First Unofficial Images of 2012 Toyota Tacoma Leaked?


Below are screen captures from a video of what appears to be the first (unofficial) look at the 2012 Toyota Tacoma. It shows various angles of the truck, which sports a new front end. You can watch the video here.

It's important to note that we have no confirmation from Toyota that this is the real thing. A refreshed 2012 Tacoma is expected to go on sale in October.







[H/T to Bob for the tip]



Where are the goods? This is just a very minor refresh of the grille and is still a gen 2 as far as I'm concerned.

Yawn. boring. Toyota vehicles keep looking crappier and crappier as time goes on. Same old outdated, noisy, drinking gas like a fullsize, same price as a fullsize, not nearly as capable as a fullsize toy truck. Thanks but no thanks. Looks almost as bad as the Turd-ra. I'll stick to my F150.

Wow, doesn't look much different from the current Taco except for the kind of odd pieced together grille/bumper/headlights. I would really like to see pictures of the 2014 Silverado/Sierra, but I'll be we won't see anything for at least another year on those.

C'mon now...

The Dakota looks like a gurl truck, the Colorado and its headlights on the bottom and the Ranger is the same for God only knows...

At least the Tacoma has some mean in its look!

More mean - less buggy. I really like the 4Runners. No one thinks its another generation, clearly just a fresh look to keep people interested but I like it. Not sure I would wait for it if I wanted one now though. Updated engines would be great. 2nd on the 4.6 V8 but the new 4.0 would be fine. Still the best mid-size pickup, you can't dispute that.

Still just as ugly and why shell out the cash for a midsize when you can get a full-size and get more value for the money.

Another thing , how does Toyota justify selling two trucks the Tacoma (sucks) and the Hilux (vastly superior in nearly every way) that are the pretty much the same size ? it seems like bad economics on Toyota's part .


"you can get a full-size and get more value for the money."

Not when your off-roading!


You can thank society here in the U.S. that demand stupid things like automatic tansmissions, cushy rides, power everything, safety useless features galore...

I prefer a manual tranny, roll-down windows, stiffer ride with better rebound, aside from brake upgrades and airbags the rest of the safety stuff like traction aiding is for moron drivers that have no clue how to drive properly!

The continuing bland offerings, that do not spark any excitement, from the Toyota camp.

The Ford F-150 S.V.T. Raptor and Ram 2500 Power Wagon are true off-roading masterpieces! Two full-size pickups that will eat the Tacoma's lunch...and breakfast and dinner, too.

@Oxi and @Taylor you get all that with the Hilux. I think the 25% Chicken tax has a lot do why you are getting , what looks like a previous generation Toyota Pickup the Tacoma ,built in the US, while everyone else has the considerably more capable Hilux.
The dominance of the Hilux is considerable globally, with about 40-50 countries having it in their top ten vehicles sold, it is the top selling vehicle in roughly 29 countries.
As a result Nissan and Mitsubishi , who are two and three globally, are working on a joint project to dethrone Toyota.
A Blog on Global Vehicle sales by country.

Snuze.....wake me up when they release something truly worth reading about.

You can get a base model FULL-SIZE truck that is better equipped for the same price as a base model Tacoma. If you don't like power windows for the same price as roll up, that's just stupid.

If you want to add some options, the Tacomas are usually so over priced though that you can get into a bigger nicer F-150 for the same price.

I prefer the full-size F-150 for off-roading because full-size trucks have more power and better stability to get through the hard stuff.

The small Tacoma is narrower which is good for some
narrow trails, but the much lighter and flimsy construction, lack of weight to give it some stability to keep the wheels down, and lack of power will cause the Tacoma get stuck in the hard stuff.

People are much happier being in a bigger safer vehicle and its much more roomy and there are many more options on the ford.

And if you are worried about MPG, don't get the Taco. they get the same mileage as the F-150 does.

It's kinda funny, but come to think of it, the Taco suffers from some of the same problems as the F-150 did.

too heavy
not enough HP (solved for F-150 in 2011)
shaped like a brick

I think the Tacomas are solid trucks, but do not know how you can buy into a mid size when a full size f150 is the same price or cheaper, better off-road, roomier inside, same fuel economy or better, and better capability. I think you really have to be a fan of Toyota or the Tacoma to make that choice.

We'll see what happens with the rumored Tacoma Baja edition, but I tend agree with Buy American it won't be easy keeping up with the Raptor or Power Wagon.

