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The 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road finally has the right stuff

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road finally has the right stuff

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road finally has the right stuff

This is personal. Long before I write for Car and driver, I worked at the Toyota Arizona Proving Grounds as an engineer in charge of chassis development and suspension tuning. My first big project was tuning an off-road package for the first generation Tacoma that was going to be sold (unbeknownst to me) as a TRD Off-Road package. Many of the items that make up this truck’s very popular package were implemented at that time: specially tuned front and rear springs, Bilstein monotube shocks and BFGoodrich tires, plus a locking rear differential.

At the time, Bilstein’s smallest 36mm shocks (ie internal piston diameter) were all my bean counter would allow. A Bilstein rep and I tuned them to work fine on that smaller first gen Tacoma, but as the truck grew in size and weight for the second and third gens, the 36mm shocks were outmoded. I would have if I was there when the second generation was in development, but I moved on to another job. I only realized how undersized those 36mm shocks were on those newer trucks when I took a Honda Ridgeline to Death Valley alongside a third generation Tacoma TRD Off-Road earlier in my automotive journalism career , and the Taco’s rear shocks failed spectacularly on a regular (but admittedly long and severe) dirt road.

That’s all history with the arrival of the fourth-generation Tacoma in 2024, as TRD Off-Road finally has right-sized Bilsteins: larger 46mm units with the added cooling benefit of external tanks, front and rear. The rest of the package remains familiar, in that it has specially tuned springs and BFGoodrich tires, plus that lockable rear differential. But this new iteration of the Tacoma TRD Off-Road also has two things we never had access to back in the day: a rear axle with five-link coil springs and a detachable front sway bar. There’s a lot to take in under the new Tacoma TRD Off-Road, so via video, I unscrewed those wheels and took a look.

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