best year for Toyota Tacoma

Best Year For Toyota Tacoma: A Comprehensive Guide

The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular pickup trucks, known for its reliability, durability, and off-road capabilities. With so many different model years, it can take time to determine the best fit for your needs. That’s why we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to help you decide on the best year for Toyota Tacoma.

We’ll explore a range of factors that can impact your decision, including performance, safety features, fuel economy, and more. If you are looking for a truck for work or play, our guide will break down the pros and cons of each year so that you can make an informed decision about which Toyota Tacoma is right for you.

7 Best Years For Toyota Tacoma:

There have been some standout years where Tacoma truly excelled in performance, durability, and style. Here are the seven best years for the Toyota Tacoma.


The 2001 model year offered various engine options, making it one of the most diverse models yet. The standard engine was a 2.4L inline-4 with 142 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of torque, which was more than enough power for everyday tasks.

best year for Toyota Tacoma

For those who needed more power, there was also an available 2.7L inline-4 engine that produced 150 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. This engine provided ample power for towing small trailers or hauling light loads. The top-of-the-line engine option was the powerful 3.4L V6, generating an impressive 190 horsepower and 220 lb-ft of torque.

This year was an excellent year for those seeking reliability in pre-owned trucks. With advancements in automotive technology, truck manufacturers have produced vehicles that can withstand years of use and abuse without breaking down or requiring frequent repairs.


The 2005 Toyota Tacoma was a significant upgrade from previous models, with the new 4.0L V6 engine option providing more power and better performance than ever before.

This engine boasted an impressive 245 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque, making it one of the most powerful trucks in its class. Along with this increased power came improvements to the interior, which saw significant upgrades in comfort and technology.

Despite these upgrades, potential buyers should be aware of some issues with the 2005 Tacoma. One such issue was the rear leaf springs, prone to breaking under heavy loads. Some owners reported problems with rust on their vehicles’ frames, particularly in areas where road salt was used during winter months.


The 2010 Toyota Tacoma remains popular for those looking for a reliable and functional pickup truck. Equipped with an upgraded 2.7L 4-cylinder engine, it provides ample power while maintaining impressive fuel efficiency. For those who require even more horsepower, an available 4.0L V6 delivers plenty of muscle to get the job done.

best year for Toyota Tacoma

To its performance capabilities, the 2010 model year saw significant improvements in safety features, earning a Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS. With standard features such as antilock brakes, stability control, optional side airbags, and traction control, drivers can feel confident on the road, knowing their vehicle is equipped to handle unexpected situations. The Tacoma’s sturdy construction also adds another layer of protection in a collision.


The 2012 Toyota Tacoma lineup is a versatile and reliable option for those needing a compact pickup truck. With two engine options, drivers can choose between a 159-horsepower, 2.7L 4-cylinder or a more powerful 236-hp, 4.0L V6.

Both engine options come with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The smaller engine is better suited for lighter loads and general commuting, while the larger V6 offers more power for towing and hauling heavier cargo.


2015 was the best year for Toyota Tacoma, a 2.7-litre four-cylinder and a 4.0-litre V6. The 4-cylinder engine produces 159 horsepower and 180 foot-pound torque, making it suitable for light-duty tasks where towing is not required. It comes with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.

best year for Toyota Tacoma

Those who require more power may opt for the V6 engine, which delivers an impressive output of 236 horsepower and 266 foot-pounds of torque. This engine is paired with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission and can tow up to over 6,500 pounds when properly equipped.


The 2016 Toyota Tacoma delivers exceptional performance with two engine options: a 2.7-litre four-cylinder or a 3.5-litre V6. Both engines are paired with either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. The V6 engine comes equipped with Atkinson cycle technology for improved fuel efficiency without sacrificing power.


2018, with its advanced safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams, the 2018 Tacoma is one of the safest trucks on the market. It offers a comfortable ride with ample space in both the front and back seats.

best year for Toyota Tacoma

But safety and comfort are just part of what makes this Tacoma unique. It also boasts impressive power thanks to its standard V6 engine, which produces 278 horsepower and can tow up to 6,800 pounds. And if you’re looking for off-road capability, the TRD Pro trim level adds features like a locking rear differential and skid plates to take on any terrain.

