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2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro vs. Ranger Raptor, Colorado ZR2, Frontier Pro-4X

The new TRD Pro is a major step up from the old truck, but is it a Raptor-slayer?
2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro alongside 2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor, and 2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X
Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Chevrolet

There’s no other way of saying it: the 2024 Toyota Tacoma is out for blood, addressing every niche imaginable from tradesmen to pre-runners and overlanders. Like before, the most capable version is the 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, which faces fiercer competition than ever before. In some ways, its rivals outshine it, though Toyota’s midsize pickup truck more than argues its case with all-new mechanicals, plus features none of the competition offers.

You can click here to read our full writeup, or keep scrolling to learn how the new Tacoma stacks up to the Ford Ranger Raptor, Chevy Colorado ZR2, and Nissan Frontier Pro-4X—all of which are hitting their next generations around the same time. This is gonna be interesting.

2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

  • Powertrain: 2.4-liter turbocharged hybrid inline-four | 8-speed automatic transmission | four-wheel drive with high and low ranges
  • Horsepower: 326 @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 1,700 rpm
  • Curb weight: TBA
  • Bed length: 60 inches
  • Payload capacity: TBA
  • Towing capacity: TBA
  • Off-road angles: 33.8° approach | 23.5° breakover | 25.7° departure
  • Max ground clearance: 9.5 inches
  • Max running ground clearance: 11 inches
  • Price: TBA
2024 Ford Ranger Raptor
2024 Ford Ranger Raptor. Ford

2024 Ford Ranger Raptor

  • Powertrain: 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 | 10-speed automatic transmission | four-wheel drive with high and low ranges
  • Horsepower: 405
  • Torque: 430 lb-ft
  • Curb weight: 5,325 pounds
  • Bed length: 59.6 inches
  • Payload capacity: 1,411 pounds
  • Towing capacity: 5,510 pounds
  • Off-road angles: 33° approach | 24.2° breakover | 26.4º departure
  • Minimum running ground clearance: 10.7 inches
  • Price: $56,960 including destination
2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. Chevrolet

2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2

  • Powertrain: 2.7-liter turbocharged inline-four | 8-speed automatic transmission | four-wheel drive with high and low ranges
  • Horsepower: 310 @ 5,600 rpm
  • Torque: 430 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
  • Curb weight: 5,298 pounds
  • Bed length: 62 inches
  • Payload capacity: 1,152 pounds
  • Towing capacity: 6,000 pounds
  • Off-road angles: 38.3° approach | 24.6° breakover | 25.1° departure
  • Max ground clearance: 10.7 inches
  • Price: $48,295 including destination
2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X
2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X. Nissan

2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X

  • Powertrain: 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V6 | 9-speed automatic transmission | four-wheel drive with high and low ranges
  • Horsepower: 310 @ 6,400 rpm
  • Torque: 281 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
  • Curb weight: 4,709 pounds
  • Bed length: 59.5 inches
  • Payload capacity: 1,230 pounds
  • Towing capacity: 6,270 pounds
  • Off-road angles: 32.3° approach | 19.6° breakover | 23° departure
  • Ground clearance: 9.5 inches
  • Price: $39,415 including destination

The Tacoma TRD Pro fits a broadly similar mold to its rivals’ most capable off-roaders. It, the 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2, 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor, and the Nissan Frontier Pro-4X are all midsize crew-cab pickups with roughly five-foot beds, two-speed four-wheel-drive transfer cases, locking rear axles, and sturdy suspension. It’s clear that the Nissan isn’t on quite the same performance or price level, but it’s worth including for context as the most capable Japanese midsizer that isn’t a Toyota.

Unlike these other trucks though, the Tacoma is built on a new platform—the TNGA-F architecture used by the Tundra and famously rugged 300 Series Land Cruiser. (All the trucks mentioned above just use updated versions of their predecessors’ frames.) This allows the TRD Pro to adopt multilink rear suspension with coil springs instead of leaf springs, similar to the larger Tundra.

It includes fancy Fox IFP rear bump stops too, and reduces weight with aluminum front upper controls arms. (The Ford’s lowers are aluminum too, though.) Like the extreme Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, the TRD Pro also boasts an electronic front sway bar disconnect to improve articulation, and it comes standard with a steel ARB rear bumper with recovery hooks.

The Toyota is also the only truck of the four with a hybrid drivetrain, which despite having the smallest engine—a 2.4-liter turbo-four—gives it the most peak torque. Those 465 pound-feet come on at just 1,700 rpm too, the lowest in the segment. That’s useful whether you’re crawling, towing, or just trying to get the best gas mileage.

But gizmos alone can’t set a truck apart, and the Tacoma doesn’t completely outclass its competitors. Its hybrid engine may be rated for up to 6,000 pounds of towing—which would put it at ZR2 level, above the Raptor but below the Pro-4X—though Toyota hasn’t confirmed the TRD Pro will be rated for that. Also unconfirmed are its payload rating (typically lower for off-road trucks) and curb weight. One imagines its complexity will push its curb weight closer toward the Chevy and Ford, rather than the Nissan, which comes in about 600 pounds lighter.

Then there’s the matter of ground clearance, which at 9.5 inches ties the Frontier and falls a full 1.2 inches short of the Raptor and ZR2 (the TRD Pro’s max running ground clearance is 11 inches flat). That’s using identical tire diameters of 33 inches. Its approach and departure angles are second-best by a tiny margin, beating Ford’s in the former case and Chevy’s in the latter, but its breakover angle is lower than both, though better than the Nissan’s.

Its underbody armor seems to be lighter too, with just an aluminum front skid plate and rocker protection, whereas the others all armor their transfer cases, plus either their fuel tank or more of the drivetrain. Also, the ZR2 and Raptor feature a locking front differential whereas the TRD Pro and Pro-4X do not.

There will simply be places a ZR2 or Raptor can go that a TRD Pro won’t quite be able to follow, disconnecting sway bar or not. But that doesn’t seem to be the point of the TRD Pro, which is clearly optimized to be a major improvement over the old model without quite contesting the most extreme class of off-road pickup. Toyota might’ve decided it didn’t need to address that niche, which the aftermarket will for it. If people are going to spend thousands throwing parts on their Tacomas anyway, Toyota might as well save the money it’d spend developing a crawler.

That doesn’t mean Toyota cut corners though, because it’s clear the 2024 Tacoma is here to cut itself the biggest piece of the pie. As long as Toyota doesn’t fumble the bag, it’s easy to see the new Tacoma setting the new standard for midsize pickup trucks… And setting great expectations for a new generation of 4Runner.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: james@thedrive.com