(Image: Toyota)

Toyota has confirmed a $40,760 MSRP for the manual transmission 4x4 four-door 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro; the hardcore off-road variant of its popular pickup. That’s about $7,000 more than the next trim down and some $10,000 shy of what we think the next four-door Ford Raptor will cost.

Drill down a little further and you’ll see that the most expensive but un-accessorized Tacoma TRD Pro (automatic) is $43,700 out the door. If the rumors are right, the cheapest Raptor will be $49,520. That $5,820 might get you slightly-smaller rear seats and a bigger fuel bill with the Ford, but you’re looking at way more power, capability, and did I mention power?

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The new Tacoma TRD Pro, built out of Toyota’s redesigned-for-2016 Tacoma, is only available as a short-bed Double Cab (four-door) V6 4x4. Starting price is $40,760 with a manual transmission and $42,760 with an automatic. $940 in immediate fees brings the costs to $41,700 and $43,700 respectively.

Beyond an extensive list of dress-up details, the TRD Pro kit unlocks Fox 2.5" diameter front shocks with TRD springs netting a 1" lift and presumably much better off-road ride compliance, upgraded rear leaf springs for the same purpose, a TRD stainless steel exhaust, aluminum skidplate, and aggressive Goodyear Wrangler tires on nice TRD wheels with a +1" offset to widen the truck’s track.

The Tacoma TRD Pro will run the same naturally-aspirated 3.5 V6 we get in other current-gen Tacomas making 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque, plus any negligible gain from the exhaust upgrade, with net a peak EPA-claimed fuel economy of 23 MPG.

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As AutoBlog pointed out, the one-step down version of the Tacoma, the TRD Off-Road, lists at about $34,000 in the same (manual-shift) configuration. That truck still gets you the new Tacoma’s off-road traction control, but lighter-duty Bilstein shocks and not the other TRD “toys” listed above. You certainly could get your own coilovers, leaf spring upgrade, wheels, tires and exhaust installed for the $7,000 difference, but I guess you’d miss out on that sexy TRD Pro trim pieces and factory-fresh assembly.

Real talk– part of me hates to dump on the TRD Pro because it’s a cool-looking truck with a legitimate enthusiast-oriented loadout from the factory. Basically, exactly what off-road fans are always clamoring for in our comments. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, the TRD Pro’s real value proposition is hard to justify.

This truck’s appeal is that it’s a complete and pretty package. The downside is you pay a big premium over the price of an aftermarket-made equivalent and you’re still stuck with a less than thrilling engine.

The cheapest new Ford Raptor will probably be a lot more exciting with its EcoBoost turbo whirring 365 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque through a ten-speed transmission, but it’s also expected to be $10,000 more in the same cab size.

Then again, the smaller (extended cab) Raptor really starts looking more like a mere $6,000 over the automatic TRD Pro, and you’re already making payments over something like four years, right?

I can understand the desire to own a Tacoma TRD Pro, if for no reason other than “they look sweet.” And of course– manual transmission. But with the Raptor so far ahead on power and pretty close on price, the Toyota starts looking like a tough sell. Especially when we start bringing the used market into the equation.