsepower) and a 1/4-inch-thick front skid plate give the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro some serious bona fides.
Simply put: it rocks off road.
Sure the 2012 Toyota Tacoma TRD T|X Baja Series package was awesome off road. This TRD Pro package goes one higher. Toyota opted to make the Pro Package more than an afterthought of off road parts and stickers. The 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro has unique exterior colors (including the Flame Orange of our tester), unique exterior accents, unique interior additions and a more cohesive feel over the Tacoma TRD T|X Baja.
It drives like a Trophy truck on hard dirt, a billy-goat on big rocks and like a Taco (‘Yota talk for Tacoma) everywhere else. The extra ground clearance and better articulation are immediately felt once you hit the rocks. Deep ruts and large tree-stumps were laughably easy to scale. Power was good, but a TRD Supercharger was sorely missed when we crested 10,000 feet elevation.
Every bounce, every shake and every shimmy were greeted with a laugh. It felt like a purpose-built off-road assault vehicle the minute tire scraped earth. This is one serious off-road pickup truck.
Sure – there are a few issues (many of which are prevalent in the normal Tacoma too):
The seating position is difficult for some as you are very close to the floor.
The TRD exhaust sound drones on and on while cruising down the highway. It can be a punishing buzz.
The hood scoop is still non-functioning. Boo!
The extra weight can be felt.
Gas mileage is sigh-inducing.
Like all Tacos – the turning radius is dreadful.
Needs a snorkel.
Day to day driving is the same as just about any other Tacoma we’ve reviewed. Still, with that super soft front suspension and extra front-wheel travel, the inner wheel feels like it wants to lift on hard corners. The brakes felt touchy too; however, this is a pre-production model that has been mercilessly beaten by many automotive journalists – so I’ll let that one slide.
The rest of the truck is a show-toy. Yep, any Toyota Cowboy/Cowgirl who likes a Taco stopped me to ask a lot of questions. Many, such as price and delivery date, I still don’t know.
In the end I found myself loving this truck and hoping that Toyota builds more like this – soon.