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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Toyota Tacoma

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Expert's Rating


MPG 18 City / 22 Highway
  • Many standard safety features
  • Good off-road performance
  • Available performance equipment
  • Standard stereo system underwhelming
  • Rough ride on uneven pavement
  • Options can get pricy
, Automotive Editor -
The Tacoma still has some pretty tough competition, but should have no problem continuing its reign as the best-selling compact pickup in America.


Midway through the 1995 model year, Toyota decided to give its "Compact Truck" a name: Tacoma. This marked the first time it'd had a real name since the “Compact Truck” replaced the Hi-Lux in 1976. With its new American-friendly nomenclature, the Toyota Tacoma gained new traction in the compact truck segment -- and this success continues.

For 2013, America's bestselling compact pickup truck remains unchanged, except for the addition of a new Limited package. The Toyota Tacoma has five trim levels: Base, Base V6, PreRunner, PreRunner V6 and X-Runner V6. Base models have what you'd expect in a basic work truck: a bench seat, a CD player, and manual windows. PreRunners add features like power windows, center-console storage, and a four-wheel-drive look. The X-Runner, finally, includes premium features like: body-colored mirrors, fender flares and bumpers; sport fabric seats; and 18-inch wheels.

Beyond trim level, the Tacoma also has an array of cab styles including: regular cab, Access Cab and Double Cab. The regular cab, available only with in Base and Base V6 trim, has only two doors. The Access Cab, with two large front doors and two rear-hinged quarter doors, is available for all Tacoma models. There is also range-wide availability of the Double Cab, with four full-size doors. When properly equipped, the Tacoma can tow up to 6,500 pounds.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Toyota Tacoma
Starting price

2013 Toyota Tacoma Base

Recommended for: Buyers who need a basic pickup truck with a low base price and reasonable features

The 2013 Toyota Tacoma Base comes with a 159-horsepower 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine connected to a five-speed manual transmission. Outside, it has a black grille insert, door handles, mirrors and bumpers; four adjustable tie-downs; 15-inch steel wheels; and rear mudguards. Inside, the Base features air conditioning; a six-speaker audio system with 6.1-inch touchscreen; fabric seats; and two 12-volt power outlets.

2013 Toyota Tacoma
Starting price

2013 Toyota Tacoma Base V6

Recommended for: Buyers who want the extra power of the V6 engine without breaking the bank

In Base V6 trim, the Tacoma features a 236-horsepower 4-liter V6 and a six-speed manual transmission. Four-wheel drive is also standard, as are 16-inch steel rims; black fender flares; and skid plates under the engine and front suspension. Inside the cabin, you'll find a split-bench seat; an overhead console with map lights; and a center console with an armrest and storage.

2013 Toyota Tacoma
Starting price

2013 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner

Recommended for: Buyers who want the 4x4 look without 4x4 fuel economy

The PreRunner adds to Base trim: a four-speed automatic transmission; 16-inch wheels; black fender flares; front and rear mudguards; and skid plates to protect the engine and suspension. Inside, the PreRunner includes a split-bench seat; power windows and door locks; and a center console with an armrest and covered storage compartment.

2013 Toyota Tacoma
Starting price

2013 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner V6

Recommended for: Buyers who want the V6 and 4x4 looks without 4x4 fuel economy

The PreRunner V6 ups PreRunner equipment levels with a 4-liter V6 and a five-speed automatic transmission.

2013 Toyota Tacoma
Starting price

2013 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner V6

Recommended for: Buyers who want a compact truck full of high-end features

The X-Runner V6 is the Tacoma's top trim level. It features a 236-horsepower 4-liter V6; a six-speed manual transmission; body-colored bumpers, fender flares, grille surround, door handles and mirrors; a body kit and hood scoop; power mirrors; an X-brace-tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks; and 18-inch wheels.

It also boasts sport seats, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with an integrated rearview camera screen.

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