Toyota Tacoma does something other mid-size pickups like Chevrolet Colorado or Ford Ranger don’t do; it exceeds the brand’s full-size pickup in sales. This year marks the third generation of Taco’s eightth birthday, and while fans have fallen in love with this bestseller medium size, its standard equipment gets a little dusty. The standard equipment is a 159-horsepower 4-speed engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, and V-6 with a capacity of 278 liters. Such and Jeep Gladiator these are the only two pickups sold in the US with three pedals. Tacoma’s base power transmission is the least powerful in the segment, but the single-cab single-wheel drive model remains a much more affordable choice than both the Gladiator and Gladiator Honda Ridgeline. It can tow a little more than that Nissan Frontier at 6,800 pounds, but its awkward seating position, low fuel economy and low rental of interior furniture restrain the very capable Tacoma.
What’s new in 2023?
Toyota is adding two new look packages to the SR23 kit for the 2023 Tacomas. The SX package, previously available in the SR trim, is available for the V-6 SR5 with both an Access cab and a dual cab. It adds black wings, black wheels with black nuts and more black badges and trim details scattered all over. The Chrome package, available for the SR5 Double Cab with a five-foot bed, adds 18-inch polished wheels, chrome door handles, exhaust tips and a logo on the trunk door, as well as a leather shift knob. The SR5 models from the V-6 now get a Smart Key from Toyota and an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, and each V-6 now has automatic dual-zone climate control. Limited trim levels now get an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, a Smart Key and a 360-degree camera on the Limited Double Cab Tacomas. TRD Pro off-road models have received a new exclusive Solar Octane color for 2023. TRD Sport is now available in Electric Lime paint.
Prices and which to buy
It’s good to follow what Tacoma does best with the TRD Off-Road crew cab (aka Double Cab). It comes standard with an electronic rear differential lock and we would take ours with the extra all-wheel drive. We abandoned the whiskey four-cylinder base engine and moved on to the more powerful V-6. While not choosing an automatic transmission, we prefer certain options, we prefer to shift gears ourselves and avoid awkward car behavior. This solution limits us to a shorter 5.0-foot cargo box because – for some reason – the guide is not compatible with a Tacos equipped with a 6.0-foot bed. Also, Premium packages are not offered with our transmission selection. However, each model has 16-inch wheels, black wings, rich driver assistance and an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a Wi-Fi access point based subscription. We would also choose the Technology package with options, which includes upgraded headlights with LED elements, as well as blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alerts and parking sensors.
Engine, transmission and performance
Additional V-6 engine with 278 hp. from Tacoma generates 265 pound-feet of torque and provides decent performance and towing, but the base four-cylinder 159-hp. creates only 180 pound-feet of torque and its not powerful enough and its best avoided. We also recommend abandoning the six-speed automatic transmission with any engine – stick to the six-speed manual and V-6. Associated with automation, even a larger engine is sometimes difficult. TRD Sport and Limited models focused on city driving, while TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro versions look for harder ways. However, none of these options are very fast. Not the first choice in terms of ride quality and handling, Tacoma can easily fight on trails or rough roads. It can be equipped to take advantage of dirt skating or sidewalk hiking. Limited provides a satisfactory ride that is smoother and quieter than off-road versions. We drove Tacoma TRD Pro drove west and found that its raised suspension, strong shock absorbers and narrow tires made it one of the best trucks for off-road travel, but less enjoyable for everyday driving.
Towing and load capacity
In its strongest form, the Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 pounds with rear-wheel drive; all-wheel drive versions can pull £ 6,500. The maximum load capacity of the Tacoma 1685 pounds is only available on two-wheeled models with a four-cylinder engine, all-wheel drive and a much smaller V-6 engine.
Fuel economy and real miles per gallon
The fuel economy of the V-6 Tacoma with an EPA rating is in the middle, but in our real tests on the highway it does not catch up with more efficient competitors. Although the manual transmission of the V-6 has the worst fuel economy, driving it is much more fun. In our actual fuel economy test, the Tacoma matched the EPA highway estimate of 23 mph. However, it was 5 miles per gallon less than that Honda Ridgeline and diesel GMC Canyon.
For more information on Tacoma fuel economy, visit the page EPA website.
Interior, comfort and cargo
Sticking to its roots is commendable, but it doesn’t work in favor of Tacoma’s cabin. The utilitarian layout and materials of another era are the last. Even higher levels of finish depend heavily on hard plastic and minimalist materials. However, Tacoma is finally offering an electrically adjustable driver’s seat. However, close quarters are Tacoma’s main product. The rear seat of the crew cabin is a place where Tacoma passengers will have to shrink, as there is very little legroom. The Tacoma has more than enough space in a five or six foot bed, but it disappoints with small storage cabinets and limited space for hand luggage inside. Inside the Tacoma storage space is limited, and the crew cabin we tested was able to accommodate only nine hand luggage in the back seat. Aside from the drawers on the center console, there aren’t many useful storage drawers or cubes.
Infotainment program and communication
We will give Toyota a nod for incorporating a touchscreen into every Tacoma. The base model has a 7.0-inch display, and all other configurations have an 8.0-inch screen. The company has also finally added compatibility between Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which should improve the user experience compared to the previous infotainment system. Although it has multiple USB ports and wireless charging, Tacoma still doesn’t offer a mobile access point like some of its competitors.
Safety and driver assistance functions
Tacoma may only have average crash test scores, but it has the most standard ones driver assistance technology in his class. While Ridgeline retains the status of a leader in its class here (thanks to excellent crash test results), the mid-size Toyota has more impressive technology than its other competitors.
For more information on the results of the Tacoma crash test, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Road Safety Insurance Institute (IIHS) websites. Key security features include:
- Standard frontal collision warning and automatic emergency braking
- Standard lane departure warning
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty coverage and maintenance
The Tacoma warranty meets most competitors, and Toyota offers the best free scheduled maintenance plan in its class.
- The limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- The transmission warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Free maintenance is covered for two years or 25,000 miles