Though it’s gone through updates and redesigns, the Tacoma has maintained the same basic rugged, do-it-all pickup formula since 2005. In 2016, Toyota gave its small truck a fresh look, an updated powertrain, and enhanced off-road credentials, but maintained the Tacoma's formula from over a decade ago. All this carries into the 2017 model year, which also sees the return of the even more off-road-ready TRD Pro model along with a few smaller tweaks.

How does the 2017 Toyota Tacoma stand up in a resurgent midsize pickup segment? Continue reading to find out.

Pricing and Equipment

The 2017 Toyota Tacoma, like a lot of trucks, has a wide price range, with six trims covering $25,315 to $43,920 ($960 destination fee included). Because of the additional creature comforts it offers over the base SR trim, we expect the SR5 trim to be the most common among buyers. This trim comes standard with:

  • Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming
  • Variable intermittent windshield wipers
  • Chrome bumper and a chrome-accented grille
  • 15-inch steel wheels
  • Keyless entry
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Entune Audio Plus infotainment system with Scout Navigation Link and Siri Eyes Free
  • Six-speaker audio system with SiriusXM

Buyers looking to make the SR5 a little more stylish can add the SR5 Appearance Package ($685), which includes 16-inch alloy wheels and color-keyed overfenders. There is also a wide range of standalone options, like the 5-inch chrome oval tube steps ($535), cast-aluminum running boards ($795), and all-weather floor liners and doorsill protectors ($209).

Buyers looking for something with a little more off-road cred can go with the TRD Off-Road model, which runs from $33,970 to $40,960 ($960 destination fee included) and adds a terrain selector, crawl control, and an off-road suspension that allows for more wheel articulation.

There are just two engines available in the 2017 Tacoma. The standard powerplant is a 2.7-liter four-cylinder that produces a modest 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. The optional engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that pumps in 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. This engine can mate with one of two six-speed transmissions: a manual or an automatic. Both engines are also available with rear- or four-wheel drive.

Performance Pros

Toyota Tacoma
  • Small Toyota trucks like the Tacoma are among the most unkillable vehicles on the planet.
  • Plenty capable off the beaten path, especially the TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro models.
  • Upgraded springs and dampers for a softer ride and increased control.

Performance Cons

  • Four-cylinder engine struggles at high speeds and when hauling.

Interior Pros

  • Quiet cabin for a pickup truck.
  • Toyota paid close attention to the surfaces and textures.
  • Plenty of great tech, comfort, and convenience options to choose from.

Interior Cons

Toyota Tacoma
  • Has a not-so-comfortable driving position.
  • Seat cushions are not comfortable and are a little shallow.
  • Limited head room makes things tight for taller drivers.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

We all know just how reliable the Tacoma is off-road and on the job site, but its on-road manners are quite impressive too. Its ride is soft without feeling like it's floating, and its peaceful cabin is not something we’d expect from a pickup. Adding in the V6 engine with the automatic transmission smooths it out even more.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

While the cabin is peaceful, the uncomfortable seats nearly ruin it. Not only is it hard to find a comfortable driving position, but the lack of give in the seats make things a little achy over time.

The Bottom Line

The 2017 Tacoma checks a lot of the boxes midsize pickup truck buyers require, and it has for some time now. It’s rugged, has plenty of power with the V6, has a nice ride and plenty of available features. However, it does miss the mark big time in seating comfort, which could push some undecided buyers to more posh models, like the higher trim levels of the GMC Canyon or Honda Ridgeline.