2018 Toyota Tacoma Photo Gallery: Stalwart Mid-Sizer Offers Lots of Choices

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One of the most impressive aspects of the current-generation Toyota Tacoma is how many different variations it offers. Although Toyota decided to kill the regular-cab model several years ago for volume reasons, the Tacoma still offers two wheelbases, two engine choices, two bed lengths (dependent on wheelbase and cab), two cab sizes, three TRD packages (out of six total trim levels) and two drivetrains.

Related: 2019 Ford Ranger Photo Gallery: New Kid on the Mid-Size Block

While we were conducting our recent head-to-head test between the new 2019 Ford Ranger and the 2018 Toyota Tacoma (we could not get our hands on a 2019 model), we discovered some interesting differences between the two mid-size pickups. We broke our test into 10 categories for which two judges addressed the issues and differences. The judges also scored each category for each pickup (10 points maximum per category) so you could see how the two trucks compared.

In case you haven't seen the full comparison story, we suggest you take a look to see where the two did well and where there were significant differences. We can tell you there were a few surprises, some of which we share in our video.

For your viewing pleasure, we're posting this photo gallery of the Tacoma. We had a lot of fun testing these trucks over a few long days, and we hope you enjoy taking a closer look. We've also posted a photo gallery of the 2019 Ford Ranger we tested. More to come as we consider what else to put up against the Ranger in the new year.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

 

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Comments

I do love the composite bed.

No shot of the antiquated rear drum brakes?

The rest is very meh...

Toy is playing it safe with the class leading Taco which is also boring and stale. Durability/quality and reputation are its hallmarks in this field and will hold its position at least for a while. The more modern Colorado and Canyon offer a lot more in every other way... and so will the Ranger.

Orange is not a choice in 2019. Not on Tacoma.
It is 2019.

Stopping distance is competitive.
Durability is impressive.
What is your problem with drum brakes? Perhaps you have warped rotors.

Had one in the middle 90's. Overloaded the bed and bent the truck in half.

@D9 dozer

Maybe you "dozed-off" but there hasn't been a vehicle with drum brakes on an Indy car since the 1950s. NASCAR dropped drum brakes in the 1970s. My old Vega even had disc brakes.

Maybe someone at Toyota could tell us why, but I have to guess it's because they haven't given Tacoma customers a real upgrade in 10 years. Everything since then has been Toyota lipstick.

Sorry.

3.5L engine SUCKS! Do better and I'll trade in my 2nd gen.

Regardless of the above comments the Tacomas still is Number 1 in midsize truck sales. Don't see that changing anytime soon.

I agree with you Jeff s, Tacoma will still lead in mid-size sales. No real redesign since 2004, so-so competiveness with other mid-size offerings, and worse than average reliability according to consumer reports...it is kind of hard to understand why it still sells so well.

@texas1836

hard to understand why it sells so well? I don't know.

How do we explain VW's sales? VW hasn't made a decent vehicle of any kind in decades but somehow they stay in business.

VW and Toyota are both automotive giants but Toyota---for the most part---builds cars that last, and VW makes cars that don't.

It's a mystery.

*yawn* same old comments. We'll see if this big badass Ranger will change the midsize world like the Colorado was supposed to do..

@ Tacoma2011

You gotta admit that Toyota took the GM twins for granted and got caught with their pants down! The twins have a much better truck than the current Toyota. Even a blind man can see that, yet, that new tacoma still sells......and its not hat good.

Im not going by opiniond either. Im going by performance categories and it gets beat badly.

@texas1836

hard to understand why it sells so well? I don't know.

Posted by: papajim | Jan 10, 2019 5:03:31 PM

You're a GM bummer and a dolt to boot.

End of story.

Even a blind man can see that, yet, that new tacoma still sells......and its not hat good.

Im not going by opiniond either. Im going by performance categories and it gets beat badly.


Posted by: TNTGMC | Jan 10, 2019 5:19:06 PM

It's simple.

You're a GM bummer and a dolt to boot. You'll say the same about the Brand that clobbers GM snoballs

End of story.

@ Frank

How about u take your car for a drive. Then comeback and post something useful, instead of useless like you are.

I was having a civil conversation with Tacoma. Of course u ruin it. Your like that annoying guy at bars, parties, that just spoils the mood when you show up.

@ Clint,

Spare me! Who cares about being so modern with liberal packed electronics in a truck. Some of us want good and reliable transportation and get some work done, not a liberal minded vehicle that does more to distract a driver and cause over 40,000 deaths a year on roads!

Rear drums work, why change them?

It is people like you that are driving up the cost of a basic pickup, thanks a lot for being such a liberal. Go buy a car if you want modern liberal stuff!

@ TNTGMC,

The Colorado is not better or else sales would have blown up over the Tacoma! Stick to facts, not personal opinion!