Toyota Tacoma Years To Avoid:

Not all model years of this vehicle are created equal. There are some years that you should avoid if you’re in the market for a used Toyota Tacoma.


The 2005 model year has been plagued with rust and corrosion problems that have caused headaches for owners. The issue stems from a design flaw in the frame that can trap moisture and lead to rusting from the inside out.

best year for Toyota Tacoma

Toyota acknowledged the issue and launched a voluntary recall campaign to address it. Many owners missed out on inspecting or replacing their frames because they were unaware of the recall or did not receive a notification. As a result, there are still many 2005 Tacomas on the road with potentially dangerous frame corrosion issues.


The 2006 model year faced several issues that left some owners feeling disappointed. One of the most notable problems was frame rust and corrosion. This issue was familiar to the 2006 model year, as it plagued earlier models, such as the 2005 Tacoma.

Some owners also reported problems with their automatic transmission, specifically with shifting between gears or even complete failure. These issues caused frustration and inconvenience for many Tacoma owners who relied on their trucks for work or daily transportation. Despite these concerns, many still praised Tacoma’s overall durability and performance capabilities.


Many owners of this model have reported engine issues that have caused headaches and financial strain. One common problem is excessive oil consumption, which can lead to engine damage if not addressed promptly.

best year for Toyota Tacoma

The head gasket is another issue that causes problems with the 2009 Tacoma. This component seals the engine block and cylinder head to maintain a controlled combustion process. When it fails, coolant leaks into the engine’s oil system or vice versa, leading to overheating and other severe problems.


While this year has no significant issues, it did experience some reported problems with excessive oil consumption in the 4-cylinder engine.

This issue with excessive oil consumption was not widespread, but it did affect some owners of the 2010 Tacoma. The problem stems from faulty piston rings that cause oil to burn too quickly in the engine. If left unchecked, this can lead to severe engine damage and even failure.


While it’s not considered a significant issue, there were some complaints about transmission problems and fuel economy. The transmission issues primarily affected automatic transmissions and included slipping gears or delayed shifting. Some drivers reported lower-than-expected gas mileage in both city and highway driving conditions.

best year for Toyota Tacoma

Despite these concerns, the 2016 Tacoma still received generally positive reviews from critics and customers alike. Many praised its comfortable interior, user-friendly technology, and impressive off-road capabilities.

Which Toyota Tacoma Generation Should You Buy?

Tacoma has undergone several updates and redesigns to improve its performance, safety features, and overall driving experience. If you consider buying a Toyota Tacoma, you may wonder which generation best suits your needs.

The third generation of Toyota Tacoma was introduced in 2016 and is still being produced today. This generation offers many advanced features that stand out from previous models. For starters, this version of the Tacoma comes with a more muscular exterior design that gives it an aggressive look on the road. It boasts improved fuel efficiency thanks to its powerful 3.5L V6 engine that can achieve up to 24 miles per gallon on highways.

What Year Is The Most Reliable Toyota Tacoma?

The 2015 Toyota Tacoma is considered to be the most reliable model year. Unsurprisingly, it’s often considered the most reliable model year of the Toyota Tacoma. This truck offers excellent handling, impressive off-road capabilities, and a comfortable ride. The 2015 model also boasts an impressive fuel economy with an estimated 21 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

best year for Toyota Tacoma

The 2015 Toyota Tacoma is highly regarded for its reliability, advanced engineering, and high-quality materials. Its robust frame construction provides exceptional support and stability on even the roughest terrain. The truck also comes equipped with a range of safety features like anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and side-impact airbags to ensure maximum protection for passengers and drivers.

What Are The Most Common Problems With Toyota Tacomas?

Even the most reliable vehicles can encounter problems over time. Here are some of the most common issues that Toyota Tacoma owners have reported:

Transmission Problems (2016 V6 Models)

Some Tacoma owners have reported issues with their transmissions, including slipping gears, difficulty shifting, and erratic behaviour.

Rust (2005-2006 Models)

Many Tacoma owners in areas with heavy salt or moisture in the air have complained about rust forming on their trucks’ frames and body panels.

Fuel Economy (2009 and 2010 Models)

Despite being a smaller truck, some Tacoma models have been criticized for poor fuel economy compared to other mid-size pickups on the market.

