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Toyota Tacoma FAQs

Toyota Tacoma FAQs: Hero | CarMax

Discover more about this rugged, midsize pickup.

A midsize pickup truck is a practical option for drivers who want both utility and versatility. The Toyota Tacoma offers the best of both worlds—and with its 2021 model available in a wide range of trim configurations and two engine options, you can find the Tacoma that's right for your needs.

Still, if you're considering a used Tacoma as your next ride, you probably have some questions you need answered before you continue your vehicle search. Fortunately, you've come to the right place. Our extensive Toyota Tacoma FAQ covers all the most commonly asked questions about this popular midsize pickup truck so you can move forward with confidence.

Toyota Tacoma FAQs

Q: What are the different models of Toyota Tacoma?

A: Toyota Tacoma trim options can vary by model year. However, the 2021 Tacoma is available in six different trim configurations: the base SR, the SR5, the TRD Sport, the TRD Off-Road, the Limited, and the range topping TRD Pro.

Q: How much should I pay for a Toyota Tacoma?

A: The price you can expect to pay for a Toyota Tacoma will vary based on model year, condition, mileage, equipment, and other factors. However, a used 2020 Toyota Tacoma sells for an average of $38,500 based on CarMax sales data.1

Q: Which is better: the Ranger or the Tacoma?

A: Whether the Ford Ranger or the Toyota Tacoma is the better pickup truck will depend on your own preferences. Both are midsize pickup trucks with seating for up to five people, and both 2021 models include such standard features as 16-inch wheels and an available Wi-Fi hotspot.2

Still, each truck has its strengths. The 2021 Tacoma is offered with a wider selection of trims (six, compared to just three on the 2021 Ranger). This means that you'll have more options to choose from, so you may have an easier time finding a used model that has all the features you want (without paying for equipment you may not need).

Underneath the hood, the 2021 Ranger comes with a more powerful standard engine (a turbocharged four-cylinder at 270 hp versus a 2.7L four-cylinder at 159 hp). On the other hand, the 2021 Tacoma is offered with a more powerful 3.5L V6 on most of its trims, whereas the turbocharged four-cylinder is the only engine offering on the 2021 Ranger.

Q: Which is bigger: the Tacoma or Tundra?

A: The Toyota Tundra, which is classified as a full-size pickup truck, is larger than the midsize Toyota Tacoma. Specifically, the 2021 Tundra measures a full 16.6 inches longer than the 2021 Tacoma—and nearly five inches wider.

Q: Is the Toyota Tacoma a reliable car?

A: Many factors can affect the reliability of a truck, including its overall condition, age, mileage, and maintenance or driving history. According to RepairPal® reliability data, the Toyota Tacoma is rated 4.5/5 or “Excellent.”3

RepairPal Reliability Ratings are based on the actual cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance on make/model data for select 2006-2020 vehicles.

Q: What engines come in a Toyota Tacoma?

A: Engine offerings can vary based on trim and model year. On the 2021 Tacoma, however, there are two engine options. Standard on the base SR and SR5 trims is a 2.7L four-cylinder at 159 hp. All other trims receive a 3.5L V6 at 278 hp.

Q: What does SR5 mean on a Toyota?

A: "SR5" on a Toyota stands for "Sport Rally 5-Speed," and typically refers to a mid-tier trim on a Toyota vehicle. On the 2021 Tacoma, for example, the SR5 is a mid-range trim that includes such upgrades as chrome exterior accents and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Q: Is the TRD Off Road lifted?

A: Whether or not the Tacoma's TRD Off Road trim comes with a factory lift kit may depend on the model year. However, the 2021 Tacoma TRD Off Road does come with a lift kit that raises the suspension height one inch in the front and half an inch in the rear.

Q: Is the Toyota Tacoma all-wheel drive?

A: Most Toyota Tacoma models come standard with rear-wheel drive. However, a part-time four-wheel drive system with a low-range transfer case was available on some models when sold as new, so there are certainly used Tacomas with 4WD systems.

Q: What cars are similar to the Toyota Tacoma?

A: As a midsize pickup truck, there are quite a few vehicles on the market that are similar to the Toyota Tacoma. Some examples of the Tacoma's top competitors include the Ford Ranger, the Chevrolet Colorado, the Nissan Frontier, and the GMC Canyon.

Q: Which Toyota Tacoma has manual transmission?

A: While most Toyota Tacoma models come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, a six-speed manual transmission is offered on some Tacoma models that are equipped with a V6 engine. On the 2021 model, this includes the TRD and Limited trims.

Q: Does the Toyota Tacoma have Apple CarPlay®?

A: Specific feature availability can vary based on model year, trim level, and package add-ons. However, on the 2021 Toyota Tacoma, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are both standard on the base SR and all other trims.

Q: Which Toyota Tacoma should I buy?

A: The Toyota Tacoma that's the best choice for you will depend on many factors, including your budget and the specific features you need in a pickup truck. Many Tacomas, including the 2021 model year, are available in a wide range of trim configurations to suit your needs.

On the 2021 model, the base SR trim may be a good option if you're looking to maximize your budget. This trim comes with a standard 2.7L four-cylinder engine that's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. It's also well-appointed with standard equipment such as a seven-inch touchscreen display, smartphone integration, and a composite bed liner.

If you need a truck with V6 power, you may want to step up to the 2021 Tacoma TRD Sport, which comes with a 3.5L V6 under the hood. This mid-range trim is also equipped with upgrades that include a sport-tuned suspension, wireless device charging, and 17-inch wheels.

If you're wanting a Tacoma that's truly decked out, look at the range topping TRD Pro trim. On the 2021 model, you'll enjoy upgrades that include leather upholstery, a premium sound system, built-in navigation, and a sunroof.

Q: Do Toyota Tacomas have turbos?

A: While exact engine configurations and options may vary by model year, none of the third generation (2016-2022) Tacoma models have been offered with turbocharged engines. Instead, these model years are offered with standard four-cylinder and V6 engines.

Q: How much horsepower do Tacomas have?

A: Specific horsepower output for a Toyota Tacoma can vary based on model year, engine configuration, and other factors. However, the 2021 Tacoma base SR trim with standard 2.7L four-cylinder engine puts out 159 horsepower.

Meanwhile, 2021 Tacoma models equipped with the 3.5L V6 engine have an output of 278 hp.

Q: Which Tacoma package has heated seats?

A: Exact feature availability and add-ons for the Toyota Tacoma may vary by model year. However, on the 2021 Toyota Tacoma, heated front seats are included on the Premium Sport Package, which is offered on the TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and Limited trims.

Searching For a Used Toyota Tacoma?

With so many configurations to choose from, a used Toyota Tacoma could be a great choice for your next midsize truck purchase. Ready to take your search to the next step? Explore our current inventory of used Tacoma models at CarMax.

1Average estimates are based on prices on in February 2022. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.
2Wi-Fi hotspots require a data plan to activate and may also require a compatible device. See the owner’s manual or manufacturer website for more information.
3RepairPal Reliability Ratings are provided by RepairPal and CarMax is not responsible for their accuracy. These ratings are based on RepairPal Reliability data as of 2/15/22. Learn more at
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.


* Price excludes taxes, title, registration, and fees. Applicable transfer fees are due in advance of vehicle delivery and are separate from sales transactions.

Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.