The Toyota Tacoma does something that other mid-size pickups like the Chevrolet Colorado or Ford Ranger don’t – it outsells the brand’s full-size pickup truck. The third-generation Taco is eight years old this year, and while fans have grown to love this bestselling mid-sized pick up, its standard equipment is starting to feel a little outdated.
The Tacoma comes standard with a wimpy 159-hp inline-four engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, while a278-hp V6 is optional with either the auto or a six speed manual. The Tacoma and Jeep Gladiator are the only pickups sold in America that come with three pedals - making them more affordable than both the Honda Ridgeline and Gladiator.
Although it can tow more than the Nissan Frontier at 6800 pounds, the Tacoma is held back by its awkward seating position, poor fuel economy, and low-quality interior furnishings.
In 2023, Toyota is coming out with two new appearance packages for its SR5 trim level on Tacomas. The SX package, which was available on the SR trim before, can now be bought for V-6 SR5s with Access Cab and Double Cab bodies. It comes with black over-fenders, black wheels that have black lug nuts, and more black badging and trim details placed throughout the car.
The Chrome package, available on SR5 Double Cab with the five-foot bed, includes 18-inch polished wheels, chrome door handles, exhaust tips, and tailgate logo. In addition, it also come with a leather-wrapped shift knob. For those interested in the V-6 model: Toyota’s Smart Key and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are now included standard. Plus, every V-6 comes equipped with automatic dual zone climate control.
For the 2023 model year, Limited trim levels will now come standard with a power-adjustable driver’s seat, 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, Smart Key, and 360-degree camera on Limited Double Cab Tacomas. Meanwhile, TRD Pro off-road models are getting a new exclusive Solar Octane color option. Finally, the TRD Sport is now available in Electric Lime paint as well.
Avoid the Tacoma's base 159-hp four-cylinder engine--it makes only 180 lb-ft of torque and is underpowered. The optional 278-hp V-6 engine is a much better option, making 265 lb-ft of torque and providing decent performance and towing muscle. We also advise steering clear of the persnickety six-speed automatic transmission with either engine—stick with the six-speed manual and the V‑6.
The Tacoma's engine struggles with bigger loads, but the TRD Sport and Limited models have been designed for city driving. The TRD Off-Road and Pro versions are made for rougher terrain. However, none of these choices sacrifice speed. Rather than focuses on ride quality or handling, the Tacoma can easily take on any trail or rough back road you might encounter.
The Limited can be outfitted for both off-road and paved adventures. Its ride is smoother and quieter than the TRD Pro versions, making it more enjoyable for everyday driving. However, we found that its lifted suspension, beefy shock absorbers, and gnarly tires made it one of the best trucks for off-roading but less comfortable on pavement..
The 2023 Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck is one of the company's best-sellers and one of the most popular choices in its class. It's tough, well-built, and retains its value better than any rival.
For 2023, expect the fourth-gen Toyota Tacoma to receive hybrid and even plug-in hybrid versions. Both electrified powertrains are likely to be sourced from the RAV4. That means you're looking at two versions of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder rated at 219 and 302 horsepower, with the latter being the PHEV model.
We expect the 2022 Tacoma will have about average reliability when compared to the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2019, 2020 and 2021 models. Select the used car model year to see reported issues with those similar past models.