Toyota Tacoma Performance
An impressive automatic transmission and capable off road handling help the Tacoma to rank well in performance, but a rough suspension and merely adequate on-road handling keep it from being perfect. Most reviews recommend that buyers choose the V6 engine and automatic transmission, and are positive about the Tacoma's hauling and towing capability.
- "This is plenty of truck for 95 percent of truck buyers, everyone who isn't hauling plywood or pulling 40-foot goosenecks." -- Car and Driver.
- "Versatility is the Tacoma's calling card...with stout hauling and towing capabilities." -- Edmunds
- "Both of the Tacoma's engines, the four-cylinder and the V6, feature Toyota's VVT-i technology (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) that minimizes the compromise between low-end torque and peak horsepower." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Tacoma steps to the front of this class with its comfortable cab, refined ride, responsive handling, proven off-road capability, and quality construction." -- Automotive.com
Acceleration and Power
Most reviews ignore the base four-cylinder engine on the 2008 Tacoma, but are enthusiastic about the available V6. Most critics recommend the smooth automatic transmission. Reviews report that fuel economy is average for the class.
- "The four-cylinder is rated at 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, which is about average for the class." -- New Car Test Drive
- "The V6 is a strong all-around performer, with plenty of pull down low and a willingness (albeit a somewhat noisy one), to spin into the upper rev ranges." -- Edmunds
- "The 4.0-liter V6 found in all Double Cab and most Access Cab Tacomas is a typical Toyota engine. Dual overhead cams per bank, four valves per cylinder, and aluminum alloy construction sound like the recipe for a premium sports sedan engine, but they work as well in a truck." -- The Auto Channel
- "The V6 is strong enough and provides good torque." -- AutoWeek
Handling and Braking
Most reviews say that the Tacoma handles fine on road, but the ride can be rougher than some might like. However, the same components that make the ride somewhat rough on road make the Tacoma ruggedly capable off-road, according to most reviewers. Many experts are also pleased with the truck's hauling and towing capacities.
- "In terms of handling, the 2008 Toyota Tacoma feels like a true truck from behind the wheel. It excels in off-road situations and is reasonably comfortable on the street. But depending on how it's equipped and whether it's carrying a load or not, the Tacoma can seem skittish or bouncy at times." -- Edmunds
- "What really set back the Tacoma was its imprecise, wallowing suspenders and numb steering. It heels over in turns, plows like a Deere, and bobs up and down long after you've passed road undulations. It was so unnerving that one driver scowled, 'I tired to hustle through some turns, but the Toyota would have none of it. Not one ounce of fun-to-drive here.'" -- Car and Driver
- "The ride is undeniably taut and fairly stiff, though comparable to other small pickups." -- Cars.com
- "The Tacoma continues to ride like a truck, with jiggles and vibrations that came through to passengers. ... It didn't matter if the Tacoma was off road or on uneven pavement in town," -- Associated Press.