2022 Toyota Tacoma

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Updated: March 15, 2022

2022 Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma is the most popular mid-size truck in the country. It’s a solid offering with excellent off-road ability and a reputation for very good durability and resale value.

For 2022 it gets even better off-road, with a lifted suspension for the TRD Pro and for SR5 trucks with the Trail Edition package.

The Tacoma comes in two cab sizes, extended and crew; two bed lengths, 5 or 6 feet, and two drivetrains, rear- or four-wheel drive.

The base engine is a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder which comes with entry-level Tacomas. Far more common is the 3.5-liter V-6 with 278 horsepower, mated to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The 4-cylinder Tacoma earns EPA scores of 20 mpg city, 23 highway, 21 combined, while the same engine with four-wheel drive drops 1 mpg. The V-6 gets about the same mileage, thanks to newer technology: 19/24/21 mpg with rear-drive and 18/22/20 mpg in four-wheel-drive, with the automatic transmission.

The NHTSA gives the Tacoma four stars for safety, with four stars for frontal impact and rollover. The IIHS scores it with a mix of “Good” and “Acceptable” ratings.

Automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, and adaptive cruise control are standard equipment.

Model Lineup

Made in Texas, the Tacoma comes as an SR, an SR5, a Limited, a TRD Off-Road, or as a TRD Pro.

The SR with its inline-4 engine is about $28,000, but the V-6 is worth its higher price. A V-6 SR Access Cab with four-wheel drive is about $32,000. Like the base SR, it comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

The SR5 for another $2,500 adds a power driver’s seat and alloy wheels. For $38,000, you can get a TRD Off-Road crew cab with the 6-speed automatic.

The Limited costs about $43,000 as a crew cab, while the TRD Pro runs a bit more than $45,000.

Every Tacoma comes with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.

Exterior

The body is the standard three-box style, with muscular lines and sharp details. The SR looks ready for work, while SR5 and higher have color-matching details and cooler wheels. TRD Pro has a high suspension and bold styling with prominent badging.

Interior

Every Tacoma has an array of switches and buttons across the dash for direct control; it hasn’t gone touchscreen-crazy. The TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro have additional controls faired into the headliner. We like the unique and playful patterns and designs of the interior materials, and the quality of assembly is very high.

The Tacoma interior has room in front for two tall passengers, but the available sunroof lowers head room. Two passengers can also fit in the back of the crew cab, though three may fit for short trips. The extended-cab Tacoma’s space behind the front seats is better used for cargo.

The good news in the back is that the Tacoma’s pickup bed—whether it’s the 5-foot or 6-foot version—is made from a dent-resistant and rust-proof composite.

Driving Impressions

The base Tacoma’s 159 horsepower limits its usefulness, whether it’s in towing or in fuel economy. Take the 3.5-liter V-6 for its robust 278 horsepower. The 6-speed automatic transmission is tuned for better fuel economy than the 6-speed manual, but off-road enthusiasts may want the manual gearbox nonetheless.

The ride quality in non-TRD versions is fairly supple, as even the big tires absorb bumps well. The TRD Pro rides firmly on the road while its upgraded shocks easily swallow big off-road ruts.

The Tacoma also offers good handling for a pickup, and well-weighted steering. It can run a twisty road better than most rivals, and it’s stable out on the highway, where we appreciate the standard adaptive cruise control.

Most drivers will choose the Tacoma for its hardcore ability to pick its way across rocky trails and muddy ruts. The TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro can climb mountains, with a locking rear differential that keeps them out of trouble, and traction control modes that take the challenge out of finding traction with your foot.

Final Word

Off-road enthusiasts know the 2022 Toyota Tacoma well. It’s a blank slate for customization in SR5 spec, and TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro versions bring trail-blazing ability right from the factory.

 

—By Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection