Best Years Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma has been a reliable powerhouse in the midsize truck market for decades. With numerous updates and changes over the years, some models shine above the rest. In this article, we will discuss the best years of the Toyota Tacoma to help you make an informed decision when purchasing a truck.

Important Outline

To comprehensively cover the best years for the Toyota Tacoma, we will consider factors such as engine technology, reliability, safety features, comfort, and resale value. The most outstanding years for the Tacoma in these respects are 2005, 2012, and 2016.

2005 Toyota Tacoma

The 2005 Tacoma marked the start of the truck’s second generation and brought numerous upgrades, both mechanically and aesthetically. With improved engines ranging from a 2.7-liter four-cylinder to a powerful 4.0-liter V6, it sat at the top of its class in terms of power and towing capacity.

Another reason many consider the 2005 model among the best is its renowned reliability. This year scored high in consumer feedback and expert reviews, largely due to its durability and minimal maintenance requirements. The truck handles well both on and off-road, making it a versatile choice for many drivers.

2012 Toyota Tacoma

The 2012 Tacoma was a refreshing update to the second generation, offering refined performance and new styling. Toyota targeted fuel efficiency with this release, introducing better aerodynamics and engine modifications to ensure smoother, more economical driving.

In terms of interior options and comfort, the 2012 Tacoma had more available features than its predecessors, including navigation, heated seats, and a rearview camera. Built with a high-strength steel frame, it excelled in safety, scoring well in IIHS crash tests.

Resale value is another strong suit for the 2012 Tacoma. Due to the high demand for this year, it maintains better value than other similarly aged trucks in the market.

2016 Toyota Tacoma

With the launch of the third generation, the 2016 Tacoma exceled in performance, styling, and utility. This model introduced the 3.5-liter V6 Atkinson cycle engine, which provided both power and improved fuel efficiency.

Off-road enthusiasts praised the 2016 Tacoma for the addition of the TRD Pro trim, which offered a locking rear differential, skid plates, and off-road-tuned suspension. This made the truck better equipped for off-road adventures than ever before.

A notable feature for the 2016 Tacoma was its interior upgrade. With a focus on increased cabin space and better connectivity, this year saw the introduction of Qi wireless charging, push-button start, and the Entune infotainment system, among other modern amenities.


While each year and generation of the Toyota Tacoma brought improvements to the midsize truck, the 2005, 2012, and 2016 models stand out as the best years of the Tacoma. Depending on personal preference for styling, performance, and available features, any of these three options represent an excellent choice when searching for a reliable and versatile midsize truck.

Step by Step Guide

When considering a used Toyota Tacoma, it’s important to follow a step by step guide to assist in making a thoughtful decision. This guide will help you review different aspects of the truck, including research, inspection, test driving, and final decision-making.

Step by Step Guide With Bullet Points

1. Research: Investigate the model years and Tacoma trim options, keeping in mind our suggestions for the best years (2005, 2012, and 2016). This will help you develop a deeper understanding of the differences between the model years and identify a preferred option.

2. Find Available Listings: Search for available used Tacomas in your preferred model year and trim level. Use reputable car shopping websites or inquire with local dealerships to find potential matches.

3. Vehicle History Report: Request a vehicle history report once you identify a specific truck. This report will provide crucial information such as previous owners, accidents, and maintenance history. Use this data to help you assess the truck’s overall condition.

4. Inspection: Schedule an appointment to inspect the Tacoma. When examining it, pay attention to the exterior, interior, and engine compartment. Check for leaks, rust, and other potential issues. If you’re not confident in your inspection skills, consider hiring a trusted mechanic for an expert evaluation.

5. Test Drive: Conduct a thorough test drive on different terrains and at various speeds. Take note of the truck’s acceleration, braking, transmission responsiveness, and handling. Additionally, listen for any unusual noises that could indicate a problem with the vehicle.

6. Negotiate and Purchase: If the Tacoma has met your criteria and you’re satisfied with its performance and condition, negotiate a fair price with the seller based on your research and the truck’s history. Complete the purchase process, and enjoy your new-to-you Toyota Tacoma.

Pros and Cons

– Resale Value: The Toyota Tacoma has a solid reputation for retaining its value over time.
– Reliability: Tacomas are known for their durability and low maintenance requirements.
– Off-road Capability: With features such as a locking rear differential and off-road-tuned suspension, Tacomas demonstrate excellent off-road performance.

– Ride Comfort: Some model years of the Tacoma may lack the smoothest ride quality when compared to competitors.
– Fuel Efficiency: While certain models of the Tacoma have decent fuel efficiency, there can always be room for improvement in this area.
– Price: In the used market, Tacomas may carry a premium price due to their high demand and resale value.


Q: How many miles can a Toyota Tacoma last?
A: With proper maintenance, a Toyota Tacoma can easily exceed 200,000 miles. Some owners have reported reaching over 300,000 miles with their trucks.

Q: What are common problems with Toyota Tacomas?
A: While Tacomas have a reputation for reliability, some common issues include lower ball joint wear, excessive rust on certain models, and occasional transmission problems in specific years. Thoroughly inspect the truck, obtain a vehicle history report, and consult a mechanic to alleviate these concerns.

Q: What is the towing capacity of the Toyota Tacoma?
A: The towing capacity of a Toyota Tacoma depends on the model, trim level, and engine. Typically, most Tacomas can tow between 3,500 to 6,800 pounds.

Q: How often should I change the oil in my Toyota Tacoma?
A: For modern Tacomas using synthetic oil, it is generally recommended to change the oil every 7,500 to 10,000 miles. However, always consult your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.


In summary, the Toyota Tacoma is a highly regarded midsize truck, with 2005, 2012, and 2016 model years shining as top choices. By following the step by step guide outlined above, you can make an informed decision when selecting a used Tacoma. Remember to consider the pros and cons while keeping personal preferences and needs in mind. With diligent research, inspection, and decision-making, you can confidently invest in a reliable and versatile Toyota Tacoma.

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