@ Oxi and @ Taylor, this fellow has got some of the differences of the Hilux and Tacoma right, although the Hilux is not used on a farm like a US Pickup.

This time, the borrowed styling from the 4Runner, really didn't work. That black photochop that has been floating around was much better.
"How do you feel about that, Mr Horse?
...No sir, I don't like it."

@Bob- they sure could. The A760 behind the 1UR is a derivative of the A750 behind the 1GR V6. Just has an extra overdrive. They could ad the 6speed, ad 4.10s to the TRD O/R and Tow Package, and still gain final drive improvements. As for a diesel... Toyota has a 2.5 and 3L 16V CR- should meet emissions with SCR, but unless GM (since they're opening the door by promising a diesel Cruze) does it first, I doubt we'll see it.
@Oxi- you'll have to work harder to discredit the Frontier as a compeditor to the your beloved Taco. I wouldn't turn down a 2TR-FSE with a 6spd man.
@Lou- right about covering it up. Unfortunately, the Lights and Bumper no longer form a straight line, so this gets much harder. Big thums down for that.
@Robert Ryan- to be specific, the Hilux is on a modifyed version of the older frame, while the Tacoma derives its frame from the LC120. Aside from bigger springs, a stronger T-case and manual front hubs (depending on market) the Hilux isn't that much better.
@Tom- hard stuff is much easier when you can pick your way through it. Full size trucks on a trail(I wheeled one for years) are best suited as winch anchors. I've NEVER seen a tacoma get stuck because of lack of power or weight (are you f'n kidding me here???)
Lots of people are much much happier with vehicles that actually fit in a garage, parking spot or (gasp) a car wash.

it's funny how everyone seems to be experts on a trucks looks.

i think we as consumers have more issues than the manufactures do.

i cannot believe the amount of BS and Hate. i'm simply blown away reading these 2 pages.

This years design is simply a refresh, its called a "Minor". the interior changes are much greater than the exterior changes as an FYI.

Its funny to me how some people bark about cheap, lightweight junk, ect. ect.

The Tacoma costs Toyota a very significant amount to build, thats why the cost. The Tacoma REMAINS king of the hill with ABSOLUTELY ZERO financial incentives to buy one, also causing it to hold its value better than EVERY pickup truck made PERIOD. Lets clear up just a couple things..
1. Its built here, its not an import, only about 10% come down the line at the Baja California plant. the trucks beds do come from the Baja plant thats Baja's biggest job.
2. a double cab weighs about 4700lbs. what the hell is light about that?
3. it tows 6500lbs!! with a V6 in it, thats more than some of the half ton configurations that Ford, Ram, and GM put out.
4. it has heat exchangers on the oil and trans when equipped with the tow package, your half,3/4, and 1 tons you fellas drive DONT unless its a Tundra.
5. it has a 4 piston fixed position caliper up front, your truck DOESNT.
6. the bed while it will never rust is made from a material so strong that its used as frame structure for the $400,000 Lexus LFA

I could keep goin but i have to go to work now. you haters and bashers a ridiculous, you have NO IDEA about this truck, if you did you wouldnt run your pie holes about it.

What? Let me guess Mike, you are pulling our leg right? Is this a 1984 or 1985?

It's a typical refresh, with small changes to the grill and headlights. Let's face it, with no competition left they could have done nothing and still sold more. Give them credit for making some changes.

@hemi lol- the heaviest Taco is 4200lbs. A DC 4x4 can be as light as 4130lb. The Nissan is that heavy though...

Sheesh lots of hate rolling around here the last few days. It isn't bad looking. It just moved from a bug look to a bulldog look. At least you can't say its bland.

Supposedly the real enhancements have been to the interior where it was badly needed. I wish we had a spy photo of that.

I am with some of you and disappointed it has taken this long and still no power train upgrades (yes I know they are coming about 6 months later). I think along with different power trains they need to update the frame/chassis. They need to lighten it up with higher strength steel and perhaps decrease the overall size about 5% to make it more of a mid size vehicle (has gotten very bloated over its many generations)

Hopefully these things are coming in time to meet the new GM Colorado/Canyon replacements and the up coming Frontier replacement. Toyota has about 2 years to make this happen.

future progression:

tundra to move into 3/4-1ton class
tacoma to move into 1/2ton class
scion to fill in the compact class

yeah, that's it


"If you want to add some options, the Tacomas are usually so over priced though that you can get into a bigger nicer F-150 for the same price."

