Interior / Exterior » 7
Shopping for a new Toyota Tacoma?
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STYLING | 7 out of 10
The front end's design remains a bit obtuse for our tastes, with too many oddly intersecting lines and busy shapes around the grille and headlamps, with the decoy hood scoop only accentuating the problem.
has been beefed up over the years with a broad grille, oversized headlights and an assertive, hefty design that sends a clear message this import is ready to tangle with the best of the mid-sized American trucks
a variety of guises to suit virtually any pickup buyer’s needs
Car and Driver
The 2012 Tacoma’s headlights have a more edgy appeal and, adding additional visual punch is the bulging front bumper.
The Toyota Tacoma hasn't changed significantly in many years. And while it's carried into 2012 mostly unchanged, it does get a host of minor styling tweaks inside and out that, altogether, could affect how you see this compact pickup.
The most noteworthy changes to the Tacoma are at the front. Its front lamps have been completely redesigned and now wrap into the grille in a different way than before--and in turn making the turn-signal portion higher up. The proportions of the grille have been stretched just a bit, and the bumper and lower dam area have been contoured to look more aggressive--with the net effect painting the front end as a bit taller than wider than before, even if it isn't.
Otherwise, at least on the outside, the Tacoma continues its relatively traditional compact-truck design, with a little added flair, paired with the chunky, down-to-business look that nearly all Toyota trucks have had in recent years. Its fundamental design and styling are carried through mostly unchanged since this larger, nearly mid-size version of the Tacoma was introduced, for 2005. The offset, flared wheel wells and flared fender sheetmetal adds a hint of aggression or sportiness—brought out, especially, in its off-road trims—and the front end still bears a clear family resemblance with that of the full-size Titan and Land Cruiser. Also, models with the TRD Sport Package get new side mirrors with integrated turn signals.
Inside, Toyota has toned down the matte-metallic onslaught of the outgoing model and blacked out the center-stack area, around audio and climate controls, leaving brightwork around the steering wheel and vents. Likewise, it's thrown out the orange-red lighting and replaced it with a cool-blue backlit look, in line with what's been introduced in new models like the 2012 Camry. And on Access Cabs there's a new rear-console storage box.
Regular Cab, Access Cab, and Double Cab editions of the Tacoma are offered, with standard or long-bed (LB) lengths, with four- or six-cylinder engines, and they all have the same styling, albeit with different levels of stretch for the cab and bed.
Toyota borrows a little inspiration from the larger Tundra for a light makeover on the 2012 Tacoma.