2020 Tacoma New Car Test Drive
There was a time when the Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup had only one rival, the Nissan Frontier. Now there are Canyons and Colorados and even a new Ranger-but the 2019 Tacoma still draws a crowd with its off-road capability, safety technology and resale value.
The 2019 Tacoma comes as an extended cab or as the more popular crew cab, which has more comfortable seating for up to five passengers. Extended cabs have a 6-foot bed; a 5-foot bed is standard with crew cabs, though the 6-foot bed is an option. The Tacoma is rated to tow up to 6,800 pounds when properly equipped, which is good for a mid-size pickup.
The base engine is a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder with 159 horsepower, but most models have a 3.5-liter V-6 with 278 horsepower and strong acceleration. Both engines are available with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but four-wheel drive is available on most models, and the only drivetrain on some.
The 4-cylinder engine gets EPA ratings of 20 mpg city, 23 highway, and 21 combined, compared to the V-6 engine's 19/24/21 mpg with the 6-speed automatic. Combined EPA figures fall 1 mpg with four-wheel drive, and another mile per gallon with the 6-speed manual.
Standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, which isn't available at all on some rivals. The NHTSA gives the Tacoma crew cab four stars overall. .
The 2019 Toyota Tacoma lineup Tacoma includes the SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off Road, Limited, and TRD Pro.
The work-edition SR costs about $25,000, and doesn't offer many features beyond its safety technology and a 6.1-inch touchscreen for infotainment. On the extended cab, even rear seats are an option.
The SR5 costs about $28,500 as a crew cab with short 5-foot bed. It adds power features, upgraded interior trim, a chrome rear bumper, and other features-including the base 4-cylinder and rear-wheel drive. Choosing the V-6 raises the price to about $32,000, and adding four-wheel drive knocks it up another $2,700.
The Tacoma Limited costs about $40,500 and features leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, blind-spot monitors (optional on the other models) and 18-inch alloy wheels.
About $36,500 will get you a TRD Off Road, with standard alloy wheels, keyless ignition, a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with navigation, a locking rear differential, and some off-road bits. The $43,000 TRD Pro has Fox shocks, all-terrain tires, and thick skid plates..