Trucks & SUVs

Driving the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro in the Snow Is Fun, But Terrifying

When it comes to trucks, there’s almost no better choice than the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro if you want a pick-up that can traverse almost any terrain and will outlast almost any other truck on the road. During the time that I spent with it as a press fleet loaner, I was fortunate enough to drive it on dry pavement, a dirt road, and even some snow. All of which it did great on and it was even a little fun, but when it came to the white, slippery stuff, things got a little scary.

The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is fun in the snow

As you can imagine, when you have an off-road worthy truck that’s also equipped with a manual transmission and a decent amount of torque, there’s potential for a lot of fun when the snow hits the ground. You can accelerate out of turns hard and giggle to yourself as the truck steps out a little and if you find a nice open parking lot, then you can make it twirl around in circles.

That’s all in good fun when the weather is clear and the snow on the ground is from the night before. However, when the snow starts to fall again at night time and you have to drive through it when coming home from your friend’s house, that’s a different story.

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Joe Santos
2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Joe Santos

RELATED: What Is it Like to Daily Drive the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro?

The Toyota Tacoma TRD can be scary in the snow

You would think that an amazing truck like the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro would impossibly charge through any type of snowfall and make quick work of the white pavement as it cleanly drives through the night. And you would be correct, that is, unless you count on “driver error.” After all, this purpose-built truck can handle anything like a lion in a jungle, but when you put a driver behind the wheel that’s not used to driving it through snow, it’s about as courageous as a church mouse.

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Joe Santos
2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Joe Santos

RELATED: The 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Has 1 Surprisingly Shifty Feature

My personal story

As the story goes, I was driving home from a friend’s house late at night and it was snowing. Since I was driving the Tacoma TRD Pro, I figured, “This is nothing, I’ve driven through worse in my Subaru Forester.” And to my credit, all was going well as the heavy truck plowed through the street with no issues until it was time to stop. I hit the brakes to prepare for an upcoming right turn that was marked off by a right turn lane and a small island.

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Joe Santos
2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Joe Santos

RELATED: The Least Reliable Toyota Cars Don’t Have to be Dealbreakers

But apparently, the snow isn’t kind to those who brake hard and suddenly, and even worse, it doesn’t care if you’re in a $47,000 truck that can handle anything. If your vehicle doesn’t have traction, you’re not going to stop. And that’s what happened, I hit the brakes and the truck went sliding toward the traffic light pole.

Fortunately, I turned the wheel to the right and feathered the throttle and the Tacoma somehow rotated around the turn and missed the pole altogether. But then when I recovered and hit the gas again, the rear wheels stepped out and I corrected it by steering in the opposite direction. “Man, this thing is heavy! But why do I feel so unconfident while driving it right now?” I wondered.

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Joe Santos
2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Joe Santos

The Tacoma has more than one drive mode

Right when that thought went through my head, I looked down on the dash and noticed a knob with three different “modes” on it. One said “2WD” and the others said “4H” and “4L.” If you know trucks, you know what that means. “OK, I’m a bonehead. I’ve been driving a rear-wheel-drive truck this whole time!” was my next thought.

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Joe Santos
2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Joe Santos

I turned the knob to “four high” and was off without a hitch. If anything, the truck felt completely “normal” and trudged through the fresh snow with reckless abandon and got me safely to my destination. Needless to say, the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is indeed an amazing truck, and it’s fun to play with in the snow. Just don’t be like me and remember how to use it when the road gets slippery. After all, it’s not a fool-proof Subaru.