2022 Toyota Tacoma Failed to Win Consumer Reports Most Reliable Compact Truck

The scores are tallied and Consumer Reports has released its most reliable pickup truck rankings. The 2022 Toyota Tacoma failed to earn Consumer Reports’ most reliable compact pickup truck. It did not even take second place: the Tacoma had to settle for a tie with the Ford Maverick for third place.

Are Toyota Tacomas reliable?

Consumer Reports awarded the Toyota Tacoma near-perfect reliability scores throughout the truck’s second generation (2005-2015). But Consumer Reports’ predicted reliability scores for the third-generation Tacoma have YO-YOed every year. The 2022 Toyota Tacoma only earned a 3/5 or “Average” for predicted reliability.

Gray 2022 Toyota Tacoma navigating an off-road trail.
2022 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

For the 2019 model year, Consumer Reports gave the Tacoma a predicted reliability score of just 1/5. This score was based on the history of that model, the brand, and any changes to the truck. In 2020, that score soared to 4/5. In 2021, it reached 5/5, and then fell again in 2022.

So why the fluctuations? Every year, Consumer Reports sends surveys to several hundred owners of relatively recent trucks. They ask the owners about major issues and repairs, then amend the reliability ratings. It appears that the 2020 and 2021 ratings may have been prematurely high.

Do Toyota Tacomas have a lot of problems?

According to Consumer Reports, some owners of third-generation (2016-present) Toyota Tacomas have complained about problems with the transmission, the fuel system, and the drive system (driveshafts or CV joints).

Gray Toyota Tacoma parked by a mountain lake.
2022 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

My colleague Charles Singh wrote up common Toyota Tacoma problems here on MotorBiscuit. He found the third generation’s transmission and lower ball joints (drive system) create the most headaches. Other problems owners report include leaking exhaust manifolds and a failing secondary air injection pump reducing fuel mileage.

Consumer Reports actually pointed out that used second-generation Tacomas command a premium on the used car market, and it may be because they’re considered more reliable.

Older Tacomas are so valuable that they sometimes cost as much as brand new trucks. For example, a reviewer found a 2013 Tacoma with 38,000 miles listed for $30,000. Meanwhile, a brand new Tacoma began at under $30k.

What year Tacoma has transmission problems?

Toyota Tacoma’s automatic transmission problems emerged with the truck’s third generation in 2016. It took Toyota two years to address these issues. By the 2018 model year, transmission problems were still the most common owner complaint, but much less common.

2022 Toyota Tacoma truck driving up a dirt road.
2022 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

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What happens when a Toyota Tacoma suffers from automatic transmission issues? According to the Car Complaints website, most owners experience a delay in “Drive” engaging, especially in cold weather: you select drive, press the accelerator, and a moment later the transmission engages the gear and the truck begins to move.

The malfunction could easily frustrate new Tacoma drivers. A transmission is also an expensive part to repair. It’s no wonder that used, dependable second-generation Tacomas are worth so much.