Legendary durability; more rugged and off-road ready than other midsize trucks; simple controls; reasonable pricing; standard accident avoidance tech
Awkward driving position with no height adjustment; sluggish base engine; rough ride
For 2018, every Tacoma comes standard with forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams. To say this is rare for pickup trucks is an understatement, though prices do go up accordingly for 2018. One other minor change is that the base 4-cylinder engine is no longer available with a 5-speed manual transmission.See the 2018 Toyota Tacoma models for sale near you
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 2018 Toyota Tacoma is offered in six trim levels: SR, SR5, 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 ($25,200) comes with 16-inch steel wheels, power accessories, a composite bed liner, bed tie-down points, air conditioning, a backup camera, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a GoPro mount, one USB port and a 6-in touchscreen interface. The SR comes standard with the 4-cylinder engine, but it can be upgraded to the V6.
Next up is the midlevel SR5 ($27,000), which adds improved exterior trim, rear tinted windows, keyless entry, cruise control, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with phone and audio controls, satellite radio, Siri Eyes Free for Apple iPhones and a smartphone app-based navigation system.
From there, drivers can upgrade to the TRD Sport ($31,900), which boasts proximity entry and push-button start, an off-road suspension, Toyota's Crawl Control system (a sort of slow-speed off-road cruise control), an electronic locking rear differential, LED daytime running lights, 17-in alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming mirror, a wireless phone charger, a 7-in touchscreen including Toyota's Entune App Suite and an integrated 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 ($33,200), which boasts off-road-oriented wheels and tires, further enhanced suspension, skid plates, the deletion of the front air dam for a better approach angle, a locking rear differential, an off-road-oriented traction-enhancement system (includes various terrain-specific settings) and revised styling.
The less rugged Limited ($37,100) is only offered with the Double Cab. It sheds most 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, blind spot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic warning system.
The TRD Pro ($41,500) is also Double 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. Note that the availability of options and model combinations can depend on where you live.
|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|
2018 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. The one exception would be the new Colorado ZR2, which goes far beyond the capabilities of its more pedestrian siblings.
2018 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.
2018 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.
Used RAM 1500 Rebel -- If you want a serious off-roading truck, but would rather it be bigger and burlier, it's hard to beat the RAM 1500 Rebel (or even better, the mighty RAM 2500 Power Wagon). Prices are steep, though, so you may have to consider a used model.