Should You Take the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road Off Road?

The off-roading capabilities of the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road are decent, but you shouldn’t count on this truck hitting the hardest trails.
Written by Olivia Rose
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road is built for comfortable driving on the road and off—just don’t expect it to perform like some of the more hardcore off-roading vehicles. 
By name, you might expect the
Toyota Tacoma
TRD Off-Road to be a top-of-the-line off-roading superstar. While you absolutely can take it off road, the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road’s off-road rating is rather humble. Look elsewhere if you’re a truly serious off-roader. 
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Can the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road go off road?

Yes—it sure can! This
is rightly named.
Sure, it’s not a Jeep, but the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road’s off-road rating is really good. With a 159-horsepower, 2.7-liter, four-cylinder engine and starting MSRP of $20,965, the Tacoma is a great choice for someone who wants a truck that can tackle everyday driving and come out to play on the weekends. 
For those who want even more power, buyers have the choice of upgrading to a 236-horsepower, 4.0-liter V6. 
The four-cylinder truck has the option of a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. For the V6, choose between a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic
In addition, the Tacoma TRD Off-Road comes with automatic limited-slip differential, which will make your off-roading all the more successful and safe. This system automatically applies your brakes when your car senses that one of your rear wheels is losing traction or spinning. 

Ground clearance

Off-roading experts recommend at least 8.5 inches of ground clearance for serious trails. With a standard ground clearance of 8.1 inches, the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road falls short. 
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take it off-roading at all—but you’ll have difficulty doing certain things like rock climbing. 


When off-roading, low-end torque is very important. Low-end torque refers to power at slower speeds (lower RPMs) as opposed to power at higher speeds. 
The 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road offers 180 pound-feet @ 3,800 rpm. For good low-end torque, you’d want closer to 2,500 rpm—but in this regard, the Tacoma is pretty darn capable. 
If you’re looking for an absolute off-roading beast, you’re better off with the 2017
Toyota Tundra
. But the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road will suit you just fine for moderate weekend off-roading while still being a practical daily driver. 


The 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road comes with standard off-road P215/70SR15 tires, which will prove valuable during your adventures. Off-road tires have a wider tread for better grip and traction when tackling tricky off-road conditions.
The con is that off-road tires won’t be as fuel-efficient on paved roads, and they’re a good deal noisier. If you want tires that will suit daily driving, you’re better off getting some
all-terrain tires
for your Tacoma. 


For good off-roading, all-wheel drive is the gold standard. The 2015 Tacoma TRD Off-Road’s rear-wheel drivetrain is one of the things that makes this truck iffy for off-roading. With rear-wheel drive, power is only going to your truck’s rear wheels—which can make it easier to get stuck off-road. 
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Approach angle and departure angle are wildly important when talking about off-roading:
  • 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 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road proves its competency with its approach and departure angles of 29º and 23.5º, respectively. These angles will allow you to tread some serious rock. 

Off-road rating: Rough and Ready

We rated the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road 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
According to our assessment, the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road rating is Rough and Ready. As it suggests, the Tacoma TRD Off-Road is fine to take off road—but it won’t be as impressive or reliable as competitors with better ground clearance or more power. 

The best off-road alternatives to the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road

Here are the best alternatives to the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road. 
Best affordable alternative
2018 Nissan Frontier
Not only is this pickup more affordable than the Tacoma TRD Off-Road, but it also offers comparable specs—a great pick for those ballin’ on a budget.
Best alternative for a little more power
2015 Chevrolet Colorado
With standard 200 hp, this truck will run you around the same price as the 2015 Tacoma and will offer more power for off-road excursions.
Best alternative for serious off-roading
2017 Toyota Tundra
With more horsepower and specs to fit the bill, this truck will deliver a higher quality off-roading experience—and you’ll get to stick with the Toyota name.
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How to find affordable car insurance for off-road vehicles

Buying a 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road means shopping the
used car market
, and used cars require slightly different insurance compared to new vehicles. Having the support of Jerry’s expert insurance agents will make the process as smooth as a freshly paved road. 
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