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2013 Toyota Tacoma Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality

It's obviously smaller than full-size trucks, and even slighter than the Honda Ridgeline and Nissan Frontier in terms of usable interior space--now that all the compact trucks have gone away, the Tacoma's the least comfortable pickup we can think of.

The Tacoma comes in three body styles. There's the four-door Double Cab, the two-door Regular Cab, and the in-between Access Cab and its extra space behind the front seats. There's a fair amount of room in the four-door Double Cab, and four adults will be able to sit in it for short trips in reasonable comfort. However, the back seats have a vertical backrest that's not good on longer trips, and head room back there and in front is in short supply. It's even tough to get in the Tacoma if you're taller than about 5' 10"; the roof is low and the floor is high, which means ducking into the cabin instead of stepping in. On Access Cabs, which have smaller back doors and seating, there's enough space for two children in tiny jump seats. In any of the models, the rather skimpy, short and flat seats in front won't win you over for longer trips.

Refinement--especially to those who are moving down in size even from a modest full-size truck--could be the Tacoma's biggest failing. From inside the cabin, both engines are louder than you might expect, and the ride can be choppy or jittery over some surfaces. But the cabin does feel durable, with solid-feeling Toyota switchgear throughout and chunky climate controls that would be easy to grip with icy or gloved hands.

Short on headroom, and in need of better seat shaping, the Toyota Tacoma lacks the space and comfort even of its chief rival.

That said, road noise is reasonably well filtered-out, and various test vehicles over the years have felt tight and been free of rattles. The cargo bed in the Tacoma remains made of a composite material that's lighter than steel and corrosion-resistant.

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