By on August 1, 2018

Image: Steph Willems/TTAC

2018 Toyota Tacoma 4X4 TRD Sport

3.5-liter V6 (278 horsepower @ 6,000 RPM; 265 lb-ft @ 4,600 RPM)

Six-speed automatic, four-wheel drive

18 city / 22 highway / 20 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

13.2 city, 10.7 highway, 12.1 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

Observed: 20.8 MPG (11.3 L/100km)

Base Price: $33,140(U.S) / $43,650 (Canada)

As Tested: $41,505 (U.S.) / $45,785 (Canada)

Prices include $1,045 destination charge in the United States and $1,915 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Spend a little time in the gentrified corners of your fair city, and in between all the Audi Q5s and Subaru Outbacks jockeying for spots outside the artisan cupcake shoppe, you’ll spy a right-sized pickup that doesn’t conjure up images of dreaded rural riff-raff. It’s the model that can’t help but post sales increases with each passing month, and it doesn’t come in an opulent western/ranch-themed trim.

Now, aside from a low-range uphill excursion in an old college buddy’s extended cab 4×4 in Nova Scotia, my impression of the Toyota Tacoma was — perhaps unfairly — that it, like the protagonist in the Glenn Frey song, was something that belonged to the city. It’s hard not to notice its popularity with the type of urbanite who probably jogs, but only on weekends. And only with a female companion.

With these shallow stereotypes in mind, I accepted the keys to what seemed to be the most urban-friendly Tacoma in existence: the 4×4 Double Cab V6 TRD Sport model. What would I become after a week behind the wheel?

A man, that’s what. (No angry letters, please.)

Image: Steph Willems/TTAC

No, I didn’t become any less sedentary, nor did my sparse moustache gain newfound bushiness. But the Tacoma’s rugged, old-school trappings — part-time four-wheel drive, less-than-nimble steering, and diamond-soft suspension — made memories of coddling crossovers and ultra-lux full-size pickups stand in stark contrast. If you’re too soft for this ride, don’t line up. There’s others who will.

Granted, the road-focused TRD Sport dials its suspension to the firmest of settings, ensuring moments of jarring rear-end bounce whenever potholes and shattered pavement lurk. This tester’s Upgrade Package placed 17-inch rubber where one would have seen 16-inch donuts, helping nothing, but not hindering much, either. Certainly, opting for the TRD Pro or TRD Off-Road (or going cheap and entry-level) would have softened up the Tacoma’s legs a bit. Couple this jostling with decidedly un-car-like steering, a tall perch (my knees were about seven inches below the window sill at any given time), and seats hard enough to double as a writing desk, and one quickly realizes how weak we’ve become.

How spoiled we are by sonombulent two-and three-row appliances that drive like a Camry. WWII wasn’t fought with cushy dampers.

Image: Steph Willems/TTAC

Not that the TRD Sport didn’t try to put on airs. No, there was a wholly unnecessary moonroof in this loaded tester, but blame rests solely on the aforementioned package. OEMs don’t make a habit of saturating their media fleets with bargain basement trims, so this Tacoma arrived ready to satisfy the man who isn’t willing to compromise on creature comforts in the presence of leaf springs.

Features that serve as the bare minimum level of content in similarly priced five-person family haulers all showed up here — things like push-button ignition, a suite of driver assist functions, and dual zone automatic climate control. Gripes showed up, too. Like the fact this model’s Toyota Safety Sense suite doesn’t offer a lane-hold feature, just a barely audible (or visible) lane-departure warning. A bit of assist was something this highway wanderer could have made use of. Given my tall frame, a steering wheel that reached closer to my rearward seating position would have helped, too.

