The pickup class is exploding, offering ever-increasing towing and hauling capacities, and more and more luxurious interiors. Most people who are shopping for pickups want practicality, however, and the Toyota Tacoma delivers just that.
The Tacoma is a compact pickup, making it desirable for people who want a smaller truck that still has plenty of cargo space. Since the Tacoma is available with five- or six-foot beds, it has ample space. In addition, since 2018 the Toyota Tacoma has come standard with a host of safety and driver-assist features, including lane departure warning, automatic braking, and adaptive cruise control.
What really sets the Tacoma apart is its outstanding reliability. If you want a truck that will last you a decade or more, the Tacoma is a great bet. The 2018 and 2019 models have an outstanding reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5 from J.D. Power and Associates. Like many Toyotas, the Tacoma has a reputation as a vehicle that just keeps going and going.
Are you considering buying a 2019 Toyota Tacoma? If so, here’s everything you should know:
Price and Value: A new 2019 Toyota Tacoma has a starting price of $25,700, with upper trims retailing for more than $42,000. However, you can save lots of money by shopping for a used Toyota Tacoma. The current generation of the Tacoma started in 2016. The TDR Pro trim was introduced in 2017 and many driver assist features became standard in 2018, but other than that there have been fewer changes to this generation.
The Toyota Tacoma is a great buy, since it holds its value better than practically any other vehicle. While average cars lose more than half of their value in the first five years, the Tacoma depreciates just 29.5 percent over that time period. That means you’ll pay more for a used Tacoma, but it will hold its value extremely well in years to come.
Engine Options: The most recent generation of the Toyota Tacoma is available with two engine options. The Tacoma comes standard with rear-wheel drive and an automatic transmission. A manual transmission is available, as is all-wheel drive. There is no diesel engine available for the Tacoma.
- 159-horsepower four-cylinder: This engine is standard on the SR and SR5 trims. It produces 180 lb-ft of torque and gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg combined fuel economy in two-wheel drive, and 20 mpg in all-wheel drive. This engine has a max towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, when properly equipped.
- 278-horsepower V6: This engine is available on all trim levels. It produces 265 pound-feet of torque. It gets 18-20 mpg of combined fuel economy, depending on the cab that you pair with it. This engine has a max towing capacity of 6,800 pounds when properly equipped.
Configurations: The Toyota Tacoma is available with two cab configurations and two bed lengths. Here are the available options:
- Access cab: Seating for four with just 24.6-inches of legroom for rear passengers; compact, rear-opening doors; seats fold up to provide cargo storage space when rear seats aren’t in use; comes standard with a 6-foot bed. Available on SR, SR5, TRD Sport and TDR Off-road trim.
- Double cab: Seating for five, with 32.6-inches of legroom for rear passengers; full-sized rear doors; seats have a 40/60 split and can fold flat; available with 5-foot or 6-foot bed. Available on all trim levels.
Trims: The 2019 Toyota Tacoma is available in six trim levels: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited and TDR Pro (introduced in 2017). All Tacomas come standard with automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and emergency braking (as of 2018). Here is what you can expect from each trim:
- SR: Choice of 159-horsepower or 278-horsepower engine; cloth upholstery; 4.2-inch display screen; Bluetooth® and USB connections; backup camera
- SR5: Choice of engines; chrome rear bumper and grille surround; keyless entry; leather-wrapped steering wheel
- TRD Sport: 278-horsepower engine; push-button start; 17-inch wheels; wireless smartphone charging
- TRD Off-Road: 278-horsepower engine; off-road-tuned suspension with Bilstein®41 shocks; premium audio with Entune® App Suite; active traction control (on four-wheel drive models)
- Limited: 278-horsepower engine; leather-trimmed seats; dual-zone climate control; automatic headlights; 18-inch wheels; chrome exterior accents; available in double cab only
- TDR Pro: 278-horsepower engine with standard four-wheel drive; TRD-tuned off-road suspension with 2.5-in. FOX®42 Internal
Bypass shocks; electronic locking rear differential; moonroof; leather-trimmed seats, heated in the front
Reliability: The Toyota Tacoma is a very reliable truck. The 2016, 2018 and 2019 models have a reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5 from J.D. Power and Associates. That’s well above average. Model years 2017 and forthcoming 2020 have slightly lower, but still above average, reliability ratings of 3.5 and 3 respectively.
There are currently two recalls on the 2019 Toyota Tacoma. The first relates to text wearing off capacity labels, which could potentially lead to the truck being overloaded. The second relates to the braking system valves, which could decrease the brakes’ efficiency. That recall is also active on the 2018 Tacoma. If you’re buying used, check the vehicle’s VIN to see if it is subject to these recalls.
Safety: The 2019 Toyota Tacoma has a four out or five crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Safety-conscious drivers will like that all models of the Tacoma come with safety features including lane-departure warning and emergency braking. Additional safety features including rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring are available as package options.
Ratings: The Toyota Tacoma has standout reliability, which helps it keep its value over the long term. By one calculation, the Toyota Tacoma is the vehicle with the second-lowest depreciation over five years, losing just 29.5 percent of its value over that time. The Tacoma hold its value better than any other pickup truck, making it appealing to drivers who prioritize resale value and those shopping for a truck to last years.
The Takeaway: The Toyota Tacoma is a good option for drivers who prioritize reliability and value. Although the Tacoma is smaller than other pickups, it has a full bed and seats that fold to allow additional cargo in the cab. The Tacoma has off-road trims that deliver great performance, although those are pricier than the base trims. Standard safety features make the Tacoma appealing to drivers who want to utilize the latest driver-assist technologies. Overall, the Tacoma can fit the needs of a variety of drivers, while maintaining its value over the years.