The size turns me away of an F-150 as well as too many on the roads! Try and parallel park one buddy or in a tight parking area in a big city and come alk to me!

"I prefer the full-size F-150 for off-roading because full-size trucks have more power and better stability to get through the hard stuff."

Really? You must not go REAL off-roading much? Full-size pickups weigh more, which means they sink more! They do not have sufficient ground clearance to match their weight for serious off-roading!

Weight is an enemy off-road, that is why you do not see many full-size off-road anymore, at least here in the Midwest because to have fun off-road you will need about 38 inch tires or greater to make it through the ruff stuff in my state!

I went to an off-road event last year and the full-size pickups were all doing what they do best and that was pulling the off-road hybrid machines to the trail. They all sat at the campground, only a few full-size made it out into the trails and they wee stripped of body panels and were illegal to drive in the street!

You really want to risk that much damage to your precious full-size off-roading?

"The small Tacoma is narrower which is good for some
narrow trails, but the much lighter and flimsy construction, lack of weight to give it some stability to keep the wheels down, and lack of power will cause the Tacoma get stuck in the hard stuff."

You have NO idea what your talking about? Your a spammer! Smaller vehicles are wayy better than any full-size off-road!

"People are much happier being in a bigger safer vehicle and its much more roomy and there are many more options on the ford."

Yeah, they are called senior citizens!

The Tacoma is a better off-roader than an F-150, better ground clearance/weight ratio, less weight, not overly big and heavy, and better approach/departure/break-over angles!

No mention of those angles PROVES your not an off-roader!

@Buy American,

I gotta side with oxi here. I don't know where you guys off-road, but a Taco is unstoppable. the PowerWagon sinks like a turd in a fishbowl. We have 3 Tacos. I tried hard to get one of them stuck in the Mississippi River Bottoms around here, to no avail. It is impossible. I went places I wouldn't dream of in a full size truck, or even a 4wheeler for that matter. No lift on ours. Just a winch and a set of Buckshot radials. Incredible machine, the Taco.

@ oxi, really ground clearance/weight ratio? That's a new one! Lol. Keep drinking that Kool aid.

@Buy American Or Say Bye To America!,

Their you go again:

"The Ford F-150 S.V.T. Raptor and Ram 2500 Power Wagon are true off-roading masterpieces! Two full-size pickups that will eat the Tacoma's lunch...and breakfast and dinner, too."

Where I applaud pickups like the Raptor or Powerwagon, where's GM's? do not think they are God's gift to pickups!

A true masterpiece is when you build one yourself! I am barely into my mods for my Tacoma and I am still over $15,000 below the stock price of a Raptor and my Tacoma is getting more capable and will be well over $10,000 below the cost of one of those stock, yet I wil be more capable all-around!

Where I off-road around here, plenty of places a Raptor or PW can get stuck in the thick mud/water where my Tacoma will make it thru!

i'd have to agree with oxi too.

as is stock, the ram pw may edge out the taco on hard ground surfaces do to having a front locker which the taco doesn't have, but the ram pw will trail the taco in the softer stuff. take a look at a taco's tire size vs the trucks size n weight n then look at the ram's tire size vs it's size n weight.

any offroad entusiast knows that to keep moving, you need to stay on top of the stuff n keep treading.

@ mrknowitall

caught me wakin up huh. i made a mistake there, i believe i had the 4runner in my head at the time because i was thinking of the changes i would post on the interior that are like the new 4-runner. they weigh right at 4700 add a 100 to the limited model round about.

the taco is right about 4100, 4200 with the long bed i believe its actually like 4190lbs. i'd have to look it up.

STILL thats not a light truck, the SMC bed does help with the weight factor as its lighter than the steel it replaced.

@ uh huh

i think you will see the opposite on the Tacoma for the full redesign................. maybe a little more like a small truck again............ my opinion of course.

it looks like someone put a potato up the tail pipe, and when the truck started, the bumper, grill, and headlights puffed up before the potato blew out!!

Tacoma tries to get through the hard stuff but due to the lack of power, weight and traction it cannot.

Due to the lightweight construction and weakness it cannot keep the wheels down and push through, instead it twists and struggles and brakes its axle shaft. A full-size offroad F150 or PowerWagon with more stability and power would have went right up the hill, no problem. Finally a Jeep has to tow the Tacoma out.

Now onto the fast stuff, I want to see a Tacoma TRD beat a Ecoboost F150 in the baja:

Lets be honest. I love the Tacoma but it is not built for the trails. Its built for fields, gravel roads and pavement.

