2020 Toyota Tacoma: 'Mild Refresh' Overstates the Changes

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  • Competes with: Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, Honda Ridgeline, GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier

  • Looks like: Quite similar to current generation

  • Powertrains: 2.7-liter inline four-cylinder (159 horsepower, 180 pounds-feet of torque) or 3.5-liter V-6 (278 hp, 265 pounds-feet of torque) both mated to a six-speed automatic transmission (six-speed manual is optional); rear- and four-wheel drive

  • Hits dealerships: Late summer

It's no secret that the mid-size pickup truck class is getting a much-need infusion of new blood with the arrival of the all-new 2019 Ford Ranger and coming 2020 Jeep Gladiator. But from the looks of the 2020 Tacoma that Toyota is revealing at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, the automaker isn't too worried. The Tacoma has been the top-selling mid-size truck for 14 straight years and unless something drastic happens — the Ranger and Gladiator don't qualify as drastic — that streak is likely to stay intact. With that said, it looks like Toyota was willing to spend a little money on the class leader and give it a quick refresh for 2020.

Related: More 2019 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

This third-generation Tacoma will continue to offer the same six trim levels — SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro and Limited — and most will get a refreshed grille and headlight design, new front power adjustable seats, new large-screen multimedia capability with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and new LED bed lighting.

The 2020 Tacoma will continue to be offered with two engine choices: the standard 2.7-liter inline-four-cylinder and optional 3.5-liter V-6 both mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Tacoma will also offer two cab configurations — Access and double — and bed lengths of 6 feet for Access Cabs and 5 feet for double cabs.

Here are the highlights by trim level.

SR: New grille design, intermittent wiper feature, new taillight design, a larger 7-inch touchscreen with Amazon Alexa and SiriusXM capability

SR5: A new grille design with restyled taillights, a new Dark Satin wheel color and available LED bedlamp and daytime running light headlight

TRD Sport: A unique grille design and new 17-inch wheels along with keyless entry, chrome taillight inserts, LED foglights and an available new 360-degree monitor

TRD Off-Road: A new grille is paired with changes to the headlights and taillight, an optional new under-the-vehicle-view camera for serious trails; Bilstein shocks, a locking rear differential, Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select carry over as standard features

TRD Pro: New headlight design, new Army Green color, 10-way adjustable power seats and an 8-inch touchscreen offer panoramic and undercarriage views, new (lighter) wheels with carryover Fox shocks and Goodyear Wrangler tires

Limited: Top-of-the-line Tacoma gets a new grille, 18-inch alloy wheels, standard LED daytime running lights and LED headlamps with chrome taillight inserts, keyless entry, panoramic monitor and 8-inch touchscreen

Manufacturer images

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Comments

Drat! Maybe if we're good we'll get rear disc brakes NEXT time.

Wow, a new grill design AND new tail lights! Woo-hoo!!

As long as Toyota is selling these Tacoma's at the rate they have been, they don't need to change much. But as word gets around about its poor performance and terrible transmissions it won't be long before Toyata will have to up their game, put in a Diesel and get an interior a grown man can fit in comfortably with some electric seats and better layout.

Im happy there is no rear disc brakes. The drums are very durable and stay clean. But I really really really wished the 4.0 would have made a comeback. The 4.0 still is in production in the 4runner so why wont they drop it in the Tacoma??
That really pisses me off


Still sticking with prehistoric rear brakes. That's disappointing.

Toyota is very much just milking this cow. And honestly its a strategy that's been working for years. Outside of reliability and durability this has not been the best pretend truck available for years now yet still retains the top spot through those 2 factors and its reputation. Competitors have been offering more innovative, more feature laden, more powerful, more capable, nicer little trucks for years now. The Ranger will just be another one of these competitors. Don't look for the Taco to lose it top spot at least not for a good while.

It would be nice to see Toyota respond to the competition with some fresh engineering and more modern features outside of interior and front clip updates.

