2024 Tacoma TRD Pro – Off-Road Test Drive

2024 Tacoma TRD Pro Jumping At Barrett Jackson Course

Test Driving And Jumping The All-New 4th Gen Tacoma TRD Pro!

I had the opportunity to ride shotgun in the the new TRD Pro during the Toyota TRD Pro Dirt ride experience at Barrett Jackson. At the event, Toyota gave nonstop rides in their flagship TRD Pro models. This included the 4Runner, Tundra, and the Tacoma.

These rigs were driven by professionals around a pretty fun dirt course with multiple banks and drifting sections and concluded with catching some air via a decent tabletop jump at the end.

In this article, I’ll share my experience both on and off-road. For my in-depth driving impressions, stay tuned!

Various photos from – @ghosted_trd.

Off-Road Impressions

New Tacoma TRD Pro Ice Cap Doing Donuts On Test Field

Let’s of course start with my off-road impressions.

As I mentioned earlier, I was only allowed to ride shotgun during the off-road course. What I didn’t mention, was who was driving – professional off-road racer and 3-time Baja Champion, Brandon Walsh! How sick is that? Let me tell you, this man can drive!

The course started with a pretty bad washboard section of about 300 feet or so. The Tacoma handled this decently well, with your typical interior rattles – expected given how poorly maintained the section was.

After the initial shakedown, we entered into the first of three corners where Brandon pitched the it sideways, shifted down into first gear, revved out the turbo engine, and drifted the new Tacoma with ease. In between each corner, there were about 200 feet or so of a straightaway. This is where I felt the 465ft/lbs of torque from the i-FORCE MAX hybrid powertrain.

The grand finale, a decent tabletop jump, tested the new Fox QS3 shocks and hydraulic bump stops. This was handled flawlessly with a smooth landing.

The whole course took around 45 seconds to complete. I was fortunate enough to run this course multiple times with Brandon, pushing the limits further and further each time.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Iso Dynamic Seats: Not a gimmick! To be completely honest, I had no idea if they were working or not until I looked at my video footage. My body remained completely stable while the seat acted as a gimbal. They were also super bolstered for lateral stability.
  • Fox QS3 Shocks: The new suspension was plush. I am not sure want dampening setting they had it set to, but it was perfect for the course. The shocks allowed the truck to dig into the turns as we drifted with minimal body roll. They also soaked up the landing when we jumped the truck at the end. My only wish for this suspension was that it was electronically controlled for live adjustments as you drive like the competition does. That’s especially true for the $60K+ price tag that I’m sure Toyota will be slapping on this thing.
  • i-FORCE MAX Powertrain: Even though the course was short, I could still feel the increased torque compared to a standard Tacoma. I asked Brandon what he thought about the power, and he told me that it was more than enough to have a ton of fun. I can’t wait to drive it for myself in a few months!

On-Road Impressions

2024 Tacoma TRD Pro

When it came time to replenish the 18.2-gallon fuel tank, we took the Tacoma to a gas station just up the road.

One of my favorite things about my 4Runner is that no matter how hard I beat on it off-road, the moment that it touched pavement as I ventured back home, it was still rock solid. There was no banging, dirt crunching, or odd noise. That is exactly how this new TRD Pro felt. We beat the snot out of it for close to an hour, and the moment we hit the pavement, it was as if we had just driven it off the dealership lot.

The main downside to the TRD Pro is the standard Iso Dynamic Seats, but not in the way that you think. I rode in the back and unfortunately, there’s an insane lack of legroom. While they’re incredible for off-road use, they eat up a significant amount of rear seat space. I’m 5’11” and even though I fit, it wouldn’t be comfortable for longer trips.

Gathering Crucial Data

Tacoma TRD Pro Drifting At Barrett Jackson Dirt Experience

The Dirt Experience was hosted by Toyota USA alongside the amazing company, DG SPEC. This company maintained all the vehicles, the dirt course, sourced professional drivers, and collected valuable data for Toyota Engineers.

In the span of the week on this course, these trucks would put an equivalent of 300,000 miles worth of wear and tear on the powertrain and other components. That seemed a bit farfetched to me at first but if you track a car, you need to change the oil at a faster rate, service the brakes, swap tires, etc. Components just break down faster when you push the vehicle harder than you would in daily use.

These trucks were running for 10+ hours every day and only shut down to change tires or oil. They were also being constantly nearly redlined and didn’t skip a beat.

I asked Dan (owner of DG SPEC) at the end of their weekend if any significant failures were reported back to Toyota. While there weren’t any major issues, there were some minor ones like the electronic tailgate getting jammed, along with the front grille support coming a bit loose. Hopefully, Toyota will take this data and address those issues.

Final Thoughts

TRD Jon Tacoma TRD Pro

This event was a blast! It was so much fun to rip around in the new Tacoma TRD Pro. I cannot wait to drive this truck in more detail and share my driving experiences along with how much this thing will cost!

What do you all think of this new truck? Let us know in the comments below.

YouTube Video

Extra Photos

2024 TRD Pro Tacoma Test Drive

New Tacoma TRD Pro Stress Testing

Tacoma TRD Pro Barrett Jackson 

TRD Pro Tacoma On Off-Road Course At Barrett Jackson

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