In the mid-range truck category, the Toyota Tacoma is a top seller that offers cutting-edge truck technology. It’s a versatile vehicle that’s durable, fuel efficient, and maintains a higher resale value than just about any other truck.


Here are eight reasons why the Tacoma is very popular with CarMax Customers

  1. Short bed or long bed, it’s your pick. For shoppers looking for more versatility and cargo space, a long bed, like that found in the 2015 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner, is a best bet. While you may not have the same carrying ability with a short bed Tacoma, you’ll still be able to stow the essentials alongside furniture, plywood, and tools.
  2. Unbeatable off-road amenities. A used Toyota Tacoma is a top choice for off-roading, because some trims come with options like the Multi-Terrain Select system, which modulates wheel spin and brake and throttle response depending on your terrain. With either a four- or six-cylinder engine under the hood, the Tacoma is well-equipped to handle slick roads, rocky inclines, and snow-covered mountain passes. If you want better off-road control, take a look at the Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road edition. Newer models feature a front end that gives drivers a 32-degree approach angle (for safely tackling steeper inclines), nearly 10 inches of ground clearance underneath, and a backup camera for sticky situations.
  3. Roomy interior. The Tacoma’s roomy cabin is perfect for family adventures and weekend outings. If you need more space, opt for a double cab Tacoma, with a bench seat in the back that lets you carry five passengers. This four-door offers a quiet interior with plenty of legroom. Across the SR, SR5, TRD Sport, Limited, and TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro editions, the Tacoma’s smart design provides comfort for the driver and passengers.
  4. Plenty of power. The base-level, 2016 Tacoma SR comes with a 2.7L, inline four-cylinder engine that provides 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. While the four-cylinder is standard across many recent Tacoma variants, an available 3.5L, V6 option offers a stump-pulling 265 pound-feet of torque. Choose the manual transmission option so you can harness all that horsepower yourself, where and when you need it.
  5. Smooth brake assist. All Tacoma models offer smooth, four-wheel antilock brake systems. And while stability and traction control have long been part of the Tacoma package, newer models excel off-road with a refined, optional A-TRAC traction control system and hill descent control.
  6. Sonar parking assistance. Some late model Tacomas, like the 2017 Tacoma Limited, feature a sonar-based rear-parking assist system. And some models, like the double-cab 2017 Tacoma Limited, come with a blind-spot monitor and rear-side cross-traffic alert system as standard equipment.
  7. Fuel economy. Whether you’re a town explorer or weekend warrior, the Tacoma’s fuel efficiency is a plus for a 4WD pickup; the four-cylinder, 2016 Tacoma SR (with 4WD and an automatic transmission) averages an estimated 19 mpg on city streets and 22 mpg on the highway*.
  8. Reasons to Buy a Toyota Tacoma | CarMax
  9. A powerful audio package. Since 2012, all Tacoma models offer Toyota’s Entune® audio system. In addition to navigation, Entune offers incredible versatility with mobile device connectivity and satellite and streaming radio services.

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What trim levels are available for the 2016-2017 Toyota Tacomas?

There are a variety of different trim levels available on any given Toyota Tacoma. The 2016 Tacoma and 2017 Tacoma truck models have identical trim options with one exception: the 2017 Toyota Tacoma truck lineup also has a new TRD Pro option available.>

What are the 2016-2017 Toyota Tacoma trim levels?

  • SR- combines a base-model work truck with the assets of an upper-level trim package, and is available in the Access and Double Cab configurations.
  • SR5- builds on the base model, but has a bolder trim design and is available in nine configurations, including the Access and Double Cab Tacomas.
  • TRD Sport - offers a 3.5L V6, a sport-tuned suspension, and other popular sport options.
  • TRD Off Road - comes standard with a 4WDemand part-time four-wheel drive system, automatic limited slip differential, off-road tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks, and the Toyota Multi-Terrain Select system.
  • Limited- this is the Tacoma version of an upscale truck that comes with a wide variety of luxury features.
  • TRD Pro - is new for the 2017 models and offers an off-road, trail-ready toughness specifically built for tackling challenging terrains.

What’s the difference between the 2016 and 2017 Toyota Tacomas?

The Toyota Tacoma was completely redesigned in 2016 to include a new powertrain, improved suspension, a tougher-looking appearance, and popular infotainment options. And as we mentioned above, for 2017, Toyota has added a trail-ready TRD Pro edition to their 2017 truck model lineup. Other than that, though, there are really no other significant changes between the two-year models.

How does the Toyota Tacoma compare to other trucks in this category?

There are currently only a few midsized truck models on the market. The Toyota Tacoma was first introduced in 1995, which makes it one of the longest continuous runs for a branded truck model. But let's take a look at some of the differences between the various current models on the market.

Nissan Frontier vs. the Toyota Tacoma

The Nissan Frontier comes in several variants, like other midsized trucks in this class, and is a great truck for most owners’ needs. The Tacoma has a more bulked-up look about it, and it’s slightly larger, but some find the Tacoma's sheetmetal to be a bit overly aggressive. So it's really just a matter of taste here.

GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado vs. the Toyota Tacoma

The GMC Canyon and the Chevrolet Colorado are the same truck, offered under different brand names. This midsized truck has been recently redesigned and is now considered to be more upscale. It's comfortable, contemporary, and comes in a wide range of configurations. Its abilities are comparable to the Tacoma’s, but the Canyon and Colorado offer one towing-friendly option the Tacoma doesn’t: a diesel engine. Trucks like the 2017 Canyon and the 2016 Colorado Z71 can be had with a 2.8L, four-cylinder diesel engine, which, depending on your other options, lets you tow up to 7,000 pounds.

Honda Ridgeline vs. the Toyota Tacoma

The Honda Ridgeline also has a solid reputation just like the Tacoma; however, it doesn't offer quite the same truck-like capabilities as other midsized trucks on the market. For example, the Ridgeline's bed is only designed to haul minimal cargo and it has a limited towing capacity. Some drivers may prefer their Ridgelines over a Tacoma when it comes to ride characteristics; the Ridgeline has a unibody construction, which gives it handling characteristics that more closely match a car’s handling. The Tacoma is a truck built on a rigid, ladder-frame chassis.

The bottom line

You really can't go wrong buying any Toyota truck, especially the Toyota Tacoma. Don’t just take our word for it; the Tacoma comes in many shapes, with many different capabilities. Consider your needs, and do some test drives so you can narrow your choices!

* Based on EPA estimates for vehicles when sold as new. See Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history.
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