Wow the censorship on here is getting out of hand by the leftist media!

Here come the Toyota h aters with the same libera lish talking points about rear drum brakes, so-called engine issues and feminis t focused looks. Sounds like the r ussia r ussia r ussia nonsense!

I happen to own two Tacoma's right now, a 2010 SR5 4x4 access cab with 33's rolling underneath with lots of off-road goodies and the almost as stout as the 22R, 2.7 liter with 5-speed manual.

I also own a 2016 SR 4x4 access cab rolling on 32's (no mods) and the same stout 2.7 liter with 6-speed auto.

Both trucks have been solid in reputation, power and reliability. These new updates (most I could care less) just prove Toyota is sticking to its roots of off-road capable trucks and t rolling the competition that Toyota sold over 245,000 Tacoma's last year and have the factories to back them up for capacity.

Toyota may be slower to upgrade their trucks with libera l amenities, but that does not make a truck any more tougher. It makes them more feminis m and less brute m asculine. Think about it. I am glad Toyota is stubborn with these things because you get a solid and well built truck that will give you many years of worry free use!

That is more important than the size of the touchscreen, leather, libera l Apple nonsense, and you know the rest. Trucks should be trucks and not cars!

So, just give it 4-wheel disc brakes (1980s technology) and some extra inches of interior space so that drivers over 5-10 can sit in comfort---and we'll be set for another 10 years of no changes.

@ oxi

A stout 2.7L engine??? You have to be kidding me. It's probably a very durable motor but with less HP then my wife's 2.4L terrain, your engine is not strong!

I would hate to see what u would do with a GM V8, a Hemi V8 a Ford EcoBoost. With all that stout power (almost 2 1/2 times more power) you probably lose control and drive into a ditch.

Or maybe just a V6 colorado would suffice u??

Same old 6-speed, same old motors, but they have new grille's and Japanese Army Green

@ oxi

LMFAO! Your Taco is masculine and stout with its 2.7. I guess it's perfect for the railroad tracks you have to cross

Yawn, looks like Toyota has completely given up on innovation, creativity, and R&D for it's truck line.

Sad

ditch the garbage 3.5 for a real engine and I'll trade in my 2015 Tacoma.....

I wonder how many of the tacoma buyers actually even test drive a colorado, ridgeline, frontier, or now ranger?

I wonder how many of the tacoma buyers actually even test drive a colorado, ridgeline, frontier, or now ranger?


I wonder how many of the tacoma buyers actually even test drive a colorado, ridgeline, frontier, or now ranger?

@ beebe

If they did they wouldn't go back to the Tacoma.

Drum brakes get the job done. No change needed. Keep the drums.

How Kool is this!!!! i wanna buy a new Tacoma and look like a Transformers hemorrhoid driving down the road.....hooray!

@ TNTGMC,

Shows you lack knowledge about engines!

the 2.7 liter is a TRUCK engine, not a car engine. It is cast iron block and takes 6.1 quarts of oil and has a thermal efficiency rating better than most vehicles on the road today!

I suggest you learn about the engine before you make a liberal response!

If that is all you care about the size of the engine or power output, than you lack true credentials to even own a truck. This Tacoma gets the job done, and your full-size that has a huge weight and size penalty will not make it through a ditch.

But what would you know about trucks but engine size and power numbers. My Tacoma fits in the garage with ease, drives and parks with ease and hauls my tractor mower in the bed with tailgate shut and my large water tank. It gets it done with a 4-cylinder.

Hate to burst your bubble, but 4-cylinder trucks do work also and have lower cost of ownership than your big boats on the roads!

@ Sean,

Stop being a liberal, this 2.7 liter is one tough engine that is more thermal efficient than most, if not all truck engines out there. Get a clue and read into this very reliable engine.

Also read into cost of ownership and find out how great the 4-cylinder Tacoma is over time.

