You don’t have to be a Toyota fan to know that TRD Tacoma trucks are off-road monsters. They come with all the bells and whistles you’d need to tackle some of the toughest trails. But what if you don’t want all of that or spend nearly $50,000 on a Tacoma you’re going to hit? Fortunately, Toyota makes the Trail Special Edition that adds some of the off-road goodness, but not the hefty price tag.
What is the Tacoma Special Edition Trail?
What happens when you take a base Toyota Tacoma SR5 and add a 1.1-inch lift, mud tires, some skid plates, and a locking rear differential? You get the Special Trail Edition. Yeah, this truck is pretty basic, just like the SR5. It dispenses with much of the technology and other goodies that come with more expensive TRD trucks. But, it looks amazing and with its tall stance, 9.4 inches of clearance and Trail badging, it certainly could confuse many into thinking it’s a TRD.
The Trail Special Edition starts at $40,470 and also comes with bronze wheels, an outlet box and Toyota’s previous-generation 8.0-inch infotainment screen. It comes with the larger 3.5-liter V6 with 278 horsepower. While that’s not a particularly strong motor, it’s known to be reliable. The Trail also gets Toyota’s two-range four-wheel drive with a locking rear differential, coolers in the bed, and a traditional key to start it.
How much does the 2023 Tacoma Trail Edition cost?
The Tail edition starts at $40,470. But that’s for a pretty basic truck, at least when compared to the luxury barges most of us expect in our trucks today. To that end, Toyota offers navigation packages, a technology package with blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert, however those options can quickly add $2,500 to the base price.
While it does have Apple Car Play, it’s an old-school cable affair. It also has cloth seats and basic interior trim. Toyota’s old control system is fine, but newer versions with the upgraded navigation package offer more features. Regardless, it won a Best Trucks for 2022 award from popular mechanics.
What doesn’t the Tacoma Trail Edition have?
TRD packages have several options that the Trail Edition does not offer. The TRD Pro, for example, has Toyota’s Multi-terrain Monitor with a camera, which uses the truck’s computer to help find grip, as well as Magic Crawl Control. It also comes standard with many of the Trail’s features, like navigation. While the Trail has raised suspension, it doesn’t have the Fox shocks of the Pro.
Both have the same four-wheel drive system, skid plates, and V6.
What is the TRD package on a Toyota Tacoma?
There are three versions of the Toyota Racing Development Package on the Tacoma. The lower-priced Tacoma TRD Sport is designed more for road fun with stiffer road-oriented suspension and a hood scoop. The TRD Off-Road and Pro versions are designed to tackle rougher trails, but they cost almost $50,000. The Crawl Control system, for example, can get the TRD out of deep sand or mud.
Although the SR5 Trail Edition splits the difference between an SR5 and a TRD. It doesn’t have all the advantages you’d get in a TRD, but it’s more capable than an SR5. For cheap off-road thrills and the option to spin the wheels backwards with the locking diff, the Trail Edition can give you the off-road capability you want without the price.