2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO 4X4 dbl cab

1248 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Front Side

2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO 4X4 dbl cab

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia


This is the 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO 4X4 dbl cab. Toyota says you can ‘go way, way, way off-road’ and take off-roading even further. TRD stands for Toyota Racing Development. There is a lot of buzz and ‘look-sees’ on line and on the road about this new offering to avid off-roaders. Even if folks didn’t know much about this new ‘tough guy’ they knew it looked serious about going outback.

Me, I took it to the High Sierra’s where most of the geography was solid granite. I can’t help wondering how well it would do on the Jeep Jamboree venue’s. Rubicon Trail, west of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada mountains, is classed a 10 in difficulty and it is much like the Granite formations in the Sierra mountains where I tested this Tacoma.

General Information:

Assembly- San Antonio, TX. USA; Classification is- Small Pickup; Vehicles from Toyota- 4Runner, 86, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, Camry, Camry Hybrid, C-HR,Corolla, Corolla iM, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Mirai, Prius, Prius C, Prius Prime, Prius V, RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma Access Cab, Tacoma Double Cab, Tundra CrewMax, Tundra Double Cab, Tundra Regular Cab, Yaris and Yaris iA.

Handling & Performance:

It is promoted as a serious off-road truck and I don’t doubt Toyota’s assessment. I’ve been on Jeep Jamboree’s in past years and was hugely impressed with the sure-footed prowess of Jeep’s off-road. I didn’t get into as serious outback adventures as those Jamboree’s because I was not supported by 120 other Jeeps traversing the same terrain.

But I did pal around with a 1942 Army version Jeep and of course it is the “Original” granddaddy of tough off road, all terrain vehicles. The Jeep is much smaller so it could go places I could. Talk about basic, the Jeep is basic to the max. The Toyota is a ‘Cadillac’ by comparison.

I was far above the dust of the desert, but the 2019 model of this Tundra has moved the air intake above the windshield. So, if you’re intending to enter the Baja 1000 you may want that new design.

“Crawl Control” – there is a setting designed for driving on difficult terrain at low speeds. It assists the driver by controlling acceleration and braking, allowing the driver to focus on steering. So, if you’re on large and lose rock it crawls slowly. Those who have been over large boulders and challenging terrain know ‘fast’ isn’t a good thing in such situations. This feature will keep you in control. Pretty cool.


Style is typically Toyota but this TRD PRO takes the look to another level of Toughness Japanese trucks haven’t been known for in the past. Nice addition to the brand.

Fit and Finish:

Very Toyota – very good.


Pricing is just about where I expected it to be. I have a Ford F350 4X4 Long Bed and $70,000 just gets you in the door. So, after taking this Tacoma through its paces in the High Sierra rugged mountains I must admit the price is ok by me.

Conveniences and comfort:

This model includes all the important features I enjoy and demand for the cars / trucks I care to drive and own. The list is generous and all is included with no ups and extras. Nice, I like it.

In addition to the great on-road features, TRD Pro is equipped with a heavy duty 1/4” aluminum skid plate to avoid being ‘inconvenienced’ off-road.

Consumer Recommendations:

Not a large field of serious off-road trucks so the search is a short journey. Look closely and I think you’ll agree this TRD PRO is a very serious contender. It’s at the top of my list for sure.

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin
Toyota Tacoma 45,000 18-22 5 4 Japan
Nissan Frontier 38,000 15-21 5 4 Japan
Chevrolet Colorado 44,000 19-22 5 4 USA

Good News:

Consistent performer, comfortable ride on-road and great off-road prowess.

Bad News:


Standard Equipment:

3.5-liter V6 / 278 horsepower engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, 4-wheel on demand, part-time 4×4 system with 2-speed electronically controller transfer case, locking rear differential; multi-terrain select. Crawl control; Hill-start control, towing receiver hitch, engine oil cooler, power steering cooler, 130-amp alternator, 4/7 pin connector and trailer sway control, Toyota safety sense, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, sway warning system, automatic high beams, dynamic radar cruise control, rear backup camera and rear parking sonar, blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert, TRD-tuned FOX 2.5 internal bypass shocks with rear remote reservoirs, LED fog lights, TRD front skid plate and TRD exhaust, 16” TRD Black Alloy wheels, 5 foot composite bed with 120 v power outlet, deck rail system with 4 adjustable tie down cleats, easy lower, lockable and removable tailgate, smart key system with push button start, leather trim seats with heated driver and front passenger seats, leather trim steering wheel with audio controls, power horizontal rear window with privacy glass, front dual zone A/C with individual temperature controls, Entune premium audio with integrated Navigation and app-suite, 7” hi – resolution screen, AM/FM/CD, USB/AUX, Bluetooth, HD radio and SXM, Qi Compatible wireless smartphone charging.

Gas Stats:

18 City and 22 Highway MPG

$3.39 / Gal avg. July 9, 2018

for more information.


MSRP $43,520.

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