Taco Tuesday: How Far Has the TRD Pro Trim Come since 2015?
The Toyota Tacoma is a great stock truck ready for modifications, lifts, accessories, and chunky tire upgrades. But for those that want a factory off-roader, Toyota has offered the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro model since 2015. It used the basics provided by the TRD Off-Road trim and added more off-road goodies.
But how much has the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro or “Taco Supreme” improved since 2015? Has it even changed at all? The 2022 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro has been revealed with a new lift and a brilliant Electric LIme color.
Let’s go back to that original TRD Pro taco, though. What was that first Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro like? Here’s a brief history of Toyota’s TRD Pro trim Tacoma pickup truck and how it’s evolved since arriving in the North American auto market in 2015.
The 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro pickup truck
Before the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, its most recent predecessors were the T|X and T|X Pro Off-Road packages. Then, in 2015 the Taco hit the market with an all-new TRD Pro Series. The older Tacos are still revered rough-and-tumble pickups respected by Tacoma fans across the country.
However, the 2015 model year brought us the TRD Pro trim that sits at the pinnacle of the Toyota Tacoma lineup. It’s the most expensive version of this midsize Toyota pickup truck. But it comes as an off-road ready rig with numerous goodies straight from the factory.
What comes standard on a TRD Pro Tacoma model?
In 2015, the standard features on a Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro model included everything one would find on a Taco equipped with the TRD Off-Road Package. That means off-road enhancements such as an electronically locking rear differential, plus downhill-assist control and hill-start assist. According to Car and Driver, the 2015 TRD Pro Tacoma lifted the front suspension 1.75 inches.
Additionally, the first TRD Pro Tacoma truck boasted big 2.5 inch Bilstein shocks up front a 2.0 inch rear shocks with remote reservoirs. This new model added 1.5 inches and 1 inch of wheel travel in the front and rear, respectively. We also saw the red Eibach springs that brought a softer spring rate, making off-road travel all the more inviting to adventurers lining up to get behind the wheel of this new factory off-roader from Toyota.
Of course, there were also the bead-lock wheels in black and silver cozied up inside all-terrains from BFGoodrich. The TRD cat-back exhaust system provided some extra low-end torque and some more horses (about 8, to be exact) to the 4.0 liter V6 engine rated for 236 hp. This model also brought about the TRD Pro badging on both the interior and exterior. At the time, the tech upgrades from the second generation were welcome, but today drivers used to a newer car might miss the standard safety and tech features that equip a more contemporary model.
How far has the 2022 version advanced since the first model?
For the 2022 model year, Toyota offers new upgrades on the TRD Pro Tacoma. The more modern Taco offers a standard safety suite of advanced tech and driver-assist features. The TRD Pro’s standard engine is now the 3.5 liter V6 that was introduced to the lineup in 2016.
This powerplant generates 278 hp with 265 pound feet of torque. The 2022 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro model is even taller now with a 1.5 inch and 0.5 inch lift for the front and rear, respectively. We see the same Fox internal bypass dampers with rear remote reservoirs as the 2021 model.
But now there is a reconfigured ball-joint mount with what Car and Driver calls a “revised angle” on the “new forged aluminum upper control arm.” This allows the new midsize TRD Pro truck to take full advantage of its new height.
The 2015 and 2022 Tacoma models can pull the same tow weight of 6,400 pounds. The 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro model has a ground clearance of 9.3 inches. The approach, breakover, and departure angles are 35, 25, and 20 degrees respectively––according to MotorTrend. The 2022 model approach, breakover, and departure angles are 36.4, 26.6, and 24.7 degrees respectively. This is an all around improvement.
The 2022 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is true to its roots, but it’s a new truck
While buyers can opt for a 2015 TRD Pro Taco and get a great off-road truck, the 2022 features a completely remastered front upper control arm that should improve the driving experience. It also comes equipped standard with features that weren’t even an option back then. It’s safe to say that the Taco has come a long way with its range-topping TRD Pro trim.