5 Fixes for the 2020 Toyota Tacoma

2020 Toyota Tacoma Covered In Sheet

The mid-size Toyota Tacoma has been the top-selling pickup truck in its class for about 15 years. During that time, the Tacoma has gone through one significant platform overhaul and several interior and exterior design "freshenings" to keep it updated.

Related: More 2019 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

During the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, Toyota revealed yet another freshened version of the Tacoma for the 2020 model year. Each trim level gets minor exterior design changes, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, and a bigger multimedia screen. Those are definitely necessary upgrades, but they may not enough to keep the all-new 2019 Ford Ranger and 2020 Jeep Gladiator at bay.

We believe the Tacoma has needed some upgrades for quite a while now, as do our colleagues at Cars.com, who offered a "recipe" for changes to the popular mid-size truck. We'll build on their list of what we'd like to see for the 2020 Toyota Tacoma.


1. Drum Brakes in 2020? Really?

2020 Toyota Tacoma Side View Exterior

How Toyota can continue to stick with the old-school drum brakes when everyone else has moved to more powerful and tunable disc brakes doesn't make sense to us. We understand that using drum brakes cuts the production costs of 250,000-plus pickups each year, but at some point the truck will need to enter the 21st century.


2. Tighten the Transmission

2020 Toyota Tacoma Gear Selector

The Tacoma's automatic transmission does not make good use of all the horsepower the engine delivers. When climbing a hill with payload in the bed, there can be a horribly wide dead spot in the rpm range that can bog the truck down and have you quickly slapping the gear shifter to manual mode to downshift in a hurry. It is critical to use the power button for the electronically controlled transmission to make the shifts quicker and hold the gears longer in just about every driving circumstance.


3. Offer More Special Editions

2020 Toyota Tacoma Grille

Toyota has had great success with its TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro trim levels. But you'd think a truck that's this popular — and one that typically lands at the top of best-retained-value lists — could stretch a little and offer some special-edition models. Toyota could keep the special editions within the TRD franchise. Think TRD Tow, TRD Snow or even TRD San Antonio (where the truck is built). This stuff almost writes itself.


4. Improve Crawl Control

2020 Toyota Tacoma Undercarriage

When the Tacoma's Crawl Control multiterrain management system debuted, the idea of using all the pre-existing anti-lock braking system and traction control sensors to improve traction while off-roading made perfect sense. It's only when you sit in the Tacoma and engage Crawl Control that it seems robotic and analog-like with all groaning and vibrating the chassis does. No doubt it's doing exactly what the computers have been programmed to do, but it pales in comparison to competitors' more refined systems.


5. Do Something Distinctive

2020 Toyota Tacoma Bed With Dropped Tailgate

Offer something no other mid-size pickup has, maybe something designed to help buyers do more of what they bought the truck for in the first place. Maybe unique access to the bed, self-deflating tires for better road/trail grip, a smart Tow/Haul mode that lets you know how much weight you're pulling. Just show us you want to give us more, so we can do more.

More From PickupTrucks.com

Cars.com photos by Christian Lantry


2020 Toyota Tacoma Multimedia Screen


@James---consider a 1 ton crew cab dually. You never know when you might need to tow 25,000 pounds; why get less than you need?

Posted by: papajim | Feb 20, 2019 8:33:09 AM

Says the moron that drives a 20yrs old Silverado.

You’re the same fool that said “ there’s no reason to not buy a 3.6L eTorque Ram...yet you haven’t done that.

When will you come to the realization that you are just a liar?

@ imposter tntgmc

Says the coward who can't use his own name and doesn't drive a truck. Now that's pathetic

I own a roofing company, drive less then 250 miles a day... why would I buy a truck that drinks down gas? My money is goi g to Rivian the new electric truck. No more gas station stops, less maintenance... WAY less maintenance, and yes its more expensive but sorry Toyota, you took too long to embrace the electric scene. Should have not stopped at the Prius. And your latest adds bashing electric... bad move. My Tacoma has been a great truck but my gas days are over!!

@ aaron Michael cussen

How many guys do you have on the roof during an average day?

I don't want to commit the kind of dough that an electric pickup sells for to let a bunch of roof mechanics drive it.

@ aaron Michael cussen...How many guys do you have on the roof during an average day?

@fake tntgmc

how many guys do you have on your back during an average day?

@ papajim

Says the moron that drives a 20yrs old Silverado.