Problem with the Tacoma is the weight to power to strength ratio.

1) Weight: The Tacoma is just too heavy for its size and power but not heavy enough for stability
2) Power: 150 hp is too low for its weight
3) Strength: The parts just don't hold up if you want to push it, ie hard trails or 80 mph in the dunes. The stability and strength is not there.

When you buy a truck for off-roading in the hard stuff you always want to look at the weight to power to strength ratio. The current Tacoma just doesn't do it. The next gen Tacoma is not supposed to arrive to 2015 or 2016.

2.7-liter DOHC 16-Valve 4-cylinder with VVT-i
159 hp @ 5200 rpm
180 lb.-ft. @ 3800 rpm
5 speed manual

159 hp?

Looking at the V6, its got significantly more hp, but it's a 4 speed.

Where is the 6 speed, Toyota?

Construction: I was disapointed when I saw that the frames are just open C channels.

I'd like to see how the Tacoma performs on Silver Creek.

By the way, Oxi, please spare me about what the military uses. Some c-channels are good but the Tacomas have too much flex in their fames. The c-channel frame on the Tacoma are hardly about performance and reliability with any manufacturer these days. The Tacoma frames are built to please Soccer Moms and Dads... that's about it.

UncleBud & oxi (and other anti-full size pickup people)-

Watch this video of a 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Power Wagon. Try to convince the world that this is not off-road capability.

ford850 is right, this is what happens when you have diminished competition. Don't blame Toyota because it's one of the only remaining players in the small(er) truck market. With the only real remaining cometition being the Frontier, why should Toyota make a major capital investment in the Taco? If GM brings the new Colorado to the US, then you'll see more powerful and efficient powertrain combinations in the Tacoma.

Can't believe I wasted my time reading this article. Same truck. More goofier looks. This is a "new" truck. Yah right. Yawn. what a fugly POS.

Instead of blaming (lack of) competion, blame buyers because buyers don't want mid size trucks anymore. The market has changed. Most buyers who bought small trucks bought them because they were the most inexpensive vehicles to buy. Now they have a lot more choices. Do you blame the competition because a buyer can get a nicer full-size F-150 for less money than the Tacoma? I guess you can blame the competition for providing more truck for the money.

RIGHT ON!!!Buy American or say:(I just can't get myself too;() say it ) Long Live The Full Size Pick-Up Truck!! to _ell with all tree huggers!! Drill Baby Drill!!!!! Don't get me wrong, I like trees, I don't even burn them, Propane?

@Mr Knowitall, as a result it sells everyhere with the diesel. It 's on road performance is the same as the Tacoma, but its payload and towing(with diesel) is vastly better i.e 1350lb versus 2500lb minimum. No it does not have the best towing or payload of Asian sourced Pickups, but its other attributes make it a sales winner .
Benchmark ride quality comparison a Ford F250 rides "too hard" here, although there are ways to soften it up i.e airbags.
@Buy American the Power Wagon does not look that capable off road, small tracks would defeat it, but it is more capable than other sized US Pickups off road.

It's not the competition that's the problem. Toyota is trying to protect their Tundra sales.

These trucks are not getting any drive train changes. Information about the upcoming trucks has been on the forums for a few weeks now (just without any pics). You can expect the same engines from the current model. Toyota has other engines they can drop in, but Toyota is trying to protect their Tundra sales by restricting this new design to a grille/headlight change and the old engines. Don't blame the compeition. Blame Toyota for protecting the Tundra which is falling in sales and would fall to dangerously low levels if the Tacoma was updately properly.

@ Jason

1. "too heavy for its engine but too light for stability"
do you always contradict yourself??? its stable enough that if you ever went to an offroad park you'd count Tacoma's in dozens. Too heavy is funny, its 159 HP and 180lb. ft. for a 4 banger. it will tow 3500lbs by the NEW SAE towing standards, thats pretty brawny for a 4 cyl. if you ask me. Matter of fact show me a customer who thinks its underpowered........

3. oh you say strength eh. you mean like ford's bent frames........ or that Dana rear diff? if you look at the Toyota rear axle you will see that its built MUCH stronger than needed. Also, you should consider the brakes are built heavier than most half ton trucks.....

Jason you say this truck doesnt do it???? which one do you think does? by what you say there's nothing out there that will.

@ Jay

i suppose your a structual engineer with that info. I'd be willing to bet you have ZERO idea as to why they build it this way. clue #1 watch the raptor video where they bent 10-14 trucks frames, this will be your first lesson as to why you dont build a box frame.

