Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
3 minute read
3 Jun 2021
1:47 pm

Missing out? Off-road focused Toyota Tacomas arrive in the States

Charl Bosch

Power in both models comes from a 3.5-litre petrol V6 engine.

Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition, the off-road cousin of the Hilux South Africa cannot get.

Toyota has taken the wraps off two new versions of the venerable Tacoma in the US  aimed squarely at buyers desiring more off-road prowess.

Soon to go on sale, the muscled-up versions of the sister model to the Toyota Hilux comprise the Trail Edition and the TRD Pro, with the latter being billed as the ultimate off-road model that takes “off-road performance to the next level”.

Trail Edition

Based on the top-spec SR5, and unsurprisingly only available with four-wheel drive, the Trail’s changes are easily identifiable in the shape of a TRD grille with bronze accents, a TRD front skid plate, uniquely designed alloy wheels wrapped in Goodyear all-terrain tyres with a red Toyota centre cap, Trail Edition badging on the tailgate and a colour coded rear bumper.

In total, four colours are available; Super White, Army Green, Midnight Black Metallic and a new hue called Lunar Rock.

The most prominent change has been to the suspension, which gains new coil springs that has raised the nose by 28 mm, removal of the lower front dam present on the SR5 and a rear suspension lift of 13 mm using a spacer mounted between the axle and leaf spring.

New Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition

Rear view.

According to Toyota, the revisions have improved the Tacoma’s departure, breakover and approach angles with the former pair both rated at 24.7 degrees and the latter at 36.4 degrees. Not provided, though, was the claimed ground clearance.

Inside, the revisions are more subtle with the biggest being black fabric seats complete with tan stitch work and all-weather floor mats. Features are unchanged from the SR5 and includes an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone climate control, a six-speaker sound system and the Toyota Safety Sense P suite of safety systems.

Also unchanged is the drivetrain made up of a 3.5-litre petrol V6 whose 207kW/359Nm is delivered to the rear or all four wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox. Standard however is the otherwise optional tow package which, apart from the 2 900kg capacity, includes a power steering and transmission cooler, engine oil cooler, Trailer Sway Control and a more powerful battery.

TRD Pro

Returning to head the Tacoma lineup, the TRD Pro builds on the Trail by also using the SR5 as a base, but with even more extensive changes underneath its skin.

Retaining the 13 mm rear suspension lift as well as the Goodyear tyres, the front has been raised by an additional 10 mm to 38 mm and the upper control arms made out of forged aluminium, while the shock absorbers themselves come from Fox with TRD tuning.

New Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Tacoma TRD Pro ups the ante with a Fox suspension system.

Like the Trail, the TRD Pro sports a colour coded rear bumper, TRD grille and TRD skid plate, but adds model specific LED headlights, a TRD bonnet and TRD Pro badges on the tailgate and load box while offering four colours of its own; Super White, Midnight Black Metallic, Magnetic Grey Metallic and the new Electric Lime Metallic.

Inside, the Pro retains most of the Trail and therefore the SR5’s standard specification, but receives bespoke touches in the form of black leather seats with the fronts sporting TRD embroidered headrests, a sunroof, TRD all-weather floor mats, a TRD gear lever and the Multi-Terrain Monitor. Standard on models equipped with the six-speed automatic box is a JBL sound system.

New Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Rear view.

Like the Trail, Toyota has kept motivation and power outputs unchanged, but added a six-speed manual gearbox as standard with the aforementioned automatic being optional.

Both the Trail Edition and TRD Pro will go on sale within the next few weeks, but like the standard Tacoma, won’t be offered anywhere with right-hand drive.