You’re the same fool that said “ there’s no reason to not buy a 3.6L eTorque Ram...yet you haven’t done that.

When will you come to the realization that you are just a liar?

@ imposter tntgmc

I know u want to be me, but you can't...sorry 👆

So go find your own name....i know u struggle, but even dip💩 can be used as a username....perfect for u

@ aaron Michael cussen--Don't pay any attention to papajim. If you want an electric truck and have done your research that is all that matters. I do like the fact that electric vehicles require less maintenance and except for the batteries they are much simpler mechanically. My only concern would be driving any distance in one and the availability of places to charge the battery.

@the fake jeff

That really wasn't your call Jeff, but hey, I'm open minded.

Do you have experience to share re: EVs?

Did you ever own a roofing business? If those answers are NO, then what did you contribute to the discussion except to back-stab me?

@ imposter tntgmc

Says the coward who can't use his own name and doesn't drive a truck. Now that's pathetic

Posted by: TNTGMC | Feb 20, 2019 9:29:25 AM

@ papajim/TNT/GMS

You hate it that much when people play your game? Get a life.

The Tacoma easily outsells everyone else. It's looks resonate with it's targeted buyer as do it's off road abilities. It's like the Jeep Wrangler of midsized trucks. The Colorado couldn't put a dent in it's sales. The Ranger is so poorly executed that it likely will not surpass the Colorado. The bed and rear seat flexibility, tough good looks and off road cred will keep the Tacoma in 1st for a long time. The rear drums seem to perform fine, in a recent MT test the Tacoma stopped 60-0 in 128 ft the same as the Colorado and only 1 ft behind the Ranger. 0-60, the Taco was .8 seconds slower. The Powertrain definitely is lacking torque and the transmission seems adequate at best, but this thing is #1 for a reason. It is what the buyers in that market prefer. Reviews usually pick the Colorado or Ridgeline over the Tacoma. Really? That's like picking an Explorer over a Wrangler 4 door. It's a different market.

It is what the buyers in that market prefer...

@i wanted a Ranger

Do you have a crystal ball? In my opinion the Tacoma stays out front because the rest of the midsize market fails to compete effectively.

Between the rear drum brakes and the awful powertrain tuning the higher trims to not compete. A manual trans 2.7 might fill the bill however. Back when a work trimmed Tacoma was still available in regular cab format the Nissan could not undercut the tacoma but those days are gone.

You hate it that much when people play your game? Get a life.
Posted by: "IT" A.K.A Proving TNTGAY wrong | Feb 20, 2019


Since 'it' is the gender-neutral pronoun, have you considered how your choice of ID presents you to the larger public?


Sorry pal, never a dime of Govt assistance and we are in the top 5% of household income, so no, not a liberal.
3 kids because children are a gift from God.

Sienna can’t tow and isn’t safer than a full-size, check your facts.


You know, you’re right.
But, to be safe, maybe one of the new GM medium duties. I can pass the CDL exams again.

@papajim--Not your call to tell someone what to buy. Have you ever owned a roofing company? Do you have experience with EVs? I don't think it is any of your business especially when aaron Michael cussen said that he liked his Tacoma. Not interested in back stabbing but maybe aaron is a thrifty guy and has the funds to buy Rivian. The way truck prices have gone up a Rivian might not be a whole lot more and with the mileage he drives an electric truck might be perfect. Someday electric vehicles might be the majority but that is neither here nor there. I thought GM didn't need anybody's business? That's what you told me.

@I wanted a Ranger until--You are correct Tacoma does outsell all the other midsize trucks but the Colorado does well in sales. We will see how the Ranger does it is still a little earlier. As long as you are happy with your Tacoma that is all that matters.

@James--I am not a liberal and I do not get Government assistance. I pay more than my fair share of taxes. Agree you cannot judge someone by what they drive. If you like the new GMs get one or get whatever you like. Your money and your business.

Jeff any shred of your common sense has evaporated. Just say NO to drugs.

@papajim--I just always assumed you were on drugs.

Jeff do you smoke pot?

Fake Jim---Fake Jeff.

Maybe they finally got up down on the old sheep ranch. Have another pot of coffee guys. Take the day off.

Real Jeff. Fake Jim.

@ James,

The Sienna is safer than any truck! Check the data and facts! You sound ignorant on the issue of safety.

Will your children be safe when you get hit and roll over that truck in a ditch? Seats are not as safe in a truck when compared to a Sienna likewise. Minivans like the Sienna have higher standards of safety because they are designed to not only move more humans but mostly children.