Having a boxed frame had nothing to do with it that Raptor run. I'd like to see the Tacoma TRD to try to do the same thing. The TRD wouldn't even be driveable. At least the Raptors were able to be driven home afterwards.

personally i think there needs to be a half ton shootout with the tacoma in it.

lighter tacoma vs heavier f150

in the half-ton shootout the heavier f-150 performed the best on the extreme uphill traction test. the lighter trucks performed the worst and just could not get traction.

"Still better than the competition, oh wait what competition?"

Not so fast, oxi. I don’t mind the new front end change, however I couldn’t agree more with some of the other comments regarding price and fuel economy. Full size trucks are a better value and are starting to get better fuel economy than this truck. Look at Ford’s new 3.7 liter and the 3.5 liter V6′s more hp, torque and similar fuel economy out of a much heavier truck.

These cosmetic changes do nothing for me.

Oh, and I thought they would at least use the updated V6 from the 4Runner, FJ Cruiser and Tundra in the 2012 Tacoma along with a 6sp auto. The 2.7L I4 in the Tacoma is in dire need of updates or being replaced, for 2011 it’s still mated to a 4 speed auto.

Wasn't it oxi the one to say Toyota (Lexus actually) the company was first to market with an 8 speed? Spread some of the technology around you big dopes. Oh, wait, that's right you don't want to spread it around because you want to save face and protect the dying Tundra sales.

@ Tim

i bet you otherwise, matter of fact you may just have a truck sooner than you think to prove to you that it would take it. The raptor is mostly shocks, other than that its just a couple software changes ect. there's nothing that special there to me.

To oxi,

I respect your opinion that the Tacoma has no competition. However, in my opinion, given how dated this Tacoma is now, I can't see buying it over a full-size. Unless tight parking or urban driving requires the smaller size, a full size truck is more capable on and off-road and is more up-to-date. Tacoma also has to face competition from new SUV's and CUV's offerings that were not on the road in 2005 when the 2nd gen Tacoma debuted. The price and fuel mileage in the Taco isn't really any better than current full size trucks. Let's hope there are interior and mechanical improvements, because what I see so far is not cutting the mustard.

Tacoma has competition, even more so than years ago. Even though the Ranger is going away in December, look at the big picture.

Today, a lot of customers who buy Tacomas are the people who use it as a commuter vehicle. But with all of new cars, SUV's, CUV's and full-size trucks coming into the market today, those kinds of customers have other alternatives to the Tacoma. Tacomas are lot more expensive than they used to be. The vast majority of Tacoma buyers are not using the it as a truck in full capacity. Therefore they have to decide it they are going to buy an expensive midsize Tacoma that they won't use in full capacity or very affordable and fuel efficient cars like a Fiesta or Focus or a CUV like a Sabaru Baja Ford Edge or one of the new SUV offerings like the new Explorer or a full-efficent F-150. And with gas prices so high these days, the rest of Toyota's brand loyal base will also look at small cars or SUV's from Toyota.

Toyota is taking a big chance by waiting until 2016 to make a new Tacoma. They have made some good decisions but waiting to 2016 for the remodel is not one of them. At that time they will face stiff competition from an all new GM and Ford small pickup. Would an all new Tacoma sell now? Yes but it would eat into Tundra sales too which Toyota does not want. In conclusion, Tacoma has plenty of competition, including competition from within itself Toyota.

My good Lord... That is hideous. Wouldn't touch that with a 20 foot pole.

I'm betting GM will be bringing that next gen Colorado, which is a much nicer looking truck.. by far.

Most of the trucks in the local 4x4 club are small Toyota's. Not a single one with a Tacoma badge on them. All pre - 1995. They are light weight and tough (the older ones anyway).
You do need some big tires on a full sized p/u to get the same kind of floatation that you can get with a lighter truck.
I'd put a small block Chevy into one if I was really serious about offroading with a compact truck. I have seen old compact Toyota 4 bangers not have the power to turn a set of 35's when in deep gumbo mud.
I'd rather get a side by side like an RZR.
The best off road truck I ever seen was owned by a friend's brother in law. He was the head mechanic at an offroad shop. He had an F250 with Dana 70'S and a 460. Everything was built to handle the 44's he had on his truck.
Literally unstoppable.

@UncleBud & oxi (and other anti-full size pickup people)-


The comments to this entry are closed.