The Trail Edition lacks a lot of features of the top trim TRD models, and that’s where the beauty lies here. Despite many off-road adventures in Toyotas for fun days out and a little camping, Crawl Control or Multi-Terrain Select are costly features that we’ve yet to feel the need to rely on – as effective as they may be for hardcore adventurers undaunted by heavy rain or snow. For us and the vast majority of Tacoma owners that like to get their truck dirty, a lockable rear diff, a set of off-road-biased tires, and the increased approach angle (34 degrees) afforded by losing the front air dam will be plenty. The improved 23.6-degree departure angle is also a welcome upgrade, especially when we were exploring the steeper trails of Johnson Valley in California.
The Trail Edition did exactly as intended and dealt with every kind of trail we found with confidence and sure-footedness. That was all tested with steep, slippery, pebbled trails, deep ruts, and rocky areas to pick through. A few times we needed to lock the rear diff, and when we ventured across soft sand, the conclusion was that airing down a set of more aggressive tires would be the smarter upgrade over a locking front diff.
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