I'm with Oxi on this point. The 2.7 4 cylinder is an optimum size for a compact/midsize truck engine from the standpoint of pure efficiency and long engine life. I won't repeat the points he made but the iron block, displacement and overall design are a good match for the trucks in the S10, Ranger and Tacoma size range.

Having owned 3 compact trucks, the two Ford four cylinders I owned were different designs that both displaced 2.3 liters and very rarely did I feel like they were terribly short on power/torque compared to the S10 V6 I had, and that was almost double the displacement.

The S10 was a better street racer and it was very durable. The 2 rangers were fine power/performance wise.

GM did a lot of research & testing before building their 2.7 truck engine and came to a similar conclusion about that particular displacement.

@Oxi
Trucks Should Be Trucks Not Cars
I am going to use what Honda said in it's brochure for 1st Generation Ridgeline Why Treat Your Passengers Like Cargo
So just because I want to haul something in the bed of the truck my ride or passengers ride comfort and convenience has to suffer because it's a pickup truck.

Just got back from vacation in Thailand and Laos. Saw some really nice new Ford Ranger Wildtracks and Raptors. But the number of Hilux (Tacoma cousin) on the road dwarfs the other pickups especially in Laos because the people there know the others can’t take the abuse of the roads conditions there.

They like the new Ranger that’s been out over there for a few years now but when it comes to spending their hard earned money they choose the Hilux because it is reliable and will save them money long term.

@oxi

Why do keep going to the liberal angle? You sound like a raving lunatic and give the rest of us Conservatives a bad name.

The 2.7 is more thermally efficient? Than what? Quantify your statement. Diesels are, by design, more thermally efficient than gasoline engines. Please quantify the “cost of ownership” as it is based upon a variable cost model.

The Ford 300 in-line 6 is a serious HD truck engine, as is the GM 366 Mark IV-VI big block. Run your 2.7 at max output, for HOURS, at max GCWR, then call me. You have a light weight truck with relatively small tires. The 2.7 and tons of gearing is the Toyota key. when it comes to 6% interstate grades at highway speeds, your 2.7 will leave you wanting more. It really is about output vs BSFC, thermal efficiency vs volumetric efficiency. You cannot escape the laws of thermodynamics because you own a Toyota, hate liberals, and espouse a complete misunderstanding of STEM fundamentals.

But really folks like you are the worst kind of fan, a sycophant. You attack anyone who doesn’t adore Toyota, suggesting they are of another political persuasion and don’t understand the foolishness of their decision to both boost your own ego and validate your decision. You’re a sad person and I feel bad for you. Just because someone doesn’t like Toyota doesn’t make them wrong, Liberal, or you a fool. It simply means that they had different criteria that was important to them. I’ll say this again, you bought the best trucks for your needs. Good for you! For some of us, a compact truck, or a Ridgeline, isn’t going to work. For some of us, even the Toyota 3.5 V6 isn’t enough. For some folks a Prius or Fit is what they need, not my cup of tea, but to each his or her own.

I beg you Oxi, before this comment section is shut down, lay off the Liberal attacks. First, you’re using their play book and it doesn’t endear you to anyone; secondly, you support the stereotype that Consevatives a irrational lunatics.

Regarding the 3.5 Atikins cycle, I believe they get a fuel economy credit for the engine. Taco sales vs 4Runner is a big reason why. Toyota doesn’t want to pay a CAFE fine. BMW and other companies largely don’t care.

The TACO desperately needs more torque and power. The gearing is steep, but that doesn’t make up the difference. The fuel economy isn’t superior either.

We shopped a ‘17 before getting another crew cab full-sized, with 3 car seats in the back, the Tacoma was just too cramped. I couldn’t get the driver’s seat back far enough without leaving the kids zero room. Putting the rear-facing seat in the middle, which is the preferred location, and it was unusable for me. Sorry folks, that’s the facts.
Sad part of adultivity. I don’t want to be the Dad with a truck that can’t fit the kiddos. I love my kids and enjoy taking the loud little creeps out to check the game cameras.