Image: Steph Willems/TTAC

Despite scouring the infotainment menu (accessible via a 7-inch touchscreen) and the various dash buttons, I couldn’t manage to boost the gauge cluster brightness, which remained unusually dim. Speaking of the touchscreen, Toyota’s simple-to-use but dated infotainment system places the station list within millimeters of the volume knob when the Entune audio is set to radio. Inevitably, cranking the volume meant accidentally swapping manly hard rock for teeny bopper pop or a French-language newscast. But hey, there’s a wireless charging pad, so that’s a plus.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how many oddly-shaped pieces of junk I was able to fit, Tetris-style, in the Tacoma’s 6.1-foot long box, or whether the bed rail cleats made smuggling soiled mattresses to the dump a breeze. The only thing this urban adventurer hauled during its week-long test was my own sorry ass and two flame-broiled Whoppers (with a medium drink). Not even a trip to IKEA for funny-sounding jams!

Image: Steph Willems/TTAC

Of course, few trucks ever achieve their maximum potential. Most Tacomas spend their days in search of a speedier commute home and cheaper groceries, and rare is the truck whose owner ever selects “4L” on the transfer case dial. With a softer suspension, I imagine this double cab would very much excel in those mundane roles. Rear seat leg and headroom proved acceptable even for my gangly frame, and 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque doesn’t leave you struggling to get up to speed. You’ll just need to dig deep into that stiff accelerator pedal to find it.

To put it bluntly, the Tacoma’s only real problem is that it feels old. Solid as a rock, to be sure, but unrefined. Engine roar and associated vibration rides shotgun for much of the trip, the rear wheels enjoy drum binders, and steering effort at low speeds is surprisingly heavy. Course corrections give the feeling that the hood is actually a bow (love that scoop, though). It’s a truck that feels like a truck and isn’t afraid of making its owner work. And some would have it no other way.

These observations troubled me, frankly. Here I was, living in a city and bitching about ride quality and NVH in a revered small pickup. It wouldn’t be fair to return the truck and write up a review from an apartment that’s within half a mile of a Starbucks and yoga studio. Trucks are tools, after all, and the Tacoma is renowned for enjoying its romps in the dirt.

What if I actually needed this thing for rough stuff?

Image: Steph Willems

With this question in mind, I took a detour on the way back to the dealer; out to the sticks, where a hazy memory pointed me towards a “Proceed At Own Risk” sign standing sentry at the terminus of a dirt roadway. Past experience told me the roughly half-mile long section of “road” between two cul-de-sacs was a magnet for Jeep Wranglers and other off-roaders, as it filled the trough of a valley between two higher, parallel roads. Farm fields lay on either slope, but this half-mile stretch housed nothing but ticks, mosquitoes, swampy forest, and mud holes of undetermined depth.

Halfway down the road’s increasingly soupy length, I realized that tackling the course in this direction meant forgoing the option of chickening out and turning back. It’s better to ease into things, I guess. Further beyond the hood the holes grew in size, spanning the road’s width (and beyond), with the distance between them shrinking with each body of brown ooze. A lake greater than all the rest stood between the shell holes and the cul-de-sac on the other side.

Unhelpfully, it was around that moment I remembered the TRD Sport doesn’t boast skid plates, nor a locking differential or multi-terrain mode. Tire tread? Not nearly as chunky as its beefier TRD brethren. Oh well, as Sean Connery said in The Untouchables, God hates a coward. So 4H and a careful throttle it was. And so I made it out the other end — tense, in need of two car washes, but genuinely satisfied that this urban Tacoma would meet my commuting needs during the Apocalypse.

Isn’t that what every truck owner wants?

Image: Steph Willems/TTAC

[Images: Steph Willems/TTAC]

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62 Comments on “2018 Toyota Tacoma 4×4 TRD Sport Review – Man About Town...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    More overpriced, lazy, cheap Toyota garbage, in everything from the Corolla, Echo/Yaris, RAV-4 and HRV (total pieces of overpriced sh*t), and even stretching up to the new Lexus LS –

    TOYOTA IS COASTING SOLELY ON A PAST REPUTATION FOR HIGH QUALITY, RELIABLE VEHICKES.

