2022 Toyota Tacoma

Consumer Reviews
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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
August 2, 2021

Buying tip

The Tacoma is a blank slate for customization in SR5 trim, but TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro versions are an excellent value versus bolting on costly aftermarket upgrades.

features & specs

Limited Double Cab 5' Bed V6 AT
SR Access Cab 6' Bed I4 AT
SR Access Cab 6' Bed V6 AT
MPG
19 city / 24 hwy
MPG
20 city / 23 hwy
MPG
19 city / 24 hwy
MSRP
$39,255
MSRP
$26,500
MSRP
$28,760

For off-road enthusiasts, the 2022 Toyota Tacoma’s popularity is easy to justify, especially in off-roady TRD forms.

What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Toyota Tacoma? What does it compare to?

The Tacoma is a popular mid-size pickup truck, and it squares off against the Nissan Frontier, Ford Ranger,and Jeep Gladiator. 

Is the 2022 Toyota Tacoma a good car/SUV?

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The Tacoma may be the top-selling mid-size truck in the U.S., but that doesn’t make it the best at anything. Instead, it’s a solid all-rounder, best appreciated in one of its off-road forms—if you plan to take it off-road, that is. We rate it at 5.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2022 Toyota Tacoma?

Changes for 2022 center around what Tacoma does best: go off-road. The TRD Pro sits up even higher on a newly lifted suspension, while the SR5’s Trail Edition package also gains a small suspension lift. 

The Tacoma comes in either rear- or four-wheel drive extended- and crew-cab bodies, with a choice of 5- or 6-foot bed lengths. All models ride up high and feature variations on the same muscular styling.

Underhood, the base 2.7-liter 4-cylinder is largely relegated to fleet-oriented rear-drive models. The far more popular 3.5-liter V-6 sends 278 hp to the wheels via either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. The stick shift is one of the things that really sets the Tacoma apart, for those willing to row it themselves. 

That V-6 doesn’t endow the Tacoma with terrific acceleration, though. It makes most of its power up high in the rev band, so it must be exercised to climb hills or tug a trailer along. 

Fuel economy is mediocre; look for low 20s in most driving. 

Interior space is also not a forte, especially for taller occupants. Top tip: skip the sunroof, as head room is at a premium even before it lops an inch or so. Rear-seat space is also tight, though the design is playful and convenient.

Automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control are laudable standard features, but the Tacoma hasn’t aced crash tests.  

How much does the 2022 Toyota Tacoma cost?

The Tacoma range starts a little under $30,000 and can climb to around $50,000 for a kitted-out TRD Pro.

The best value here is either an SR5 for normal use or a TRD Off-Road for those who want to, well, off-road. That said, the sheer amount of four-wheeling kit fitted to the TRD Pro would be impossible to replicate for this cost in the aftermarket, so think twice before buying a TRD Off-Road and planning a host of suspension upgrades. 

Where is the 2022 Toyota Tacoma made?

In San Antonio, Texas.

6

2022 Toyota Tacoma

Styling

The Tacoma’s durable reputation is matched by its tough-truck styling.

Is the Toyota Tacoma a good-looking car?

It may follow the standard three-box style of a pickup, but the difference is in the details when it comes to the 2022 Toyota Tacoma. This truck has muscular lines and nifty details, especially in TRD Pro form. It’s even better inside—at least stylistically, since the Tacoma’s cabin is disconcertingly cramped.

We rate the Tacoma at a 6 out of 10 for its styling.

Base SR trucks look ready for work, while SR5 and higher versions dial in color-matched details and swankier wheel designs. TRD Pros go much further—both figuratively and literally, thanks to a high-riding suspension and brash styling updates highlighted by massive badging.

Inside, these trucks have a wall of switches and buttons to sort through, though they seem mostly where we’d want them anyway. TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro trucks have even more buttons and knobs for their off-road kit mounted in, of all places, the headliner. 

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4

2022 Toyota Tacoma

Performance

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma will take you just about anywhere you might want to go as long as you’re not in a hurry.

Is the Toyota Tacoma 4WD?

Of course, though there are rear-wheel-drive versions of several trim levels. 

How fast is the Toyota Tacoma?

How much time have you got? We have limited seat time with the base 4-cylinder, but its 159-hp rating tells enough of its story. Consider one for in-town use only. The 3.5-liter V-6 fitted to nearly every Tacoma to roll out of the automaker’s Texas assembly plant is rated at 278 hp, but it’s no quarter-mile champ. This V-6 makes most of its power at higher revs, meaning it needs to be worked hard. The more common 6-speed automatic transmission is overly eager to shift into high gears to save fuel, making the rare 6-speed manual a desirable choice as long as you’re not commuting. 

