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6 Best New and Used Toyota Tacomas for 6 Different Budgets

Since it debuted back in 1995, the Toyota Tacoma has gained a reputation for being a tough, reliable, go-anywhere pickup. As a result, the midsize Tacoma is hugely popular on both the new and used vehicle market. Here, we’ll outline the best used Toyota Tacoma for six different budgets.

1995-2004 Toyota Tacoma

$10,000 – 1995-2004 Toyota Tacoma

The original Toyota Tacoma came out in 1995 and was sold in its first-generation body style all the way up until 2004. Options for powering the first Tacoma were two 4-cylinder engines rated at 142 and 150 horsepower, and a V6, putting out 190 hp. While you’d probably think that the oldest Tacoma would be pretty cheap, an inexpensive Tacoma is tough to come by, even from the 1990s. Right now on Autotrader, buyers looking for a used Toyota Tacoma from the first generation will find around 400 1995-2004 models listed for $10,000 or less, and about 150 of which offer 4-wheel drive. Find a Toyota Tacoma under $10,000 for sale

2005-2011 Toyota Tacoma

$15,000 – 2005-2011 Toyota Tacoma

he second-generation Tacoma was introduced for the 2005 model year. A new 4.0-liter V6 engine was introduced putting out 236 hp and affording the new Tacoma a towing capacity of 6,500 pounds. As with before, a few different trims were offered, perhaps the most interesting of which was the X-Runner, which came with a 6-speed manual transmission, 18-in wheels and a lowered sport suspension.

This is probably a good place to mention that back in 2016, Toyota settled a class action lawsuit over excessive frame rust on Tacomas from the 2005-2010 model years. Part of the settlement was that Toyota agreed to inspect and replace rusted frames as necessary. Verify whether this issue has been addressed on any 2005-2010 Tacoma you might consider purchasing.

There are currently close to 300 2005-2011 Tacomas listed on Autotrader for around $15,000. Find a Toyota Tacoma under $15,000 for sale

2012-2015 Toyota Tacoma

$20,000 2012-2015 Toyota Tacoma

The second-generation Tacoma received an update for the 2012 model year bringing about refreshed exterior styling and a new interior. The regular cab body style was discontinued after 2015. There are currently over 400 2012-2015 Tacomas listed on Autotrader for around $20,000, although fewer than 150 offer 4WD. Alternatively, buyers could opt for an older Tacoma in a nicer trim level, like the TRD Sport or TRD Off-Road models. Including 2009-2011 models in your search yields over 700 results, about half of which have 4WD. Find a Toyota Tacoma under $20,000 for sale

2016-2018 Toyota Tacoma

$30,000 – 2016-2018 Toyota Tacoma

With a budget of $30,000, prospective Toyota buyers should target a 2016 to 2018 model. The Tacoma received a significant update for the 2016 model year, with most of the body, interior and all of the other stuff you come into contact with being fully-redesigned. The Tacoma also got a new engine: a 3.6-liter V6 putting out 278 hp. Fuel economy with the V6, automatic transmission, and 4WD comes in at 17 miles per gallon in the city, 20 mpg on the highway and 18 mpg in combined driving. Right now on Autotrader, there are close to 1,000 2016-2018 Toyota Tacomas listed for around $30,000 with 4WD. While most are basic SR5 trims, buyers have close to 150 TRD Sport, 120 TRD Off-Road and 35 Limited examples to choose from. Find a Toyota Tacoma under $30,000 for sale

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road

$40,000 – 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road

Buyers with $40k to spend on a Tacoma should look to a brand new TRD Off-Road model. The TRD Off-Road is the Tacoma at its best, offering a Bilstein suspension, all-terrain tires, a locking rear differential and multi-terrain select and crawl control modes, operated via a dial on the overhead console. Additionally, the TRD Off-Road has a cool off-road aesthetic, with silver and black painted wheels and a TRD Off-Road decal on the bed. A nicely-equipped 2019 Tacoma TRD Off-Road comes in at just over $40,000 with the crew cab body style and an automatic transmission. Fully loaded with both the Technology package, which includes blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, and the Premium package, which includes heated leather seats, a sunroof and premium audio, the Tacoma TRD Off-Road costs just under $42,000.

While the Tacoma seldom changes much year over year, the 2020 model introduces some great new features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a power adjustable driver’s seat, which should serve to rectify some of the Tacoma’s biggest issues, and if you’re able to be patient for a few months, we recommend waiting for the 2020 models to hit dealerships. Additional features to be added for 2020 are new wheels, LED headlights, and a 360-degree off-road camera, which is great for off-roading. Find a Toyota Tacoma under $40,000 for sale

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

$50,000 – 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

With $50,000 to spend on a Toyota Tacoma, there’s really just one option, and that’s the TRD Pro model. The Tacoma TRD Pro takes the TRD Off-Road trim, and adds even more off-road parts. The Tacoma TRD Pro’s main draw is that it swaps out the TRD Off-Road’s Bilstein shocks for heavier-duty internal bypass shocks co-developed by Toyota with Fox. Additionally, the TRD Pro comes with a skid plate, black wheels, a TRD catback exhaust, a hood scoop and black wheels. Additionally, newly optional on the TRD Pro for 2019 is what Toyota refers to as a “desert air intake” but looks a lot like what most people would call a snorkel. Either way, the Tacoma TRD Pro is a ton of fun to drive off-road, and fully loaded, it comes in at $47,335, leaving you with some coin left over for a kayak, mountain bikes or whatever else you could fit in the back. Find a Toyota Tacoma under $50,000 for sale

Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill is an author specializing in competitive analysis, consumer recommendations, and adventure-driven enthusiast content. A lifelong car enthusiast, he worked in the auto industry for a bit, helping Germans design cars for Americans, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He runs an Instagram account, @MountainWestCarSpotter, which in his own words is "actually pretty good", and has a... Read More about Chris O'Neill

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