    Toyota and Lexus of this generation are for SUCKERS who know little to nothing about genuine quality and value, and haven’t gotten any exposure to ANY of the competition.

    This Tacoma is a relic that represents automotive and truck technology (capabilities, efficiency, materials, etc.) of 2002.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with you on the coasting thing, but which current mid-size pickup vastly outdoes this one?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Chevy LUV!

        Wait..

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        I also agree with DW, and that is a stretch for me to say. The new Tacoma is nothing special. The infotainment and tech options are pathetic, the interior is cheap, the engine is underpowered, and the driving position is awful. Sadly, the Colorado outdoes it on just about every metric available. The Pilot does as well, but then you are stuck in a Pilot. For this kind of cash, just kick out a couple grand and get an F150 or RAM. It is absolutely amazing to me that the new GM turbocharged 4 has better torque and HP than the Toyota 3.5L V6… Toyota used to lead in that department.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Everyone in this segment has been lazy. I’m a little shocked that GM did updates to the Colorado and introduced the ZR2, Diesel, and a newer version of the 3.6 (the LGZ version) which is now attached to the 8L45.

      Personally I liked the exterior look of the Toyota, the engine and transmission of the Colorado 3.6 and frankly none impressed on the inside.

    • 0 avatar
      salmonmigration

      Toyota’s a logistics and quality company, not an engineering company. The new F150 can be over 1000lbs lighter than a new Tundra, which is also based on 10-year-old tech.

      No reason you couldn’t build a 2018 midsized pickup that gets above 35mpg, or has sedan-level NVH, or maybe even comes equipped with a gauge dimmer. Unfortunately thanks to the chicken tax they can easily blow the competition’s quality and reliability out of the water. And that means buyers are still going to buy the taco and automakers are going to benchmark what buyers buy.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        Its not the chicken tax that is preventing that, it is profit margins. With the huge sales of full size pickups and the out of the world profit margins that the top tier trims give the automakers they can afford to put all the high tech gizmos, gadgets, and materials on the fullsize trucks. The higher trim levels (which still sell in great volume) subsidize the downmarket fleet trims and entry level consumer trims (that get the biggest discounts).

        Midsize trucks don’t have that luxury. So far the market has shown to automakers that buyers will overwhelmingly go for size when pickups are similarly priced (i.e. Silverado LT vs Colorado). Throwing all that money into features and advanced materials into midsize pickups is money the automakers won’t get back.

        Eliminating the chicken tax won’t get rid of this issue, there has to be a shift in consumer attitudes or things like EPA mileage classifications that would encourage more consumer attention on the smaller trucks.

        • 0 avatar
          TwoBelugas

          Under 42k for a rough riding “midsize” pickup with poor ergonomics, cheap interior, ancient drivetrain, crappy driving dynamics, and now with 66% chance it’s built in Toyota Mexico’s Baja plant!

          the operators are standing by.

    • 0 avatar
      Coopdeville

      “Toyota and Lexus of this generation are for SUCKERS who know little to nothing about genuine quality and value, and haven’t gotten any exposure to ANY of the competition.”

      I was out looking at new 4Runners the other day because I really enjoy those trucks, 5 speed, 20 mpg, plasticky interiors and all. Then I remembered the scorn and derision DW has for 4Runners and Toyota buyers in general, and how much he hates it when other people like things that he doesn’t like, so I went home to consider seppuku for the shame I had almost brought upon my family. Ended up eating tacos instead, but it was pretty close.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        I’ve owned Toyotas since the late 80s and DW is right about the crap quality of present day US market Toyotas. I’ve watched the Camry’s descent from a Lexus-level build to a Malibu-fighting rental fodder.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          You’re not wrong, but would you pay $31K for a Lexus-level build base LE Camry? Would anyone in this market? That’s the inflation-adjusted price of a 1995 Camry DX with optional AC and power windows.

          The relevant question to me is whether the Toyota has retained the durability and utilitarian function behind the cheapened interior and paint. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything to prove that it hasn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            syncro87

            What 30-mile said.

