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


@papajim--You know exactly what I mean you are looking for an argument. It is a win win when an auto manufacturer can take a car platform like what was a station wagon and raise it up a 6 or more inches and offer AWD and sell that vehicle for about 4k more than the sedan or what would have been the station wagon version. What I am saying without you twisting my words is that the Government Regulations have allowed vehicles that would have been considered cars to be classified as a truck. Government Regulations have loopholes. Do you understand or are you looking for an argument? There is always a way around most regulations. Not expressing that this is good or bad it is what it is. No wonder you have health issues if you got to look for an argument where there is none. If you choose to rant about it then go ahead the automakers are not going to lose any sleep over this because they have found a product that is actually more profitable and if the crossovers get too much regulation then I am willing to bet the automakers will find another type of vehicle to make money on. You carry on and on about stock prices and earnings per share so are you saying that the manufacturers should not make crossovers, suvs, and trucks? Either you decide which side you or on. So much for your argument that it is good for the manufacturers to make a product that makes them money.

@oxi--The above applies to you as well. Your beloved Toyota has also hopped on the crossover bandwagon. Are you calling Toyota liberal because they happened to take a Corolla platform and make a RAV4 or a Camry platform and make a Highlander and make more money? I thought Capitalism and Free Enterprise was creating a demand and selling a product that makes more money.
That is making the most out of Government Regulations. Not endorsing Government Regulation I am stating a fact.

@oxi--Are you anti-government and wish to overthrow our Government? It appears from your words you are. You can express that there are things you do not like about the Government and exercise you right to vote. Most of the readers on this site are more conservative but they don't appreciate being called Communist and Liberals because they don't express the same love you have for Toyotas or Tacomas. Before you judge anyone you need to look within. Maybe that is too foreign a concept for you.

What I am saying without you twisting my words is that the Government Regulations have allowed vehicles that would have been considered cars to be classified as a truck.


Sometimes you're better off saying nothing---based on your comment Thomas Edison would have invented a better light bulb if they government had spent more time and effort to crush his creativity.

Here's a lesson Jeff---governments don't create.

Private initiative creates! Government regulations choke initiative. Time wasted looking for loopholes is the work of lawyers and schemers, not entrepreneurs and inventors.

@papajim--You are definitely better off saying nothing. You go on this website looking for arguments and brow beating others. So are you saying that automobile companies don't adapt to Government Regulations? Do you honestly believe all Government Regulations will be eliminated. The first thing you need to be is honest with yourself. Do you even know which President created the EPA? Papajim if you believe that politicians and regulators regardless of political party are going to eliminate all Government Regulations then I have some ocean e property to sell you in Arizona. What an absurd comment about Thomas Edison's light bulb. Are you saying that you need Government Regulation to invent a better light bulb? The Government did not crush the ability of the auto manufacturers to create a new product that sold better than the old one. Drink some prune juice that might clean out some things that are stuck in you.

@papajim--From your comments you would be happier to go back to the 50's and 60's when there was less Government Regulations. Instead of going on and on about Government Regulations you need to chill out. I don't approve of a lot of what our country does but I don't go on a website and complain about them and then pick arguments with others. I don't want to spend the remainder of my life and be remembered as the guy that spent his time complaining about Government and never got beyond that. I have worked with many who constantly complain about Government, their job, their family, other religions, the weather, and things in general. Most people just ignore the complainers. I don't want to feed into your discontent. I am not going to dwell on the Government it will be here long after I am gone and there will be others that will contain to complain even on their deathbeds. The automobile companies that have adapted to the regulations don't necessarily like them but if they want to survive they learn to adapt. Adaptation to an environment is necessary if you value survival.

@papajim--A thirsty man in the desert is not going to complain about the lack of water and the heat. That man is going to focus on what he needs to survive those adverse conditions otherwise he has little chance of survival.

always use a million words to blow off steam Jeff.

You cannot seem to bear an opposing viewpoint. I bet you're a lot of fun around the house!

@ papajim,

What closet socialist Jeff S does not understand is that private industry creates and makes life better for us under the banner of the American flag. That is the government provides the opportunity through ideals like justice and a level playing field, and private citizens and private business take it from there to innovate.

As ignorant Obama used to state as the arrogant he was and still is, "you did not create this" type of liberal nonsense to glorify him and the government.

The government is the referee, it is up to us to make America great again.

@ Jeff S,

Sure Toyota builds liberal cars, but their trucks are hardly liberal. They represent a tougher era, a masculine and strength aspect and Toyota makes lots of profits off both of their masculine trucks.

Name a current auto manufacturer that does not give in to liberal bullying when it comes to media relations or advertising? C'mon, name one?

Liberals are bullies and rather h ateful people with their st upid demands to bow to them or else. The true ha ters, ra cists and big ots are liberals.

papajim is a big fat liberal!!!!!!!!!

Jeff is a closet socialist!

@ Jeff s,

Looks like you liberals tried to overthrow our government or do you not know what evil McCabe and Rosenstein tried to do?

T rump won the election and the disgraceful DOJ and the FBI under them did not like the results because their favorite liberal child Hillary should have won. So they decided to start the process to overthrow a legal election.

Liberals are disgraceful for their acts of treason because it was a legal election and not fake or rigged with Russia, Russia, Russia nonsense and fabrications.

And in case you do not know (lack of proper education?) read the Declaration of Independence once. If the government does not follow the Constitution and starts to harm our pursuit of happiness and Life and Liberty, it is the duty of the citizens to remove the government from power and restore it to those ideals. Read it loud and clear!

President T rump is doing a fine job, it is you liberals that seek to overthrow him because you lost the election. I swore an oath to defend the Constitution, not the government!

