Though the Tacoma saw some changes last year, its fundamental design and styling are carried through, essentially unchanged since its last full redesign in 2005. Despite offset, flared sheetmetal around the wheelwells, the Tacoma looks a little more aggressive, especially if you outfit it with one of several off-road trims.
Comparing the Tacoma to its previous-gen forebear, Motor Trend comments that it no longer resembles a small truck, “thanks to a wider stance, large fender bulges surrounding upsized wheels and tires, sweeping headlamps, and a larger windshield.” Car and Driver remarks that Hino’s styling handiwork “[turned] up the Tacoma’s testosterone with square shoulders, fender arches, and a Kenworth-compatible grille.” This helps Toyota’s little guy do battle with the traditionally splashier Americans trucks; Kelley Blue Book feels that the Tacoma’s styling “succeeds by blending classic Toyota truck styling with design features of some larger domestic models.”
Inside, it depends on the trim; although entry Tacomas look basic and even a little drab inside, the top trim levels have an interior that uses more matte-metallic panels and upgraded upholstery that has more in common with the Camry and Avalon sedans. Deeply recessed gauges, each with its own tunnel, alongside a rather avant-garde silver center stack, are a far cry from the generic, boxy truck interiors of yore; however, Car and Driver asserts that the Tacoma’s cabin contains “straightforward controls situated right where fingers are trained to find them.” The same reviewer isn't as wild about the matte-metallic surfaces that are throughout the instrument panel: “it may seem dated when the industry finally tires of plastic painted like naked aluminum.”