The 2021 TRD Pro Tacoma Can’t Compete With the Ram 1500 TRX or Ford Raptor but it’s Not Trying to

In a world where trucks are named after powerful prehistoric predators, the Toyota Tacoma isn’t exactly stalking its prey. It’s a midsize truck with a great reputation for handling off-road trails and a borderline cult following. The 2021 TRD Pro Tacoma can’t compete with the Ram 1500 TRX or the Ford Raptor, but it’s not trying to.

For competing with the full-size trucks, of course, Toyota has the Tundra in its lineup. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that no one has ever been truck shopping and found themselves torn between the 2021 TRD Pro Tacoma, the TRX, and the Raptor. They are all unique and popular with factory off-road upgrades to the suspension and other features like chunky all-terrain tires.

Off-roaders of a different breed

If you don’t have the need for a big truck like the 2021 Ram TRX or the 2021 Ford Raptor pickup trucks, check out the Tacoma TRD Pro. It will save money on gas mileage. Plus, the midsize Toyota pickup is way easier to park in a crowded lot.

A 2021 Toyota TRD Pro Tacoma parked on sand is smaller than larger off-road options like the Ram 1500 TRX
2021 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

If off-road adventure is your main priority as a truck owner, it’s possible you don’t need anything larger. The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX and the 2021 Ford Raptor pickup trucks are both more robust factory off-road pickup options. While the allure of all that horsepower does appeal to many, there are certainly some consumers that want something cool and capable and not quite so attention-grabbing.

There is no mistaking a big Ford Raptor or Ram TRX. Along with 450 and 702 horsepower respectively, they have interesting colors, too. Each truck has several designated off-road driving modes. You’re bound to have a blast in either of these pickup trucks off-road.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX front view
2021 Ram 1500 TRX Launch Edition | Ram

Might be more than you need, and they’re way more money

According to Kelley Blue Book, the Ram 1500 TRX starts for $69,995 plus a destination fee of $1,695. The 2020 Ford Raptor SuperCrew has an MSRP of $57,785. The Launch edition TRX starts over $90 grand, and both trucks can easily option near six-figure pricing.

Ford F-150 Raptor climbing over rocks
Ford F-150 Raptor | Ford

And we get it. The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro can’t compete with the Ram 1500 TRX or the Ford Raptor. But it’s obviously not trying to. In fact, if you just need a truck to haul you and a friend through off-road trails for backcountry adventure, the TRD Pro Tacoma actually is a better choice. The wide stance of the big trucks is great for dune hopping and desert running, but they are definitely a bit wide for some of the more infamous off-road trails.

Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro off-roading in dirt is a smaller but still formidable option compared with larger trucks like the raptor
2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Toyota

The TRD Pro Tacoma can’t compete, but it’s not trying to and doesn’t need to

The Ford Raptor and the Ram 1500 TRX pickup trucks are awesome. They boast tantalizing off-road features and for people who want that kind of truck, they’re the only perfect option. But there’s a good chance that some people who think they need a TRX or Raptor would do just fine with a 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.


Nobody Regrets Buying a Chevy Traverse Instead of a Toyota Sequoia

You really may not need all that oomph from the bigger half-ton trucks. If you need something bigger, you might even want to check out the TRD Pro Tundra before defaulting to a beast like the TRX or the Raptor. While they are all great trucks, the TRD Pro Tacoma comes quite a bit less expensive and can do a lot in terms of trail riding and off-roading.