The Toyota Tacoma is the most popular of the midsize/compact pickup market. They're really aren't any compact pickups any more, they're all midsize. The Tacoma was named Most Dependable Midsize Pickup in the J.D. Power & Associates 2011 Vehicle Dependability Study, and Intellichoice called it a 2011 Best Overall Value in the compact pickup segment. New Car Test Drive considers the 2013 Toyota Tacoma the best pickup in its class and the best for rugged terrain, durability and reliability.
Tacoma offers a comfortable cab, a refined ride, and quality construction. Its on-road handing is responsive; its off-road capability is proven. The Tacoma Double Cab delivers offers rear-seat comfort for two additional passengers with enough room to rival a small sedan. Properly equipped Tacoma V6 models can to tow up to 6,500 pounds.
Tacoma not only owns the segment but practically is the segment. While Toyota sells more than 100,000 Tacomas a year, the other manufacturers have abandoned the small pickup business in America due to lack of demand. The Nissan Frontier, Chevy Colorado, and GMC Canyon are reportedly going out of production, Ford finally stopped making the Ranger, Suzuki is no longer in the U.S., Dodge Dakota exited the stage years ago. The Honda Ridgeline, a much more expensive vehicle, offers carlike handling, strong performance and good fuel economy, but it doesn't offer the off-road capability or toughness of the Tacoma.
As a result, Tacoma hasn't changed much since its last major redesign for the 2005 model year. For 2012, Toyota treated the Tacoma to a new look inside and out, with new and more sophisticated audio choices. The 2013 Tacoma lineup includes a new Limited Package, featuring 18-inch chrome-clad alloy wheels, chrome grille trim, chrome rear bumper, SofTex-trimmed front sport seats with heat, metallic tone instrument panel trim, leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls, dual sun visors with mirrors and extenders, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with rear camera display, outside temperature gauge, and HomeLink universal transceiver.
Pickup buyers can rejoice, however, because the 2013 Tacoma comes in a wide range of configurations to please a wide range of needs ranging from basic work truck with four-cylinder engine and 2WD to a loaded V6 4WD Double Cab Long Bed. The base Tacoma excels at durability and reliability and is among the few regular-cab pickups still available.
All Tacomas come with air conditioning. Audio systems begin with six-speaker AM/FM/CD display audio (four speakers on Regular Cab) with USB Port, auxiliary input, and Bluetooth phone connectivity; and range all the way up to a seven-speaker JBL GreenEdge system with navigation, and Toyota Entune.
Also standard on all models is Toyota's Star Safety System, which includes anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TC). An Automatic Limited-Slip Differential (Auto-LSD), which uses brake intervention in place of a mechanical-type limited-slip to help reduce wheel-spin, is standard on all Tacoma models with the exception of those fitted with TRD Off-Road packages, like our test model; those will have a separate locking differential.
Toyota Racing Development, or TRD, offers myriad accessories to further improve on-road performance or off-road capability. A new TRD Baja Series features high-performance Bilstein off-road shocks, special Eibach springs, 16-inch beadlock wheels with BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO tires, sports exhaust and special graphics.