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            “but would you pay $31K for a Lexus-level build base LE Camry?”

            The cost of building Camrys have significantly come down since they moved all of their production to Kentucky and in some cases Indiana’s Subaru plant. In 1995 a large percentage of Camrys sold in the US were still Japanese built. Picking a J vin Camry was a real thing with many people in the 90s.

            Even their present day 35.5k base Avalons ride like crap, drive like meh compared to the first generation Avalon, and has all the interior touch material quality and squeaks like you would find in a Malibu.

            Call me sentimental but I expected better from Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Corey, all the new mid-trucks are better than the old Tacoma. They cost much less too.

  • avatar
    cicero1

    What are your thoughts on the engine? that seems to be a big question on the updated models.

    • 0 avatar
      salmonmigration

      As an owner – it’s quirky. Toyota didn’t put a lot of effort into the tune so there are times when it will fall flat on its face until you learn the weird torque curves. The unbelievably super-soft motor mounts (seriously, it will twist 10-15 degrees to each side during normal driving) seem to accentuate the jumpyness.

      But you can get it with a manual, so you can smooth it all out once you get some practice.

      There’s plenty of power available if you give it some revs. And if you scan the forums there’s really no reliability complaints at all.

      • 0 avatar
        cicero1

        thanks.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        What configuration/trim did you purchase, Mr. Migrating Salmon? And what made you choose it over the GM twins that have received better reviews in the automotive press?

        I might see if I can waste my dealership’s time on a test drive of one next time I’m in for an oil change. It’s a polarizing vehicle, the press dislikes it and the TTAC commentariat seethes at it, and that makes it interesting. I’m curious how that 3.5 feels compared to the 4.0L chugger in my 4R.

        • 0 avatar
          salmonmigration

          I have a 2018 TRD Sport 4×4 with the stickshift. I picked it over the GM twins ostensibly because it has way better resale value, although really I just liked the transmission. Don’t tell anyone. I wanted to cross-shop a diesel but that was out of my price range.

          The 3.5 won’t shine on a test drive, but learn its quirks and it’s not a bad motor. Definitely gets good brake-specific fuel consumption in comparison to the 4.0.

          Also make sure you fit in the seats since they’re not exactly adjustable.

          • 0 avatar
            SSJeep

            Interesting. The manual option is intriguing and increasingly hard to find. I am very tall, so the seats were tough when I test drove it…

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            The new Colorado diesel can be had for low $30’s. A Equinox diesel as low as $26K.

            Got to chuckle everytime I hear Toyota or Honda has better resale value when a Chevy is $5,000-8,000 less to purchase and is worth the same in 3-5 years. Toyota tax?

    • 0 avatar

      2017 TRD Sport 6mt. Everybody complains about the lack of power. Part of that is because the throttle is mapped to force you to get good gas mileage. Push the pedal down 60% and you only get 30% engine power. But realise it’s not gutless you just need to stomp the gas to force the change from economy mode to power mode. And the change is like “V-TECH just kicked in!” but much more drastic. And even in economy mode, the engine sharing its uses in the Sienna and Camry is tuned to be smooth. It doesn’t kick you in the pants but I have no problem getting up to speed quickly yet never raising the RPM over 4k.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    It doesn’t seem that great of a truck, the writer says it “feels” old, well it looks old as well. If I was in the market for a truck like this I’d at least wait until the new Ranger came out before making a decision

  • avatar
    thegamper

    More midsized and smaller pickups on the road would be nice, but as described, really sounds like a pretty horrible vehicle to have in the city. Even if in a more rural area, why punish yourself with NVH and a harsh ride. If being a man means making poor choices, I guess you nailed it.

