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Toyota Discontinues “Desert Air Intake Package” from the Tacoma TRD Pro

In theory, snorkels allow an off-road vehicle like the Jeep Gladiator to wade through deeper water. The higher intake doesn’t allow water to get into the engine to hydrolock the bejesus out of it, but in practice, few people actually need this upgrade.
Toyota KILLS The Tacoma's Snorkel, So You Hipsters Can't Go To The Grocery Store In A Flood Anymore! 11 photos
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You also have to consider that a high-mounted plastic tube doesn’t necessarily translate to an increased wading depth. Tommy Mica of The Fast Lane highlights that water can still get into the fuse box “and tons of other control modules that would most likely end your day prematurely.” As such, it should surprise you to hear that the snorkel of the Tacoma TRD Pro is actually called a "desert air intake."

Toyota is much obliged to sell you this upgrade as long as you live near a desert, but for 2021, the optional intake system has been discontinued from the Tacoma TRD Pro. Why, you may be asking? According to Tommy, “so you hipsters can’t go to the grocery store in a flood anymore.” Jokes aside, Toyota didn’t give a reason for it.

Looking on the bright side, more business for the aftermarket is always a good thing. If you do live near a desert, a higher intake may be an inspired choice for keeping the sand out of your air filter. As for the fine dust that inevitably gets to the filter, you can clean it monthly or more often if you off-road every weekend.

As opposed to $700-plus for the factory option discontinued for the 2021 model year, the aftermarket is much obliged to sell you a desert air intake for as little as $300 whereas the good stuff such as the ARB Safari Snorkel Kit is $550 or thereabouts.

At the time of writing, the TRD Pro is the king of the Tacoma lineup in terms of pricing and off-road capability. Starting at $44,075 excluding freight, the mid-sized truck comes with FOX Internal Bypass shock absorbers, a cat-back exhaust system, and a V6 engine paired to a six-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic.

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