Trucks & SUVs

Here’s What Makes the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Such a Great Truck

Doug DeMuro is a YouTube video creator who specializes in automobile reviews. Over the last five years, he’s reviewed hundreds if not thousands of different vehicles ranging from mundane daily drivers to high-end exotics. In early July, DeMuro reviewed Toyota’s 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro and came away convinced that it’s a truly awesome truck. Here’s why.

Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro drivetrain

The base model 2019 Toyota Tacoma is available with two engine choices, a 2.7-liter four-cylinder with 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque or the 3.5-liter V6 producing nearly 280 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. The TRD Pro is only available with the 3.5-liter engine but you can still choose between a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission, and of course, four-wheel-drive is standard.

Off-road capable

In order to navigate rugged terrain, the Tacoma TRD Pro employs Fox internal bypass shocks, a one-inch lift, and front skid plates for added protection. Also included are high tech features like electronic drive modes for variable terrain and crawl control that delivers either power or braking individually to each all-terrain tire depending on traction needs. When the going is especially tough the electronic locking rear differential will provide power to both rear tires in unison to make use of every bit of available traction. Toyota even offers an optional snorkel that moves the air intake above the roofline to access clean air in dusty environments.

Interior comforts

Tacoma’s interior will keep you comfortable while driving to and from your off-road adventures. DeMuro spends a few minutes going over the amenities present inside the truck and points out some odd pairings of old-school and high-tech features.

Old-school features such as a manual parking brake lever and manual seats seem right at home in a rig meant to handle the worst nature can throw at it. The wireless phone charging pad, touch screen infotainment, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitor, and lane departure warning system let you know this is not a vintage truck.

A retro-graphics-styled button controls LED lighting in the truck bed and a mechanical shifter lever for the automatic transmission activates a shifter graphic on the LCD dash to display gear selection. In addition to gear selection and other normal information such as speed, RPM and various gages, the LCD dash screen also displays the truck’s pitch-and-roll, useful information in off-road situations. The juxtaposition of old and new seems to work both aesthetically and functionally providing the right amount of refinement and brawn.

Storage 

Secure storage space is often at a premium in a truck. In the back seat, the Tacoma offers expected storage under the seats but the seatbacks also fold forward offering additional storage behind them. Storage space is minimal behind the right rear seat but larger at the left rear. There is also a small storage compartment toward the rear of the bed on the passenger side for tie-down or tow straps. 

Driving the Tacoma TRD Pro

When DeMuro begins driving in the video the first thing you might notice is the exhaust sound under acceleration. Toyota’s cat-back exhaust system provides a throaty growl that sounds like it belongs in the truck although his review on the engine power is less than stellar. He does state that the truck is comfortable, has a good driving position, and ride height and that it is pleasant to drive.

In review

Compared to other mid-size trucks the Tacoma TRD Pro received high marks on the “Doug Scale” with above-average ratings for resale value, styling, features, comfort, quality, practicality and “cool factor.” The biggest drawback to the truck was the lackluster acceleration with a 0-to-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds.