2017 Toyota Highlander OptionsThe Toyota Tacoma isn’t going to be anyone’s first choice for a heavy duty pickup truck, but then again, that’s not the market it’s aimed at either. The major benefit of the Toyota Tacoma is its ability to be an off road and sport vehicle, and as such, it offers two options, the TRD Off Road and TRD Sport that account for nearly 40% of Tacoma sales.
The only noticeable difference between the two, which offer identical features in terms of the interior, are surrounding the wheels. An off roading vehicle is going to need better clearance than a vehicle not meant for off roading, and it’s going to have an extra skid plate, lockable rear differentials, a better stability control system with different terrain settings, and a crawl control system that is like a granny gear. All of these are controlled within the cabin in an overhead console area which for the sport is employed as a space to stash your sunglasses.
Fundamentally, the TRD Off Road and the TRD Sport are meant for different kinds of off roading. What separates the Sport from your average Tacoma is the sport tuned suspension, part time 4 wheel drive, and 17 inch wheels. The TRD Off Road features significant upgrades that allow it to function as the quintessential off roading vehicle. The Off Road is thus well suited to extremely rugged, uneven terrain, for those that enjoy Off Roading.
“The sales of midsize pickups like the Toyota Tacoma have taken a major nosedive in the US over the past few years,” says one market analyst from Grand Rapids, Michigan. “No one is looking to buy smaller pickups right now because there’s a reduced concern for fuel efficiency and the economy is doing quite well. If people are going to buy a pickup, they want the biggest most powerful pickup they can buy, and with so many options for SUVs right now, especially with the crossover variety, smaller pickup sales have diminished. This is why companies like Toyota are website recognizing that some niche buyers, those that still are buying up true SUVs and not crossovers, may be interested in a pickup truck that can do the same stuff that SUVs used to be able to do. That means offering sport options, and for enthusiasts, trucks that are capable of doing the same off roading stuff that true SUVs can do.”
The crossover revolution has heralded a major shift in the buying habits of American car buyers. Crossovers are built on the chassis of a car, while true SUVs are built on a truck platform. That means that newer crossover models are not capable of the same off roading prowess as older SUVs, and the Tacoma is looking to cash in on that market.