Driven: The 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Is Misunderstood
Buckle up because we’re going against the tide about the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. Things could get bumpy and rough, but the Tacoma is well-equipped to take a beating. That could be why the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is still the best-selling midsize truck despite getting low scores from critics.
Is the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro worth buying?
Yes, the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is an excellent midsize truck to consider. It’s extremely capable, durable, and reliable. It can be customized to fit various needs and even has an optional manual transmission.
The 2023 Tacoma is agile and easy to maneuver, making it a practical option compared to larger trucks. We do agree with skipping the underpowered base engine for the more powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine with 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque.
While Car and Driver called the transmission clumsy, it pairs pretty well, in our opinion. Despite the setup’s age, there is only a slight delay under hard acceleration. You get a little kickback before smoothly getting up to speed.
The downshifts are smooth as well. The Tacoma TRD Pro can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.6 seconds. It has direct steering and responsive handling. The brakes are a bit soft but are easy to master.
Is the Tacoma TRD Pro comfortable?
Yes, the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is a comfortable truck, but critics call it unrefined. The suspension lift, upgrades, and larger tires impact the ride quality a little. Bumps and impacts can be felt in the cabin, but they are quickly settled.
Critics said the Tacoma rides truckier than the competition. But that could be the point. Driving smaller trucks that bounce and corner well can be fun. It’s well-built for entertaining daily commutes and joyriding with friends.
The 2023 Tacoma has almost no body roll, giving it a sporty edge. Plus, it has a 20.4’ turning radius, making it easy to park and maneuver through crowded areas or narrow trails.
Sure, at higher speeds, wind and road noise enters the cabin, but it’s easy to cover with the radio or a podcast. The interior isn’t as loud as the Jeep Wrangler or the Ford Bronco on the highway.
The Tacoma gets flack for having a cheap interior. However, it has a high-quality, durable build. The plastics are textured for a high-quality feeling, and there are attractive chrome trim pieces and accent stitching to help it pop. Plus, every surface is easy to clean!
Another complaint involves the tiny backseat. Its true leg space is limited, but the Ford Ranger and Nissan Frontier also have tight backseats. The Jeep Gladiator has the biggest backseat in the class.
How capable is the 2023 Tacoma?
The 2023 Toyota Tacoma gets knocked for only being able to tow up to 6,800 lbs and can only carry a payload of up to 1,685. Rivals like the Chevy Colorado can tow up to 7,700 lbs and carry up to 1,610 lbs.
If you’re looking to tow in the 7,000 lb range, then it might be best to consider a full-size truck. Plus, the Tacoma has a durable composite bed with multiple tie-downs and a 120-volt outlet.
Also, the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is the off-roading king with Fox shock absorbers, skid plates, locking differentials, multi-terrain monitoring, a hood scoop, an upgraded exhaust, and a 9.4-inch ground clearance.
The optional running boards improve access to the cab. Plus, the tailgate and truck bed sizes aren’t very tall, making it easier to load cargo.
While the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro doesn’t have the smoothest ride or quietest interior, it’s well-equipped for work and play. It’s more capable and durable than rivals and does much more than the average daily driver.