But what would you know?

@ Jeff s,

As soon as you stated "my fair share of taxes" you just identified as a libera l. Only a libera l would make a s ocialist statement like that.

Their is a reason the libera l candidates all scream identity politics, that is dividing us into racia l categories, s ex gender identity, lack of border security to assist illegal immigration to even the horrible green fake deal of mega-socialis m.

Because that is how they ignite their awful base. They need a race war, se x war and so forth because they really have nothing to offer. The current libera l candidates are all wealthy and privileged, just look at the colleges they went to and how many homes they own including Bernie himself.

They do not care about you, they just want the power. Can you not see that awful message?

Look at Smollett and the Covington kids rush to judgement by the liberal s.

We need American Unity, NOT Diversity!


In today's news.

Some guy in Australia is leaking images to the soy boys at Car & Driver about the upcoming Ranger.

Not the Ranger we were supposed to get last year (and still have not seen on the street) but the "new" Ranger that's due out late 2021, which means maybe in 2022.

Talk about a great way to ruin Ranger sales on the current model...genius. Naturally the "rumor" is that it will have a manual option and a turbo V6. Seriously that will kill sales of the current model.

Same as dragging out the release as long as they have. Still have yet to see one in the wild.

@oxi--No a conservative says they pay more than their fair share of taxes and also I don't want to pay anymore.

@papajim--I haven't seen any new Rangers in the wild but I did do a cars.com search and found most of the local dealers in Cincinnati have about 1 or 2 and yes most of those are loaded. And no I have never smoked pot and have been around enough potheads in college that I never have. No drugs except for blood pressure and cholesterol. Do you smoke pot and take drugs? Seems it is always on your mind. Are you religiously opposed to coffee. I drink mine black and strong.

Oh and papa many Australians drink tea not coffee. I drink coffee do you? Is there anything wrong with a strong cup of joe?

@papajim--The word fake doesn't mean that much anymore since every other word our POTUS uses is the word "fake." The word has lost its meaning and most people ignore the word.


several questions and answers:

Do you smoke pot and take drugs? NO!!!

Are you religiously opposed to coffee. I drink mine black and strong. DITTO.

Love my coffee but only in the morning. By 10am the coffee is off.

I drink a little milk and a lot of water.

Before my cancer treatment I enjoyed a lot of beer, wine and liquor but I can't have those things anymore. Enjoyed it while it lasted but now that's kaput.

Regarding pot. I believe that is something (not unlike alcohol) that some folks can tolerate in moderation but for others its damn near toxic. Some people react badly.

Also a lot of current research connect cannabis abuse with serious depression and some cases of psychosis in teens.

It's not my field, but a lot of doctors are issuing warnings about it. Many other docs are saying it's good for you. Go figure.

@papajim--Sorry to hear about your cancer. I drink a beer or alcohol rarely Coffee about 1 or 2 cups a day and just black. As I said I never smoked pot. We can have our differences but I don't want to joke about drugs. Heroin and drug addiction is a growing problem everywhere and I don't want to make light of it. Ruins a lot of lives.

@oxi--James said that the Sienna was his wife's and he wanted to get his own vehicle. James wants a truck it is his business and if he wants a big truck that is his business as well. Years ago I use to commute with a guy who wanted a truck of his own. He was driving his wife's Previa. When he finally got a new silver Dodge Ram 4 x 4 extended cab and he kept it immaculate and was proud of it. He was in the Reserves besides working for Cincinnati Bell and was making good money. He had an Eagle with an American flag put on the rear window and running boards on that truck. He want off to Afghanistan for the better part of the year and when he came back his wife decided to trade his Ram on a new CRV. He didn't show how mad he was but the wife had a Corolla that she gave to her teen age daughter and she gave him the Previa back. That was a sad day for him when he returned from Afghanistan and find his Ram gone--he really loved that truck. Maybe James doesn't want to drive the minivan anymore and wants his own truck.

As I said I never smoked pot. We can have our differences but I don't want to joke about drugs. Heroin and drug addiction is a growing problem everywhere and I don't want to make light of it. Ruins a lot of lives.

@Jeff S

Afghanistan is the center of the heroin universe, and the US has had a military presence there since 2002 or so.

