Legendary durability; more rugged and off-road ready than other midsize trucks; simple controls; reasonable pricing; several body styles
Awkward driving position with no height adjustment; sluggish base engine; rough ride
After its redesign last year, the Tacoma enters 2017 with a new TRD Pro trim level. There are also some minor equipment changes as well.
If you have no intention of getting your truck dirty, the Tacoma probably isn't the truck for you. If you do have that intention, absolutely get one of the TRD models. The TRD Off-Road is probably your best bet since it comes with virtually every rough-and-ready enhancement available in the Taco's tool box without the styling and feature frivolities of the pricey TRD Pro.
The 2017 Toyota Tacoma is offered in five trim levels: base-level SR, midlevel SR5, upscale Limited and the off-road-oriented TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro trims. Most models (SR, SR5 and the TRD models) offer an extended cab (Access Cab) or crew cab (Double Cab) variant, though the Limited is only offered in Double Cab guise.
The base-level SR ($24,300) doesn't include much, merely touting a backup camera, steel wheels, power accessories, air conditioning, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a GoPro mount and a 6-inch touchscreen interface with Toyota's Entune Audio system and a USB port. The SR also comes standard with the 4-cylinder engine, though it can be upgraded to the V6.
Next up is the midlevel SR5 ($26,400), which adds keyless entry, cruise control, satellite radio, improved exterior trim, rear tinted windows, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with phone and audio controls, fog lights, satellite radio, Siri Eyes Free for Apple iPhones and a smartphone app-based navigation system.
From there, drivers can upgrade to the TRD Sport ($30,700), which boasts keyless access with push-button starting, an off-road suspension, Toyota's excellent Crawl Control system, an electronic locking rear differential, LED daytime running lights, 17-in alloy wheels, a wireless phone charger, an auto-dimming mirror, rear parking sensors and a 7-in touchscreen including Toyota's Entune App Suite and a navigation system. Crew cabs include a power rear window. TRD Sport models also come standard with the V6.
Drivers looking to get even further off the pavement can choose the TRD Off-Road ($31,900), which boasts off-road-oriented wheels and tires, further enhanced suspension, skid plates, the deletion of the front air dam for better approach angle, a locking rear differential, an off-road-oriented traction-enhancement system (includes various terrain-specific settings) and a revised look.
Topping the range is the Limited ($35,900), which is only offered in crew cab (Double Cab) guise. The Tacoma Limited sheds some of the TRD models' off-road equipment, but adds 18-in alloy wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats, rear parking sensors, a power sunroof, dual-zone climate control, a blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert.
The TRD Pro ($41,000) is crew cab only and essentially adds to the TRD Off-Road special styling, upgraded shocks, extra ground clearance and the Limited's more luxury-oriented extras.
When it comes to options, many Tacoma models offer available equipment that's standard on higher trim levels. For instance, many of the Tacoma Limited's features are available on TRD models, many TRD features can be had on the SR5 and many SR5 features are optional on the SR.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||2 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Maintenance||2 Years/25,000 Miles|
2017 Chevrolet Colorado -- The Tacoma's closest rival is the Chevy Colorado and its GMC Canyon mechanical twin. Both offer similarly appealing styling, ride comfort and interior quality. Both are more akin to a miniature half-ton truck than the more specialized Tacoma.
2017 Nissan Frontier -- Nissan's midsize Frontier pickup soldiers on without an update in the face of much newer rivals. While the Frontier is tough, so are the new Tacoma and Colorado. Only consider it if you can find a great deal.
2017 Honda Ridgeline-- When it comes to midsize trucks, think of the Ridgeline as the polar opposite to the Tacoma. It's every bit as comfortable, refined and versatile as the Tacoma is rough, rugged and single-minded. Read "2017 Honda Ridgeline vs 2017 Toyota Tacoma: Which is Better?"
Used RAM 2500 Power Wagon -- If you want a serious off-roading truck, but would rather it be bigger and burlier, it's hard to beat the mighty RAM 2500 Power Wagon. Prices are steep, though, so you may have to consider a used model.