Ride quality in non-TRD versions is relatively supple, thanks largely to the big tires that soak up small imperfections. TRD Pros ride curiously firmly on road, though their fancy shocks swallow big ruts with ease off-road. 

The Tacoma boasts decent handling and well-weighted steering. It’s no corner carver, but it will hustle down a winding road better than some of its competitors. Highway stability is decent, too, and standard adaptive cruise control is laudable.

Braking is good, but pedal feel could be better. 

Off-road, TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro trucks are veritable mountain goats. A standard locking rear differential helps them escape tricky situations with ease, and a host of four-wheeling traction control modes make exploration almost too easy.

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5

2022 Toyota Tacoma

Comfort & Quality

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma is better at hauling gear than it is passengers.

Toyota offers the latest Tacoma in extended- and crew-cab configurations, with either 5- or 6-foot beds depending on the body and trim. That’s a pretty extensive lineup, and the bed itself is made from dent-resistant and rust-proof composite.

If only we had such good things to say about its cabin, though. The Tacoma is not a spacious truck, and we score it just 5 out of 10 for comfort and quality.

Anyone under 6 feet tall will find adequate space up front without the optional sunroof. Add that feature and, well, consider a shorter haircut. Even with the driver’s seat pushed all the way down—to the point where it’s really not very comfortable—the Tacoma is light on head room. 

Rear-seat riders will be fine for around-town jaunts, but three across is basically out of the question.

Interior materials look better than they feel, though assembly quality on trucks we’ve tested has been top notch and we offer kudos to Toyota for choosing playful patterns and designs not seen on rivals. 

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5

2022 Toyota Tacoma

Safety

The Tacoma’s overdue for crash tests.

How safe is the Toyota Tacoma?

Toyota outfits every Tacoma with standard automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, and adaptive cruise control. If only its crash-test ratings were as impressive as its feature set. We score it at a 5 out of 10, with a four-star government rating canceling out its crash-avoidance tech.

The NHTSA’s rating is dinged by just four stars for its frontal impact and rollover scores.

The IIHS is a little kinder, though the truck scores just an “Acceptable” grade in the challenging right-side small-overlap test. Additionally, the base halogen headlights are rated “Marginal,” though the optional LEDs score better.

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7

2022 Toyota Tacoma

Features

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma lineup stretches from surprisingly plush work trucks to serious exploration rigs.

Toyota’s mid-size pickup is a decent value in most trims, especially considering its sterling resale value. On account of its standard fare including automatic emergency braking as well as convenient smartphone projection tech, we rate it at 7 out of 10. 

Which Toyota Tacoma should I buy?

That all depends on how you plan to use your Tacoma. Skip the $28,000 or so base Tacoma SR 4-cylinder and plan on a V-6 model. The base truck is outfitted fine for daily driver or work duty, and it comes with standard active safety tech as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, though the SR5 adds a convenient power-adjustable driver’s seat and its alloy wheels are a little dressier. 

A Tacoma SR Access Cab with four-wheel drive and the V-6 is about $32,000; at that point, we might spend the extra $2,500 or so for the SR5’s flashier looks, and power seat, plus it’s the gateway to fancier options. 

At around $37,000, a TRD Off-Road crew cab with the 6-speed manual is the enthusiast’s choice; figure another grand or so for an automatic, but be wary of the way the optional sunroof robs head room.

The Limited isn’t exactly luxurious for its $43,000 or so price tag with the more popular crew cab body. We’d pass on that Tacoma.

How much is a fully loaded Toyota Tacoma?

Toyota hasn’t said how much the TRD Pro will cost for 2022, but the roughly $45,000 price of entry for last year’s model is a good indicator. If the past is anything to go by, don’t expect much of a discount, either. 

All Tacomas carry an average 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.

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3

2022 Toyota Tacoma

Fuel Economy

The Toyota Tacoma will put you on a first-name basis with your local gas station.

Is the Toyota Tacoma good on gas?

Not especially. At best, expect mid-20s on the highway and low-20s around town, which prompts just a 3 out of 10 on our scale.

Rear-drive, 4-cylinder Tacomas check in at 20 mpg city, 23 highway, 21 combined. Adding four-wheel drive slides those figures to 19/22/20 mpg since the 4-cylinder has to work so hard to keep this truck moving.

More popular V-6 models are a little better overall at 19/24/21 mpg with rear-drive and 18/22/20 mpg in four-wheel-drive configurations, though the manual gearbox slides to just 17/21/18 mpg. 

Tweaks to this year’s TRD Pro may make it even thirstier since it sits up higher, but we’ll update this space when we know more. 

Review continues below
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$26,500
MSRP based on SR Access Cab 6' Bed I4 AT
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5.0
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 4
Comfort & Quality 5
Safety 5
Features 7
Fuel Economy 3
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