245,000 people bought a Tacoma last year, not a Colorado, I suggest you figure out why more people trust a Tacoma over a Colorado!!!

@ oxi

I know why and I stated it bc its guys like you who are the loyalist of the loyal! Thats why. Reliability is horrible in new trucks, and the engine is extremely weak. The GM truck is way better. Heck the older model is way better than this newer one. Engine for sure was bullet proof and they messed that up with this new V6.

I suggest you figure out why more people trust a Tacoma over a Colorado...Posted by: oxi | Jan 10, 2019

@oxi

I appreciate that you enjoy your Tacomas. I responded to a very similar question a few minutes ago.

VW sells a guhzillion cars & trucks and most of their stuff is genuine garbage. I know people who've bought VWs all the way back to the first Beetle. Junk then, junk now.

There's really no question that the Tacoma is way overdue for a new generation. But, for some reason no differently than the people who keep buying Nissan Frontiers, there are a lot of people who keep buying Toyota Tacoma pickups. Go figure.

I ordered my Tacoma SR 4x4 back in October 2015 from Texas and was delivered to me by mid December that year.

I now have 39,000 miles and yet to have a single issue with my Tacoma. The 2.7 liter mated with the 6-speed auto has been stellar. Sure no massive power numbers but it gets the job done for me. ECT button lets me pass multiple vehicles on 2-lane roads if I need longer rpm band even loaded with 42 inch tractor mower in the bed.

Only mods were adding 265/75 BFG KO2's that fit perfect in stock suspension, K & N filter and solid fold bed topper and weathertech mud flaps.

She runs like a dream, much better than previous generation, a great improvement.

I also own my 2010 SR5 4x4 Tacoma that had only 7 miles on her when I picked it up. That 2.7 liter mated to the 5-speed manual trans has been perfect! NO ISSUES and I now have 62,000 miles on her. Not my primary daily driver.

Of course she is modded and I run 285/75 on 16x8 BFG KO2's with proper bumpers and skid plates and a snorkel for off-roading, etc... as an Expedition styled truck. Payload has been improved to 1 ton with rear 10-pack leafs and 200 lbs coils up front. She is built to carry my gear and off-road at the same time.

Both Tacoma's have been solid and I cannot wait until the next gen 4-cylinder engine comes out!


re papajim

Drum brakes are entirely appropriate to required performance of Toyota Tacoma. What is the correlation of Indycar to Tacoma brakes?

@ TNTGMC,

And how many miles have you logged on your Tacoma's?

I have always drove the 4-cylinder trucks with the exception of the X-Runner I had with the bullet proof 4.0 liter V6.

Drum brakes are entirely appropriate to required performance of Toyota Tacoma. What is the correlation of Indycar to Tacoma brakes?...Posted by: limited slip | Jan 10, 2019

@limited slip

What does Toyota use on the Tundra, the Sequoia, all the top dollar Lexus autos and SUVs?

I'll answer that for you. Four wheel disc.

When was the last time you could order a Mercedes or BMW with rear drums? What about Corvettes or Porsches?

Drum brakes are a cheapo thing that Toyota bean-counters chose for their entry level pickup truck. The lowly Nissan Frontier has had four wheel discs for more than 10 years. Sorry.

@ oxi

I have driven both the 4.0L and new 3.5L. And the 4.0 was much better engine. Alot smoother and has the reliabiltiy to back it. This new engine not so much. U have to rev the life out of it to get it anywhere.

The 4 cylinder is not my cup of tea for a truck. Have to much weight to pull with my boat. Plus the HP is way too low to satisfy someone who has always had a V8

I don't understand why so many people buy the tacoma just like I don't understand why so many buy the f150 either.

@uh huh
hint:
The Golden Arches...

What do Golden Arches have to do with Tacoma sales unless you mean both are Number 1.

it was the perfect answer to Uh Huh's question. Still is

One thing that worries me on the Tacoma is those 2018 sales numbers- Part of the Tacoma's appeal is its insane residual. That residual stems from a history of longevity, reliability and a constrained supply- time-on-lot was always extremely low, without discounts. this kept used vehicles desirable. What happens over the next few years when twice as many used Tacomas become available, as were in the past?
I never noticed before how odd that offset engine cover looks.

@papajim- racecars are disassembled and rebuilt after each race. Not something you want in a daily use trucklet. The Vega is a terrible example of everything.
@dapetic- there are versions of that engine that match the GM 3.6 for power. the trucks could use either an 8 speed or at least a little deeper gear. 4.10s for the regular trucks, 4.30 for the OR package ones.

