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2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO 4x4 DBL CAB Review by David Colman +VIDEO


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2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Double Cab

This is where the beef is!

By David Colman
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL


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2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Double Cab
Unlike Ford, Chevy and Ram, Toyota sells more compact pickups than full size models. In fact, with yearly sales of a quarter million Tacomas, this compact Toyota outsells the larger Tundra by more than two to one. What accounts for this industry challenging reversal of form? Bottom line, the Tacoma is a great product, offering enough engine/drivetrain/body style configurations to please every buyer from the landscaper to the do-it-yourselfer to the off-road adventurer. Because of that wide variance in the truck's potential customer base, prices range from $33,425 for a stripped 4 cylinder model (159hp) with a manual gearbox to $49,679 for the TRD PRO 4x4 Double Cab we tested.

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2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Double Cab
Appropriately enough, our test Tacoma was finished in understated "Army Green "(LB25), a shade of Khaki exclusive to the TRD Pro range for 2020, and very much in keeping with this truck's ability to bivouac anywhere. If the TRD Pro can't get you there, neither can anything else. Toyota has put its considerable, race tested, off-road engineering to the test in configuring the suspension, driveline and engine performance of the TRD Pro. The 2GR-FKS V6 engine sits well back in the engine bay, protected underneath by a massive TRD logo front skid plate. This engine produces 278hp, 265lb.-ft. of torque and returns a combined fuel consumption figure of 20MPG.

You will never have to worry about bumping the concrete divider in a parking lot because this truck offers nearly 12 inches of ground clearance. Under the wheelwells, a set of highly visible red, TRD-tuned Fox shocks, with 2.5 inch bodies and internal fluid bypasses, keep ride height stable - no matter what kind of terrain you encounter. The rear shocks are even fitted with remote fluid reservoirs capable of coping with the kind of hectic jounce and rebound you might encounter on a trip to Baja. Instead of the normal 17 inch rims and tires fitted to les sporty models of the Tacoma, this one uses 7 x 16 inch black alloy rims which have shed 4.1 pounds at each corner compared to last year's wheels. These are fitted with Kevlar reinforced Goodyear Wrangler off road capable rubber (265/70R16).


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2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Double Cab

If you're not planning on tackling Baja, what's the TRD Pro like to drive on a daily basis? Clumsy is the word that comes to mind. The beefy, high aspect ratio Goodyears have a lot of sidewall compliance, so it's difficult to position your tires with precision. But this hefty truck, which is tow rated at 6,500 pounds, itself weighs 5,750 lbs. That's nearly three tons of top-heavy mass which you need to manage carefully in urban driving and parking maneuvers. Thankfully, Toyota now provides the Tacoma with standard blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert to help backing out of parking slots. The TRD Pro is also fitted with Toyota's Safety Sense-P suite of advantages, including pre collision braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and dynamic radar cruise control which worked effortlessly on freeway jaunts.

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2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Double Cab
With its tall-in-the-saddle good looks nicely augmented by an optional $699 TRD Pro graphics package, and its passenger side A pillar set off by the other-worldly Desert Air Intake ($725 extra), this mean army green pickup looks like it's ready for combat action. But this is no mere poseur pickup. Toyota has gone to great lengths to insure that the driveline in the TRD Pro is up to battle snuff, with full and part-time 4WD available at the twist of a knob on the dash. The 6 speed automatic gearbox feeds engine power to those gummy Goodyears through a 2-speed transfer case which is electronically controlled by the driver. A locking rear differential insures maximum aft end grip. Driver selected terrain control benefits from 5 available modes including Mud & Sand, Loose Rock, Mogul, Rock & Dirt and Rock. Crawl Control offers further refinement with 3 setting available (Low, Medium and High) as well as Hill Start Assist.

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2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Double Cab
The short bed is plenty big enough to serve as a receptacle for tree trimmings on their way to the dump (or resource recovery center it is so grandly known these days). We particularly liked the 4 optional ($55) D-Rings which are fastened to the four corners of the bed floor. These served as perfect tie down points for the bungee cords that helped tarp the load. The upper rails of the bed contain slots for a sliding bed cover or the removable stanchions that Toyota supplies as standard equipment. The optional ($120) heavy duty bed mat made sweeping out the debris a cinch. Just shake the mat and broom the trimmings out the back. Unfortunately, the Tacoma does not have those folding, tailgate mounted stair steps that are now so popular on full size pickups. Bed access in the Tacoma still requires you to sling a leg over the tailgate and slide in the old fashioned cowboy way.



2020 TOYOTA TACOMA TRD PRO 4x4 DBL CAB

    ENGINE: 3.5 liter V6 with Dual VVT-i and TRD Exhaust
    HORSEPOWER: 278hp
    TORQUE: 265lb.-ft.
    FUEL CONSUMPTION: 18MPG City/22MPG Highway
    PRICE AS TESTED: $49,679

HYPES: Alluring Look and Stance

GRIPES: Hard, Flat Seats, Springy Ride, Extra Heavy Hood without Struts

STAR RATING: 9 Stars out of 10