Car Review

2013 Toyota Tacoma: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Ron Sessions February 2015

The 2013 Toyota Tacoma continues to pack impressive capability into a midsize package. Available in 5- or 6-foot lengths, a rustproof and dentproof sheet-molding-composite inner bed features four adjustable tie-down cleats and covered in-bed storage compartments, plus a removable tailgate. New for 2013 is a premium Limited trim and Toyota's Entune system, which links popular data services and mobile apps, such as Pandora, Bing and iHeartRadio, plus real-time traffic and weather, all via smartphone.

What We Like

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

What We Don't

No lift-handle hand brake; stiff off-road suspension; steering and brakes are a bit vague

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2013 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/24 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 with regular unleaded fuel. 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 16 mpg city/21 mpg hwy, while 4WDs are rated at 15 mpg city/19 mpg hwy. 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/21 mpg hwy label.

Standard Features & Options

Configurations include 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 is equipped with air conditioning, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, a limited-slip rear differential, carpeting, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, a cloth bench seat, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD radio with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth and a USB outlet. Two-wheel-drives run 215/70R15 tires on 15-in steel wheels, and 4WDs run 245/75R16s on 16-in steel rims.

Moving up to the Access Cab nets power door locks and windows, a 6-speaker stereo, 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 under-seat storage, power mirrors, mud guards and fender flares.

The X-Runner is a lowered 2WD Access Cab with a 4.0-liter V6/6-speed manual powertrain, Bilstein shocks, 255/45R18 summer tires, a limited-slip differential, big brakes, a hood scoop, fog lamps, sport seats, remote keyless entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a backup camera and monochromatic trim. A TRD supercharger is optional.

The PreRunner is a 2WD-only Access Cab or Double Cab, with 4-cylinder or V6 power. It merges 4WD ride height and off-road looks with the lightweight simplicity of 2WD.

The SR5 upgrades with a sliding rear window, a chrome grille surround and rear bumper, a color-keyed front bumper and wheel flares, cruise control, remote keyless entry, upgraded interior trim, variable wipers, a backup camera, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter.

The new Limited trim adds heated front sport bucket seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, HomeLink, fog lamps, chrome exterior trim and 265/60 tires on 18-in chrome wheels.

Available only on V6 models, the TRD Off-Road package and TRD Sport package add sport bucket seats, an overhead console, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, fog lamps and a 115-volt/400-watt bed-mounted power point. The TRD Off-Road also gains a locking rear differential, skid plates, 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 hood scoop, a sport-tuned chassis with Bilstein shocks, a limited-slip differential and 265/65R17 all-season tires on alloy wheels. The TX package adds black tube side steps, custom graphics, TRD black 16-in alloys and a TRD cat-back performance exhaust.

Pricing

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

To get a good idea of the prices of used 2013 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 2013 Tacoma recalls:

On vehicles with 18-in alloy wheels, the spare steel wheel can't be securely mounted at an axle with the lug nuts for the alloy wheels.

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

The spare-tire pressure inflation placard may not be correct.

Engine valve springs may break, and the resulting engine failure can increase crash risk.

A faulty brake pressure actuator may reduce directional control assistance, increasing crash risk.

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 2013 Tacoma four stars out of five overall in its crash-test ratings. Regular cabs received four stars for frontal and side impacts, while Access cabs received four stars for front impacts and five for side impacts. Crew Cabs received just three stars for frontal impacts and five for side impacts. All Tacomas were rated at four stars for rollover performance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the 2013 Tacoma Good for moderate-overlap front impacts, side impacts, and head-restraint and seat-crash performance but Marginal for roof strength.

Toyota covered the 2013 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) vehicles can't have more than 85,000 miles 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 vehicle for 1 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

2013 Honda Ridgeline -- The Ridgeline is a truck for car lovers, with carlike ride and handling, a 250-hp V6, all-wheel drive, a crew-cab body and a short cargo bed. Max tow capacity is 5,000 pounds.

2013 Nissan Frontier -- Nissan's midsize pickup offers standard stability control along with a 152-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder or a 261-hp 4.0-liter V6. The Frontier is available in King (extended) and Crew Cab configurations and can tow 6,500 pounds.

AutoTrader's Advice

No other midsize pickup can match Tacoma's rock-solid durability reputation, top-rated resale value or equipment combinations. Although Regular Cabs offer the best maneuverability, Access and Double Cabs have more interior space and the best resale value. Look for a CPO or lower-mileage example. Avoid modified trucks and ask for a Carfax report. Make sure that all applicable safety recalls have been performed.

Find a Toyota Tacoma for sale

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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.
2013 Toyota Tacoma: Used Car Review - Autotrader