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2023 Toyota Tacoma Review - An Age-Defying Pickup Truck

The Toyota Tacoma, a truck that has stood the test of time, continues to hold its ground in the ever-competitive automotive market. Despite its roots tracing back to 2005, with this generation dating back to 2015, the Tacoma has retained its popularity and managed to secure its place as the fourth best-selling truck in America and the fourth best-selling Toyota. Let's delve into the reasons behind its enduring appeal, its strengths, and the areas where it might fall short.

A Legacy of Evolution

The journey of the Toyota Tacoma began in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Toyota recognized the need to cater to the unique preferences of North American truck shoppers. This led to the birth of the Tacoma, which replaced the Toyota Hilux in the American market in 1995. Initially designed to prioritize ride quality, comfort, and safety on the road, the Tacoma has evolved over the years to embrace its rugged and off-road capabilities, gaining a reputation as a formidable companion for various terrains.

Performance and Capability

Under the hood, the 2023 Toyota Tacoma offers two engine options. The base 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine generates 159 horsepower, while the more robust 3.5-liter V6 engine produces 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. These engines, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission (or a six-speed manual in certain trims), power the Tacoma's rear or four-wheel drive systems. While the Tacoma's towing and payload capacities are competitive, they are expected to receive significant improvements in the next generation.

Off-Road Prowess

The Tacoma's popularity is bolstered by its off-road capabilities, especially in TRD (Toyota Racing Development) and TRD Pro models. While some competitors may outshine the Tacoma in various areas, its reputation as an off-road champion remains strong. The availability of features like the rear locker and all-terrain controls further enhance its off-road prowess.

Interior and Ergonomics

Step inside the Tacoma, and you'll find an interior that showcases its age. While some updates have been introduced over time, the cabin materials and layout might feel a bit outdated compared to more modern competitors. The seating ergonomics could be a point of contention for taller individuals, as the seating position might feel lower and less comfortable. In the rear, seating comfort and headroom may also pose challenges for taller passengers.

Technology and Infotainment:

The Tacoma features a somewhat updated infotainment system with available Apple CarPlay, Android Auto integration, and factory navigation. However, compared to the latest offerings from other manufacturers, the infotainment system might feel less advanced. The inclusion of safety features through the Toyota Safety Sense package, including radar adaptive cruise control, is a notable advantage.

Ride and Handling:

The Tacoma's ride quality, while not as refined as some competitors, still aligns well with its rugged image. Its handling, steering, and grip are adequate for a midsize truck, although smaller truck models might offer a more nimble feel on the road.

Fuel Economy and Competition:

Fuel economy remains an area where the Tacoma could improve, as competitors in both midsize and half-ton truck segments offer more efficient options. The emergence of hybrid and turbocharged engines in the market, along with better fuel economy figures, has intensified the competition.


The 2023 Toyota Tacoma, with its age-defying popularity, remains a steadfast choice for truck enthusiasts seeking a reliable, capable, and rugged companion. While it may not lead the pack in every aspect, its off-road capabilities, dependability, and strong resale value contribute to its enduring appeal. With a new generation on the horizon, Toyota has an opportunity to address the Tacoma's shortcomings and further solidify its place in the competitive truck landscape.

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