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2012 Toyota Tacoma: New Car Review - Video

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Mike Hatton: For many pickup-truck shoppers, mid-size is the right size. And in a less than crowded field, the Toyota Tacoma has consistently been the most popular.

Amanda Salas: For 2012, the Tacoma gets an assertive new look with bolder hood, grille and headlight features.

Mike: Today we're testing a Double Cab 4x4 model with a V6 and an optional tow package and off-road package. It's a good example of the balance of power and practicality that keeps buyers interested.

Amanda: And when it comes to urban traffic and parking, mid-size trucks like the Tacoma are way more convenient than their full-size siblings. Yet it's versatile enough to tow a small boat or help your friends move into that new apartment.

Mike: And with the Tacoma there's a host of variations that include the base Regular Cab (which is more like a compact pickup), extended Access Cab and five-passenger Double Cab models as well as the unique X-Runner performance truck. Plus, there are rear- and four-wheel-drive powertrains.

Toyota has reworked the 2012 Tacoma's interior, too, with a revised gauge cluster and center stack with new climate controls. All well laid out and easy to use.

Amanda: The Double Cab V6 models offer the optional smartphone-based Entune mobile app interface that we have in our test model. It's a really good example of cutting-edge technology that you won't find in other brands.

Mike: Our Tacoma Double Cab comes with a four-liter V6 engine with a five-speed automatic transmission. And we like this setup because of its strong acceleration and its solid towing and hauling capabilities.

Amanda: It makes 236 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. Opt for the V6 tow package, and it'll pull up to 6,400 pounds. The smaller 2.7-liter inline-4-cylinder engine produces 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque.

To take performance to a higher level, Toyota Racing Development offers a four-liter V6 supercharger kit capable of generating 304 horsepower.

Mike: But the TRD Off-Road package on our test Tacoma is a more practical option, especially for the adventurous. It adds an off-road-tuned suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers, locking rear differential, skid plates, hill start assist and downhill assist control.

Amanda: If only Toyota would figure out how to boost fuel economy. The ratings are unimpressive with either engine, ranging from a high of 21 city, 25 highway with the 4-cylinder to a low of 15 city, 19 highway with the V6.

Base MSRP for the Tacoma is close to $17,000. Our well-equipped Double Cab model costs about $34,000. All models get a five-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Mike: The 2012 Toyota Tacoma offers an attractive mix of functionality and flexibility for those seeking a mid-size truck with some big-truck capability.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
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