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Mods for 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma’s

About the 3rd Gen Tacoma

The 3rd generation Tacoma is the one of the best selling mid-size pickup trucks available on the market. It debuted in 2015 at the North American Auto show and went on sale in September of that year as a 2016 model. The front and rear of the truck was redesigned to provide an updated look to the vehicle while the cab was actually carried over from the 2nd generation Tacoma.


The Tacoma was available with either a 2.7L 4 cylinder engine or 3.5L V6 engine [1]. These engines were mated to either a 5 or 6 speed manual or a 6 speed automatic and you could get either in 2 or 4 wheel drive.


Multiple trim levels are available for the Tacoma made between 2016 and 2023. These start at the base SR model and progress through the SR5, TRD Off-Road, TRD Sport, Limited, and top of the line TRD Pro. Many people love the look of the TRD Pro which is why one of the first mods that they install is upgrading the front grille to look similar to a TRD Pro Grille.

Front Grille Modification

In addition to the TRD pro style grille there are many other options available. These include one that takes its styling from the Ford Raptor as well as TRD Pro style grilles with custom letters. There are also custom manufactures, like DB customs, that will create custom Honeycomb style grilles and even special designs that can include the American flag. Other manufactures like Grill Craft or Custom Car Grills have a tight mesh pattern grille that can also include letters.

Tacoma Leveling or Lift Kit

Another modification that Tacoma owners routinely do to their trucks is to install a leveling or lift kit. You can get a TRD Lift kit installed at the dealer or you can purchase a 2-3 inch leveling kit online and install yourself. If you choose to go with lifting the truck 3 inches in the front you should consider adding blocks to the rear suspension to lift it at least 1.5 inches so that the truck doesn’t squat. These small adjustments to the suspension will allow you to run more aggressive and larger tires while maintaining the factory ride and handling. Just remember that after installing one of these lift kits you will need to take you truck to a local alignment shop to correct realign the wheels as you will change the suspension geometry. You may also need to install adjustable upper control arms such as those made by SPC to ensure there is enough adjustability to have a straight alignment.

If you want to go big you can look at one of the largest lift kits available for the Toyota Tacoma which is made by Bulletproof Suspension. This 10-12 inch lift kit is one of the highest available for 2nd and 3rd Gen Tacoma’s and you can be certain that you will have one of the biggest mid-size pickups in your town. With this mod you can run up to 38″ tires without issues as long as you have the correct backspacing on your wheels.

Interior Mods for 3rd Gen Tacoma’s

There are a multitude of things that you can add and change to personalize the interior of your truck. One of those would be to add glove box letters that match the color of your truck or complement other trim pieces inside the cab. Other interior mods include upgrading the cup holders to be able to hold larger mugs, adding switch panels to run LED light bars and other accessories on the outside of the truck, and adding seat covers to the vehicle. If you plan to go off-roading in the truck you should consider some all weather floor mats and also a dash cam to capture all the fun you’ll be having on the trail.

Another comfort missing from the cab of the Tacoma is an easy place to put your phone. There are multiple options out there for mounting your phone such as this one from Hondo Garage. It is a high quality mount that will keep everything right where you need it. You can also add a coin holder or center console tray. Replacing the interior lights with LED’s is also a great addition and will help with reading in the dark should you be on the trail after the sun goes down.

And last but not least for the interior of your truck is to be sure that you have both a first aid kit and tool kit with you at all times while off-roading with friends. You never know what will break or who might get hurt out on the trail.

Pedal Commander Throttle Controller

This is another great mod to add to your pickup truck. This throttle controller allows you to change the throttle response of the truck which can improve the acceleration that many would call sluggish. Owners who have made the switch claim that this is one of their favorite mods to do.

Anytime Camera Kit

Owners also praise the Anytime Camera kit as it allows you to view your backup camera on demand and also add a front camera to the vehicle.

Tacoma Tailgate Letters

Inserts that go into the factory indentions that spell Tacoma on the tailgate of the truck are another great easy and inexpensive mod that can be done to your truck.

Off-Road Armor

For the serious off-roader there are many modifications you can do to the truck. Some of our favorite and necessary mods include full skid plate kits as well as front and rear bumpers. Adding a roof rack to the truck can provide extra storage space and also be a great place to incorporate a light bar for your truck. Rock sliders also need to be added for the serious trails as they will protect the factory sheet metal rocker panels on your truck.

Lighting Upgrades for your Tacoma

There are many lighting upgrades that you can add to your truck. These include stealth mods such as the hidden LED light bar kit from Cali Raised or their ditch light kits that mount at the rear of the hood. Adding LED’s all around the vehicle will help to improve visibility inside and outside so anywhere it is possible it is a good idea to switch out the factory bulbs. You can even get new headlights and taillights that give an updated look to your truck and can incorporate sequential turn signals for that next level custom feel. Sequential turn signals can also be added to the mirrors of your truck to complete the look.

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