Regarding the 3.5 Atikins cycle, I believe they get a fuel economy credit for the engine. Taco sales vs 4Runner is a big reason why. Toyota doesn’t want to pay a CAFE fine. BMW and other companies largely don’t care.

The TACO desperately needs more torque and power. The gearing is steep, but that doesn’t make up the difference. The fuel economy isn’t superior either.

We shopped a ‘17 before getting another crew cab full-sized, with 3 car seats in the back, the Tacoma was just too cramped. I couldn’t get the driver’s seat back far enough without leaving the kids zero room. Putting the rear-facing seat in the middle, which is the preferred location, and it was unusable for me. Sorry folks, that’s the facts.
Sad part of adultivity. I don’t want to be the Dad with a truck that can’t fit the kiddos. I love my kids and enjoy taking the loud little creeps out to check the game cameras.

@ 2007 Ridgeline Owner,

Proving my point that you are a feminist truck owner that wants ride comfort more than truck toughness!

@ James,

You guys sound like liberals always demanding such radical changes, how can you call yourselves conservatives when all you demand is more liberal nonsense?

Diesels will not last as long as this Toyota 4-cylinder engine just like the reliable 22R's from before. And what happens to a diesel at -25 below? My truck starts up fine and runs solid in -25 below weather with wind chills above -50 below.

In fact the Tacoma still has a lower ownership cost than all HD diesel full-size trucks, o why are you knocking this reliable powerplant? Do you have size problems? What is wrong with a bullet proof 4-cylinder? In the off-road world, trust me that 4-cylinder is a gem. Remember the 70's and 80's much? Some of your better off-road trucks and Jeep's were 4-cylinder powered and they could go through more shyt than those heavy boats with such small engines. I know I had an 86 Toyota with the legendary 22R. I embarrassed full size trucks all of the time.

I have 4.10 gears with my manual and 4.30 gears with the automatic, those are solid low gears which translates it does well off-road, even with cargo!

Not everybody buys trucks to just pull trailers. I haul my tractor mower and water tank to my land and with other cargo. It suits me just fine. If I need to pass 3 or 4 vehicles on the country two lanes, the ECT button gives me the longer rpm band to pass all of them with ease.

Both of my 4-cylinder trucks start up everyday, give me no issues and run just fine. They will outlast any gas or diesel engine in any full-size truck, and yes I can run this reliable engine day and night with little issue. Do not underestimate this reliable Toyota powerplant.

The only reason Toyota keeps this powerplant is to sway customers to buying the V6. But some of us out there prefer this powerplant over the V6 because it gets the job done with no issues and low cost of ownership.


Stop pretending to be a conservative because a true conservative wants a great truck first and foremost and does not clamor over liberal apple play, liberal alexa and size of touchscreens. None of this makes the truck better, that is do its job, it just makes more distracted drivers and more of them connected to the 1984 nonsense of control.


Old school is being conservative and if you really think about it, most of these Toyota trucks remain true to their old school, and that is why you people hate them so much. Liberals demand change towards social ideals and control.

Tacoma: Best resale value in the entire auto world -- for five years running:

https://www.kbb.com/new-cars/best-resale-value-awards/best-resale-top-10-cars/

Oxi thinks his pretend little truck is for work. LOL. If he had any real truck work to be done he would have at least a full size 1/2 ton. Little trucks are for kids, old men, the delusional and fleets with light tasks. The 2.7 is really only great at holding up. Its hilarious to hear a guy claim a little truck is for real work. In the US the Ridgeline is a far superior option for most little truck "work". Globally little trucks are much different and aren't like the ones in NA. They have capacities at the 1 ton mark, are often diesel, ride like a radio fyler wagon and are generally preferred for their low costs and that roads in the 3rd world usually aren't large enough for full size. That's well and good in the jungle but in NA all too often real pickup truck work means towing more than 4 tons and or hauling more than one at 75MPH uphill on the highway. If you have real work to do "fitting" in the garage isn't your real concern for your truck. Only an out of work "liberal" would put that consideration before REAL work.

