Reviews

2023 Toyota Tacoma Review: Best seller, but not the best truck

Execs: Rugged good exterior appears; traditionally good reliability and resale worth

Cons: Cramped and uncomfortable inside; noisy, inefficient and unrefined; poor tech

It’s getting onerous to not discover that the Toyota Tacoma hasn’t modified a lot within the final eight years. It was final redesigned for the 2016 mannequin yr, and even then, it was hardly a dramatic transformation. All of its rivals characteristic more energizing designs and engineering, and put merely, it exhibits.

There are good the reason why the Toyota Tacoma is the gross sales chief regardless of its outdated age. It’s earned a well-deserved status for longevity and sturdiness, a proven fact that helps the truck keep close to the highest of resale worth charts yr after yr. It’s supplied in a number of totally different kinds, together with a pair which might be meant for off-road fans. And it’s ruggedly good-looking, too.

Sadly, there are many chinks within the Tacoma’s armor. For starters, its powertrain is thirstier and fewer highly effective than lots of its rivals. It doesn’t have class-leading specs anyplace, in truth, together with for trucky issues like towing and hauling. We mentioned its inside regarded dated a couple of years in the past, and it hasn’t gotten any higher since then. Neither has its inside area or odd seating place. It’s not precisely nimble, both. No less than Toyota nonetheless gives a handbook transmission on some trim ranges, which we very a lot respect, however in complete, the Tacoma must meet up with the occasions. 

Inside & Know-how   |   Passenger & Cargo Area   |   Efficiency & Gas Financial system

What it is wish to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Ranges   |   Crash Rankings & Security Options

What’s new for 2023?

Toyota combined up the paint and choices packages for 2023, and that’s about it. Patrons can select a blacked-out SX package deal on both the SR or SR5 fashions (purple truck, under proper), including chunky black fender flares and wheels. A Chrome package deal for the SR5 Double Cab (darkish truck, under left) marries chrome wheels with vibrant, shiny exterior accents. All V6-powered Tacomas get dual-zone local weather management customary, V6-powered SR5s get sensible keys and there are some further issues like energy seats and an upgraded 8.0-inch touchscreen on Restricted vehicles.

Previous that, the TRD Sport is now supplied in searing Electrical Lime paint, whereas this yr’s particular TRD Professional shade is the orangey purple Photo voltaic Octane.

What are the Tacoma’s inside and in-car know-how like?

Properly, there’s not numerous tech there to speak about. In contrast to the bigger Tundra, the Tacoma has not obtained Toyota’s newest infotainment system. Midsize vehicles are usually not identified for being luxurious cruisers, and the Tacoma, maybe greater than most within the section, has a cabin that sticks to its useful, considerably spartan roots.

Whereas higher-trim Tacomas provide loads of options, they’re packaged into an inside that leans onerous into the truck’s rugged, off-road focus. There are some soft-touch supplies; all the pieces is screwed collectively nicely and the power-adjustable driver seat corrects the awkwardly low driving place that also stays in Tacoma trims with out it. However, there’s no mistaking the back-to-basics really feel. That is very true in comparison to a couple of its rivals, just like the newly redesigned Nissan Frontier. Notice that the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon are new for the 2023 mannequin yr and look very good inside, however we’ve but to check them.

That is maybe most noticeable once you take a look at the steering wheel, which boasts giant buttons paying homage to an off-brand online game controller. This theme extends to different inside switchgear, all of which appears and feels sturdy, however doesn’t impress with regards to materials decisions or design sophistication. It’s chunky, blocky and easy, maybe precisely what truck patrons on this section need.

The infotainment system works nicely sufficient, however doesn’t do a lot past present the basics. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are happily included, and so they gown up an in any other case drab — however useful — multimedia interface. Toyota’s graphics stay fairly drained, however at the very least they’re easy and useful.

How massive is the Tacoma?

The Tacoma follows the essential footprint of the midsize truck section. Entry Cab fashions are fitted with a 6-foot mattress, however the Double Cabs will be paired to both a 5-footer or the 6-foot one which’s often known as the lengthy mattress. A pair of key rivals, the Ford Ranger SuperCrew and Jeep Gladiator, do not provide a long-bed/crew-cab combo. Each beds are simply 41.5 inches extensive on the wheel wells, in order that they gained’t match 4×6 piece of plywood mendacity flat. The Tacoma’s general size is much like that of its rivals. For what it’s price, solely the smaller 5-foot mattress will be paired with the handbook transmission.

Inside, you will discover unusually low-mounted seats. Particularly, the motive force seat would not have customary height-adjustment and the ensuing splayed legged seating place drew fixed complaints throughout our most up-to-date midsize truck comparability. No less than higher-trim fashions now get the “luxurious” of a power-adjustable driver seat, however headroom and visibility within the quick cab can nonetheless be a difficulty.

The Tacoma Entry Cab mannequin would not realistically provide sufficient area within the again seat for adults to journey in any semblance of consolation (and you actually should not put youngsters again there, both). Nonetheless, that is typical for the section. The true level of comparability, then, is the Double Cab. Although it provides a whopping 8 inches of legroom in comparison with the Entry Cab, it is significantly much less spacious and cozy again there than the Ranger, Gladiator, Colorado/Canyon twins and the Honda Ridgeline. In the event you’re searching for a family-friendly midsize truck, this is not it.

What are the Tacoma gas financial system, efficiency, towing and payload specs?

