7 Crucial 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro First Drive Take Aways
It’s time to get out there with the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. We have a week to see how this popular beast performs on and off the pavement. From completing errands to off-roading, we’re testing the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro in every way we can. See what we’ve gathered so far.
Seven things you need to know about the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
We’re spending time behind the wheel of the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro to put it through the paces. We understand that it’s aging and hasn’t received a significant update since 2016, but that doesn’t matter.
The Tacoma is still the most popular mid-size truck, so it must be doing a few things right. We kicked things off with a road trip from Rock Hill, South Carolina, to Asheville, North Carolina, to determine its strengths and weaknesses.
1. Is the Tacoma TRD Pro comfortable?
The 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is comfortable enough. The front seats are large and supportive for plenty of comfort during shorter trips. However, the rear cushion feels flat and stiff after two hours on the road.
Some taller folks may feel like the seat sits too close to the floor. As a result, their knees sit too high to their chests. Also, the passenger seat can’t be raised or lowered. The rear seat is comfortable too, but it’s tight. People over 5’1″ may need more legroom.
We’re impressed by the climate controls. It’s really smart and automatically adjusts to the surrounding conditions outdoors. We hardly had to make any adjustments. Plus, the heated seats get toasty in the blink of an eye.
2. The TRD Pro is a little dated
The tech in the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is noticeably older than what the competition has to offer. The 8.0-inch infotainment screen that was introduced in 2020 doesn’t have the clearest graphics.
Plus, the trail camera, 360-degree camera, and backup camera seem to have a low resolution. We found ourselves squinting at the screen to maneuver around tight obstacles. However, the parking sensors are helpful.
The digital gauge cluster is pretty basic, but it provides crucial information such has navigation, your fuel economy, and off-roading specs.
You do get a wireless phone charging pad, but there’s no wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Also, on a positive note, all of the tech is extremely straightforward and simple. You can adjust your vehicle settings in seconds.
3. The ride quality isn’t that bad
Critics love to bash the 2023 Toyota Tacoma for having rough manners on the pavement. However, the truck doesn’t shake or jitter over large impacts. It will hit a bump and quickly settle. This truck does provide more of a sense of connection to the road, though.
The Tacoma does have a bit of a louder interior thanks to its larger all-terrain tires and beefy off-roading suspension. But it doesn’t hurt your ears or make them ring like the Jeep Wrangler or Ford Bronco on the highway. Also, the audio system covers the noise perfectly.
4. The interior storage for personal items is impressive
The 2023 Toyota Tacoma has an excellent amount of storage for personal items. There are plenty of bins and cubbies around the front of the cab. The tray around the wireless phone charger is massive.
There are three cup holders in the front and usable space in the sides of the doors. Also, the glove box is larger than expected. However, the center console is blocked by a safe that we were instructed not to open.
Based on seeing it from the top, the center console is a bit narrow and short. However, we can’t confirm its dimensions.
5. The 2023 Tacoma is sporty
The 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro has a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate in 6.6 seconds. Edmunds agrees that it has more than enough power for daily commutes, merging into traffic, and passing others.
It features direct steering and responsive handling to corner well. There’s almost no body roll at all! The Tacoma also has an excellent turning radius, making it easy to park and navigate through crowded areas.
However, the Tacoma can be slow to upshift during hard accelerations. You may notice a bit of a kickback before you get going. Also, the brakes are a bit soft. Coming to a stop may take a little more time than expected on the pavement. Off-roading modes are a bit more controlled.
6. The 2023 Tacoma is solid
We have faith in the 2023 Toyota Tacoma to be safe and reliable. It provided an excellent performance during torrential downpours, thunderstorms with hail, sticking sleet, and snow. In areas with construction where puddles collect on fridges, the Tacoma didn’t slide at all.
It feels well-planted, confident, and stable in slippery conditions. Water, sleet, and snow wipe right off the windshield so you can maintain proper visibility. The truck is well-balanced and doesn’t feel lighter in the back, which is better for stopping.
Our favorite off-roading mode was the Mud and Sand mode for more control in areas with wet mud, snow, dirt, and more. The Tacoma didn’t slide on the ice, struggle in the deep mud, or show any signs of getting stuck. It powered through obstacles with precision and elegance.
7. The Toyota Tacoma has a better interior than you think
The 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro doesn’t feel like it has a cheap or outdated interior, aside from the aging tech aspects. The steering wheel looks a bit retro, but the rest of the cabin is fine. Plus, the controls on the steering wheel are very convenient.
There are leather-wrapped south touch materials to spice things up, attractive accent stitching, and textured plastics for a high-quality feel. Plus, the all-weather rubberized flooring is extremely easy to clean with a modern look.
You can easily adjust the air vents to blow in any direction, and we hope they don’t change much in the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. The sunroof allows a nice amount of natural light in the cabin without being too bright as well.
We are still learning and processing the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. Stay tuned for off-roading coverage and our complete review.