If you’re going to dream, dream mid-size.

While it’s true the term “compact pickup” doesn’t mean what it once did, with trucks such as the Toyota Tacoma rivalling older full-size haulers for size, there’s still something to be said for agility, nimbleness and “Why yes, it will fit between those trees.”

After all, if you’re going to get the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, with its TRD off-road tuned suspension with TRD Fox shocks and remote reservoirs and off-road skid plate — and for more than the fancy stickers on the sides — it would be helpful to have 508 millimetres (20 inches) less width than, say, a Ford F-150.

2017 Toyota Tacoma

With a payload capacity of 450 kg (1,000 lb.) and towing of 2,900 kg (6,400 lb.) as well as an approach angle of 35 degrees, the TRD Pro will get you and your toys almost anywhere you want to go. Trailer sway control will keep your combination under control, too.

Best of all, you can get it with a stick for row-your-own shifting.

With Tacoma, heated seats are standard on all but the most basic models. Lacking across the line is any kind of access to a heated steering wheel, which should almost be mandatory for any vehicle with a price north of $50k.

That all that off-road gear — particularly the upgraded rear suspension — also translates into a great on-road drive, with a decent ride and nimble handling, turns this weekend toy into a daily driver, too.

It’s just a joy to drive, which seems appropriate for the season.

Related links:

Toyota Canada

About The Author

Kelly Taylor

Kelly Taylor took over an automotive section from an editor who didn't drive, and hasn't looked back since. He's moved on from editing to writing and loves the freedom unshackling from the desk provides. Winner of multiple awards, including twice as Canadian Automotive Journalist of the Year and the recipient of the 2015 Gold Medallion and Best in Newspapers award from the International Automotive Media Competition, Taylor's passion is everything automotive. He's covered cars on three continents and looks forward to one day completing the circuit, though a media event Down Under seems unlikely. When not taking a deep dive into some automotive topic, he spends time at the local archery range perfecting his shot or the local golf course working on his drive. He's also an avid amateur radio enthusiast, competing in several competitions.

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