Toyota jumped on the mid-size pickup bandwagon in 2016 with an all-new Tacoma design the company hoped would catch the coat tails of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, a pair of trucks that reinvigorated the segment the year before.
For 2018, the Tacoma gets some minor changes, the most notable being the addition of standard active safety equipment in the brand's Safety Sense P suite, which brings a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, automatic high beams and radar cruise control.
Toyota has also slimmed down the number of cab/box combinations: You can no longer get a Double Cab V6 Limited model or any of the TRD Pro trims with the six-foot box.
As before, there's no regular cab available here. The lineup starts with four-cylinder, RWD Access Cab trucks that stretch the cabin to allow a pair of tiny fold-up seats, but the space is better used for cargo. Four-wheel drive and a V6 are options here. If you want space for five people, the Double Cab is for you, with its proper four-door body and standard 4WD and V6 engine.
The four-cylinder is a 2.7L engine making 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. Most models get a six-speed automatic, but 4x4 versions with the TRD Sport and TRD Pro packages come with a standard six-speed stick that can be optioned back up to the automatic. V6 trucks use a 3.5L good for 278 hp and 265 lb-ft that can be had with either transmission.
Toyota has a good reputation in this segment for building durable, long-lasting trucks, but all the same we have a hard time loving the Tacoma. Its seating position is a weird hybrid of truck and car: You have to climb up into it, as you'd expect, but once you're there, headroom is not terribly generous. We prefer the Chevrolet/GMC twins for their more accommodating interior. The GM trucks also offer more variety under the hood thanks to a four-cylinder diesel option in addition to gas four- and six-cylinders.
The Tacoma's most novel standard feature is a GoPro camera mount inside the windshield that makes it easy to record your drives, though we imagine this is aimed mostly at buyers of the TRD Off-Road trims with their locking differentials, terrain select system, all-terrain tires and crawl control. TRD Pro trims go further with remote reservoir shocks, sport exhaust and TRD badging.
Fuel consumption estimates range from 12.1/10.1 L/100 km (city/highway) for four-cylinder, 2WD trucks to 13.8/11.7 for the TRD Off-Road model.
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