Toyota Tacoma pros and cons: it’s not as perfect as the ‘Yota bros say it is

Toyota Tacoma pros and cons: it’s not as perfect as the ‘Yota bros say it is

You see them everywhere, so it’s probably safe to assume that this list of Toyota Tacoma pros and cons would skew towards the positive side of the spectrum. Right? Not so fast…

I recently spent some time driving a Toyota Tacoma around Boston. The best way to summarize my feelings about this truck is as follows:

  • I loved the high seating position, as well as the overall practicality of it.
  • I really hated driving it in the city. There’s simply no graceful way of squeezing a Tacoma into tight pea-sized parking spots.
driving a Toyota Tacoma in the city
Pro: I can look down on nearly every other car while driving a Tacoma in city traffic. Con: everyone will look down upon on me (usually with offensive hand gestures) as I try to squeeze myself into tight spots.

All the pros and cons of the Toyota Tacoma

Before going any further, I just want to say that I actually liked this thing. All the negative stuff that I’m about to say doesn’t mean that I hate Toyota, everybody who ever worked there, their families, and their pets. Despite its flaws, the Tacoma is actually a rad little truck. I mean “big” truck. But I’ll get to that…

Pros

  • As I’ve already mentioned, I love the “lifted” feeling of the stock Toyota Tacoma. Sitting higher above the most other vehicles on the road is a very commanding feeling.
  • Along the same lines, outward visibility in all directions is really good. Most Tacoma‘s come from the factory with deeply tinted windows, but I didn’t feel that was an issue at all. Even at night.
  • You’d be surprised how roomy the interior of the Toyota Tacoma feels. This is classified as a mid-size truck, but it feels full-size on the inside.
  • Gas mileage with the 3.5 L V6 is surprisingly good. I spent far less money on gas driving this thing around then I thought I would.
  • The air conditioning rocks. It was nearly 100° with very high humidity during my time with this Tacoma, and it always felt like an industrial freezer on the inside.
  • In stock form, it’s a very capable off-road machine. I wasn’t doing any rock crawling or anything, but I will admit to shooting down some sketchy back roads in a desperate attempt to find my way around congested Boston traffic. The Tacoma powered over every kind of surface I threw at it with ease.
  • The rear end felt solid and controlled over the bumps. Most pickup trucks tend to bounce around a lot over the bumps (especially when not carrying any cargo), but the Tacoma felt very controlled and sedan-like.
2021 gray Toyota Tacoma side view
I’m not a truck guy at all, but I will admit that the Tacoma hits me right in the feels. This is a badass truck!
2021 toyota tacoma interior
The interior of the Tacoma is deceivingly large. Everyone will know you’re full of **** when you tell them that you can’t be the designated driver because there isn’t enough room for everybody.
2021 toyota tacoma bed and tailgate
“I really wish I could help you move this weekend, but my truck isn’t big enough” isn’t going to fly either. The bed of the Tacoma will swallow up just about anything (including furniture).
2021 Toyota Tacoma at the gas station
One of the best things I liked about my time with this Tacoma was the gas mileage. For being such a big truck (and me being a lead foot), gas mileage was excellent.

Cons

  • Make no mistake about it. Even though the Toyota Tacoma is classified as a mid-size truck, it is an extremely large vehicle. Squeezing into tight parking spots is extremely difficult in this thing.
  • The 3.5 L V6 is a bit under powered in my opinion. No, nobody buys a Tacoma for face-peeling acceleration, but I think we could all admit that having enough power to put a smile on your face when ripping away from a stoplight it’s a nice thing to have. The Tacoma doesn’t have that.
  • Being a brand new Toyota, I was surprised how cheap the interior looked and felt. I was expecting something a bit better than a Corolla considering how expensive a nicely-equipped Tacoma is these days.
  • Perhaps it was just user error, but I couldn’t get Apple CarPlay to work unless my phone was plugged into the USB outlet. No matter what I did, it wouldn’t connect via Bluetooth. If that’s the way it supposed to work, it’s stupid. If it was indeed user error, I’m stupid.
  • Even though the 18-inch wheels with off road tires look great, I have to imagine that they would be quite pricey to replace. Take that into consideration before buying one of these things as a daily driver.
toyota tacoma engine
Does anyone know if it’s possible to LS-swap a Tacoma? Asking for a friend.
apple car play Toyota Tacoma
Moments after fighting a losing battle with the shitty *** Bluetooth connection (and realizing that the only way to get Apple CarPlay to work was to plug in my phone via the USB cable). I hadn’t used profanity like that since my college days…
2021 Toyota Tacoma climate control buttons
An otherwise nice pic of the buttons and controls ruined by the USB cable of defeat. How have we not perfected wireless connections between devices by now?

