2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Vs. Trailhunter: What We Know So Far

toyota-tacoma-trd-2-shot-exterior-oem-19 2024 Toyota Tacoma | Manufacturer image

After years of dominating mid-size pickup truck sales, the Toyota Tacoma is finally getting a redesign for the 2024 model year — and just in time, too, considering the redesigned Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger and GMC Canyon have all made their respective debuts recently, and the Nissan Frontier and Honda Ridgeline are fresher than the Taco, as well. The new Tacoma brings an additional halo model, the Trailhunter, to join the existing TRD Pro. While we haven’t had a chance to drive any version of the Tacoma just yet, here’s what sets the TRD Pro and Trailhunter apart on paper, what makes them similar and which one might be right for you.

Related: What’s Old Is New: 2024 Toyota Tacoma Adds Tech, Trims, Hybrid Powertrain

Different Equipment

toyota-tacoma-TRD-Pro-2024-exterior-oem-40 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Manufacturer image

Toyota paints the TRD Pro as a desert-running Baja blast; the Trailhunter, meanwhile, is for slower excursions through wooded or rocky terrain. Each truck is equipped to accomplish those goals.

The TRD Pro comes with 2.5-inch Fox-brand Quick Switch 3 internal-bypass shocks and rear internal floating piston bump stops. In plain English, that means your ride over rough terrain should be fairly well controlled and, like any good desert-running truck, fairly quick. (You may recognize Fox as the company behind the shocks in Ford’s various Raptor vehicles, too.) The TRD Pro also has an aluminum front skid plate to protect some of its undercarriage bits from the rocks it’s flying over.

Inside the cabin, the most noticeable equipment that separates the TRD Pro from the Trailhunter are the standard, patent-pending IsoDynamic Performance Seats. The front seats actually use shock absorbers to allow for more controlled seat movement, intending to keep the driver’s line of sight focused on the obstacles ahead. Think of them as a sort of off-road take on the performance seats you can find in on-pavement performance cars.

toyota-tacoma-trailhunter-2024-exterior-oem-21 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter | Manufacturer image

The Trailhunter, on the other hand, has Old Man Emu, shocks that Toyota says are “tuned for optimum levels of off-road control and load-carrying capability.” That’s because overlanding, the Trailhunter’s mission, involves carrying a ton of gear — sometimes literally — so owners can go out and explore the wilderness for longer stretches while remaining reasonably self-sufficient. That’s why the Trailhunter is equipped with a utility bar in the bed with removable modular lightweight load-carrying equipment panels for stowing gear, an integrated air compressor, and 12-volt DC and USB-C power in the bed. It also gets rock rails and hot-stamped steel skid plates covering the front, transmission and rear differential, as well as an elevated air intake to help keep dust, debris and water out of the engine. And, while the TRD Pro has LED foglights, the Trailhunter’s are switchable between white and amber light depending on visibility conditions.

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Sibling Similarities

The TRD Pro and Trailhunter will share an i-Force Max hybrid powertrain making system output of 326 horsepower and 465 pounds-feet of torque. Manual off-road enthusiasts will appreciate that Toyota kept a manual transmission in the new Tacoma, but if they want to row their own gears, they’ll have to build their own off-roader as the i-Force Max is only paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Both top-tier trucks also have electronic locking rear differentials, front stabilizer disconnect controls, built-in auxiliary switches for aftermarket equipment and forged-aluminum upper control arms. Additionally, both pickups feature trim-specific 18-inch wheels wrapped in 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T rubber, and ARB-brand steel rear bumpers with integrated recovery hooks.

In terms of off-roading technology, both trims have a 14-inch touchscreen display that will show occupants images from the camera systems on the truck in case views of upcoming obstacles are obscured.

More to Come

toyota-tacoma-TRD-Pro-2024-interior-oem-33 2024 Toyota Tacoma | Manufacturer image

We’re still waiting on fuel economy information and pricing for the entire Tacoma lineup, so there’s a possibility one of these two trucks may cost a little less than the other or be more fuel-efficient, depending on gearing. We also know the Tacoma’s maximum towing and payload capacities with the i-Force Max powertrain – 6,000 and 1,709 pounds, respectively – but not the maximums for these trims specifically.

Toyota also says the TRD Pro without the optional towing package has the best approach, breakover and departure angles in the lineup: 33.8, 23.5 and 25.7 degrees, respectively. The TRD Pro also has a maximum ground clearance of 11 inches. What we don’t know is how that compares to the rest of the lineup or the Trailhunter specifically.

Stay tuned for more on the 2024 Toyota Tacoma and for our full review once we get behind the wheel.

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