2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO Review By Larry Nutson
2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO
The real deal for off-road fun
By Larry Nutson
Executive Producer and Bureau Chief Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel
At the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, Toyota introduced its Tacoma lineup for 2020. The Tacoma TRD Pro for 2020 has been given the once over by Toyota Racing Development and returns with a revised look and new features.
Tacoma TRD Pro is designed for hitting the trails. How will I do that in Chicago? Well I did by way of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, of which I am a member.
Back in the Spring my fellow auto writers and I had a chance to drive the Tacoma TRD Pro on the off-road trails at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. This Fall we hit the off-road trails at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, IL driving an Army Green 2020 Tacoma TRD Pro.
Army Green is the TRD Pro exclusive color for 2020, which will be offered along with Super White, Midnight Black Metallic and Magnetic Gray Metallic.
The Tacoma has been America’s best-selling midsize pickup for 14 years running, and the 2020 TRD Pro has been nicely updated for 2020.
New sequential LED/DRL headlamps, a new 16-inch wheel design and black-insert taillamps freshen up the outside look. Rigid Industries LED fog lights come standard.
Inside TRD Pro, there’s a new 10-way power seat, upgraded multimedia system with a new 8-inch touchscreen display, plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
For those treks down the trail a new Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) + Multi Terrain Monitor (MTM) help you to see where you are going. The driver can select front, side, or rear views for improved visibility. When the going really gets rough, under vehicle terrain view can help the driver avoid potential unseen obstacles.
The new 16-inch wheel is lighter than the previous version by 4.2 lbs. Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Kevlar-reinforced tires get the grip. Newly tuned Fox 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks and front and rear springs improve overall off-road performance.
Tacoma TRD Pro comes standard with 4WDemand part-time 4-wheel drive with an electronically controlled transfer case and an electronically controlled locking rear differential.
TRD Pro is powered by a 278-HP 3.5-liter V6 that develops 265 lb-ft of torque mated to either a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual. Automatic transmission-equipped Tacomas also further off-road capability with Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Multi-terrain Select, and Crawl Control.
TRD front skid plate, TRD unique exhaust plus an optional new Desert air intake round out the package. A power moonroof, JBL Premium Audio, black TRD Pro leather heated seats, and Q wireless charging add a bit of comfort and luxury.
The TRD Pro is offered in 5-seat, 4-door Double Cab configuration with a 5-foot bed. It’ll tow up to 6,400 lbs. Base MSRP for the TRD Pro is $46,665 plus the $1,095 delivery charge.
More information and detail on the entire Tacoma model range can be found at www.toyota.com. The 2020 Tacoma is available in 32 models based on two cab types, the extended 4-passenger Access Cab and four-door 5-passenger Double Cab. Each is available in 4×2 or 4×4 configurations in a wide array of model grades.
Toyota Safety Sense us standard and includes pre-collision warning, lane-departure alert and adaptive cruise control.
The range-topping TRD Pro has a strong cachet among off-roaders. In our off-road drives in both Wisconsin and Illinois we traversed some very muddy trials, a few inclines with sharp breakovers, narrow wooded paths, a low-running stream, and couple undulating fields. The TRD Pro performs as one of the best with the likes of Jeep Gladiator, Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison, and Ford Ranger.
Around Chicago I just looked like I traversed boulders, drove trails, and lived adventurously. No doubt the very noticeable Desert Air Intake sitting up high over the cab drew some attention. When I stepped into the throttle the TRD exhaust made my presence known.The somewhat long 212.3 inch length of the Tacoma makes for cautious parking lot maneuvers. The Tacoma is not too wide for city streets, but it sits up tall which limits view of low objects. The Panoramic View monitor comes in vey handy in tight places.
In general I think midsize pickups are okay in a large, crowded city and not too much of a challenge. Full size pickups are another story.
© 2019 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy