2023 Toyota Tacoma

Consumer Reviews
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2022
The Car Connection
2022
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
July 13, 2022

Buying tip

We recommend the Tacoma only for off-road enthusiasts—and f you’re going for four-wheel-drive adventure, you might as well spend up for the aptly named Tacoma TRD Off-Road.

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma has slipped behind newer rivals for comfort, but it hangs tough off-road.

What kind of vehicle is the 2023 Toyota Tacoma? What does it compare to?

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma is a mid-size pickup truck that squares off against the Ford Ranger and Nissan Frontier, among others. 

Is the 2023 Toyota Tacoma a good car/SUV?

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Many buyers may be attracted to the Tacoma for its durable reputation, which is backed up by spectacular resale value. Cramped inside and costly to buy, the Tacoma gets a TCC Rating of just 4.8 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2023 Toyota Tacoma?

In what may be its last year before a redesign, the 2023 Tacoma gains a couple of new trim packages for the SR5 grade. 

The Tacoma comes in extended- and crew-cab forms, with a choice between 5- and 6-foot beds. Underhood, the 2.7-liter inline-4 that powers base models can (and should) be swapped out for a 3.5-liter V-6 rated at 278 hp. Acceleration is leisurely at best even with the V-6. Look for 20 to 22 mpg in most configurations. 

The Tacoma is at its best off-road, where copious ground clearance and a wide range of off-road tech make it a proper rock-crawler or mud-plugger—especially in TRD Off-Road or TRD Pro guise.

It may be capable, but it’s not especially comfortable. The front seats sit low to the ground, and head room is tight even without the optional sunroof. The rear seat is only slightly better.

Lots of standard crash-avoidance tech is canceled out by so-so crash test scores, unfortunately. 

How much does the 2023 Toyota Tacoma cost?

The 2023 Tacoma range stretches from the upper-$20,000 mark to over $50,000, but we think the best buy is right in the middle with the $38,000 or so TRD Off-Road. 

Where is the 2023 Toyota Tacoma made?

In San Antonio, Texas.


6

2023 Toyota Tacoma

Styling

Chunky good looks are a 2023 Toyota Tacoma asset.

Is the Toyota Tacoma a good-looking truck?

Its bulky lines are familiar by now, but the 2023 Tacoma remains a tough-looking truck matched by impressive capability. 

We rate the 2023 Tacoma at 6 out of 10. It’s good-looking, at least for what it is.

The blunt front end wears a big Toyota badge—and an even bigger one if you opt for TRD Pro trim with its semi-retro “TOYOTA” lettering. Each trim has its own wheel designs, which range from basic steel on the SR up to stylish alloys wrapped in chunky rubber on TRD Pro and TRD Off-Road versions.

Inside, the Tacoma has a busy but still interesting look that may make it the most stylish in its class—though the bar here is low. Wide swathes of black and gray plastic somehow look good here thanks to interesting graining and occasional stretches of soft-touch material. 

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4

2023 Toyota Tacoma

Performance

Hugely capable off-road, the 2023 Toyota Tacoma strikes out as a comfortable commuter.

Is the Toyota Tacoma 4WD?

All models except the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro come standard with rear-wheel drive, though a simple part-time four-wheel-drive system is widely available. 

TRD Off-Road models add a host of four-wheeling bits including a locking rear differential, crawl control (a rather loud but effective system that automatically lopes the Tacoma along at ultra-low speeds), and a slew of traction control modes. TRD Pro versions toss in Fox shocks and a higher ride height for more serious going. 

How fast is the Toyota Tacoma?

Most Tacoma trucks use a 278-hp 3.5-liter V-6, which has to be wrung out even in low-demand in-town use. The 6-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, but it is too eager to ratchet up a cog or two too high for optimal efficiency, so you may find yourself stabbing the throttle with regularity. Tapping the “ECT Power” button on the dash tells the gearbox to be less eager to upshift, but you’ll have to press the switch every time you hop in.

The 6-speed manual transmission available on some TRD configurations is a slick, smooth unit worth seeking out if you don’t mind rowing things yourself.

