Are Toyota Tacomas Good Trucks?


Are Toyota Tacomas Good Trucks?

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Are you in the market for a new truck but don’t know where to start? What’s reliable? What’s durable? What will get you the miles you need to go? What can take you on your adventures comfortably? 

These might be some of the questions you’re asking yourself. Have you considered the Toyota Tacoma?

Toyota Tacomas are widely known as good compact pickup trucks for multiple reasons. Tacoma’s have a decent safety rating, are popular for their long-lasting engines, and are commonly revered for their off-road abilities. 

In the world of pickup trucks, the Toyota Tacoma is one of the best.

Toyota Tacomas have been on American roads since 1995 and since 2015 is in its third generation of manufacturing. There are talks that the Toyota Tacoma will continue for a 4th generation to be released in 2024 and this is one of the most anticipated trucks coming to the market soon. 

If this doesn’t signify enough for you that Tacoma’s are a good pickup truck, carry on reading below to find out more about the benefits of the Toyota Tacoma.

To see the most popular truck accessories just click here. 

Is The Toyota Tacoma A Reliable Pickup Truck?

Toyota Tacomas are one of the most reliable pickup trucks on the road today. These compact trucks are so reliable in fact that you will still see the first generation 1995 Tacoma out and about on our roads and being sold for above-average prices as far as used vehicles go.

Toyota Tacomas hold their resale value well because of their durability and reliability as a decent pickup truck and have been known to last over 400,000 miles. This  makes them one of the most reliable compact trucks manufactured by Toyota.  

Tacomas are also without much competition from other vehicle manufacturers as far as reliability goes.

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) has consumer ratings reported for the Tacoma at 4.2 out of 5 for quality, 4.4 for reliability, 4.3 for styling, and 4.1 for value. You can’t get much more reliable than that!

Are Toyota Tacomas Good Trucks?

Toyota Tacoma’s are genuinely good compact size pickup trucks and are a favorite truck on the market for new and used midsize pickup trucks.

Out of 724 ratings on consumeraffairs.com the Tacoma has an overall rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars which is above average for vehicle ratings and this isn’t the only review site for vehicles that has the Tacoma listed as a good and reliable vehicle.

Tacoma’s aren’t rated highly for their interior design or modern technology features and this is where other manufacturers excel over the Tacoma.

The interior of a vehicle isn’t what makes it reliable though and Toyota has kept true to the favored simple design of the Tacoma. 

Sure, comfort is a wonderful quality, but if your vehicle lasts longer than 300,000 miles and is great for off-road adventures, is safe, and reliable, do you really need a luxury interior?

Here are just a few reasons why the Tacoma is rated so highly:

  • The longevity of the Toyota Tacoma isn’t matched by many other compact pickup trucks and is a favorite benefit of the Tacoma
  • The Tacoma holds its resale value well, even after years of use on the road
  • Reviews on iseecars.com highly regard the Tacoma for its reliability, value retention, and safety features. The Tacoma is also rated as the number one best midsize pickup truck for 2021
  • The Tacoma is not known for being a “smooth” ride without vibrations and noise, but it’s dependable, hardy, and works hard for its extra mileage and workload.
  • The Tacoma has a decent payload capacity and is a highly useful working truck for tradesmen

Why Are Tacomas So Pricey?

Toyota Tacoma’s hold their resale value and aren’t the cheapest used midsize trucks around. Why are Tacoma’s still so expensive on the used-car market you ask? 

Tacomas (even used ones) are expensive because they are reliable, and they last a pretty long time compared to the average mileage of other pickup trucks.

Tacomas are famous for having a long lifespan and handling themselves for years without needing to be serviced. Those that are serviced and maintained regularly have lasted up to and over 400,000 miles as read in Tacoma forums for Tacoma owners.

While the average mileage for a pickup truck is approximately 200,000 miles, the Toyota Tacoma line has an average mileage of around 300,000 miles.

In this sense, if you find a used Tacoma for sale and the mileage is less than 200,000 miles, you are likely to still get another 100,000 – 200,000 miles or 7-14 years out of this used Tacoma judging by the average miles of 13,500 driven annually by an American driver.

The annual average maintenance costs for the Tacoma is approximately $478 while the average annual maintenance costs for midsize pickup trucks is generally around the $548 price so Tacoma’s generally work out cheaper in the long run too.

Which Toyota Tacoma Years And Models Are The Best?

Like all vehicles, some years of the Toyota Tacoma are better than others in design, look, and mechanical engineering.

The Tacoma has never been a vehicle known for a fancy interior with swanky electronic features and additional entertainment packages designed for children.

Tacomas are hard-wearing trucks, built for stamina, reliability on and off-road, and to be a dependable car that can get the owner, its passengers, and a reasonable amount of cargo to its next destination and even further than 300,000 miles in its lifetime.

This, however, does not mean that all years and models were designed the same and will be as good as the Tacoma’s best years and models.

Here are the years the Toyota Tacoma is best known for:

First Generation

The Tacoma first generation is still revered as one of the best in terms of sturdiness and reliability. Consumer reports show that the years 2000, 2001, and 2003 have 5-star reliability ratings.

Second Generation

You’ll see varied results for the best and worst Tacoma’s in the second generation from 2005 – 2015. Reviews for the 2004 Tacoma model show a decline in reliability ratings.

Toyota picked up their game with the 2005 release and then lost the lead in best pickup trucks for the 2006 – 2009 Tacoma models. The next 5 years (2010-2015) however have five-star reliability ratings yet again.

Toyota Tacoma won the Kelley Blue Book Award for best Resale Value in midsize pickup trucks for 11 years running from 2010 – 2020.

Third Generation

Toyota has made its third-generation Tacoma almost unbeatable in reliability when it comes to mid-size pickup trucks. 4wheeldriveguide.com shows stats and data to prove that since 2015, Toyota Tacoma trucks are the most reliable compact truck in production today.

In 2020 Toyota took the Kelley Blue Book awards for Best Overall Truck Brand, the 5-Year Cost to Own Award, and the Best Resale Value truck. Toyota also won the 2019 Best Resale Value Award from Kelley Blue Book.

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma has won the SEMA Mid-Size truck of the year award as well as the best buy of the year among midsize pickup trucks for Kelley Blue Book (KBB).

Final Thoughts 

Some might say Tacomas last forever and this is one of the best features of a Tacoma. The Tacoma is rated by 92% of drivers on cars.com as a recommended vehicle and once you’ve taken one for a spin it’s easy to see why.

There is a reason why the Toyota Tacoma has been the best-selling midsize pickup truck for 16 years running in America, and it’s because the Tacoma is a good, no, is a great compact pickup truck.

Matthew Robbs

I have been working on cars since I was a kid and I love taking a vehicle that isn't working and bringing it back to life. I have owned quite a few cars over the years and looking for information about different vehicles is still hard online so that is why I started this website.

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