2012 Toyota Tacoma Overview

Zac Estrada
Automotive Editor - March 29, 2012

The Tacoma comes in a number of different cab sizes and bed lengths, as well as trim levels. The Regular Cab is only available as a base model with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder, three-passenger bench seat and a 6-foot bed. But it can be had with either two or four-wheel drive and with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Opting for a V6 4x4 Double Cab sinks fuel economy to as low as 16 MPG city and 21 MPG highway – some versions of Ford's F-150 with the EcoBoost V6 do better.

V6 Access Cabs and Double Cabs can be had with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. Access Cab has two small doors and two small seats behind the front passengers for four-passenger capacity. Double Cabs have four full doors and seating for five passengers and most come with a five-foot bed. The Base Tacoma is a no-frills work truck, while PreRunner models get more cosmetic enhancements and off-road gear to look like the 4x4 models. The X-Runner is a lowered, sportier version of the Access Cab that has two-wheel drive and the V6, 18-inch alloy wheels and a hood scoop. The TRD Off-Road Package on 4x4 models adds upgraded mechanicals for more serious adventuring.

The Nissan Frontier is the Tacoma's direct competitor. It combines rugged good looks with a strong V6. The Tacoma beats it by offering a regular cab for drivers who want to prioritize bed length and offers superior in-car technology with the Toyota Entune system. The Honda Ridgeline is less direct. Its unibody platform comes from the Pilot and Odyssey and it comes only as a four-door with one bed length. The Ridgeline is more carlike than the Tacoma and offers unique features like a lockable cubby in the bed. But the bed is shorter than ones offered on the Tacoma and it has less towing capacity and off-road capability.

Thanks to its size, powertrain options and wide array of cab sizes and trim levels, the Tacoma remains the perfect pick for buyers shopping for a pickup truck but who want to avoid the bulk and poor economy from full-size models. The strong V6 and availability of both a tuner-looking X-Runner and serious 4x4 models means there's likely to be a Tacoma for every buyer's tastes.

Find Your New Toyota Tacoma On CarsDirect

Insider Information

We have information you must know before you buy the Tacoma. We want to send it to you, along with other pricing insights.


I agree to receive emails from CarsDirect. I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time.
We will not spam you, and will never sell your email. Privacy Policy.

Thank you. You are now subscribed to our Pricing Insider updates.

Buying With CarsDirect

We have partnered with trusted dealers in your area to give you a great price on the new Toyota Tacoma.
This is how it works:

  • We connect you to the Internet Department at a Trusted Dealership.
  • Use the CarsDirect Target Price as a tool in your negotiation.
  • The dealer will help you with financing or leasing, as well as trade-in options.

Find more information on Toyota vehicles