    After reading the article, it would seem that the most endearing aspects of this truck are really that you want a more reasonably sized truck and not one from a Detroit manufacturer, or you have some sort of nostalgic hole in your life or longing for the horse drawn buggy era that needs filling.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    Something about the Tacoma’s styling looks juvenile to me. Colorado and Canyon look more grown-up. And that chrome grille lifted off a Gen-2 Highlander Limited looks terrible. Toyota should never try to do bling.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Johan de Nysschen crumpled under my exceptional scrutiny, and I plan to target Jim HACKett and Akio Toyoda now.

    Field good/great product at a fair price point. If you do THE OPPOSITE, I’m taking you down.

  • avatar
    whynot

    I test drove a Tacoma not to long ago and this review pretty much jives with my opinion of the vehicle.

    The seats are literally the worst. They are not just hard, but you are essentially just sitting on the floor. The driving position is awful.

  • avatar
    whynot

    I test drove a Tacoma not to long ago and this review pretty much jives with my opinion of the vehicle. The seats are literally the worst. They are not just hard, but you are essentially just sitting on the floor. The driving position is awful.

    The engine also feels incredibly gut less. I had to double check that I was testing the V6.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    I like Tacomas, but I just can’t help pronouncing “TRD” as “Turd”.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    The Tacomas up through 2004 were the last good ones. Too bad about the frames, though.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    This TRD Sport trim makes no sense to me. The Tacoma in general has a narrow talent field and the TRD Off Road trim fits it far better. With the manual to mitigate the engine’s power band. And in Paper Grocery Bag Brown.

    Or just be honest and get the SR5 for pavement use.

    When cross-shopping it against my 4Runner, it was eliminated without a test drive. The back seat is very tight, there is no headroom, the seats have no thigh support or bottom-tilt adjustment, overall driver ergonomics are curious, and the armrests are cruel. And yet the damned thing just looks and feels cool in an irrelevant and stupid way that still is hard to fully dismiss.

    Anyway, this thing needs to be rambling down a tight two-track with a Tepui tent and some kayaks on the roof and a compliment of water and gasoline cans in the bed. Otherwise, why put up with the compromises?

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Lets be honest- the TRD Sport trim really is just an appearance package. Its for those who want the (close enough) look of a TRD off road but either don’t want to live with the compromises that actual off road capability gives or can’t afford it. It really does not offer all that much over the SR5 trim.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        That’s what bugs me about it. It’s kind of a poseur trim. The fake hood scoop kills me.

        • 0 avatar
          whynot

          I have no problem with it being a poseur-mobile. I fully admit I’m one of those guys who love the looks of trucks like this but has zero need or desire for actual off road capability. The TRD Sport is a “sport appearance package” (as they are typically known in the pickup world) masquerading as a trim level though, probably to give it better visibility.

    • 0 avatar
      salmonmigration

      The “sport” trim has a rear LSD vs the “offroad”‘s locker. That’s the only real difference other than tires and body kit.

      For 99% of buyers the LSD is going to be more useful and appropriate.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “For 99% of buyers the LSD is going to be more useful and appropriate.”

        I hated the locker in the F150 I had as a loaner. It would electronically disengage at too low a speed and would not re-engage until almost at a crawl. It caused weird axle wrap/hop type ride if you had wheel spin since the traction control would kick in causing a “hop” sensation.

        The best set up but the most expensive is the Power Wagon’s LSD with electronic lockout. You get LSD for most driving with the option of a locked diff for that rare time you need it.

        E-lockers are just a way for car companies to save money and their advertising makes everyone think it is superior to a LSD.

      • 0 avatar
        Speedygreg7

        The TRD Sport does not have an LSD. The LSD was eliminated about 10 years ago. It is an open diff with an aggressive brake based offroad traction control that does not cut power, it just uses the brakes. All Tacomas have that, including the TRD Offroad, and the SR and SR5. There is nothing mechanical. Toyota is the king of cost cutting and making people pay ridiculous prices for an uncompetitive truck. The only Tacoma that makes sense is the cheapest 4cyl Access Cab for $25,000. All others are shockingly overpriced compared to alternatives.

