TRD WHAT? | 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport | Complete Review | TestDriveNow


Toyota Racing Development, or TRD for short,
is Toyota’s in-house speed shop if you will, providing performance parts and variants of
the brand’s trucks, like this Tacoma TRD Sport. My first test-drive of this new generation
Tacoma came last year in one of the other TRD choices – the Off-Road. I came away largely disappointed with most
of my criticism directed at the anemic automatic transmission. The 2017 Tacoma is available in 31 models
based on two cab types, each available in 4×2 or 4×4 configurations.  With a starting MSRP of about $34,000, the
TRD Sport is labeled by Toyota as the “athletic” one in the lineup, situated 3rd among the
6 model grades.  It comes standard with the 278 horsepower
3.5-liter V6 and yes, a 6-speed manual…the first truck I’ve had with one of these in
a long time.  This is the access cab with 2 useless rear
seats and a 6’ long bed optioned up to about $38,500.  Trucks are expensive; what can I tell you? Tacoma TRD Sport models are exclusively equipped
with sport-tuned Hitachi shocks, 17” wheels and are one of only 2 Tacomas with a hood
scoop, if that interests you. It rides on Toyo highway, all-season tires. But frankly, if this truck handles or rides
any better than the others I can’t tell. The stick shift is certainly appreciated in
that it makes the Tacoma far more agreeable to drive but don’t worry truck guy, this
isn’t a Camry so it still feels and sounds like a big rig. Speaking of which, my tester has the optional
TRD Pro Performance Exhaust system and unlike on the Tundra where it plays loud and proud,
I can’t even tell it’s installed. A performance air filter and shift knob round
out the TRD options. Drum brakes are still used in the rear. There’s little to the TRD Sport beyond the
hood scoop and sport-tuned shocks and those certainly don’t make for a true sport truck. The biggest improvement here over the TRD
Off-Road I last tested is the manual transmission but even here I’ve got an issue…follow me. At 6’1” I’m not particularly tall but
each time I go to press the clutch pedal my shin rubs up against this hard piece of plastic. You hear a mechanical clunk with each gear
change which seems less synchronized than in other manual gearboxes. Confusing 1st for reverse and missing 4th
when downshifting sometimes happens.  That being said, it still beats the automatic
but not in fuel economy, where 18mpg can’t match the auto’s 20mpg.  For off-roading, just dial into 4-high or
4-low. During the last redesign, Toyota eliminated
the ability to place your foot on the bumper once the tailgate was down. In order to compensate for that, there’s
this step assist but only on the driver’s side It’s a $300 option while the bed mat adds
$120. The Premium & Technology Package keeps the
cabin up to date with dual zone auto climate control and heated seats while rear park assist,
a blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert add the electronic safety goodies. The Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation
is standard and works well though we know Toyota doesn’t work with full Apple or Android
integration. I kept searching for more sport but never
found it, leading me to wonder if a truck like this somewhat dilutes the TRD name. But it’s all good at Toyota where despite
some new competition, the Tacoma is still far and away the segment sales leader.

29 comments

  • DRUM brakes in rear at this price point is just inexcusable! Come on Toyota, what the hell are you doing?

  • This is like what the CLA did for the Mercedes AMG status.

  • thecarelectronicguy

    Did the manual make the truck feel any faster than the auto?

  • manual transmission on a truck? thats crazy clout points

  • This seems to be a major cash grab from Toyota who is milking it until no end. I guess good for Toyota?

  • mine is on recall service for its leaking gasket in rear diff , its now on its 3rd week and still havent fixed it…fuck you toyota

  • lol toyota, trd SPORT! Should have put a v8. How is it sportier than the other trim ?

  • Great review as always although this seems like a strange model to review. Access cab manual? Blah

  • Dave's Toyota Trucks for Overlanding

    Push the ECT Power button next time you drive an automatic Tacoma. It really wakes up the transmission.

  • The Car Crazy Guy

    I just purchased a Z71 Colorado. Much better well rounded truck.

  • So nice to see a manual transmission in a truck again. …..so rare these days. Sadly.

  • ford had returned to midsize segment with brand new Ranger

  • Brutally honest review. But for the typical Toyota truck guys , this is just an additional flavor to choose from.

  • So materials about $15,000 and they're selling it for $40,000 great job Toyota

  • Christopher Walken

    For $38k you can get a V8 tundra 4×4. How the F is the tacoma so expensive ?

  • Not a perfect truck, the seating position is horrible, but a very enjoyable truck. It's sporty in the sense that it has a 6 speed manual available, and compared to a say a Honda Ridgeline, it has a personality. However, that being said, the Chevrolet Colorado is a great truck. It's only flaw is its manufacture's indifference to customers satisfaction, but reliability has been good. My biggest beef with the Tacoma is that it lacks the Colorado's refinement…which is strange because Toyota was the NHV specialists and leaders. They are still reliable but rough around the edges. If I was to buy a Truck today it would be the Colorado. It fits my 6'3" frame better, and it doesn't beat me up.

  • Just a thought from someone who's been watching since the MyRide days–With "Review" buried in the title past where the subscription page cutoff is, I was assuming this video (and the Jeep video) were not full reviews. Take it or leave it; Thanks for the awesome work!

  • I like the looks of this truck..im sure its dependability is up there with the camry..but i am shocked that its powertrain isnt a spectacular as it should be

  • Drum brakes for 38 grand? Are they even trying?

  • I have a Tacoma SR5 4×4. I understand the initial ding against the Auto trans at first. The auto trans is programmed for economy, However the ECT button changes the whole feel of the trucks power. It is really amazing the difference in feel. I've grown to appreciate both mode and switch when demand is needed. I think if you gave it another try with this in mind, it might change your view.

  • The nose is a little to pointy, it's hair is kinda thinning and the eyes are a bit recessed and bloodshot . The two tone hair color and style remind us all of an era gone bye . The teeth are a little yellow compared to the earlier model . The bags under the eyes and the wrinkles and saggy skin add more proof to its age . Oh yeah , your mom wants her table cloth back when you finally move out of the basement . No Really ,,, thanks for the review . It's good to see other points of view . I've had Toys for over 30 yrs . They rock . The stuff from the big 3 whiners don't even come close .

  • ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  • What a poor review. I don't mean the truck is bad, I mean the review is. I watched this, then went and test drove a 2017 Tacoma TRD Sport and bought it. I'm nearly 6', and have no trouble with my shin hitting the panel as he complains. I also don't agree that the gears aren't well synchronized, but I use a feather touch to shift, and this guy is clearly trying to force it into gear. It's too bad this truck is getting a bad rap based on a bad driver.

  • The Car Crazy Guy

    The only reason why Toyota updated this truck was the GM twins, Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon. Toyota would be quite content leaving at the same all these years. Thankfully competition woke up the sleeping giant and forced it to make a semi competitive truck.

  • this has to the whitest review Ive ever seen lol

  • its funny, the only people bitching about drum brakes are the ones who dont own one. you never hear people who own one complaining about the drum brakes. if they get the job done they are good enough for me, they are also cheaper to maintain

  • Domenico Zagami

    Domenico Zagami alto 19

  • Paid by chevy

  • GraingerProductions

    As an owner, this guy lacks a lot of knowledge on the truck and highlights essentially 0 of the thousands of positives. Wouldnโ€™t take this video into account when considering a 3rd gen Tacoma.

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