How the Tacoma TRD Pro Performed in MotorTrend’s First Test

Nothing shows a truck’s true potential like taking it on a multiple-day off-roading test in the Mojave Desert. That’s just what Motor Trend did with the 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro with the goal of seeing how it truly held up when put through its paces. Designed with these exact off-road conditions in mind, Toyota modeled the TRD Pro after their TRD Off-Road Truck, but with stronger shocks and a 1-inch suspension lift. Let’s take a look at how the TRD Pro held up in MotorTrend’s test in the desert.

First, let’s talk specs

The Tacoma TRD Pro is powered by its 3.5-liter V6 engine that gets 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. Rigid Industries LED foglights, headlights, and taillights give the truck a modern and high-tech appearance at night. The 2019 model is equipped with 2.5-inch shocks, tough Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain tires, and a snorkel that raises the engine’s air intake.

Its interior is comfortable and stylish, with plenty of storage space throughout. It doesn’t skimp out on technology, either. It has a touchscreen control panel with Apple CarPlay compatibility, cameras in the front, back, and sides to give you a 360-degree view of your surroundings, and USB ports in the center console.

How it rides

MotorTrend’s Mojave Desert test ride definitely put the TRD Pro through its paces. The shocks performed extremely well, keeping up with all of the rocks and bumps they encountered, and keeping the ride as smooth as possible. Its transmission held up well when climbing rocks and the 1-inch suspension helped immensely with keeping everything steady over the more difficult terrain. 

The biggest issue the testers encountered was when braking; they got a lot of brake dive, lurching around every time they stopped or shifted out of park. This is a known issue with most other Tacomas, and it’s unfortunate the TRD Pro is no exception.

The crawl control feature is an interestingly beneficial addition to the TRD Pro. It controls the braking on each wheel when you’re descending a hill, allowing you to simply choose the speed at which you’d like to go and the truck makes it happen, which is especially handy on rocky terrain when you need to be paying extra attention to everything around you. Safety features like this shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re looking for your next truck; anything that makes life a little bit easier is always a good thing!

Overall, what’s the consensus?

The Tacoma TRD Pro is an excellent off-roading truck, with plenty of features that keep it a good option on main roads as well. You’ll still get a smooth ride in your everyday driving and the insulated cabin is quiet and great for a morning commute, if that’s what you need most days. It has radar cruise control, lane departure alerts, and blind-spot monitoring to give you everything you need for a safe city ride. But where this Taco truly shines in right in the desert where Motor Trend tested it out.

Its engine has enough power to make you feel like you can come out on top of anything, from climbing rocks to handling dips in sand and descending carefully down the side of a cliff. Its size is perfect for playing around – not too big that you feel cumbersome but not too small that you feel like you don’t have enough power to do anything crazy.

All in all, the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is a great option for doing a little weekend adventuring. It’s an excellent off-road companion with enough comfort features to really let you enjoy the ride.