One thing that worries me on the Tacoma is those 2018 sales numbers- Part of the Tacoma's appeal is its insane residual. That residual stems from a history of longevity, reliability and a constrained supply- time-on-lot was always extremely low, without discounts. this kept used vehicles desirable. What happens over the next few years when twice as many used Tacomas become available, as were in the past?
I never noticed before how odd that offset engine cover looks.

@papajim- racecars are disassembled and rebuilt after each race. Not something you want in a daily use trucklet. The Vega is a terrible example of everything.
@dapetic- there are versions of that engine that match the GM 3.6 for power. the trucks could use either an 8 speed or at least a little deeper gear. 4.10s for the regular trucks, 4.30 for the OR package ones.

Without a doubt the dumbest reply EVER to a comment about trucks.

I was referring to the many years that have passed since a race car with drum brakes appeared at places like Indy or Daytona on the major circuits. It's very relevant to a comment about disc brakes vs drums.

So, Knowitall, please explain how race car teardowns impact this discussion---not in your own feverish mind---but in real life.

These are well engineered trucks as far as drivetrains go. I was always intrigued by the Tacoma... until I sat in one. It's not a place where I'd like for my 6'2" self to spend any major amount of time.

2019 will be an interesting year for mid-size truck sales figures.

@redbloodedxy--Not just this year but the next few years. Agree about Tacoma but it is still Number 1 in midsize truck sales. There are a lot of Toyota loyalist that will not even look at another brand. Tacoma's retain there value better than almost any other vehicle.

2019 will be an interesting year for mid-size truck sales figures.
Posted by: redbloodedxy | Jan 11, 2019

We will surely find out how much pain-in-the-wallet buyers are willing to take. GM, Toyota and Nissan will compete very effectively for the price range between 25k and 35k

Ford Ranger will be a no-show in the price range under $38k.

Because of this, Ford dealers will hustle to sell buyers an entry-priced F150 work truck because Ford will be making very few entry priced Rangers.

@Jeff s

Your comment is spot-on.

@papa

I agree--and wish Ford would offer that reg-cab version we saw images of last year. A bread and butter special for sure.

@redbloodedxy

If I'm selling Fords and you ask for a regular cab work truck Ranger, I'm going to ask if you want long bed or short.

With the answer to that question I'm giving you the keys to a new regular cab F150 XL for about $30k. If you insist on a turbo I'll show you a plain jane F150 XL 2.7 for a few dollars more.

They'll sell a lot of 'em that way. GM Toyota and RAM have no defense for it.

Neither GM, Toyota or RAM wants to sell any cheap 1500s between now and Christmas. Ford will be king in the full size price range under 30k because of it.

The Ranger will drive a lot of new customers onto the lot, but they might be going home in a half ton, especially after they see how much new truck they can buy in the half ton. As long as gas is cheap that strategy will sell a TON of product.

@papa

While I fully agree with that scenario, Ford sold a ton of regular cab Rangers back in the day and while gas is definitely cheap, it's size that I'm deferring to. The new full-size trucks are gargantuan--all about the size of the 1999 Super Duty.

I get it--the main reason why Ford profits IS the F-Series. I however, see a possible 2-tiered work truck strategy that could tandem with the Transit siblings.

@ oxi...

First time in my life ever called a liberal.

So considering the source, how WRONG you are and what appears to be your very primitive thought process/approach to technology, engineering, performance and features in trucks I'll just have to pretty much write you off.

If youre into drum brakes on modern light duty vehicle you must also still be into daily use of corded rotary phones, cap and ball firearms, feather quills for writing, flint and steel for fire starting, 8 track players, Beta, open sewers, steam locomotives and those new fangled flying machines. After all, all of them "work".

40K people are NOT killed every year in the US due to distracted driving. The toll is MUCH lower. Check the CDC below.

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/index.html

(about 3K).

Modern tech in vehicles and especially modern braking systems cut down on all vehicle deaths (not just distracted driving). And yes features do drive up the costs of a vehicle and mandating them can to a degree be political.

But again you are not required to buy a vehicle at all and you are free to continue on in the nearly featureless and much more dangerous horse and buggy your simple mind prefers.

As far as prices... Consumer demand above all else drives up prices. Your simpleness being a very small minority of the marketplace is largely being ignored and this upsets you. I can relate to being such a minority (but not your simpleness) as being a fan of the rapidly dying manual transmission. Luckily many nanny features like BSM, Lane Assist, ect are not yet federally mandated... and in my opinion shouldn't be. But I'm happy to have left the eras behind where ABS, Drum Brakes, Side impact, safety glass, seatbelts, ect were nowhere in sight.

I would advise that you work harder and make more money, get educated and cry less.

