2018 Toyota Tacoma
The Tacoma is like a punk-rock band—an edgy alternative to more sophisticated, grown-up mid-size rivals. Its iconic off-road cred is demonstrated by definitive trail-ready trims and packages featuring rugged equipment and impressive capability. The Tacoma has typical pickup-truck versatility with multiple powertrains and body configurations. It also boasts the most standard active safety features in the class, including automated emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Although the Toyota isn’t as completely compelling as the competition, it has the pedigree and practicality that are perfect for an adventurous personality.
What’s New for 2018?
The 2018 Tacoma is mostly the same as last year’s model, except for one major update. The mid-size pickup now has a host of standard active safety features with the addition of Toyota Safety Sense-P. The list includes forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, automatic high-beams, and adaptive cruise control. Otherwise, the five-speed manual transmission has been discontinued, and several trims receive minor grille updates and reshuffled paint colors.
What Was New for 2017?
The TRD Pro returned after a one-year hiatus, and it’s Toyota’s top-of-the-line off-road model. It is powered exclusively by a 3.5-liter V-6 in the Double Cab (crew cab) short-bed setup, and it offers either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The TRD Pro also features a suspension tuned for off-road driving with a 1.0-inch lift, plus LED exterior lighting, the basic V-6 tow package, and, of course, various TRD equipment and badging. The TRD Pro also includes standard safety assists such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. All models received a touchscreen Entune infotainment system.
Trims and Options We Chose for 2017
The Tacoma is at its best when it’s outfitted to take the really dirty, really beaten path. We’d choose the TRD Off-Road model, which starts at $33,190. Available with either a five- or six-foot bed, the TRD Off-Road can only be had with the Double Cab, which offers rear-seat space for taking up to four of your friends on an adventure. The lone engine is a 3.5-liter V-6 that teams with a six-speed automatic as standard or a six-speed manual as an option. The manual gearbox requires four-wheel drive, but it’s better than the finicky automatic. Choosing the manual means no selectable drive modes. Other standard equipment on the TRD Off-Road trim includes:
• Tuned suspension equipped with off-road shocks
• 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
• Electronically locking differential
Our Tacoma TRD Off-Road with the six-speed manual and four-wheel drive cost $35,175; the only option was the V-6 Tow package ($650), which includes a Class IV trailer hitch.