So did I read the article correctly??? No long bed option any more with a crew cab?...

"The Tacoma will also offer two cab configurations — Access and double — and bed lengths of 6 feet for Access Cabs and 5 feet for double cabs."

What about a 6 foot bed for the double???

@Oxi
The latest MT midsize comparison had the Tacoma coming in last.
It's the king off-road but put it in comparison and it doesn't do so well. Why would I want toughness just to carry some stuff in the bed of a pickup truck. I put a 35 & 50 Gallon wheeled city trash cans in the bed of the Ridgeline yesterday. They were carried 70 miles down the road to other house from DC. Also had 2 small dogs in kennel carriers inside truck on flat floor riding.

@ 2007 Ridgeline Owner,

Motor Trend = liberal media, sorry I do not listen to a bunch of desk jockeys telling us what is a truck and what is not.

Cushy seats and liberal media should not be part of the equation!

@ Clint,

You need to get out more!

I see plenty of Tacoma's doing work like mine. The world does not revolve on big boats called full size trucks. Some of us are not that fat to warrant a bigger cab nor need a full 8 foot bed or even 4 doors.

I use my truck as my daily driver and haul my tractor mower and water tank out to my land and do many other chores to support our home and land. That is called work!


By the way my 2010 SR5 has a 1 ton payload capacity due to my 200 lbs coils up front and 500 above stock 10-pack leafs in the rear. It's an expedition styled off-roader!


Trust me, I owned an 85 2wd with the 8 inch axle and 4-speed manual. The only difference between my 85 and the Toyota 1 ton was a simple helper or load spring. The rest of the truck was the same. Toyota 1 ton's were tough little trucks, 10,000 mile oil changes were in the owner's manual back in the 80's, so do not hand me this shyt that small trucks are not tough enough or can handle work! They did, and they can!

@Oxi

You crack me up.
Enjoy your 4cyl Truck.

I bought a full-size because I need the room, the payload, and the towing capacity.

As far as size...I don’t need to compensate, which is why I don’t attack people for the type of vehicle the drive or insult them because of it. To each their own. Yours maybe great for you, but you are letting your ego write checks your truck can’t cash. Let’s haul 2,000 lbs up and over the Eisenhower, shall we? You pick the speed. After all, you keep talking about that 1 ton capacity.

@Oxi

You crack me up.
Enjoy your 4cyl Truck.

I bought a full-size because I need the room, the payload, and the towing capacity.

As far as size...I don’t need to compensate, which is why I don’t attack people for the type of vehicle the drive or insult them because of it. To each their own. Yours maybe great for you, but you are letting your ego write checks your truck can’t cash. Let’s haul 2,000 lbs up and over the Eisenhower, shall we? You pick the speed. After all, you keep talking about that 1 ton capacity.

@ James,

You still do not get it do you? Sound more liberal every time you respond.

You full size guys are almost all the same, always bragging about a "real truck" where in fact by definition those 4-cylinder trucks are in fact trucks and in fact do work.

The vast majority of those "real trucks" on the road to do not carry or pull shyt on a daily basis. They are used to go back and forth to work and maybe hook up the trailer for the lawn mower or something because they are afraid to use the bed and so forth on weekends.

So they waste all of that engine capacity, size and weight simply to go back and forth to work, hmmm. I see that all of the time in the parking lot at work. Might as well call them "part-time real trucks" Sure one can argue when they need to pull that trailer or actually haul something in the bed, they have the engine capacity and size to handle the job, but one wonders during the week.

