I Just Can’t Hate the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

If you’ve read any articles about the Toyota Tacoma, you’ve likely read that its road manners are lousy. You may have read that the interior is riddled with hard plastics and that it feels dated. When I received the 2021 Toyota TRD Pro as a press car I felt pressure to hate it like all the other critics. I wanted to feel totally fine about the fact that I’m not currently in the market for a new vehicle. I didn’t want to want one, but now I do.

A 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD pro parked on sand
2021 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

It’s a bit of a hipster truck, but do I care? Nope

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is a hipster’s dream. It oozes off-road prowess. Not only that but it looks tough and feels tough. Zombie apocalypse? Bring it on.

Even if your idea of outdoor activity is an indoor climbing wall, this pickup truck makes you at least look like you love to be outside. Even the new TRD Pro paint color––Lunar Rock––is outlandish and unique. It changes shades depending on the lighting.

2021 Toyota Tacoma on display
2021 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

In the sun, it looks gray. When the clouds roll in, it looks more like a faint green. The interior feels nice and solid. Plus, it actually handles well. Considering the off-road capability on the new TRD Pro Tacoma, the driving dynamics on the pavement are pretty impressive. In addition, I didn’t find myself wanting any modern features that aren’t readily available.

The infotainment system was easy to use. When my boys requested a windows-down Dirty Heads jam session I was able to quickly cater to their musical mood. Maybe there is something about the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro that pulls on my hipster heartstrings. Or maybe it’s that I love driving a truck. Either way, no matter how much I wanted to make myself feel better about not being able to buy one by hating my loaner, I just can’t hate the Lunar Rock Taco. It’s too awesome.

The new TRD Pro Tacoma lives up to its reputation

One thing is certain. This pickup truck shines off-road. Any initial qualms someone might have with the on-pavement driving dynamics will melt away at the sheer ease and capability with which this truck navigates tricky terrain. All of the off-road driving modes are easy to use and I could really feel the difference in the way the new Tacoma TRD Pro performed.


What Does Toyota TRD Stand for?

I drove it in the soft sand at the farm and it didn’t miss a beat. The 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro goes up and it goes down. It easily maneuvers uneven terrain, gravel, and a muddy field fresh after a morning rain. In fact, I was able to drive it off-road in 2WD and in 4WD. Interestingly enough, the trusty Taco did great in the sand in 2WD. Still, when I put it in either of the 4WD settings it did in fact manage things with heightened success.

The verdict is true love

This is the first press vehicle I’ve driven that’s even sparked the idea that I could possibly part with my minivan. I couldn’t help but feel just a tiny bit more epic rolling around in the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. At this point, I can say I get the draw. I understand why so many people buy the Toyota Tacoma despite its high price, low towing capacity, and poor road test reviews. I’ve half talked myself into buying one, but I don’t think I’m ready to say goodbye to Goldie just yet.