@oxi-Name calling will not get anyone to pay attention to what you have to say. Seems that society has gone to name calling and dividing others into groups such as liberal and conservative, Ford versus GM, Foreign versus Domestic, Pro Life versus Pro Choice, and etc. I respect the fact that you like Toyota and have had good experiences with your Tacomas and because of that you would not consider any other truck. That is your right and opinion. Name calling is not going to change anyone's opinions it just makes them dig in and become more adamant in their beliefs. I know a number of people who own Toyotas that profess that they are liberal and a number that own Toyotas that profess they are conservative. Owning a particular brand or even belonging or not belonging to a particular religion does not automatically qualify you as having certain beliefs and values. You cannot buy values and beliefs those are based on how you were raised and/or your own life experiences. As a species most humans want to have a better life and better life for our children and that is regardless of country, ra

race, or religion. I don't want to call anyone names or belittle their choices whether they be trucks or any thing else. Material things should not determine who you are.

the main reason why Ford profits IS the F-Series. I however, see a possible 2-tiered work truck strategy that could tandem with the Transit siblings...Posted by: redbloodedxy

I'm thinking that Ford's executive offices are all buzzing with talk about cutting expenses, eliminating duplication and taking the ax to old ideas. They don't want TWO of anything if ONE will do.

Here's a personal note: Back when i bought my last new Ford, in 2009 right around Thanksgiving, the dealer only had two Rangers on the lot that met my short list of basic features.

I bet he had 100 F150s that did. They were practically standing on their head to get me to test drive a F150.

I bought the Ranger anyway. Probably should have bought the 150. The Ranger I bought had a flakely trans and the dealer was one foot out the door. Within weeks they had sold the company. I say all that to express this: The Ford dealers have been bellyaching for a long time about the lack of a midsize and they want to sell 'em loaded with options, gadgets and features.

No stripped Rangers for a while. Just my opinion.

Material things should not determine who you are.
Posted by: Jeff s | Jan 11, 2019

@Jeff S

Would you like some syrup with those waffles?

The Tacoma is a decent truck, just can't get passed the driving position. You sit on the floor like in a car. Although the high floor is one reason they have such good ground clearance.

@Ron I haven't sat in a Tacoma for quite a while, but I remember that for me the driving position was horrible as well. The driving position needs to be comfortable for me to even consider a vehicle. Don't get me wrong, I think the Tacoma is generally a good truck, particularly off-road, and it does have excellent residual value. My next truck will likely be a one-ton crew cab diesel, probably a few years out...so I would never really consider a Tacoma anyway.

@Ron I haven't sat in a Tacoma for quite a while, but I remember that for me the driving position was horrible as well. The driving position needs to be comfortable for me to even consider a vehicle. Don't get me wrong, I think the Tacoma is generally a good truck, particularly off-road, and it does have excellent residual value. My next truck will likely be a one-ton crew cab diesel, probably a few years out...so I would never really consider a Tacoma anyway.

The Tacoma is a decent truck, just can't get passed the driving position. You sit on the floor like in a car... Posted by: Ron | Jan 11, 2019

@Ron

There's a lot to like about the Tacoma if you have a time machine that goes back to 2004 or so. As you noted it also helps to be about 5 foot 7.

This is a tactic that worked for Ford back in the 1990s and early 2000s and they squeezed their loyal customer base for millions of dollars in the process.

They ran certain really popular models straight into the ground---the old Crown Vic, the old Taurus, the Ranger, the old Expedition, the old Explorer, the old pre-2005 Mustang, and all the Lincoln-Mercury stuff. They killed two very well liked brands and nobody can explain why.

During the 1980s Ford looked like they could do no wrong. Twenty years later it was tragic.

@ Clint,

Spoken like a true liberal that you are!

Again, mindless drones like you people are the ones driving up the costs of trucks with useless and nonsense bullshyt!

And yes, over 40,000 people died on roads in 2017, the vast majority like over 75% were driver negligence! Too many distractions and poor drivers...


You realize I have two college degrees and 56 direct reports to me as well as being a Marine Veteran with 18 years experiance in leadership!

@papajim--Better syrup and Molasses. See you are your usual charming self. Not.

@papajim--I see a Ranger in your future.

@oxi, not sure why you think I'm a liberal but I am a 60-year-old man who doesn’t have any interest in anything or anyone. I’m bored with everybody I meet. I am bored with my job and bored with my life.

I grew up in an orphanage and am unable to show love because I never had any as a child. It is impossible for me to keep a relationship going. Either I lose interest or the other party does. I wish there were some way I could feel like I did 30 years ago, when I was full of ambition and looking forward to the future. Thought you should know that oxi.

@papajim
VW corporation sells many vehicles from it's 12 divisions that are not what you would call " VW's " it the Corporation was No1 in sales and profits Globally
Ford and GM supposedly rock solid manufacturers are going backwards rapidly globally, it looks like Ford will exit Europe.
VW is looking at making inroads into NA, using tie ups with Ford
Other manufacturers are running the ruler over GM



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