Car Review

2011 Toyota Tacoma: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Ron Sessions January 2015

More than 40 years ago, Toyota helped pioneer the compact pickup market in the U.S. with sturdy, no-nonsense trucks including the Stout and Hi-Lux. Certainly more muscular and well optioned than those first basic trucks were, the 2011 Toyota Tacoma continues its role of packing a lot of capability into a midsize package. Available in 5- or 6-foot lengths, an industry-first rust- and dent-proof SMC composite inner bed features four adjustable tie-down cleats and covered in-bed storage compartments, plus a removable tailgate.

What We Like

6,500-lb max tow rating; maneuverable size; standard safety gear; off-road prowess; wide array of equipment choices

What We Don't

No lift-handle handbrake; stiff ride of off-road suspension; steering and brakes a bit vague

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2011 Toyota Tacoma is available with a 2.7-liter dual-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) 4-cylinder or a 4.0-liter DOHC V6.

The base 2.7-liter 4-cylinder develops 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque on regular unleaded fuel. Two-wheel-drive (2WD) versions are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-rated at 21 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway with the standard 5-speed manual, or 19 mpg city/25 mpg hwy with the optional 4-speed automatic. Four-wheel-drives (4WD) get an 18 mpg city/20 mpg hwy rating with the manual gearbox or 18 mpg city/21 mpg hwy with the automatic.

Standard on 4WD Double Cabs and the X-Runner and optional for other Double Cabs and Access Cabs, the 4.0-liter V6 makes 236 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual is standard on X-Runners and 4WD Double Cabs and a 5-speed automatic transmission is optional with all other Access Cabs and Double Cabs. Two-wheel-drive Tacomas with the 6-speed manual are EPA-rated at 15 mpg city/19 mpg hwy, while 4WDs get a 14 mpg city/18 mpg hwy rating with regular unleaded fuel. Equipped with the 5-speed automatic, 2WD Tacoma V6s get a 17 mpg city/21 mpg hwy rating, and 4WD models receive a 16 mpg city/20 mpg hwy label.

Standard Features & Options

The 2011 Tacoma is available in three configurations: a 2-door Regular Cab, a 4-door Access Cab with jump seats in the back and rear-hinged rear doors, and a 4-door Double Cab with a full-width back seat and four conventional doors. All are available with 2WD or 4WD.

The base Regular Cab typically includes standard air conditioning, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, full carpeting, a tilt/telescope steering wheel, a cloth bench seat, a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD radio, dual 12V outlets and three cup holders.

Moving up to Access Cab nets power door locks and windows, an overhead console, cloth front bucket seats, a floor console and rear jump seats.

The Double Cab adds an adjustable lumbar driver's seat, a 60/40-split rear bench with underseat storage, rear bulkhead storage, power mirrors, fender flares and skid plates.

The X-Runner is the 2WD sport truck, a lowered Access Cab with a 4.0-liter V6/6-speed manual powertrain, Bilstein shocks, 255/45R18 summer tires, limited-slip differential, big-diameter brakes, a hood scoop, fog lamps and monochromatic body trim.

The PreRunner is another 2WD-only model available with both 4-cylinder and V6 engines and Access Cab or Double Cab styles. PreRunner merges the ride height and tough off-road looks of the 4WD models with the mechanical simplicity, lighter weight and lower cost of a 2WD drivetrain.

The uplevel SR5 nets such features as a chrome grille surround and rear bumper, a color-keyed front bumper and wheel flares, upgraded interior trim, variable wipers and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter.

Available only on V6 models, the TRD Off-Road package and TRD Sport package add items such as sport bucket seats, a multifunction overhead console, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, fog lamps and a 115-volt/400-watt bed-mounted power point. In addition, the TRD Off-Road gains a locking rear differential, 265/70R16 mud and snow tires, alloy wheels and off-road suspension with hill-start assist and Downhill Assist Control. The TRD Sport adds a sport-tuned chassis with Bilstein shocks, a limited-slip differential and 265/65R17 all-season tires on alloy wheels.

Pricing

The Tacoma has been the best-selling midsize pickup for many years, offering an attractive mix of features, sensible proportions and a great durability reputation.

To get a good idea of the prices of used 2011 Tacoma pickups, check out the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the AutoTrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following recalls for the 2011 Tacoma:

The seat-heater wiring can short-circuit, creating a fire risk.

Rear leaf springs can fracture, puncturing the gas tank and creating a fire risk.

Accessory seat covers, seat heaters and headrest DVD systems may affect sensing for front-passenger airbag deployment, increasing injury risk.

On Access Cabs, the rear seat belt pre-tensioner can detach, increasing injury risk in a crash.

The load-carrying label located in the doorjamb may not be correct, thereby overstating the safe load-carrying capacity.

The tire pressure monitor is not calibrated for TRD accessory wheels.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2011 Tacoma Double Cab three stars for frontal impacts, five stars for side impacts and four stars for rollover performance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the 2011 Tacoma Good for moderate-overlap front impacts, side impacts and head-restraint and seat crash performance, but Marginal for roof strength.

Toyota covered the 2011 Tacoma with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and a 5-year/unlimited-mile corrosion-perforation warranty.

Toyota certified pre-owned (CPO) cars can't have more than 85,000 miles on the odometer and must be under 6 years old. Every CPO Tacoma undergoes a 160-point inspection and gets a Carfax report. The Toyota CPO warranty covers the whole car, bumper-to-bumper, for one year or 12,000 miles, extends the original powertrain warranty to 7 years/100,000 miles, and includes a year of roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2011 Ford Ranger -- Smaller and less roomy than the Tacoma, the Ford Ranger offers 22 mpg city/27 mpg hwy with its base 143-hp 2.3-liter 4-cylinder. Two optional V6 engines (a 148-hp 3.0-liter and a 207-hp 4.0-liter V6) deliver added oomph. The Ranger is available in regular and extended (Super) cab only. Max tow capacity is 5,680 pounds.

2011 Nissan Frontier -- Nissan's midsize pickup offers a 152-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder or a 261-hp 4.0-liter V6. There are numerous configuration options, with King (extended) and Crew Cabs available. Max tow capacity is 6,500 pounds.

AutoTrader's Advice

The Tacoma is the default choice for compact/midsize pickup truck buyers who do light hauling. No other truck comes close to offering Tacoma's rock-solid durability reputation, top-rated resale value or depth and breadth of equipment combinations. Although regular-cab models offer the greatest parking and maneuverability advantages, Access and Double Cabs provide far more interior space and retain the best resale value. Look for a CPO or lower-mileage example that's seen obvious care and maintenance. Avoid modified trucks and ask for a Carfax or equivalent vehicle-history report. Make sure that all applicable safety recalls have been performed on the Tacoma you're thinking of purchasing.

Find a Toyota Tacoma for sale

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Used 2011 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Double Cab
Used 2011 Toyota Tacoma
$19,780
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
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Used 2011 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Double Cab
Used 2011 Toyota Tacoma
$20,780
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Used 2011 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Double Cab
Used 2011 Toyota Tacoma
$18,972
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
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Used 2011 Toyota Tacoma 2WD Access Cab
Used 2011 Toyota Tacoma
$8,995
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.
2011 Toyota Tacoma: Used Car Review - Autotrader