The Toyota Tacoma has been an enduring favorite in the pickup market. For its new model year, as it faces new competition from General Motors, the entry-level hauler gets an all-new look and a more powerful, more fuel-efficient V6.

Pricing and Equipment

Toyota Tacoma Rear Off-Road

The Toyota Tacoma continues as one of the most popular midsize pickups in the U.S. despite a base MSRP of $23,300 that's a good bit higher than its competitors. For this price, the Tacoma SR comes standard with:

  • Six-speaker audio system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen
  • Voice recognition
  • Rearview camera
  • Bluetooth streaming audio
  • Audio conditioning

Buyers who want added features can choose from four additional trim levels: SR5 ($25,385), TRD Sport ($31,320), TRD Off-Road ($32,100), and Limited ($37,820).

Performance Pros

  • The optional V6 puts out a healthy 278-horsepower V6.
  • A Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 pounds and hauls up to 1,620 in its bed.
  • The TRD Off-Road makes off-roading a walk in the park.

Performance Cons

  • The purpose of the base 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine leaves us confused -- with a mere 159 horsepower it lacks grunt, and it's no more fuel efficient than the V6.
  • We wonder why Toyota doesn't offer the four-cylinder, though, in a basic configuration with rear-wheel drive and a manual transmission.
  • The ride can get a bit bouncy, even when traveling on paved surfaces

Interior Pros

  • The cabin still has the rugged looks of a pickup truck that's ready to get down to business -- this will be a plus for some buyers.
  • Toyota clearly spent plenty of time and money to keep road noise to a minimum.

Interior Cons

While styling in the Tacoma's cabin is much better than it used to be, it hasn't kept pace with competition that's already ahead of its redesign. Cross-shoppers may not be impressed by the cabin's relative simplicity.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The extra power of the 3.5-liter V6 is a welcome addition to the pickup. The old 4-liter engine was pretty stout, but this new motor takes the Tacoma to a whole new level in performance and fuel economy.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Aside from its lower cost, the four-cylinder engine really seems useless. It has significantly lower power ratings, and its fuel economy is abysmal for a four-cylinder. We have a hard time figuring out why it is still available.

The Bottom Line

Toyota Tacoma Interior

The Tacoma remains a great option for buyers who want an alternative to full-size pickups. But be aware that the Tacoma remains a dyed-in-the-wool pickup truck that rides rough, has a relatively simple cabin, and won't impress anyone with its four-cylinder performance or economy.