Ask Nathan: Ram 1500 RHO vs TRX, Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter vs TRD Pro and Hybrid Longevity?

This week carries more of a truck theme, but these are two of the biggest recent truck reveals

(Image: Stellantis | Ram)

In this week’s post:

  • Which is better: Ram 1500 RHO vs TRX?
  • Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter vs TRD Pro;
  • How long will a hybrid last?

The first question comes from a fan who wants a Ram 1500 RHO vs TRX episode on TFLtruck.

Q (via Which would you or Andre choose, with the Ram 1500 RHO vs TRX?

On the outside it looks like Ram simply pulled the old Hellcat and added the Hurricane. I am sure there is more to it. If it were up to you guys. Which one would you buy?

– NetCarbs_67

A: That’s a tough question, as we have yet to drive an RHO.

After consulting with Andre, who knows a lot more about the truck than I do, it’s almost a draw. The TRX has a lot more personality, just from having that massive V8. That I know for sure. It’s still the most powerful Ram 1500 too. On the pother hand, the RHO is lighter, (probably) more maneuverable, less expensive to own and more frugal.

I guarantee it isn’t as thirsty as the outgoing TRX.

Keep this in mind: Ram never said that the RHO is replacing the TRX. There’s a lot of talk about the Ram TRX returning in a form that will directly take on the Raptor R. As it stands, the Ram 1500 RHO outguns the regular Raptor in terms of horsepower and torque.

I think it’s best if we let the video below explain.

– N

The next question is about the Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter vs TRD Pro.

Q (via: Twitter/X @NathanAdlen) RE: TRD Pro vs Trailhunter!

Second question and thank you for answering the last one. One thing I like about you is that you find the good and bad in every truck and car. I’ve watched TF L for 10 years and I like the fact that you look at the real financial burden cars put on people. Sad to say that I can’t afford anything more than a basic truck. Your purchase of the Santa Cruz for 32 thousand was right in my market.

I dream of getting a Tacoma or a Ranger one day. I can’t spend 45 thousand on a small truck! That’s the cheapest I can get the configurators to go on a basic truck I want. I have a family of four and need a crew cab that can hold my kids or its no go!

All of you have done a amazing job covering the new Tacoma and you’re not afraid to tell us the good and bad. Thank you! So I was wondering from a fan boy perspective about which new Tacoma is better. Is it the TRD Pro or Trailhunter?

Honestly you guys are the best!

– Randy_Ranger99 

A: At first, I thought the differences between the TRD vs Trailhunter would just be cosmetic, but I was wrong.

Sure, they look a bit different, and both have enough garnish to tell them apart. The main differences come from the two completely different suspensions. Also, the interior of the two trucks are very different; especially the front seats.

The simple way it was explained to me was: the Tacoma TRD Pro is built to be a serious desert runner. Sure, it can be a daily driver, but if can run Baja trails at serious speeds. It’s not built for overlanding like the Trailhunter is. If you want similar running gear, but have no intention to shoot the dunes often – and camp a lot – the Trailhunter is your jam.

If you head to, you’ll get the inside differences between the two. Both the above and below videos give you an inside look at the differences between the two.

As for your comment about pricing: I totally get it. The least expensive crew-cab I could find was a $34,000 Nissan Frontier. While it’s a bummer that it’s a base model 2WD, I still think the Frontier is a great truck. Sadly, the aforementioned Nissan is priced about 1/2 of these Tacomas.

Crazy, right?

– N

The last question is from a friend who wants to know about the longevity of hybrids, being that they are having a bit of a resurgence.

Q: (summarized from a conversation with a friend) Now that hybrids are becoming popular again, I wonder how they do with longevity?

With so many extra parts, it must be a pain to service and fix them. What happens when the battery completely dies? Does the car just die as well?

– M.M Cat

A: I have personally witnessed many hybrids lasting in excess of 200,000 miles – and still going strong.

In addition, many of those hybrids are Toyotas. Regardless of how you feel about the automaker, they are the biggest producers of hybrids, and they are their biggest champions. As much as I dislike the earlier Toyota Prius, I fully admit that it is a technical marvel that proves hybrids can last as long, if not longer than a conventional internal combustion vehicle.

Given that most hybrids use an electric motor to move them, AND to slow them down (regenerative braking) it usually means less wear and tear on the gas engine. Electric motors rarely fail, and battery tech has a long shelf life in most hybrids.

While hybrid powertrains are a proven, reliable motivator – they are not “bullet-proof.” There have been cases of ECUs, and other technical components failing, completely disabling the vehicle. Sure, that can happen to an internal combustion powertrain as well, hybrids can be more challenging to repair.

Now – IF – a battery completely dies, the hybrid will not run. The car will have a few fail-safe systems lined up to prevent sending charge to a battery that won’t accept it. That means that your hybrid will not run – period. I have seen a few cases where this happens; mostly to hybrids with extremely high miles, owned by abusive drivers.

Recently, a former colleague of mine replaced the battery on his mother’s RAV4 hybrid. It cost him over $1,200 to do it, but the vehicle began to run like new – which is cheaper than buying another used hybrid. His odometer is past the 210,000 mark. This is just one example of how these things can run a long time, and they could have a second life – if the owner is so inclined.

— N