    • 0 avatar

      What nobody has mentioned is that the TRD Sport is the lowest trim you can get the V6 and the manual transmission. I would have bought a SR5 but I didn’t want the automatic. The fact it looks nicer to me is just a bonus and the hood scoop is growing on me as I stare across it for the past year.

  • avatar
    ernest

    Let’s be clear here- through June there were roughly 240,000 mid-sized pickups sold in the US, and roughly half of those were Tacoma’s. I’d be curious to see how many were sold at or over MSRP- bet the word “lots” wouldn’t even cover it. Toyota may not have the full-sized pickup market figured out, but they sure don’t need any help in this segment. Taken a step further, the Tacoma is a case study in analyzing customers needs and wants, then delivering on those priorities.

    FWIW, I wouldn’t consider owning one of these in an urban area. But I wouldn’t consider living in an urban area either, so there’s that.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      All you’ve proven is that more people buy based on the name, rather than the actual positive attributes of the vehicle. This truck breaks no new ground, it just gives the posers what they want, a macho looking vehicle that isn’t particularly good at anything, except being over paid for by people who want the attitude.

      Its the same argument most people use for full size trucks, except the argument is faulty, as those trucks often break new ground, work as hard as they play, and are an important part of peoples lives who actually get their hands dirty and do more than commute on the freeway and run to Trader Joe’s on Saturdays with their trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        It does offer a V6/manual transmission combo. Which is something you can’t get on the Canyorado or any full-size truck.

        • 0 avatar
          iNeon

          Manual transmission truck availability is theoretical. Vestigial.

          I could not find a single one within any reasonable distance of Birmingham– the epicenter of truck.

          Not even in Talladega.

          • 0 avatar
            lasoundguy

            FWIW they do exist (I bought one) but they get scooped up as soon as they list. (At least that was my experience—every dealer said they got a few calls per day from people if they listed a manual 4×4 Taco…took me five months to line up a sale at a price I could stomach (sticker.)

            It’s not a brilliant vehicle but if you are a manual transmission person it’s the only midsize truck with a stick. That clinched it for me. I did test drive the Colorado (Z71 diesel) and the Ridgeline—the Risgeline was honestly the best by a wide margin for daily life but not enough clearance in front and no stick. I don’t bash my Taco off-road but I do take it primitive camping pretty regularly and clearance plus 4LO both help.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        John, your first paragraph applies equally well to the Wrangler, particularly the JK that just phased out. That’s because it and the Tacoma are essentially recreational vehicles, and sell on some combination of real off road/outdoor recreation capability and the image it conjures. Jeep and Toyota were smart to keep the models around.

        This chronic drumbeating over the full size pickups “work(ing) as hard as they play” to divert from the possibility that most half-tons don’t do anything beyond shuttling people and garden supplies is odd, though. My inlaw commutes in an F150 with the “sport” package that gives bespoke wheels and the super cool center console that does nothing except prevent a sixth passenger. It. Does. No. Work. It fulfills its intended purpose to the extent that a mall-crawling TRD Tacoma fulfills its intended purpose. It’s a poseur vehicle. If every F150 on the road is illuminated by the halo of the fraction used to get their owners’ hands dirty, then the Tacomas are similarly buoyed by those who are used to explore the great out-of-doors.

        See also: old man Corvettes and most Subarus. Take the Toyota chip off the shoulder and slowly back away. Be free of it!

        • 0 avatar
          ernest

          @30-mile fetch

          Don’t forget the F-Series outsells the Tacoma by a margin of about 7:1. And the entire full-size segment outsells the midsize by… what… 20:1?

          I think what you’re missing here is the full size pickup has become the modern day version of a luxury car. A luxury car with “just in case” capabilities.

      • 0 avatar
        ernest

        @ JohnTaurus. “All you’ve proven is that more people buy based on the name, rather than the actual positive attributes of the vehicle.”