Opt for the standard inline-4 and you’d better have a lot of patience. It’s smooth, but it puts out just 159 hp, which would make for a lousy power-to-weight ratio in a compact sedan let alone a hefty pickup. 

Ride quality varies from trim to trim, though all are fairly plush by truck standards, thanks to their big sidewalls and the long wheelbase. The Tacoma’s steering requires a fair amount of effort, a sensation exacerbated by the bulky, thick-rimmed steering wheel. 

Odd pedal feel mars an otherwise reasonably strong braking system. 

Overall, the Tacoma earns just 4 out of 10 on the TCC scale with a point deducted for its leisurely acceleration.

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5

2023 Toyota Tacoma

Comfort & Quality

An awkward seating position and tight rear seat mean the 2023 Tacoma is a lousy family hauler.

It may be big, but the 2023 Toyota Tacoma is far from spacious. It earns a 5 out of 10 on the TCC score, with its cramped cabin easily canceling out its expansive bed.

There’s just no way to get truly comfortable inside the Tacoma, especially compared to rivals such as the Ford Ranger and Chevrolet Colorado that have a far better seating position for the driver. 

The Tacoma’s front bucket seats are low to the ground, even when adjusted all the way upward. Grab the optional sunroof and even drivers of modest stature will find the roof closing in on them. 

Rear-seat space isn’t great, either, though an infant carrier fits better here than in many competitors thanks to relatively wide rear doors. 

Interior trim doesn’t impress, either, though Tacomas we’ve driven have had a tight, well-built feel not always seen in mid-size pickups. 

The dent-resistant bed composite comes in 5- and 6-foot lengths, and Toyota offers a range of bed liners and rubber mats.

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5

2023 Toyota Tacoma

Safety

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma comes with plenty of crash-avoidance tech, but its crash-test scores are mediocre.

How safe is the Toyota Tacoma?

It may not be the best choice, even though we applaud Toyota’s inclusion of standard automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warnings, and automatic high-beam headlights. 

Unfortunately, an “Acceptable” score from the IIHS in the demanding right-side small-overlap test erase that good news. The NHTSA hasn’t updated its scores for the latest model year, but when they do, we’ll update this rating. Until then, the 2023 Tacoma scores a 5 out of 10 on the TCC scale. 

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7

2023 Toyota Tacoma

Features

A wide range of choices help ensure that there is a 2023 Toyota Tacoma for everyone.

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma is offered in a huge range of choices, starting with work-oriented SR trucks that started around $27,000 for the 2022 model year. Prices haven’t yet been announced for 2023, but when they are, we’ll update this page.

While not plush, these trucks come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility via an 8.0-inch touchscreen as well as a host of crash-avoidance features including automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.

That standard feature set—plus the ability to add way more—earns the Tacoma lineup a 7 out of 10 for features.

A 3-year/36,000-mile warranty is standard, though Toyota will pay for the first oil change. 

Which Toyota Tacoma should I buy?

The SR5 adds a convenient power-adjustable driver’s seat and it’s the gateway for far dressier interior and exterior trim. Opt for the V-6 engine, four-wheel drive, and a crew-cab body, and Toyota will present you with a bill for nearly $38,000. 

Things escalated quickly.

Suddenly, the TRD Off-Road, which costs a bit over $39,000 with four-wheel drive and the automatic transmission, seems like a smart buy—especially if you plan to go off-road. 

How much is a fully loaded Toyota Tacoma?

Keep going through the slightly luxurious Limited trim and you’ll wind up at the TRD Pro, which can crest $50,000 with options. Still, its Fox shocks and leather-lined interior would be hard to replicate for that kind of money in aftermarket gear.

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2023 Toyota Tacoma

Fuel Economy

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma uses a lot of fuel.

Is the Toyota Tacoma good on gas?

It’s not great. The 2023 Toyota Tacoma scores 2 out of 10 on the TCC scale, though both 4- and 6-cylinder versions will realistically perform about the same in real-world situations.

With the V-6, the Tacoma checks in at 19 mpg city, 24 highway, 21 combined. Four-wheel drive dents those figures to 18/22/20 mpg, and the manual transmission rates just 18 mpg combined.

With the base engine, expect 20 to 21 mpg combined.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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4.8
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 2
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