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The 2023 Tacoma TRD Pro: Bold Design, Strong Performance

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is a rugged and capable truck that is well-suited for off-road adventures. In this review I will present the truck, write about the driving experience, and highlight the truck's exterior design, features, and its performance under the hood.

The first generation Tacoma was classified as a compact pickup. The second generation was classified as medium size. The Toyota Tacoma is a pickup truck manufactured in the United States since 1995.

The Tacoma is one of Toyota's success stories. Not only does it outsell the Tundra and 4Runner, it's also the best-selling truck in the midsize truck segment. The 2023 brings no changes, just a small mix of features between trim levels.

The Toyota Tacoma has gained immense popularity in the mid-size pickup truck segment, outselling even the brand's full-size pickup truck. This third-generation model is turning eight this year, and has seen some improvements since its launch. The standard powertrain is a wimpy 159-hp inline-four engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. However, you have the option of a 278-hp V-6 with either the auto or a six-speed manual transmission.

Also, did you know that the Tacoma and Jeep Gladiator are the only two pickups sold in the U.S. with three pedals? The base powertrain is also the least powerful in the segment, but the rear-drive single cab model remains a far more affordable choice than the Gladiator and Honda Ridgeline. The Tacoma can tow slightly more than the Nissan Frontier at 6800 pounds, and its impressive capabilities are held back only by its awkward seating position, poor fuel economy, and low-rent interior furnishings.

The Novelties of 2023, Trims and Pricing

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma is offered in six trim levels: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, and TRD Pro. The 2023 Toyota Tacoma is loaded with new features and trims to suit every budget and need. The SR5 trim level has two new appearance packages: the SX package, available for V-6 SR5 with both Access Cab and Double Cab bodies (crew cab), and the Chrome package, available on SR5 Double Cab with the five-foot bed. Both packages add unique elements to the truck, like black over-fenders, black wheels with black lug nuts, and leather-wrapped shift knob.

SR5 models with the V-6 now also get Toyota’s Smart Key and a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and every V-6 now comes with automatic dual-zone climate control. Limited trim levels now get a power-adjustable driver’s seat, the 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, Smart Key, and a 360-degree camera on Limited Double Cab Tacomas. TRD Pro off-road models, which Torque News is reviewing here, get a new exclusive Solar Octane color for 2023, and the TRD Sport is now available in Electric Lime paint.

As for pricing, the base SR trim starts at $29,085, the SR5 at $30,875, the TRD Sport at $35,995, the TRD Off Road at $37,275, the Limited at $41,840, the Trail Edition at $46,070, and the TRD Pro at $48,520.

For the best all-around experience, we’d recommend to take a look at what Toyota Tacoma does the best: the TRD Off-Road crew cab (a.k.a Double Cab) with the optional four-wheel drive. Sticking with the more powerful V-6 engine and choosing the manual transmission limits our choice to the shorter 5.0-foot cargo box, but it’s worth it for the superior control. Our model also has 16-inch wheels, black over-fenders, driver assists, and an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot. We’d also choose the Technology package for upgraded front lighting with LED elements, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors.

Engine and Performance

Under the hood, the Tacoma TRD Pro has a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 engine that is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It has a fuel economy of 18 around town and 22 on the highway. The engine produces 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, which is quite impressive.

2023 Tacoma TRD Pro engine

The truck has a TRD Pro suspension, which includes FOX-brand shocks, and the truck sits on 265/70R16 tires. The TRD Pro also has a skid plate, nine and a half inches of ground clearance, and a cool LED daytime running lights with the pro logo at the bottom.


When it comes to the exterior of the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD the truck has a cool stance with the updated lift done in 2022, and the fender flares, Tacoma logo on the side, and TRD Pro on the bed add to the truck's overall aesthetic appeal. The truck's bed has a payload capacity of 990 pounds, and the towing capacity is over 6,000 pounds. The tailgate is dampened with lowering, and the truck has a cool composite bed with an outlet below it.


Moving on to the truck's interior, the TRD Pro has an interesting texture on the seats' center and red stitching. Legroom in the back is just okay, but headroom is pretty good. The truck has parking sensors at the rear and a receiver hitch, and Toyota has done a good job with the truck's styling overall.

The interior is very well designed, with easy to understand and effective controls. The cabin has a lot of space in front, but tall people may disagree.

2023 Tacoma TRD Pro interior

Some reviewers write that the main drawback of the Tacoma is its high step height. But keep in mind, this is an off-roader's truck and it needs to have higher ground clearance. Get over that and everything else is solid once you're inside.

The 10-way power seat offers a greater range of adjustment than on pre-2020 models, but we wish the telescoping steering wheel would pull out more. Front seat space benefits from additional seat downward adjustability, but other dimensions remain the same as before.

2023 Tacoma TRD Pro second row seating

The Tacoma's composite bed has plenty of clever cargo management features, and there are a decent number of places for items in and around the cabin.

Fuel Economy

The V-6 Tacoma's fuel efficiency, as rated by the EPA, is neither the highest nor the lowest of its class. The V-6 with the manual transmission may require more frequent fill-ups of the tank, but it offers a more enjoyable ride. The 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO is rated as having 20 MPG combined and 18/22 MPG city/highway respectively.


People buy this the Tacoma TRD or the TRD PRO for its off-road capability. Therefore, in this section of this review I will focus a little bit on that aspect of the truck. So, in terms of off-road capability, the TRD Pro is a strong performer. It comes with an array of features that are designed to help you tackle even the toughest terrain.

For starters, we have an electronically locking rear differential that helps to distribute power evenly to both rear wheels, providing maximum traction in slippery conditions. Additionally, we have a set of Bilstein shock absorbers that have been specially tuned for off-road use. These shocks provide a smooth and controlled ride on the pavement, but really shine when you hit the dirt. We also have a set of skid plates that protect the undercarriage of the truck from rocks and other obstacles. Finally, we have a multi-terrain select system that allows you to choose from different drive modes depending on the terrain you're on.

The Tacoma steers and drives with quiet confidence on the road. The 3.5-liter V6 is preferable to the four-cylinder engine in other models, but it's nothing special. The automatic transmission shifts smoothly, but skewed fuel-efficiency programming makes it reluctant to slow down.

2023 Tacoma TRD Pro exterior design

The Tacoma's steering always comes across as predictable and reassuring, with a smooth, progressive effort as it guides you through turns. And it feels stable and connected when you're sailing straight, too. The thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel feels solid in your hands.

The sway of the body is gradual and moderate, and imparts a good sense of general competence and coordination on the kinds of winding roads, or some that must inevitably be traversed on the way to the swamps, the rocks, or the ski resort. You feel just as secure and sure-footed on any trail.

In summary, the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is a rugged and capable truck with impressive performance and a cool aesthetic. While the downside is not explicitly mentioned, the truck's overall design and features make it an excellent choice for off-road adventures.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.

Reference: QuePasa, Car and Driver.