2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD: snorkel benefits engine health

Wanna go places?

The 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Pro 4×4 Double Cab has a tried and tested performance heritage that is specifically tailored to work best when the pavement runs out.

My tester came with a Voodoo Blue coat of enamel and a snorkel. Top that!

The most eye-catching of the Tacoma upgrades, no doubt, is the available all-new TRD Desert Air Intake. Designed to sustain consistent off-road performance no matter how silty or dirty the terrain gets, the TRD snorkel takes the 278-horsepower 3.5L V6 engine’s air intake away from dust that hovers inside the wheel well (where traditional air intakes are located) during off-road operation. This allows for air intake to occur from a cleaner space above the windshield, helping to benefit filter longevity and, ultimately, engine health.

It certainly grabs its share of attention. In my week behind the wheel a desert, or river to ford didn’t come into play. But the snorkel did start its fair share of conversations and turn a few heads.

As any seasoned adventurer knows, a true off-road vehicle is only as good as its suspension. For 2019, the entire TRD Pro family rides on 2.5-inch TRD pro-exclusive Fox internal bypass shocks. Tuned specifically for each vehicle by the engineers at TRD, the aluminum-bodied Fox shocks offer impressive performance and supreme damping for a wide variety of driving situations. High-speed desert running, slow-speed rock crawling, or simply driving to and from work – drivers and passengers will be as comfortable as they are confident.

With a crew cab, the Tacoma TRD Pro seats up to five adults. And the short box worked well for golf clubs and sod rolls from Home Depot. Gas mileage is not a strength, earning an EPA-estimated 20 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving.

A host of additional TRD equipment finds its way onto the new Tacoma TRD Pro, including an updated front skid plate with TRD red lettering, while the cat-back TRD exhaust is accented with a new black chrome tip. Sixteen-inch black alloy wheels and a black Toyota grille also help create a bad-boy vibe.

Since most owners will spend the majority of their miles on the road, it’s important the Tacoma TRD Pro has a civilized persona as well.

Inside, passengers are treated to standard Entune premium JBL audio with subwoofer amplifier and integrated navigation and App suite. Tacoma is equipped with TRD Pro-branded floor mats and leather-trimmed seats with TRD Pro emblems on the front headrests. Other creature comforts include a moonroof, front dual air conditioning, AM/FM/CD, two USB ports and Bluetooth, to name a few.

Dating back to 1979, the TRD has developed chassis, engines and parts design for nearly 40 years. TRD supported off-road legend Ivan “Ironman” Stewart for 30 years on his path to multiple championships and race victories in Baja, U.S. off-road desert and short-course off-road races.

Even though capability and toughness are at the core of the TRD Pro series, safety is still the utmost priority. All three TRD Pro models feature the Star Safety System, which includes vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brake system, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and smart-stop technology.

The Tacoma comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), which features a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert with sway warning system, automatic high beams and high-speed dynamic radar cruise control.

Last, but not least, the Tacoma is as American as apple pie, as it’s assembled in San Antonio, Texas.

Toyota’s 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation.

Base Price: $46,610

Price As Driven: $48,812

Base Price includes destination charge. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.

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