Car 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 laborious 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 12 months, and even then, it was hardly a dramatic transformation. All of its rivals characteristic brisker designs and engineering, and put merely, it exhibits.

There are good the explanation why the Toyota Tacoma is the gross sales chief regardless of its outdated age. It’s earned a well-deserved popularity for longevity and sturdiness, a indisputable fact that helps the truck keep close to the highest of resale worth charts 12 months after 12 months. It’s supplied in a number of totally different types, together with a pair which can be supposed for off-road fanatics. 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 reality, together with for trucky issues like towing and hauling. We mentioned its inside appeared dated just a few years in the past, and it hasn’t gotten any higher since then. Neither has its inside house or odd seating place. It’s not precisely nimble, both. A minimum of Toyota nonetheless presents a handbook transmission on some trim ranges, which we very a lot admire, however in whole, the Tacoma must meet up with the occasions. 

Inside & Expertise   |   Passenger & Cargo Area   |   Efficiency & Gas Economic 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. Consumers 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 brilliant, shiny exterior accents. All V6-powered Tacomas get dual-zone local weather management normal, V6-powered SR5s get good 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 12 months’s particular TRD Professional shade is the orangey purple Photo voltaic Octane.

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

Effectively, there’s not a variety of tech there to speak about. Not like the bigger Tundra, the Tacoma has not obtained Toyota’s newest infotainment system. Midsize vehicles will not be recognized for being luxurious cruisers, and the Tacoma, maybe greater than most within the phase, 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 laborious into the truck’s rugged, off-road focus. There are some soft-touch supplies; every little thing is screwed collectively effectively and the power-adjustable driver seat corrects the awkwardly low driving place that also stays in Tacoma trims with out it. Nonetheless, there’s no mistaking the back-to-basics really feel. That is very true compared to some of its rivals, just like the newly redesigned Nissan Frontier. Observe that the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon are new for the 2023 mannequin 12 months and look very good inside, however we’ve but to check them.

That is maybe most noticeable whenever you take a look at the steering wheel, which boasts massive buttons harking back to an off-brand online game controller. This theme extends to different inside switchgear, all of which appears and feels strong, however doesn’t impress on the subject of materials selections or design sophistication. It’s chunky, blocky and easy, maybe precisely what truck consumers on this phase need.

The infotainment system works effectively sufficient, however doesn’t do a lot past present the basics. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are happily included, they usually gown up an in any other case drab — however useful — multimedia interface. Toyota’s graphics stay fairly drained, however no less than they’re easy and useful.

How massive is the Tacoma?

The Tacoma follows the essential footprint of the midsize truck phase. Entry Cab fashions are fitted with a 6-foot mattress, however the Double Cabs may be paired to both a 5-footer or the 6-foot one which’s often called 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 large on the wheel wells, in order that they received’t match 4×6 piece of plywood mendacity flat. The Tacoma’s total size is just like that of its rivals. For what it’s price, solely the smaller 5-foot mattress may be paired with the handbook transmission.

Inside, you will discover unusually low-mounted seats. Particularly, the motive force seat would not have normal height-adjustment and the ensuing splayed legged seating place drew fixed complaints throughout our most up-to-date midsize truck comparability. A minimum of higher-trim fashions now get the “luxurious” of a power-adjustable driver seat, however headroom and visibility within the brief cab can nonetheless be a problem.

The Tacoma Entry Cab mannequin would not realistically provide sufficient house within the again seat for adults to journey in any semblance of consolation (and you actually should not put youngsters again there, both). Nevertheless, that is typical for the phase. The actual 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. If you happen to’re on the lookout for a family-friendly midsize truck, this is not it.

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

Toyota presents 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 economic system rankings haven’t been launched for 2023 but, however since nothing has modified, we count on practically equivalent 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 computerized is normal 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 phase, however not by an insurmountable quantity. Regardless of the large hole in energy, there’s not a lot distinction in gas economic system between the improve V6 and base inline-four. When outfitted with the usual six-speed computerized, the V6 returns 19/24/21 with 4×2 and 18/22/20 with 4×4. The TRD Off Street and TRD Professional may be outfitted with an optionally available 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 presents 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 phase. The favored configuration of Double Cab V6 4×4 with an computerized 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 a variety of 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 doubtless the very best for asphalt, and the V6 has enough acceleration for freeway merges and passing. Nevertheless, that engine is noisier and coarser than these of rival vehicles and the six-speed computerized tends to hunt/discover itself within the improper gears (and has fewer gears from which to decide on than rivals have). The handbook six-speed gearbox out there 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 change into abnormally sensitive after an preliminary deadzone making it troublesome to drive the truck easily.

TRD Off-Street and TRD Professional fashions generally is a bit bouncy and harsh on poor surfaces as a result of their beefed-up suspensions, however they’re tolerable on iffy roads for fanatics 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 presents a TRD Elevate Package for V6 4×4 fashions, too, in case you wished to take your non-TRD Professional even additional off-road (and would fairly 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 may be difficult, and even the Tacoma, which is offered 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 listing all of them right here, however suffice it to say that except the TRD Professional and Restricted fashions, you possibly can construct your Tacoma just about the best way you need. The shorter Entry Cab is offered solely with the lengthy mattress; Double Cabs may 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” type if that’s to your liking.

Here is the essential mannequin lineup and pricing for the 2023 Tacoma, however you’ll 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 presents loads of normal energetic and passive programs, particularly for a midsize truck. Toyota’s “Security Sense P” system consists of ahead collision warning with computerized emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, computerized excessive beams, and adaptive cruise management that may simply be toggled off for individuals who choose the old school selection.

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

There’s no ranking for the 2023 simply but, nevertheless it must be just like the 2022 version. Fashions which have been crash examined by the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration obtained a four-star total ranking with a four-star frontal ranking and five-star facet ranking. The Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security provides the 2022 Tacoma the best-possible “Good” ranking for every little thing however the small overlap passenger take a look at the place it earned an “Acceptable” rating. Tacomas outfitted with LED headlights (normal on the TRD Professional and Restricted, optionally available 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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