Autoreview by Veeno Dewan
The Toyota Tacoma of former years if I remember correctly was a compact dainty looking pickup. A 2005 redesign saw it becoming larger and more rugged looking. A further restyling makeover for 2009 has now resulted in a smart, neat truck that provides a good blend of form, function and utility. It has always been a tough, durable reliable truck with simply bulletproof four- cylinder engines
The Tacoma comes in a few permutations of body styles and offers a choice of two-wheel drive, four wheel drive and with a choice of four cylinder or V6 power engine power. Starting price is $21,895 in two-wheel-drive, four-cylinder manual form, and $25,995 for the four-by-four version.
The 4.0-litre V-6 power, available only with 4WD, has a starting price of $28,380. A Double Cab 4WD model, with full rear doors starts at $32,645.
The last test truck we drove was the Double Cab 4WD model with a V6 engine looking splendid in a lovely shade of green.
The Tacoma features neat, tidy interior that looks tough and durable. Comfortable cloth front seats and a well-designed dash dominate. Of note is the redesigned gauge cluster and more car-like steering wheel. Switch and knobs are also well thought out being large and simple to operate. Very important when you have to wear gloves in cold weather Canada.
The access cab model offers second row jumps seats only and really are occasional seats for kids. If you will be carrying rear seat passengers on a regular basis the Double Cab with a proper bench seat as on our tester is more preferable.
Engine wise the base four-cylinder, 2.7-litre four cylinder mill is rated at 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque is a good solid power plant. It is available with a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic.
Optional and recommended if you need to haul or two more cargo and passengers is the 236-hp 4.0L V6 engine with a 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 4-speed automatics. This engine is available with a 2-wheel drive or four-wheel drive as on our tester.
If you do opt for the 4-wheel drive version you gain a one-touch part-time 4WD system comprising two-speed transfer case and limited slip rear differential. It’s rated to tow 1,587 kg and carry a maximum of 544 kg (1,200 lb) of cargo in its bed.
On the road, our V6 powered tester proved to have decent grunt and torque. The stiff sprung independent front and solid axle rear suspension and high ground clearance made light work of some early spring snow in Vancouver. A smooth, seamless transmission make it a good road performer. Good brakes and compliant steering also add to good driving dynamics.
Overall the 2013 Toyota Tacoma is one of the best compact-mid size pickup trucks you can buy. True there are cheaper trucks on the market, but few can match the Tacoma in terms of toughness, durability, off road performance should you need it and of course resale value.
The fact it’s very hard to find a pre-owned Tacoma testifies to the value of the brand. Highly recommended as a dependable, high valued pickup truck for work or play.
2013 Toyota Tacoma pickup priced from $21,895 – $32,645.