Our Opinion - 2023 Toyota Tacoma Review

Compared to similar mid-size pickup trucks like the Chevrolet Colorado or Ford Ranger, the Toyota Tacoma sells more than the company’s full-size pickup truck. This year is the eighth anniversary of the third-generation Taco. Customers have grown to love this best-selling mid-size, but its basic features are starting to show signs of wear. The optional engine is a V-6 with 278 hp and either an automatic or a six-speed manual transmission. The standard engine is an inline-four with 159 hp and a six-speed automatic transmission. The only pickup trucks you can buy in the United States are the Jeep Gladiator and the Toyota Tacoma. Even though Tacoma’s standard engine is the weakest in its class, the single cab with rear-wheel drive is much cheaper than the Gladiator or Honda Ridgeline. Even though it can tow a bit more weight than the Nissan Frontier (6,800 pounds), the Tacoma isn’t as helpful as it could be because the seats aren’t comfortable and use a lot of gas.

Toyota gives 2023 Tacomas with the SR5 trim level two new exterior options. Access Cab and Double Cab body styles are available for the V-6 SR5, and so is the SX package, which was previously only available on the SR trim. It also has black overfenders, black lug nuts, and black accents on the trim and logos. The Chrome package is available on SR5 Double Cabs with 5-foot beds. It includes a leather-wrapped shift knob, polished 18-inch wheels, chrome door handles, exhaust tips, and the tailgate logo. Toyota’s Smart Key system and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are now standard on all SR5 V-6 models, and all V-6 models now come with automatic dual-zone climate control. The 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Smart Key, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a 360-degree camera are now standard on the Limited Double Cab Tacoma. In 2023, the new Solar Octane color will be the only choice for TRD Pro off-road models. Electric Lime is now a color for the TRD Sport.


  • Off-road capability is built into TRD models.
  • Many things are the same.


  • Basic engine problems
  • In the back row, there is little room.
  • It’s a rough ride.

The Tacoma’s base 159-hp four-cylinder engine is weak and shouldn’t be used. Instead, get the optional 278-hp V-6 engine, which has 265 lb-ft of torque and is suitable for performance and towing. Also, the V-6’s six-speed manual transmission is better than either engine’s finicky six-speed automatic transmission. When the automatic helps the bigger engine, it must work harder. The TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro models are made for driving on rougher roads, while the TRD Sport and Limited models are made for driving in the city. None of these choices can be made in a hurry. The Tacoma could have better handling or ride quality, but moving on rough backroads and trails is easy. It can be set up to take advantage of chances to cruise on pavement or go off-road. The ride in the Limited is smoother, quieter, and more comfortable than in the off-road models. We took the Tacoma TRD Pro all over the West and found that while its strong shock absorbers, big tires, and raised suspension make it one of the best off-road trucks, it wasn’t as fun to drive on regular roads.

Even though it did poorly in crash tests, the Tacoma has the most common features in its class to help the driver. Even though the Ridgeline is still the best in its class, the mid-size Toyota has better technology than its rivals. Among the essential safety features are the following:

  • Automatic emergency braking and a warning of a possible front-end collision are standard.
  • A typical notice to change lanes
  • Common adaptive cruise control

Being true to your roots is excellent, but it doesn’t help Tacoma’s cabin. The materials and utilitarian style are from a different time, not too long ago. Even at the highest trim levels, there are a lot of hard plastics and simple materials. On the other hand, the driver’s seat in Tacoma can now be moved with a button. Even so, Tacoma is known for having small spaces. Because Tacoma has so little legroom, people will have to squeeze into the back of the crew cab. Even though the Tacoma has a five- or six-foot bed with a lot of space, it has few storage spaces and little room for carrying things. The Tacoma only has a little storage space inside, and the crew cab we tested could only fit nine carry-on bags. Aside from the bin on the center console, there are a few useful cubbies or containers for storage.

The EPA says that the V-6 Tacoma’s fuel economy is in the middle of the pack, but in our real-world highway tests, it does worse than more fuel-efficient competitors. The V-6 with a manual transmission uses the most gas but is also the most fun to drive. The Tacoma got the same 23 mpg on the highway that the manufacturer said it would get. This was five mpg less than the GMC Canyon diesel and the Honda Ridgeline diesel.

Toyota should be praised for putting an infotainment system with a touchscreen in every Tacoma. All of the higher trim levels come with an 8.0-inch screen. The screen on the base model is seven inches in size. Also, the company has made the system compatible, making it easier to use than the old system. Even though Tacoma has a lot of USB ports and wireless charging, it does not have a mobile hotspot like some of its competitors.

With rear-wheel drive, the Tacoma can pull up to 6800 pounds, and with four-wheel drive, it can pull up to 6500 pounds. Only two-wheel-drive Tacomas with four-cylinder engines can carry up to 1,685 pounds of cargo; four-wheel-drive Tacomas with V-6 engines can carry much less.

It’s a great idea to keep the TRD Off-Road crew cab, which is what the Tacoma does best (a.k.a Double Cab). It has a standard electronic locking rear differential, but we’d rather have four-wheel drive. We’d choose the faster V-6 engine over the slower four-cylinder engine because it has more power. We don’t like how automatic transmissions act, so we prefer to change gears by hand, even if it means giving up some options.

Because the manual doesn’t work with Tacos with a 6.0-foot bed, we can only use the smaller 5.0-foot cargo box. Our transmission choice only works with Premium packages too. All models have 16-inch wheels with black over-fenders, an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot that requires a subscription. We’d also choose the Technology package with options, which comes with parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and brighter front lights with more LEDs.

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