@oxi--What happens if it comes out that our POTUS was directly involved with the Russians in fixing the election? I don't know what Mueller will find but do you endorse treason? At least being a liberal or a conservative is not a crime but treason is punishable by death. Let's wait and see the Mueller findings before we pass judgement. Also our current POTUS refuses to separate himself from his family business. Let's see what happens before we pass judgement. Getting back to the subject do you call crossovers liberal vehicles. Crossovers are not living beings they are innate objects unable to express an opinion or an emotion. A vehicle has little control over who buys it. It is a thing not a being.

@papajim--No you cannot accept any opinion that does not completely agree with your narrow scope of beliefs. I am going to leave you and oxi to worrying about Government Regulations and who is a Liberal and Communist. Both you and oxi are a couple of generations from the 50's during the McCarthy era. You would have been rewarded for turning in people who you thought had Communist leanings. You both missed your calling.

I don't know what Mueller will find ...
Posted by: Jeff s | Feb 24, 2019

Well I do. He's got zip---if he had anything at all he would have leaked it to the liberal media by now. Total squat and nothing more. Here's what he does not have (integrity). If he had a shred of integrity Hillary would have been charged by now. She directed her staff to destroy evidence that was already covered by a federal subpoena. Felony.

She operated a server in her HOME that she used to communicate Special Access Program information to her staff and even people who had no security clearance at all. She tricked Obama into communicating with her via the dirty server, thus he became exposed to foreign intelligence teams.

But POTUS is the dirty one; oh yeah. that's right.

@ Jeff s,

Your responses continue to show that you are a liberal.

Russia, Russia, Russia, hello, NOTHING has been found, so stop with that liberal nonsense! If horrible Muellar (process crimes champion) has found nothing for 2 years, trust me, he has nothing!

Treason? That would be the FBI. Sorry unelected officials do not investigate the President on their own and seek overthrow, that is the job of Congress! Former FBI heads need to be investigated by Federal Grand Jury and if found guilty, they should be publically hanged for their treason!

Hillary should have been investigated, why was she not?

Seems to me we have a vast conspiracy by the elite liberal left to overthrow our elected government! As a Marine Veteran, I do not take this lightly!

@papajim--Mueller has a reputation of being a straight shooter and I doubt he will put his reputation on the line to be partisan. Either there is something on our POTUS or not but we will find out. POTUS seems to like Russia and Putin more than our allies and POTUS has not separated himself from his business. You can belief what you want but I want to wait and see what the Mueller investigation has found. You and oxi seem to want to make everything on this sites about politics. I can listen to the news and the Sunday morning talk shows if I want to hear about politics. I put politicians just below used car salesmen and escort services. Escort services are at least honest about what they do.

As I woke up this morning doing my yoga routine, while watching MSNBC and getting ready to heat up my tofu here in beautiful San Francisco, I realized that papajim's idea of everyone taking mandatory yoga lessons to help with catastrophic climate change is a pretty good idea. MSNBC reported that Kamala Harris has said with climate change being an existential threat, with only 11 years at most to save our planet and ourselves, we need to act now. She said, that we should not be discussing the cost of the plan, and her only concern is whether or not the green new deal would be enough on its own. Maybe Kamala Harris, MSNBC and papajim are right, we have got to do something now, especially if it makes us feel good. I was a little worried about converting the country to communism with AOC's $100 trillion plan like the major democratic candidates have endorsed, but if it saves our planet and ourselves, it is most certainly worth it. If done right, maybe we can still keep our pickups, just maybe having to remove the ICE, and fill the bed with batteries, cover the roof, hood and batteries with solar panels, and adding a couple of mini wind mills on it for power.


Mr Mueller is a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. His close friend Jim Comey is a former FBI director too. They both know a lot about conducting investigations and they both know a lot about the limits of their powers under the US Constitution. They both failed badly in this regard.

Mueller can be faulted for wanting to help his friend avoid major federal charges. Comey can be faulted because once he realized that POTUS was going to beat Clinton he understood that illegal things he did would come to light.

All of this hoax has been an attempt to save some top DoJ people and the former FBI director and his top subordinates from serious legal jeopardy. There is nothing more unless you want to count the small details.

@flea market--I can anticipate what papajim will write after reading your comments. He will be so upset about your comments that he will not be able to sleep tonight. Poor papajim the only thing that might upset him more is Mary Barra and the Board selling GM to Chery Motors or Great Wall of China.

A camry engine in a truck is a joke like the rest of the truck.

Number one should be fix that nose. OMG.

Number one should be fix that nose. OMG.

@ JoBlow,

The 2.7 is no car engine like the Colorado and Ranger have!


When you focus on vanity issues, than the Tacoma wins!

Feminists should not really comment about looks on trucks please!

Ok, still love this site, one of the earliest great sites I found back in the day, and still a great example of goodness in the sea of the Intermutt....Anyways, while I concede Toyota Tacoma being number one could be a VHS over Beta, or a Cassette tape over Records thing, I do believe they have earned their place at number one. This article just sounds to me like classic automotive journalist (no disrespect) filling space and blabbering on about special editions and new gimmicks that they can test drive---and then of course never buy! At the end of the day, I guess we vote with our money---I upgraded in 2014, after 30 years in Toyota trucks (1987 SR5, 2002 Tundra), and was looking at either Tacoma with six foot bed and club cab, or the Ram with Hemi and same configuration----I went with Ram because my 5000 lb trailer conerned me the Taco would be a bit overmatched. And I have never had "full size" truck....Well, I am not saying I will never again own a mid size truck, but I am very happy I went with the Ram, Cheers! and you boys keep enjoying driving all that free metal for us to read about!

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