Toyota gives two engines within the Tacoma. The bottom engine is a 2.7-liter inline-four producing 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. The Tacoma’s rivals do not provide such a low-power base four-cylinder. Gas financial system rankings haven’t been launched for 2023 but, however since nothing has modified, we anticipate almost similar numbers from 2022. That places the four-cylinder at 20 mpg metropolis, 23 mpg freeway and 21 mpg mixed with rear-wheel drive (4×2) and 19/22/20 with four-wheel drive (4×4). A six-speed automated is customary with the bottom engine.

The improve is a 3.5L V6 that makes a a lot more healthy 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. The six can be one of many weaker choices within the section, however not by an insurmountable quantity. Regardless of the extensive hole in energy, there’s not a lot distinction in gas financial system between the improve V6 and base inline-four. When outfitted with the usual six-speed automated, the V6 returns 19/24/21 with 4×2 and 18/22/20 with 4×4. The TRD Off Street and TRD Professional will be outfitted with an non-obligatory six-speed handbook that returns 17/20/18.

In its most towing-friendly configuration (V6, 4×2, Towing Prep package deal), the Tacoma maxes out at 6,800 kilos of trailering. Its GM, Ford and Jeep competitors usually gives round 7,500 kilos or extra, however the Honda Ridgeline lags behind the Tacoma at 5,000 kilos. The Nissan Frontier is simply barely outpaced by the Tacoma at 6,720 kilos.

Most payload capability is achieved with the four-cylinder 4×2, which may haul 1,685 kilos, and with this, it compares extra favorably to the section. The favored configuration of Double Cab V6 4×4 with an automated can haul 1,155 kilos with the common mattress. Going with the 4×2 provides a pair hundred kilos of capability as much as 1,285 kilos.

What’s the Tacoma wish to drive?

There are numerous totally different Tacoma trim ranges, and the off-road fashions naturally aren’t designed to coddle occupants with a snug journey and crisp dealing with. Restricted fashions are probably the most effective for asphalt, and the V6 has enough acceleration for freeway merges and passing. Nonetheless, that engine is noisier and coarser than these of rival vehicles and the six-speed automated tends to hunt/discover itself within the flawed gears (and has fewer gears from which to decide on than rivals have). The handbook six-speed gearbox obtainable on V6 fashions is nice as truck transmissions go, however doesn’t do a lot to make the expertise extra partaking. Each the throttle and brake tuning are troublesome to adapt to, as each grow to be abnormally sensitive after an preliminary deadzone making it troublesome to drive the truck easily.

TRD Off-Street and TRD Professional fashions is usually a bit bouncy and harsh on poor surfaces resulting from their beefed-up suspensions, however they’re tolerable on iffy roads for fans who need the additional go-anywhere functionality. And go anyplace they most actually can. Each include terrain-specific drive modes, an digital locking rear differential, and heavy-duty drivetrain cooling. Computerized fashions even get an auxiliary transmission cooler. All 4×4 fashions get a two-speed switch case, TRD or in any other case. Toyota gives a TRD Elevate Equipment for V6 4×4 fashions, too, in case you wished to take your non-TRD Professional even additional off-road (and would moderately such a modification come from the unique producer).

How a lot is the 2021 Toyota Tacoma worth and the place is it made?

The Toyota Tacoma is in-built Mexico in both Tijuana or Guanajuato.

Pricing begins at $28,485, together with vacation spot, however that is a reasonably stripped-down truck, and most folk will need one thing pricier. Certainly, speccing out a pickup truck will be difficult, and even the Tacoma, which is on the market in comparatively few configurations in comparison with some full-size choices, is available in greater than 30 variants earlier than you even begin including choices.

There are just too many permutations to checklist all of them right here, however suffice it to say that except the TRD Professional and Restricted fashions, you may construct your Tacoma just about the way in which you need. The shorter Entry Cab is on the market solely with the lengthy mattress; Double Cabs will be optioned with both. The Restricted and TRD Professional can be found solely in Double Cab configurations, and the TRD Professional can solely be had with four-wheel drive. TRD Sport and TRD Off Street fashions can be found in 4×2 “Prerunner” model if that’s to your liking.

This is the essential mannequin lineup and pricing for the 2023 Tacoma, however you could find a full breakdown of those trim ranges’ options, specs and native pricing right here on Autoblog.

  • SR: $28,485
  • SR5: $31,165
  • TRD Sport: $35,395
  • TRD Off-Street: $36,675
  • Restricted: $41,240
  • TRD Professional: $47,920

What are the Tacoma security rankings and driver help options?

The Tacoma gives loads of customary energetic and passive methods, particularly for a midsize truck. Toyota’s “Security Sense P” system contains ahead collision warning with automated emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automated excessive beams, and adaptive cruise management that may simply be toggled off for many who choose the old school selection.

Rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and parking sensors can all be added with packages obtainable on the SR5, TRD Sport and TRD Off-Street fashions. Larger trims get them bundled in.

There’s no ranking for the 2023 simply but, but it surely must be much like the 2022 version. Fashions which have been crash examined by the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration obtained a four-star general ranking with a four-star frontal ranking and five-star aspect ranking. The Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security provides the 2022 Tacoma the best-possible “Good” ranking for all the pieces however the small overlap passenger check the place it earned an “Acceptable” rating. Tacomas outfitted with LED headlights (customary on the TRD Professional and Restricted, non-obligatory on TRD Off-Street and TRD Sport) get a “Good” headlight ranking, whereas the usual halogens solely rating the third-best/second-worst “Marginal.”

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