2017 TRD Pro Tacoma

2017 TRD Pro Tacoma

It’s back! After a year-long hiatus, while the team at Toyota tinkered away in their lab, the 2017 model year is bringing back the TRD Pro Tacoma. I am sure, if you are anything like me, that when Toyota announced the package earlier this year you poured over the release with a fine-tooth comb to see what goodies would be included. Although the updated Tacoma flagship brings with it several factory-installed upgrades, keen observers will have noticed the Bilstein shocks and struts found on TRD Pro Tundra and 4Runner were replaced with new TRD-tuned equivalents from Fox.

2017 TRD Pro Tacoma

2017 TRD Pro Tacoma

I found the suspension on the TRD Off-Road Tacoma I drove earlier this year to be quite good in most of the driving conditions we found ourselves. It did fall short, however, driving over rough roads at high speed. It is here where the new suspension from Fox shines. The new 2.5-inch Fox system, combined with progressive rate springs, increase the Tacoma’s ride height, roughly 1-inch, and, most important, increased each wheel’s down-travel. This, combined with the inclusion of internal bypassing up front, is advantageous when we turned off the road and onto the high-speed driving course Toyota set up for us at Maui’s Hana Ranch.

The driving course combined fast straightaways with tight hairpin turns and showcased the capabilities of the new suspension. The new suspension package did a great job soaking up everything from the bumps in low-speed corners to whoops found along the high-speed straightaways. Although the front stabilizer bar diameter remains the same as the TRD Off-Road (1.18-inch), I perceived less body roll in the Pro and it (seemed) to corner better than Off-Road. Man, even as I am typing this a smile comes to my face as I think back at how fun, ahem, I mean I didn’t have fun – this is serious work I am talking about here.

I have to hand it to the Toyota team, and I cannot forget the folks at Fox, for really dialing in the suspension on the new TRD Pro Tacoma. They made some great improvements and made an already top notch platform. Now we just have to wait for these trucks to start hitting dealer lots before we can start getting some real world data. My only fear is that they have produced such a fine-tuned setup that the ride will be compromised once owners start loading their trucks down with camping and travel gear.

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