        At what point was that observation a surprise? Toyota knows how to sell Tacomas the way Subaru knows how to sell Outbacks. One’s dogs, the other’s mud. Same difference, different customer base, same end result. But Toyota figured out this “Secret Sauce” over two decades ago. Which begs the question- what has everyone else been doing in the meantime?

  • avatar

    “sonombulent”?

    Reaching a bit for that alliteration? :)

    The Taco is like the Wrangler (and the 4Runner) in that these deficiencies are actually FEATURES.

  • avatar
    probert

    “WWII wasn’t fought with Cushy Dampers.” Maybe not, but she dances in a club down the street, and she’s surely launched a few battles.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    Full-size truck MSRP and MPG for a 14 year old design that still doesn’t offer a height-adjustable driver’s seat? Pass.

  • avatar
    King of Eldorado

    The photo of the dash and the view out the windshield reminded me of my recent test-sit in a Tacoma at an auto show. In my last small pickup — a 1986.5 Nissan “Hardbody Except for the Rust” — the hood sloped sharply downward allowing an up-close view of the roadway immediately ahead, giving me a reliable clue as to exactly when I should adjust my course for, say, a large rock in the two-track ahead, while the Tacoma — not to mention several current full-size pickups — presents the driver with a cliff’s-edge-from-100-feet-back view of what to expect some vague distance ahead. I don’t need to see the bulging manly hood of my own truck; I need to see the obstacles I might hit if I guess wrong about where they are.

  • avatar
    silverfin

    Can’t wait for the 2019 Ford Ranger to arrive! In OZ reviews it bests the Toyota Hilux in everything except resale. The Chevy Colorado is dated already and has dealkiller issues in engine reliability and its too big. Fords design language is basically Euro…which I like…The Tacoma is trying too hard and looks disjointed to my eye. Finally, the Ranger for sale in OZ and S Africa seems to have great driving dynamics.

  • avatar
    syncro87

    It annoys me that Toyota rests on their laurels so much with the Tacoma. The seats are too low to the floor, and they really screwed up the engine / trans combo and software in the current truck. I guess this is what happens when you have no competition in a segment and a past reputation to coast on.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    I just don’t see why anyone would want a 4 door pickup for off-road use. The long wheelbase means you get hung up easily unless you have a raised suspension that makes it a pain to drive on the road. A far smarter solution would be to buy a normal pickup and something like a Polaris General side-by-side quad that would fit in the bed for transport – you could get both for the price of a well equipped “off-road” pickup.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Finally someone reviewed a long bed model, I know some think the long beds make midsize trucks look weird but on the Toyota especially the short bed has the axle tucked up under the cab so badly it looks like it hadn’t been designed that way.

    I like the midsize trucks but think they only make sense in a mid-level trim, SLE, LT, SR5, XLT… Beyond that they get pricey so fast there is little reason to choose them unless you MUST have a smaller truck.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      why buy a midsize that’s only 4 inches shorter than a 4th gen Ram 1500 with the 6’4″ bed and a similarly sized cab? The “crew cab” of the Tacoma has less rear room than the Ram quad cab.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I’m speaking of midsize trucks in general.

        What I see in my area among those who drive midsize trucks.
        1. Fleet purchase – almost all ext cab 4×4, largely government purchase
        2. Old guys who want a truck but don’t want something the size of an aircraft carrier – almost always ext cab 4×4
        3. Lifestyle buyers – carrying mountain bikes, dual sport motorcycles etc… usually the same young guys who buy 4Runners and Wranglers as well.

        Personally if felt the need to have a truck the narrower width would mean that I could park a midsize next to my wife’s vehicle in the driveway but a full size truck would be a no go. And I’m not parking in the street.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    And all the while, the new Jeep Scrambler keeps creeping up…

    I wouldn’t even think about something in the midsize category until we have some Scramblers in the wild to compare. It’s pretty likely Chevy puts the 2.7l in the Colorado twins too. That would make the Toyota as it sits today a pretty tough sell. That’s before you throw Ford into the mix.


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