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Is the Toyota Tacoma Still a Good Truck?

MotorBiscuit logo: MainLogo MotorBiscuit 11/27/2022 Dan Mayfield

If you really look, there are a few ways to criticize a Toyota Tacoma. Like all of us, it could use some self-improvement, but really not much. It’s also starting to get a bit dated in the face of new truck competition from Ford, with the new Ranger, and Chevy with the new 2023 Colorado. So, is this seven-year-old design starting to lose its luster or is the Toyota Tacoma still a good truck?

The Tacoma is facing some fierce competition for 2023

It seems like we were just starting to get to know the Ford Ranger. The Ranger was launched for the 2019 model year and it seems like that truck was just starting to find a following despite its ancient origins as a truck that the rest of the world got years before we did. But now, Ford’s giving us all-new 2023 Ranger that, while it shares the old platform, everything else will be new, including updated macho styling. The new Ranger will get a Ford’s 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder, which makes 270 horsepower and it’s tied to a 10-speed automatic.

The new Chevy Colorado, too, should shake up the midsize truck landscape. Like the Ford, Chevy has gone to a turbocharged four-cylinder for motivation, but this engine will make up to 310 horsepower with a nine-speed automatic. The Chevy (and its GMC counterpart, the Canyon) get a new frame, styling, and tech that could set a new standard. Though we’ll have to wait until mid-2023 to see the new Colorado, Chevy is putting others on notice that it’s not playing around.

The Toyota Tacoma is, well, getting old

2022 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota © Provided by MotorBiscuit 2022 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

A seven- or eight-year model run isn’t unheard of for trucks, and since the Tacoma was last redesigned in 2015, its design has weathered well. But every other truck in the segment, from the Jeep Gladiator to the Nissan Frontier, is newer. That, however, hasn’t stopped from buying them. It remains the best-selling midsize truck, by a large margin.

The Tacoma still has a lot going for it, however. It’s still a great value, especially in SR5 trim. But, the interior can be tight, and the ride is stiff compared to the competition. Also, the turbocharged fours from the competition are lighter, more powerful, and get better fuel economy than the big grunty six-cylinder in the Tacoma that gets a dated six-speed automatic. To a hard-core few, the Tacoma is also special because you can order a manual gearbox. It’s one the of the last trucks with that option, and many people prefer it for truck stuff.

There will likely be an updated 2024 Tacoma

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Many are speculating that for 2024 that we will see a new Tacoma that should share some styling cues with the recently-updated full-sized Tundra. Like that big Tundra, the new Tacoma could also get an updated engine with, finally, hybrid power. The Lexus NX350 has a 2.4-liter engine that makes 275 horsepower and 317 pound-foot of torque. It would not be too much of a stretch to imagine Toyota adding that engine to this pickup truck. If you are dead set on purchasing a mid-size truck now, the 2023 Tacoma does have a lot to offer. At the same time, the next-gen Tacoma is sure to be a hit. Especially if the brand takes the proper steps to keep its pickup truck relevant. 

Things to expect for the 2024 Toyota Tacoma include redesigned exterior and interior, potential powertrain upgrades, and a new platform.

RELATED: Is a 2023 Chevy Colorado a V6 or a V8? Neither.

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