2019 Toyota Tacoma — Voodoo Blue Pickup Great for Off-Roading, but Comfy Enough as a Daily Driver

The 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro 4x4 off-roading near Mt. Rainier in Washington state.
The 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro 4×4 off-roading near Mt. Rainier in Washington state.
(Photo courtesy Ian Caruana)

Model: 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro 4×4

Wheelbase: 127.4 inches

Type: Double Cab Pickup

Base price: $25,850

Base TRD Pro: $45,515

As tested: $46,717

Engine: 3.5-L V-6

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Suspension/front: coil spring double wishbone with stabilizer bar

Suspension/rear: leaf spring with outboard-mounted shocks, stabilizer bar

Wheels: 16-inch machine alloy

Tires: 16-inch Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain

Tow capacity: 6,800 pounds

EPA/DOT fuel ratings: 18 MPG/city, 22/highway

If you’re in the market for a hot midsize pickup, the Toyota Tacoma may just offer you most everything you desire and actually need in truck.

There is a very valid reason that pickups (along with SUVs) are the hot sellers in the North American market — they are simply highly usable vehicles for a variety

of peole. And our test of the 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro 4×4 DoubleCab confirmed that a pickup can be both comfortable and perfect for hauling cargo.

Powered by a 3.5-L dual VVT V-6 engine, the Tacoma TRD Pro is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The result is EPA/DOT fuel ratings of 18 MPG/city and 22 MPG/highway. Even with some serious off-roading during our weeklong test, we garnered more than 21 MPG overall.

There is much to like on this midsize pickup, including everything TRD (cat-back exhaust, black alloy wheels, skid plate, high-performance tuned Fox Internal Bypass shocks, and more), very cool and delightfully bright Rigid Industries LED fog lamps, Hill Start Assist Control and Crawl Control (both superb for off-roading), and the exceptional Entune Premium JBL audio system with Integrated Navigation and Entune App Suite.

One option of note on our tester was the Desert Air Intake ($795), a black snorkel-like pipe that crawls up the passenger side for improved air intake during off-road and water driving. While it looks a bit odd, it serves a valuable purpose for off-road adventures, and is certainly a conversation starter in a grocery store parking lot.

Off-roading is also enhanced with an electronically locking rear differential that distributes engine power to rear wheels evenly for low-traction grip. Combine this with Multi-terrain select (five modes to assist with traction and wheel spin), along with the Hill Start Assist (minimizes backward roll), and Crawl Control (automatically modulates throttle and brakes when treading through difficult off-road terrain) and this pickup is just plain fun to drive off-pavement.

For safety there is the Toyota Safety Sense P system (lane departure warning, pre-collision warning, dynamic radar cruise control), plus a rear-view camera, rear parking sensor, blind-spot monitoring, and more. The Tacoma has a 4-Star overall safety rating.

On the exterior of the Tacoma TRD Pro 4×4 are projector beam headlamps, a “heritage-inspired Toyota” front grille, tow hitch and tow sway system, plus 16-inch all-terrain tires that gripped the off-road trails we traversed. Standard is Toyota’s deck rail system in the truck bed that features four heavy-duty adjustable tie-down cleats.

Inside there are leather-trimmed seats and steering wheel, dual zone climate control, a seven-inch touchscreen, two USB ports, and a power sliding rear window.

All in all, this Voodoo Blue pickup was fun to drive on- and off-road. While the base Tacoma SR model starts at $25,850, the MSRP on our TRD Pro 4×4, the top of six trim levels, was $45,515 with just more than $1,000 in options.

In the small/midsize range, the Tacoma competes with 2019 models of the Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier, and perhaps the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator, but the latter may be in a class of its own.