That means tons of aircraft in and out during that time---quite a few of them under rules of intense security. It's easy to smuggle something like that in parcels and duffel bags. The aircraft load and unload in secure facilities here and over there, which keeps DEA and local cops away, or at least a distance away. Same with US aircraft returning from places like Turkey.

Not to mention a lot comes in from central America. It's been a disaster. I've never met a sobered up junkie who didn't dream about it every day.

"Talk about a great way to ruin Ranger sales on the current model...genius. Naturally the "rumor" is that it will have a manual option and a turbo V6. Seriously that will kill sales of the current model."

They were not leaking it to the US media, but the Australian media..big difference
A Country that does have a Auto industry LOL , but has designed and will be designing the new Global Ranger and another unnamed " Commercial Vehicle" for the US


What do you do for a living? Do you have a degree? Associates, Bachelors? Masters? Culinary? high-school?

Sienna is NOT safer than any of the current crop of HDs.
1) in any collision between vehicles the vehicle with the greatest MASS has the advantage.
2) when comparing collisions of two deformable solids that react differently one must compare the ability of either to absorb energy while maintaining structural integrity, and dissipating energy away from the occupants.

The Sienna is notoriously bad in small offset collisions, where as H.D. trucks are notoriously bad for other vehicles.


We can discuss this further if you’d like, but I am certain that you will find the rather simple force conversion calcs confusing.

Robert if you're going to quote me, why not focus on the substance of the comment and respond to the meat of it?

Instead you run off with the whole Australia riff, as if anyone here cares. It has no significance for people in North America.

Just did. The announcement was not for the US, to think othwewise is wrong

@ James,

So you ask personal questions of me but do not state yours? You sound like a leftist social justice warrior if you ask me! Division and diversity is your hallmark and not unity, like a typical r acist liberal h ater!

Where are the posts of all HD model trucks? You only posted the family hauler Sienna. Why the secrecy about HD trucks?

Note: A well designed vehicle can withstand your "mass" argument. Never heard of science where a better design will out perform "mass" vehicles?

How do you enjoy that "mass" as you hit a tree or wire pole head on? How do you enjoy that "mass" when you roll your truck and now that "mass" will cause more damage upon the occupants of that "mass" vehicle?

"Mass" is not all what you state it is.

@ papajim--Are you saying my friend who road the bus with me and served his country was smuggling drugs. I cannot prove what he did but knowing him well over a decade I would say that he would never do that. His son was in the Marines as well. Just because someone in the military service in both Afghanistan and Iraq doesn't mean he was smuggling drugs. I am just going to assume you didn't mean my friend was in the drug business.

Agree Afghanistan does provide heroin since they grow poppy their. Unfortunately addiction to drugs is epidemic in the US and regardless of our drug enforcement they don't have enough manpower to get every drug smuggler. The demand for heroin and other like drugs is so great and so is the incentive to smuggle drugs. It is hard for for someone to overcome an addiction to heroin. Tragic what it does to families.

@james--Anyone who doesn't own a Toyota, specifically a Tacoma is a liberal in oxi's opinion. My wife has a friend who is ultra liberal and she drives a Toyota Rav4 and her husband owns a
4x4 Tacoma crew cab. Just an absurd comment by oxi.

Now you guys are making me wonder if I am a liberal? I don't own a Toyota, but my wife drives a Honda CR-V, is that close enough to still stay a little on the right side of the needle?

Jeff, you go off the chart sometimes. I mentioned nothing about your friend or his son.

@ Jeff S,

The husband is the conservative for owning the Tacoma and the wife is the hateful liberal.

@ James, Jeff S and other (liberals?),

Owning a Tacoma or other pickup trucks puts you in a category of over 80% are conservative according to data. Most conservatives are pickup truck owners because of obvious clues.

Truck owners like to off-road, that is find hard to tackle terrain where the liberal suv's stay on dusty back roads to hit the trail head. Truck off-roaders find their own route or difficult route to get somewhere.

Truck owners hunt, fish and camp. That is easily explainable and camp means you pull a camper trailer and not one of those small ones. Liberals mostly use tents.

Truck owners typically own land, so they have use for their trucks while liberals mostly live in urban cities to be close to their liberal foods and commie comrades an so forth.

Truck owners also own businesses so they have use for them to support their small business. Liberals seem to mostly want government handouts and the like. Sure they make $$$ being a diversity or equity coordinator type of job that pays $100,000 a year but they mostly pay for services instead of doing it on their own.

