Should You Take the 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road?

The 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD may not be the biggest truck, but it has an impressive off-road aptitude—check it out!
Written by Drew Waterstreet
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The 2013
Toyota Tacoma
TRD is the performance model of the base compact truck and is built to get the job done—wherever you choose to drive!
Sure, the Tacoma’s base model has the dimensions for some basic off-roading. But with the TRD (Toyota Racing Development), you get a more powerful engine, greater towing capacity, and an optional Off-Road Package that completely changes your driving experience. 
The Tacoma TRD may be small, but it has an adventurous attitude! To learn more about the off-road profile of the 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD, let the experts at
, the
super app
that saves drivers money on
car insurance
, guide you through a comprehensive breakdown. We’ll cover the key off-road specifications, how it scores on the DIRT rating system, and some viable alternatives—let’s get started!

Can the 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD go off-road?

Absolutely. Don’t let the small stature of the 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD fool you, this truck is highly capable of handling off-road terrain. Let’s take a look at the specifications that contribute to its adventurous profile.
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Ground clearance

The 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD has a ground clearance of 9.3 inches, which is right in the sweet spot of the 8.8 to 10.8 inches most off-roaders recommend. 
A viable ground clearance allows you to drive over obstructions and scale tricky inclines/declines without bottoming out your truck. These key advantages help the 2013 Tacoma TRD handle uncertain terrain with confidence.


With the TRD model, you get a pretty serious engine upgrade—take a look:
  • Base: 2.7-liter inline-4 with 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque @ 3,800 rpm
  • TRD: 4.0-liter V6 with 236 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
As you can see, the V6 under the hood of the 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD can produce 86 more lbs-ft of torque. We have to tip our hat to Toyota's innovative Variable Valve Timing with intelligence, which helps create more power more efficiently.
Thanks to this dynamic engine, you’ll be able to get out of tricky off-road situations! Not to mention, it also allows you to tow over 6,500 lbs—that’s plenty to haul around a larger camper.


Different modes in the ‘13 Tacoma TRD’s four-wheel-drive system allow it to adapt and conquer any terrain in its path. 
For example, if you’re in deep mud, you’ll need some serious traction. Switching to 4WD-low can help your truck turn its wheels slower while still producing high amounts of torque—this is crucial for handling unforgiving terrain.


Off-roading is all about angles: specifically, the approach angle and departure angle: 
  • Approach angle: The maximum angle at which a vehicle can climb without interference 
  • Departure angle: The maximum angle at which a vehicle can descend without interference
The approach and departure angles for the 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD are 29 and 23.5 degrees, respectively. These advantageous angles, especially the approach angle, can allow the Tacoma TRD to scale a steep incline/decline without scraping the bumper. 

Off-Road Package

Now, if you’re not quite sold on the 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD yet, we do have one last secret to share about this compact truck. For around $3,500, you used to be able to add the Off-Road Package to optimize your off-road experience—check out the included features:
  • Off-road tuned suspension w/Bilstein shocks
  • Hill-start assist control
  • Downhill assist control
  • Locking rear differential
  • 16" alloy wheels
  • P265/70R16 BF Goodrich tires
Notice how we said used to. That’s because you won’t find new 2013s on dealership lots any longer. So if you want one with the Off-Road Package, you’ll have to find a used one that is already souped-up.

Off-road rating: Trail Boss

We’ve rated the 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD using
super-technical DIRT rating system, broken down in the table below:
Don’t Try It
Vehicles better suited to highway conditions
In a Pinch
Vehicles that can handle off-road conditions in certain circumstances
Rough and Ready
Vehicles designed for casual off-roading
Trail Boss
True off-road vehicles capable of tackling a range of terrain
The 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD earns a T “Trail Boss” rating. It may be on the smaller side, but its foundational dimensions and high-performance trim give the Tacoma TRD an extremely impressive off-road profile.

The best off-road alternatives to the 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD

No matter how good the Tacoma TRD handles the road less traveled, the compact size is a dealer breaker for some trunk owners.
We get it, non-negotiables are a big part of finding your perfect off-road vehicle. So to help expand your search, we put together a short list of alternatives that fit different automotive personalities:
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