Off Roadin' with Toyota

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toyo1

Its not everyday Toyota hands you the keys to a fleet of Trucks and SUVs to toy with on the off road playground that is the Cleveland National Forrest. We got a chance to put a few FJ Cruisers and Tacomas through their paces and after the experience we can see why the most loyal of American truck drivers are trading in their rusted Chevy and Ford belt buckles for a sparkly new piece of metal from the land of the rising sun.

toyo4

The convoy of Toyotas consisted of two Toyota TRD Tacomas, two FJ Cruisers, and the highlight of the pack, a supercharged TRD Tacoma which we'll get to later in the article. First up the FJ Cruisers. Coming from an FJ purist, its easy to dismiss the new FJ Cruiser as somewhat of a novelty compared to its much storied and proven heritage. Surprisingly the new FJ proved to be a nimble and trail worthy truck tackling steep declines and rough terrain while maintaining a smooth and comfortable, urban-friendly ride.

toyo2

As we mentioned before the most fun came from a tweaked TRD Tacoma which the representatives at Toyota had the good idea of letting this Acquire Editor lead with. I actually should apologize profusely for the reps in the back who were being tossed about like lab rats as I gunned it up the mountain. The Tacoma was outfitted with a number of aftermarket modifications including a TRD supercharger, ARB front bumper, Warn Winch, Bud Built full skid plates, Demello Off-Road rear bumper, Revtek 2” lift kits, BFG All Terrain tires, and a graphic kit that paints an oversized bullseye to trigger happy traffic cops. Its definitely a truck built for Baja racer wannabes like myself.

toyo3

Its easy to forget that Toyota for decades has been making trucks that are capable of trekking through Sub-Saharan desert terrain and Amazonian Jungles. While our off road exploits were hardly anything that extreme in nature, our little adventure only reinforced the fact that Toyota knows their way around a truck and they continue to keep up and even outclass their rivals on their own turf. Now to go polish that new belt buckle...