2019 Toyota Tacoma Review


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2019 Toyota Tacoma Overview

The Tacoma, a practical, reliable, capable off-roading pickup, entered its third generation for the 2016 model year. The Tacoma has been slow to change, so it carries over into 2019. Toyota jazzed up the Tacoma’s TRD Pro submodels as well as the related 4Runner and full-size Tundra pickup. For the Tacoma, the TRD Pro model adds substantial upgrades to the suspension, plus plenty of exterior flair. The 2019 Tacoma comes in SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off Road and Limited models. The Tacoma comes in extended and double cab body styles.

While similar to the 4Runner SUV in many ways, the Tacoma has a different engine lineup. At the bottom of the range is a 2.7-liter four-cylinder with 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. A 3.5-liter V-6 is also available, making 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. It will most commonly connect to a 6-speed automatic, but a 6-speed manual is available for those so inclined. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is standard, but four-wheel drive (4WD) lets the Tacoma do what it does best. As for fuel economy, the 2.7-liter engine paired with an automatic delivers 19 mpg city, 22 highway and 20 combined. V-6 model gets 18 mpg city, 22 highway, and 20 combined with an automatic and 17 mpg, 21, and 18 with a manual.

Underneath its twenty-first century styling, the Tacoma is still an old-fashioned ladder frame truck with a coil sprung rear, making it a capable off-roader. TRD Off Road and TRD Pro models get a locking rear differential, plus plenty of other off-road goodies. The newly updated TRD Pro gets Fox shocks paired with TRD-tuned springs that give an extra inch of front lift. It also features a larger sway bar, updated skid plate, and cat-back TRD exhaust. An available option is the TRD Desert Air Intake for people tackling the dunes.

The Tacoma is a workhorse, not a luxury car. The interior is therefore pretty basic, with base SR models only getting fabric seats, a USB port, and a 6.1-inch infotainment screen. The SR5 model only adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, better touchscreen, and fog lights. The TRD Sport model adds some body cladding, wireless device charging, power outlet, leather-wrapped shifter, and keyless ignition. The TRD Off Road and TRD Pro models focus more on the off-road bits than luxury, but the Limited model does add leather upholstery, a moonroof, and an upgraded audio system with navigation. In the bed, the Tacoma features tie-down points and optional lockable tonneau cover.

On the safety front, the 2018 Tacoma features automatic emergency braking standard. In crash tests it has gotten all top Good scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as well as four out of five stars overall in federal testing. Several safety features, like automatic high beams, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control, are also available.


Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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