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Are Toyota Tacomas 4WD?

If you’re searching for the perfect pickup truck to suit your needs you might be interested to know more about two-wheel, rear-wheel, and four-wheel drive options. 

Ask yourself what you need the truck for, is it specifically for on-road abilities, or are you needing something a little gutsier for those off-road adventures? If you are interested in buying a Tacoma you might wonder if it has four wheel drive as an option. 

The Toyota Tacoma comes in two options, two-wheel-drive (2WD) also known as a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) vehicle, or four-wheel drive (4WD). The standard RWD option is better used for on-road use while the 4WD addition is better suited to those who choose to take their vehicle across off-road environments or live where they gets lots of snow. 

Toyota Tacomas have been dominating the compact to midsize pickup truck market for 16 years and there’s plenty of reasons why. The fact that Tacoma’s are offered as a 4WD option has not gone unnoticed by adventure seekers and pickup truck lovers alike and is a favorite advantage for the Tacoma. 

Discover more about the Toyota Tacoma 4WD option by reading further information below.

Are All Toyota Tacomas 4WD?

The Toyota Tacoma comes standard as RWD and are offered with a part-time 4WD switch option in most of their trims. Typically you will have to pay a bit more to get the 4WD option on the truck. 

Four wheel drive is great for those who live in colder climates where rain and snow are common weather conditions and certain vehicles are needed for extra safety at certain times in the year.

4WD is also a great option for off-road adventurers seeking a more thrilling road trip on the beaten path or for those who want to make their own path.

When purchasing a Tacoma, you will get the option of either RWD (2WD) or 4WD. Here are a few things to note when buying a Tacoma:

  • An optional part-time four-wheel-drive (4WD) system is available in most trims
  • You Tacoma will host either a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6 engine
  • Tacomas come with 4-speed automatic or up to 6-speed manual
  • The typical payload capacity is up to 1620lbs
  • Tacoma’s can manage a payload of up to 6800lbs with a tow package

What Are The Differences Between AWD, RWD, And 4WD?

Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is more fuel-efficient than all-wheel or four-wheel drive options as the engine only works to power the two rear tires to propel the vehicle forwards. The two front tires work to steer the vehicle while the two back tires work to propel the vehicle.

RWD is common among mid to large-size pickup trucks, SUVs, and sports cars due to the better handling conditions of the balanced weight in the vehicle. RWD, however, does not offer the best traction for a vehicle and you’ll find that most pickup trucks and SUVs on today’s market are also offered with a 4WD (or AWD) option.

Although there is little difference between the two, all-wheel drive (AWD) might have been used in the past for what we refer to as four-wheel (4WD) vehicles today but AWD and 4WD are not the same thing.

4WD vehicles are well suited to rougher terrain and off-road pathless environments whereas AWD vehicles do have the grip and traction needed for off-road but are lighter vehicles so best kept to formed trails and paths.

4WD vehicles are great for muddy, slippery, and snowy roads, and bad weather conditions because they are heavier, and the traction and grip are better than any other drivetrain available. 

4WD Tacomas can climb over steep sand dunes, drive through thick and loose sand and mud and give your vehicle the grip to haul heavy payloads up steeper hillsides.

Which Tacoma Models Are 4WD?

If a 4WD Tacoma is on your mind you probably won’t be disappointed with the capabilities this midsize pickup truck can manage as a 4×4.

Not only do Tacomas outlast other manufacturers on the road in mileage and lifespan and hold their resale value due to the safety and reliability ratings, but the favored midsize Toyota Tacoma pickup truck is also best known for its off-road abilities with the 4WD trim option.

Here are the third-generation Tacoma models that are offered as 4WD:

2015 – 2020 Toyota Tacoma

All 2017 – 2020 4WD trims come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, safety sensors including reverse backup camera, power windows and locks, Toyota’s Entune audio system, fabric-trimmed seats, and 16-inch steel wheels. 

Although some earlier models from 2017 and prior to 2017 might come with a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine. It’s best to check with your dealer for further clarification.

Multi-terrain select and crawl control is offered in 4WD trims only.

  • SR Access Cab, 6ft bed, 6-speed auto
  • SR Double Cab, 5ft bed, 6-speed auto
  • SR5 Access Cab, 6ft bed, 6-speed auto
  • SR5 Double Cab, 5ft bed, 6-speed auto
  • SR5 Double Cab, 6ft bed, 6-speed auto
  • TRD Sport Access Cab, 6ft bed, 6-speed auto
  • TRD Sport Access Cab, 6ft bed, 6-speed manual
  • TRD Sport Double Cab, 5ft bed, 6-speed auto
  • TRD Sport Double Cab, 5ft bed, 6-speed manual
  • TRD Sport Double Cab, 6ft bed, 6-speed auto
  • TRD Off-Road Access Cab, 6ft bed, 6-speed auto
  • TRD Off-Road Double Cab, 5ft bed, 6-speed auto
  • TRD Off-Road Double Cab, 5ft bed, 6-speed manual
  • TRD Off-Road Double Cab, 6ft bed, 6-speed auto
  • Limited Double Cab, 5ft bed, 6-speed auto
  • TRD Pro Double cab, 5ft bed, 6-speed auto
  • TRD Pro Double Cab, 5ft bed, 6-speed manual

The TRD Pro trim was designed by Toyota for the ultimate and true off-road capabilities with high-performance suspension, shocks that hold additional shock fluid, larger pistons for shock and stability control, and all-terrain tires for exceptional balance, grip, and traction control on any surface.

The V6 engine offers a more efficient burn and increases fuel efficiency, the anti-lock brake system assists to maintain control on slippery surfaces, and the additional Bilstein shocks prevent overheating.

2021 Toyota Tacoma 4WD

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma hasn’t boasted many new updates to differentiate it from its earlier models but is still highly regarded as the recommended midsize pickup truck with multiple configurations to suit a wide audience.

Toyota has won numerous awards for its Tacoma range, from being the best resale vehicle on the market to having an outstanding engine system that goes the off-road distance and lasts the miles.

The 2021 Tacoma does not disappoint and is a front-runner in the best midsize pickup truck series for 2021 models. has voted the Tacoma as the number one most successful pickup truck and this may well continue into 2022 and further with the popular 4WD option only getting better with each new release.

Common and extremely popular since 1995 and winning the award for the most bought pickup truck for 16 consecutive years in a row, the Tacoma is still in the top 4 best-selling compact/midsize pickup trucks for 2021. 

This is without having a major facelift for almost a decade and with hosting only the simplest, yet best, safety and technological features that a vehicle can offer.

Here are the most notable changes in the Tacoma features in 2021:

  • Nightshade Tacoma Edition which comes with either 2WD or 4WD
  • Trail Special Edition
  • New paint colors are available
  • Automatic climate control for all V6 engine Tacoma’s
  • Included first aid kit (not available for the base SR trim)

Final Thoughts

Designed for long-lasting value in cost and vehicle durability, the Toyota Tacoma 4WD option is an off-road beast with practical safety and technology features to suit all drivers seeking a formidable workhorse or an off-road power-horse midsize pickup truck.

Tacoma’s have always come standard as RWD and/or 4WD and all models are offered with the part-time 4WD option to suit all buyers looking for versatility on their every day or weekend drives. 

The 4WD Tacoma will give you the confidence to journey through any terrain and landscape.