Toyota Tacoma Limited Vs TRD Pro—What Are The Differences?

Examining the offerings from each trim level is important to get the features you want in a new car or truck. From the base models to the highest trim levels in the model year, there will be various standard and optional features for you to consider. If you are considering the Toyota Tacoma, you might be weighing your options between the Tacoma Limited and the Tacoma TRD-Pro. We can help you with your decision here. We researched this popular pickup truck from numerous professional sources so that you will know for certain what each trim level will offer you.

There are many differences between the Toyota Tacoma Limited and the Toyota Tacoma TRD-Pro. These differences include both standard features and options involving:

  • The interior
  • The engine
  • Bed length
  • Cab configuration
  • Wheel configuration 

Now that we know the differences between the Toyota Tacoma Limited and the Tacoma TRD-Pro, we'll take a much closer look at both trim levels. You might also be wondering what TRD stands for or if the TRD is off-road lifted. What problems are common with the Toyota Tacoma? What model year Tacoma is the best? For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has discovered.

Photo of a red Toyota Tacoma in a parking lot, Toyota Tacoma Limited Vs TRD Pro—What Are The Differences?

Understanding the differences between the Limited and the TRD

There are some very minor differences between the TRD-Pro and the Limited trim levels of the Toyota Tacoma. The fuel economy will be a bit better with the Limited, at 24 miles per gallon on the highway versus 22 miles per gallon with the TRD-Pro.

The MSRP is also different, as the Limited begins at $39,255 and the TRD-Pro starts at $44,075. Even though each is equipped with a base model 3.5 liter V6 engine, the Limited will have rear-wheel drive on most of its models, while the TRD-Pro will be available in mostly 4x4s. 

We listed the major differences above. Here, we'll dissect them further, so you will get more details.

The interior

The Tacoma Limited is made for a more luxurious feel. The leather seating and grained interior give it more of a classy feel. The TRD-Pro is meant more for off-road sporting and rugged driving. While the interior is still nice, it is nowhere near the comfortable level of the Limited.

Premium offerings are available, or standard, for the Limited trim level. Bluetooth technology onboard, satellite radio, smartphone integration, a navigation system, and adaptive cruise control are some of the many features that will be waiting for you in this truck. This is meant to be the most comfortable and opulent trim level for the Tacoma, and all of the bells and whistles available are included.

The TRD-Pro, as we pointed out earlier in this post, is meant for a more off-road experience. So many of the features meant for comfort that the Limited includes are omitted from this trim level.

The engine

The TRD-Pro will be available in manual transmission, something that is not offered for the Limited. Crawl control is also a feature of the TRD-Pro, as this trim level is meant for off-road excursions. 

Bed length

The TRD-Pro is available in both five and six-foot bed lengths. The Tacoma Limited trim level only has the five-foot bed length available.

Cab configuration

Toyota Tacoma Bed Length

The Tacoma Limited only comes with the Double Cab cab configuration. The TRD-Pro has both the Access Cab and the Double Cab cab configurations to choose from.

Wheel configuration 

The Tacoma Limited is available in both 4x2 and 4x4 wheel configurations. The TRD has both 4x2 and 4x4 available as well. 

A complete list of offerings for each trim level can be found on Toyota's website. 

What does TRD stand for?

The TRD for Toyota vehicles stands for Toyota Racing Development. In their cars, it typically means that they have upgraded shocks, higher performing engines, and sleek body designs meant for racing.

With their trucks, TRD will mean upgraded shocks and suspension systems, longer wheel configuration, and sometimes the option of having a manual transmission. 

Does 2021 Tacoma have heated seats?

The heated seat feature is available in some trim levels for the 2021 Toyota Tacoma. In fact, all but the base level SR and the TRD-Pro Off-Road have it available.

Should you want heated seats, you will need to get the Limited, SR5, or TRD-Pro Sport. In addition to getting one of those three trim levels, you will need to get leather seats, as the heated seats are not available within the cloth upholstery. 

In addition to heated seats, most trim levels will come with dual climate control. This will help make you and your passengers' rides be even more comfortable, no matter the time of year. 

switch to activate the heater in the car seats

Is the TRD off-road lifted?

The TRD-Pro Off-Road is not a lifted truck. This trim level is built on the Tacoma Limited trim level platform, with an enhanced suspension system. This makes it more than suitable for off-roading but without the height of a lifted truck frame. 

You can, however, purchase a Toyota TRD-Pro lift kit. This will raise the body of your Tacoma substantially and make for a better off-roading experience.

There are some caveats about lifting your TRD-Pro with the lift kit. Motor Biscuit points out that lifting your Tacoma can make it very hard for passengers to get in and out of the cab of the truck. The Toyota brand lift kit can also only be installed and purchased from a Toyota dealership, eliminating any choice.

As a result of this, it can also make the Toyota branded lift kit for the Tacoma much more expensive than one bought as an aftermarket upgrade. So consider the options before you commit to a Toyota branded lift kit or buy one after you leave the sales floor. 

What problems do Toyota Tacomas have?

Toyota Tacoma

Every model vehicle has issues that need to be addressed, and the Toyota Tacoma is no exception to this. The most prolific complaint by consumers regarding this pickup truck has involved faulty lower ball joints. This problem began with the 1995 year models and persisted for the next 13 years. A redesign took care of the issue. 

Transmission problems were also a source of contention. About 20 years worth of Tacoma models were impacted by transmissions failing around the 150,000-mile mark. While this is pretty high mileage for some model trucks, a transmission failing at this milestone is a bit premature for Toyota. 

Other complaints regarding the Tacoma have been fairly minor, including a Bluetooth system that echoes and a water leak into the third brake light from a faulty seal.

What year of Tacoma is the best?

While all model years for the Tacoma have been very reliable overall, Four Wheel Trends lists the best overall year to be the 2015 models. This year Tacoma had the best overall reliability ratings and was the most popular among consumers.

The features this year's access cab came with include the following:

  • Four-cylinder engine with 159 horsepower
  • Fuel economy that was rated a combined 22 miles per gallon
  • Five-speed manual transmission option
  • Available in rear-wheel drive or 4x4
  • Sleek bed liner
  • 15-inch wheels
  • Air conditioning/dual climate control
  • Power locks and windows
  • Tilted steering wheel

In Closing

Photo of a red Toyota Tacoma in a parking lot, Toyota Tacoma Limited Vs TRD Pro—What Are The Differences?

Whether you are looking for a luxurious pickup truck, or one with a rugged, off-road feel, the Toyota Tacoma has a trim level that is geared toward your needs. Before you purchase your Tacoma, be sure to determine what type of pickup truck you want to drive. Then, take a long look at each of the features that the different trim levels of Tacoma have to offer. You'll be sure to find one that meets or exceeds your criteria. Drive safely!

If you found this post on the Toyota Tacoma to be helpful, we believe you'll enjoy reading the following posts regarding these popular Toyota trucks:

Toyota Tacoma Packages: What’s Available [By Trim Level]

How Long Is The Bed On A Toyota Tundra? [All Configurations Explored]

How To Change The Oil In A Toyota Tundra [And How Often To Do So]

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One comment

  1. You’ve got your bed lengths backwards. The Limited comes with 5ft and 6ft beds. Have yet to see a Pro with a 6ft bed

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