Two good reasons why you should buy a Toyota Tacoma

I’ll admit it. Even though I’m not a truck guy at all, I think it would be pretty cool to have a Toyota Tacoma in my fleet. I don’t think I would drive it every day, but it sure would come in handy when I needed something to haul around bulky items.

Here are two good reasons why I think it would be a good idea to buy a Toyota Tacoma of your own:

1. It’s practical as ***k

If you live a very active life, and you’re always in on the go (whether it be hauling dirtbikes around or just working hard), the Toyota Tacoma would be a fantastic choice. It’s comfortable enough to be used as a daily driver. And thanks to it’s a fairly large bed (and all of the storage cubbies on the inside), it’s very easy to put it to work – both on and off road.

2021 Toyota Tacoma storage behind rear seats
There’s a lot to like about the ample storage space inside the cab of the Tacoma. I was especially pleased not to find any dead bodies hiding behind the seats,

2. You’ll get all the features and benefits of a full-size truck in a smaller package

Honestly, after getting to know the Tacoma you see in these pictures extremely well, I can’t think of many reasons why someone would want a full-size truck as a daily driver. The Tacoma is so much better.

Sure, a full-size truck will be better for towing. However, if that’s not what you do, but you still need the versatility of a pick up truck, look no further than a Tacoma. It looks like a full-size truck, it feels like a full-size truck, and it’ll work just as hard as a full-size truck. It just won’t tow as well.

2021 Toyota Tacoma front end
30 years ago, this would have been considered a full size truck. At the rate we’re going, will it be considered a compact car 30 years from now?

Two good reasons why you shouldn’t by a Toyota Tacoma

I can think of no instance where buying a Toyota Tacoma (either new or used) would be a decision stupid enough to ruin one’s life. It’s a good truck. However, it has its limitations, and it’s not for everybody. Here are two specific reasons why:

1. You’ll hate driving it in thick city traffic

I can hear the haters now. “Scott, you’re such an idiot! The Tacoma isn’t big at all, and it just means you’re a p***y because you can’t handle it!” Think of me what you will, but I know what I felt driving this thing around Boston. Quite honestly, it wasn’t much fun.

Driving a Toyota Tacoma in city traffic
Being stuck in Boston traffic would be a lot more bearable in a Honda Civic I think. Just sayin’.

Getting out into the country was a completely different experience, but tying to park this truck anywhere in the city gave me heartburn. Heck, even driving it down narrow little streets in the heart of the city was enough to give me palpitations. Despite what they say, this is a big truck!

Rear end of 2021 Toyota Tacoma
A booty shot to help prove my point. She thicc.

2. It’s not a good tow rig

I’ve already talked about how poorly the Tacoma is for towing, but I feel that it’s important to drive the point home. Because of how underpowered it feels, I’m of the opinion that the Tacoma shouldn’t even be a consideration if you tow anything more than 3000 pounds. Yes, it is rated to tow up to 6800 pounds, but I can’t imagine it doing it all that gracefully.

The available engine options simply don’t have enough torque to pull that much weight efficiently, and I guarantee that you’ll put excessive wear and tear on your Tacoma trying to prove me wrong. Feel free to try it though…I desperately need content for my YouTube channel.

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