|Positives: As tough and as reliable as hell, solid build quality.|
|Negatives: Engine noise isn't proportional to power delivery, horrible seating position, dated in-car tech.|
|Bottom Line: The Tacoma is now the oldest pickup truck in the Toyota stable now that the Tundra has been redone. It certainly looks and feels that way, too.|
The Tacoma is dreadful on-road. It lacks steering feel, precision, and it's not even very good over uneven or bumpy road surfaces.
Ride Quality: The Tacoma's ride is on the firm side, for sure. It can handle bumps and gaps, but competitors do a better job.
Acceleration: The V6 with 278 horsepower is strong, but it gets hampered by a rather uncooperative automatic transmission that's slow to shift. It'll hit 60 mph in just over 7 seconds. The manual should be a tad faster.
Braking: Braking has poor pedal feel, and it's generally quite mushy. It doesn't provide much confidence under hard driving or even in normal conditions.
Steering: Steering is good and actually quite responsive, but it could use better precision. There's a solid amount of effort involved, at least. The steering wheel is a little too thick for our liking.
Handling: The Tacoma definitely has some body roll, but it's not terrible. You can feel it in the turns, but as long as you don't go in hot, the Tacoma stays put.
The Tacoma thankfully gets a bump in the touchscreen size, despite the fact that the actual system is still just mediocre.
Infotainment System: Toyota gave the 2020 Tacoma an 8" touchscreen instead of the dinky 6.1" from last year. It's way better, but even the revised Entune 3.0 system is still behind competitors like GM and Ford.
Controls: Overall controls in the Tacoma are fair-to-middling. The preponderance of them are physical knobs and buttons, but they look and feel old.
The Tacoma is easily recognizable from a distance, but it's nothing special anymore when even unibody pickups like the Hyundai Santa Cruz are far more noticeable. At least in Trail Edition trim, the SR5 looks fancier than its normal stock trim.
Front: The big black grille and the gold lettering look great together. The front is properly rugged and still looks attractive.
Rear: Not much has changed about the back end of the Tacoma except for the black TRD Pro trim added to the mix. The rounded taillights could use some angularity to match the headlights.
Profile: There's nothing about the side view that stands out aside from gold wheels . The bed looks really short compared to the long hood and double cab.
Cabin: The Tacoma's interior is bleak and black, but at least the shapes aren't overly blocky. We like the Tacoma's round vents and the meaty shifter. The steering wheel looks and feels dated.
The Tacoma is not a place to spend a lot of time because of its compromised seating position poorly telescoping steering wheel, which moves only about two inches. It's also hard to see out of over the top of the hood. The fabric seats are uncomfortable, and the seating position is one of the worst.
Front Seats: The seats have ok cushioning and support, but they're situated too low. It's not well-positioned for the steering wheel, either.
Rear Seats: It's tight back there in double cab configuration, and the seat cushions are flat. Legroom is tight, too.
NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The knobby tires make noise at highway speeds, and the engine sounds like its being worked hard. The cabin is solidly built, at least.
Visibility: The seating position isn't the best, and visibility is compromised in tight situations. The rear camera is a necessity for backing up.
Climate: The heated seats worked well, as did the climate system thanks to the big circular vents.
The Tacoma didn't fare all that well in crash testing for the 2022 model year, and it drops in the rankings. Of course, the Tacoma does come with a good set of standard safety features.
IIHS Rating: The Tacoma has been demoted in the safety rankings largely due to more stringent criteria. The Tacoma didn't do well in the Small overlap front passenger-side crash test nor in headlights in some trims. It no longer wins any awards from the IIHS.
NHTSA Rating: It earned four stars from the federal government.
Standard Tech: Toyota Safety Sense P comes with Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, and Automatic High Beams.
Optional Tech: Our tester's Tech Package came with rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking assist, and a blind spot monitor.
The Tacoma does a pretty good job of providing small items storage and bed storage, as expected in the midsize pickup segment. We're not wowed by the interior storage options, but they're respectable.
Storage Space: The center console has usable space an open compartments in front of the shift knob, sizable cupholders, and a medium-sized armrest. The door pockets are decently sized, too.
Cargo Room: The bed is 60.5 inches long and 41.5 inches wide, and the tailgate can be removed to accomodate longer cargo. The bed capacity is 1,175 lbs, and the Tacoma can tow up to 6,400 pounds.
The Tacoma's V6 is thirsty, loud, and it doesn't provide much grunt. We were disappointed by the gas mileage, as well as by its ability to deliver power when needed.
Observed: 15.7 mpg
Distance Driven: 88 miles
The premium JBL system is now standard on the TRD Pro trim, whereas last year it was an option on the Tech package. This is good for two reasons. You don't have to pay more for a system that's good but not great. It was clear but lacked bass and fullness.