I first drove the Tacoma TRD (Toyota Racing Department) as part of a test of small trucks for the Canadian Truck King Challenge.
The challenge is designed to test new trucks in a work environment, which means working with loads and while towing and looking at how the cabs are laid out for workers and private use.
In this case, the Tacoma was equipped with the TRD package, which is basically a large-tired, sporty truck with lots of bells and whistles.
Exterior styling now more closely resembles that of the Tundra, Toyota’s large truck. That’s a welcome change, because now the Tacoma looks more aggressive and powerful, as well as having some sporty styling touches. The Tacoma name is branded into the tailgate and with larger fenders up front, the truck has a beefier look.
Toyota was wise to revise the Tacoma. The midsize truck market has heated up recently thanks to a newly revised Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, and the Nissan Frontier remains a formidable competitor as well. Honda has redone its Ridgeline, so it will also be interesting to see how that truck will be received.
Pricing for the Tacoma starts at around $25,000 and ranges to just about $40,000. If you’re in the market for a truck that can handle a good size work load, but also is smaller and more fuel efficient that large trucks, the Tacoma deserves a long look.