Leaf Spring Problems

best year for toyota tacoma 4x4

These springs can wear out and cause a clunking noise when driving over bumps or uneven surfaces. There have been reports of leaf springs breaking entirely and puncturing tires while driving.

Paint Peeling and Bubbling

Some Tacoma owners have also complained about paint peeling or bubbling on their trucks, particularly on the hood and roof. This can be caused by exposure to sunlight and other environmental factors.

How Many Miles Will A Tacoma Last?

According to Consumer Reports, the Toyota Tacoma has an average lifespan of 300,000 miles. Some owners have reported driving their Tacomas well beyond this threshold with proper care and maintenance. Regular oil changes, regular tire rotations, and keeping up with other recommended maintenance tasks can help extend the life of your Tacoma.

How you drive your truck plays a crucial role in its longevity. Aggressive driving, such as rapid acceleration and hard braking, can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle’s engine and transmission, which may shorten its lifespan.

What Year Tacoma Has The Least Problems?

The 2015 Toyota Tacoma is the most reliable model year with the fewest reported problems. This comes as no surprise as this generation of Tacomas was redesigned with improvements to suspension and steering systems. The 2015 Tacoma boasts advanced safety features such as lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking.

It’s important to note that every vehicle can have unique issues regardless of the model year. Regular maintenance and proper care can go a long way in avoiding potential problems.

What Year Did Toyota Tacoma Have Transmission Problems?

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma V6 model experienced transmission problems due to a faulty torque converter. This component transfers power from the engine to the transmission and can cause shifting issues if it malfunctions. The problem caused some owners to experience rough shifting or hesitation while driving.

What Are The Closest Competitors To The Toyota Tacoma?

The Toyota Tacoma is the closest competitor to the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Ford Ranger, and Honda Ridgeline. These trucks are available with a 4-cylinder engine and a V6 engine. The Tacoma also has several features that set it apart from these other trucks.

best year for toyota tacoma 4x4

The Tacoma has a higher ground clearance than the Colorado and Canyon, making it better suited for off-road use. The Tacoma has a more powerful engine than the Ranger and Ridgeline, making it a better choice for those who need more power.

How Long Do The Transmissions Normally Last On These Models?

Typically, Toyota Tacoma has transmissions that last between 150,000 to 200,000 miles under usual driving conditions. Several variables, such as heavy towing or extreme weather conditions, may affect a Toyota Tacoma transmission lifespan. 

Regular vehicle servicing is crucial in extending the transmission lifespan. Changing fluids regularly prevents build-up within the system, reducing the risk of failure.

How Fuel-Efficient Are Toyota Tacomas?

It’s important to note that the fuel efficiency of Toyota Tacomas can vary depending on several factors, such as the engine size, transmission type, and driving conditions.

The Toyota Tacoma, with a 2.7-litre four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission, has an estimated EPA rating of 19 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. 

Are Toyota Tacomas Good For Off-Roading?

The answer is a resounding yes. The Tacoma’s sturdy frame and high ground clearance make it perfect for navigating rough terrain, while its advanced suspension system ensures a smooth ride even on the bumpiest trails.

best year for toyota tacoma 4x4

Its 4-wheel drive capability easily tackles steep inclines or slippery surfaces, making it an excellent choice for those exploring off-road terrains.

Due to its impressive performance capabilities, the Tacoma also offers ample storage space and towing capacity. It means you can bring all the gear you need for your adventures without sacrificing comfort or convenience.

Final Words About Best Year For Toyota Tacoma:

The Toyota Tacoma has had an impressive year with numerous upgrades and advancements, making it a top contender in its class. This truck is built to handle any challenge, from improved technology to enhanced performance capabilities.

With its combination of durability, versatility, and style, it’s no surprise that the 2015 best year for Toyota Tacoma is one of the best-selling trucks on the market.

Whether looking for a reliable workhorse or an off-road adventurer, the Tacoma delivers on all fronts. So why wait? Head to your nearest Toyota dealership and experience the best year for Toyota Tacoma today.


Which year of the Toyota Tacoma has the best towing capacity?

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma has one of the highest towing capacities, making it an excellent choice for hauling heavy loads.

Is there a particular year that stands out for off-road performance?

The TRD Pro versions of the 2017 and 2019 Toyota Tacoma are highly regarded for their off-road capabilities.