I do not have that amount of stuff or live beyond my means with toys. I buy what I need for both of my properties. And yes Tacoma's pull boats around here, haul atv's, full bed of wood and snowmobile trailers and the like. Besides supporting our home, I use my bed for my tractor mower and water tank and it suits that duty just fine. I also haul the dirt and mulch, but so can any car. I can haul much more with a 6 foot bed though.

I camp, we do not need to waste time on a trailer. I have an expedition styled truck, why bother with pulling a trailer around that limits mobility and range. I can almost camp anywhere because I can go almost anywhere with my 4x4.

If I had a large trailer or small business, I could get a Tundra if I needed it but why buy something so big when the smaller truck can get what I need complete?

My land in the country is out there a bit, back country roads that do not get attention as urban liberal cities. When heavy storms come through, flash flooding, debris from trees, etc... are all over the roads. In winter deep snow or ice coat the landscape and plows may take a day or two to get it all cleared up.

I do not rely or wait for the government to clear roads for me to travel on, I rely on my Tacoma's to get me where I need to go in any conditions. Weather does not stop me. I am a leader by profession, my job is to be there for my direct reports before they get it and after they leave and assist. I am typically the one that will help my older neighbors and check up on them during summer or winter storms because I have the better prepared vehicle for the conditions and loads of experiance driving off-road including Baja races down in Mexico.

Yeah, I choose a Tacoma because of its brute reliability and toughness and ease of mods to clear for larger tires (not wheels). And I always pick the 4 cylinders to meet those demands. I have had 22R's, 22RE's and now the 2.7 liter bulletproof engines. They get the job done in severe conditions and long run times, tough little engines. I value the motor starting and running efficient year round and through the tough winter and summer months. We just had -25 below and 60-70 below wind chills and she ran fine.

You "real truck" guys always revving your engines next to mine or thinking you are so special because you got that bigger engine. I just look the other way and carry on or embarrass them on taking corners at speed or know when to pass. I guess they get all worked up because I carry larger tires and better ground clearance or off-road angles than they have, so they have to compensate for that somehow.

Let's move forward from this. You can have your "real truck" and I can have my capable smaller 4-cylinder truck and we can mingle in the real world as adults and not children. Who knows, I may have to pull you out someday with my 4 cylinder truck, hehehe...

Note: I pulled out a stuck Dodge Ram with my 4 cylinder one winter storm. He was buried but still had power, just buried. I had the high ground and traction and got him out with ease. 4 cylinders, never underestimate them. They held the overall Pike's Peak hill climb record for over a decade (before they paved it), won the 24 hours of Daytona overall, you get the idea. They can be just as productive as any engine.


@Oxi

Never forget.

Most of the winning cars between 1947 and 1962 at the Indy 500 were powered by 4 cylinder Offenhauser engines. Some had the Meyer-Drake mods but were still Offys.

In the 1970s some Indy car teams ran turbo Offys that were estimated to have over 1000 horsepower in race trim. Think about that! More than 3 HP per cubic inch.

I am not a liberal nor am I a extreme right wing and I do not own a Toyota. Tacoma will keep its No. 1 midsize truck sales lead for the near future but there is no guarantee it will keep it over the long term. My issues with the Tacoma are that it is a cramped cab, it is out of date, and that Toyota charges a higher price for Tacoma than the competitors. As for conservatives only driving Toyota products I know a number of individuals who own Tacomas that are very liberal and would be insulted to be called conservative because they own a Tacoma. These individuals own a Tacoma because they have had good ownership experiences with Toyota products and they didn't even consider any other midsize truck but a Tacoma because it is a Toyota. I know personally some extremely conservative individuals that own Ford, GM, and Ram trucks. To politicize ownership by brand type is laughable and naive. Try to tell that to most Texans who own and drive more pickups nationwide than any other state and most of those trucks are Fords, Chevies, and Rams and those Texans are likely to shoot you. Many Texans are conservatives and are very proud to be Texans, conservatives, and truck owners.



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