American’s hate roads. At least that’s the evidence Toyota is providing us, as it has updated not one, but two of its three off-roading editions to its Tacoma mid-size pick-up. The first is the 2022 TRD Pro, the most expensive and capable Tacoma you can buy. The second was only introduced in 2021, but offers more off-road kit for 2022, the Tacoma Trail Edition. The third, the TRD Off-Road, does not receive a significant update for 2022.
2022 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
The TRD Pro has already existed since 2015. But for 2022, Toyota lifted the front suspension by 1.5-inches and the rear suspension by 0.5 inches over the standard Tacoma, which translates to more capability and greater ease of clearing obstacles. While lifting the suspension does improve wheel travel, it does not change the 9.4-inches of ground clearance. Approach, departure, and breakover angles do improve, increasing to 36.4-degrees, 24.7-degrees, and 26.6 degrees respectively.
More than lifted, Toyota also installed forged aluminum upper control arms up front, which are stronger and improve the angle of the ball-joint mount for the 2.5-inch diameter Fox internal bypass shocks to better accommodate the increased rebound stroke. The Fox shocks were available on the 2021 TRD Pros as well, but that doesn’t make them any less haus.
Beyond that, changes to the TRD Pro are largely cosmetic. Toyota bolted up a new design 16-inch TRD wheel, which are mounted with a new Goodyear Territory all-terrain tire. “TRD Pro” is now stamped into the rear quarter panel of the truck on both sides. There’s new badging in back, new graphics in front, and a new paint color, which is called Electric Lime Metallic and only available on the TRD Pro.
This top-of-the-line model retains its aluminum front-skid plate, unique LED headlamps and foglamps, and blacked-out hood scoop. It’s still only available on the double-cab, short-bed, 4×4 body. And while pricing isn’t yet available, expect to land a bit above $45,000. Not cheap, which is one of the main reasons the Trail Edition Tacoma exists.
2022 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition
“Off-road is huge right?” A Toyota product expert explained, “Anyone that buys these trucks that wants to take it off-road, they want choice, so we’re giving them choice. For years we only had (Tacoma) TRD Off-Road, now we have got TRD Pro and we’ve got the Trail Edition, it just gives the customer options.”
In other words, Toyota wants more customers to be able to afford an off-roading edition Tacoma.
Introduced just last year, Toyota already updated the Trail Edition for 2022, paring down the variability of how the truck is offered, it is now only available as a double-cab, short-bed 4×4, just like the TRD Pro. At the same time, the Trail Edition also got a similar, but not as tall, suspension lift, but without the new control arm.
The 2022 Tacoma Trail Edition is raised 1.1-inches in front and 0.5 inches in back. Ground clearance for the Trail Edition is also 9.4 inches. Approach, departure, and breakover angles are 34.0-degrees, 23.6-degrees, and 26.4 degrees, not as good as TRD Pro, but certainly respectable.
Furthermore, Toyota now bolts up a locking rear differential as standard, added skid plates from the TRD Off-Road, and uses 16-inch wheels with a bronze finish that also happens to increase track width.
Not strictly needed for leaving the pavement, the Trail Edition comes with two in-bed lockable storage compartments. The one on the driver’s side also doubles as a cooler. Also in the bed is a 120 Volt outlet for when you need a little A/C. To me, these features give it a tailgating and family camping vibe, but hey, sometimes those activities require a little off-roading too.
Pricing isn’t yet available on this one either, but the 2021 Tacoma Trail Edition crests $35,000 now, so expect this one to be in that range too when it comes to dealers in the fall.
2022 Tacoma Off-Road Trucks
Generally speaking, these trucks have a lot in common. In addition to the body type, both come standard with a 3.5L V6 producing peak outputs of 278 hp and 265 lb.-ft. of torque, which is then attached to a 6-speed automatic transmission. But you can still choose a 6-speed manual on the TRD Pro.
And even the special editions can not avoid the latest tech. Both models have standard Toyota Safety Sense driver assist systems, things like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian protection.
Not long ago, Toyota offered one off-roading version of the Tacoma, the TRD Off-Road. But with demand to seek adventure, leave pavement, and, indeed, reach harder to reach places, off-roading has boomed in popularity and Toyota has responded.