2013 Toyota Tacoma Review
With a number of cab configurations and a capable four-wheel drive option, test drivers agree that the 2013 Toyota Tacoma is a good choice among compact pickup trucks.
The Tacoma is powered by a standard four-cylinder engine or an optional V6, and while the base engine provides adequate acceleration, auto writers agree that V6 models have more than enough power for most situations. The base Tacoma has a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic transmission. V6-powered Tacomas get a six-speed manual or an optional five-speed automatic. Reviewers agree that the five-speed automatic offers quick, seamless shifts, and that the six-speed manual shifts smoothly. The EPA reports that the 2013 Toyota Tacoma gets up to 21/25 mpg city/highway, which is fairly good for the class. Some reviewers say that while the Tacoma isn’t the most agile vehicle they’ve driven, it still rides and handles well for a pickup truck. However, one critic complains that the brake pedal’s mushy feel isn’t reassuring if you need to stop the Tacoma quickly.
The Toyota Tacoma was the 2013 Best Compact Truck for the Money because it has the best combination of ownership costs and positive reviews in its class.
Auto writers say that the Toyota Tacoma has a functionally-design cabin that’s built with attractive, price-appropriate materials. Three different cab configurations are available, and while the Regular Cab is fine for work truck duties, Access and Double Cab models offer a little extra space, with room for four and five occupants, respectively. Although the Access Cab has two folding rear seats, some reviewers note that they're tight and uncomfortable. Most prefer the Double Cab, which offers a lot more passenger space in the back. The Tacoma’s clear gauges and simple audio and climate controls also earn praise, though one reviewer says that some switchgear requires a long reach from the driver’s seat. Air conditioning and a four-speaker stereo with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, an auxiliary input jack and a USB port come standard on the 2013 Tacoma. Options and features available on higher trims include power windows and door locks, keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with backup camera, heated front seats and an upgraded sound system with navigation and satellite radio.
- "Tacoma holds the line for 2013 with its wide and deep roster of models and solid overall performance. ... New and updated competitors may threaten Toyota's dominance in this segment, but still, Tacoma is a proven commodity that won't steer you wrong." -- Consumer Guide
- "The 2013 Toyota Tacoma is a top pick in a rapidly dwindling midsize segment." -- Edmunds
- "Only the 2013 Toyota Tacoma delivers on all the work and play expectations that make Americans love their pickups, and does it in a more manageable, fuel-efficient form than a full-size pickup while offering a wide range of trims, powertrains and cab configurations." -- Kelley Blue Book
- “… the rugged Tacoma offers lots more comfort than most of its rivals, as well as an available locking rear differential and gobs of ground clearance with its TRD package." -- Left Lane News (2010)
Other Trucks to Consider
The Honda Ridgeline costs a bit more than the Tacoma, but it comes standard with a V6 engine, all-wheel drive and a four-door cab configuration with seating for five. Additionally, reviewers say that the Ridgeline offers a car-like ride and useful locking trunk to secure cargo.
Reviewers say that the Nissan Frontier handles better than many pickups in the class, and they like its comfortable front seats and functional cabin design. The Frontier also offers a V6 option that makes it more powerful than a comparably-equipped Tacoma.
Details: 2013 Toyota Tacoma
The base Toyota Tacoma seats three and has standard rear-wheel drive. A 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission are standard, while four-wheel drive and a four-speed automatic transmission are optional. Three models are available: Regular Cab, Access Cab and Double Cab. The Tacoma Access Cab gains rear-hinged side doors and a pair of folding rear seats, while four-door Double Cab models seat five and offer even more interior space. A number of option packages are available for the Tacoma, which can add interior and exterior features, as well as upgrade some interior materials. The Toyota Tacoma sees no major changes for 2013. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2005 through 2013.