Kind of get the idea now? Data suggests truck owners are mostly conservative. And when I always read folks on here demanding and screaming for fuel economy as a massive worthy ideal for trucks, then you can see that the liberals are not far from destroying the truck industry. It has to start somewhere.

Fuel is still cheap, enjoy it before the urban liberals decide what you will drive in the near future and how you will live in your home and how much money you can have and so forth. Once you let these extreme liberals in, say goodbye to the truck industry.

@oxi--Anything else?

@Jeff S

If you really want to get a handle on this, shift your focus from 0xi's comments, to the writings of a brilliant novelist, playwright, historian and commentator Mrs. Ayn Rand.

Rand lived in Russia in her youth so she was able to discuss all the Left/Right stuff first hand.

The nazis killed millions of people, but the Russians killed hundreds of millions of folks---mostly their own countrymen. Ditto China under Mao.

College history classes rarely venture into it, but in China over a 150 million Chinese people were murdered by their own countrymen during the 1850s simply because they exhibited minor differences in customs and appearance. Oh, yeah. And they happened to be Christians.

Oxi and his message deserve your consideration.

@papajim--Hard to take oxi's comments serious when he calls everyone who owns a pickup truck that is not a Tacoma a liberal. Either oxi is spouting off or he actually believes that. True many of us who are truck owners are conservative but I was that way long before I ever owned a truck. I am aware of Stalin and his regime which murdered and executed more people than Hitler. Communism is just another form of dictatorship. I am also familiar with Ayn Rand. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was named after Rand. Ron Paul, Rand Paul's father was a Republican Congressman from Houston who is a Libertarian. Rand Paul also is a Baylor graduate.

As for the truck industry its very success brought attention of the regulators. I don't need to go into detail but when most of the big V8 sedans disappeared because of EPA mileage standards many of those buyers bought suvs and pickups because they were not subject to as severe standards. Trucks were classified in a different category because they were considered for the most part for farm, business, and commercial use. As trucks became more popular mostly due to the truck manufacturers making more crew cabs many of those buyers who wanted a larger vehicle bought trucks. Once sales of trucks went up it got the attention of regulators. EPA standards classified compact and midsize pickups to the same standards that cars have because their width, length, and height is close to cars. It was not just that many wanted a larger truck but it made it more expensive to manufacturer smaller trucks which were subject to the same fuel efficiency as a car giving the manufacturers less incentive to make them. Another reason to eliminate regular cabs and to make trucks a little higher in height--not just that less regular cab midsize trucks were sold but make the trucks a little bigger to get them classified different than cars. The whole EPA regulations have lead to the manufacturers having to find ways to get around the system. A compact station wagon gets slightly raised and given AWD and becomes classified as a truck and as the popularity of crossovers grew the manufacturers could charge more for these vehicles that don't cost a lot more to make than a car. This is a win win for the manufacturers who have tried to comply with the EPA and the ever changing regulations.

This is a win win for the manufacturers who have tried to comply with the EPA and the ever changing regulations...Posted by: Jeff s Feb 23, 2019

Let me make sure I understand, Jeff.

Being pursued by an over-reaching government agency, at extraordinary expense to you, constitutes a win-win in your mind?

That's like saying being audited by Internal Revenue is a win-win. Or the FBI is tapping your phones makes it a win-win for you...It's a point of view I cannot comprehend

@ Jeff S,

You seriously supporting the government in DC?

My oath is to the Constitution, not the government!

Look at all of the l iberals running for President 2020. They are all rich, filthy rich and they have the nerve to lecture us on how much we can make, how much we have to pay, how much free shyt for the la zy people of society and so forth.

They seek s ocialism and that we must all sacrifice more so la zy people can get free shyt. Read above the l iberal media and understand their manipulation of society, how they divide us into clans by the color of our skin, our se x ual orientation and identity, identity politics!

Look at the Covington kids and Smollett and how quickly the leftist media and liberals rush to judge. And when Smollett was charged for the hoax, the liberals still blamed T rump and "white" people. Even blaming a red hat with some letters on it. Give me a break!

L iberals are de ranged people, a danger to a free society!
L iberal ha te and division should be called out every time they attack Liberty!

And yes, they are coming for your trucks!

Censorship is alive and well on this liberal site:

President T rump! President Obama!

So one cannot type the President of our nation, President T R U M P as one word but Obama can be typed at free will?

Like I have said before, this is a liberal site, be careful, one cannot trust a site like this when they censor our own President!


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