The 2023 Toyota Tacoma Feels Ancient but Ready for Adventure
The current-gen Toyota Tacoma was revealed for the 2016 model year. And while it remains one of the most popular midsize trucks, it is starting to feel a little dated. The interior is not necessarily on par with newer pickups like the 2023 Chevy Colorado, and the automatic six-speeds feels funky. But despite some drawbacks, this truck is ready for adventure. And that is especially true for the TRD Pro Tacoma.
When did the current Toyota Tacoma come out?
The 2016 Tacoma pickup truck was introduced for the 2016 model year. In terms of looks, it borrows quite a bit from the Toyota 4Runner and builds on the second-gen Tacoma’s success. Overall, this midsize truck has garnered praise from owners and the automotive industry alike.
Although this Tacoma is one of the older pickups that you can get new, it does offer something other trucks don’t. In 2023, you can buy a new Toyota Tacoma with a six-speed manual transmission. That’s right, if you want a new midsize truck with a manual gearbox, the Tacoma is one of the only models that offers that.
If you opt for one of the three Tacoma TRD models, you can get a six-speed manual transmission paired with the 3.5-liter V6 engine. This engine makes 278 horsepower and 265 pound-foot of torque.
The 2023 Tacoma TRD Pro is ready for adventure
The TRD Pro trim has been available on the Tacoma for some time. In 2023, that package comes with a 1.5-inch front lift and a 0.5-inch rear lift. Because of that, it can better handle things like off-roading right from the factory.
Other perks include the front TRD Pro skid plate, improved fog lights, FOX Internal Bypass shocks, and an electronically-locking rear differential. A locking differential is key to tackling low-traction conditions. And that is something that the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro has.
That is not to say this is the perfect truck. In my experience, at least when compared to trucks like the 2023 Nissan Frontier, the Tacoma’s V6 can feel slightly underpowered. To add to that, the six-speed automatic transmission seems to have a mind of its own.
According to MotorTrend, despite those drawbacks, the Tacoma remains one of the hottest midsize trucks on the market.
A new Toyota midsize truck is coming
In recent weeks, Toyota has started to tease the 2024 Tacoma. This will be the first major update this pickup has had in some time. The redesigned Tacoma will ride on the TNGA-F platform, shared with the Tundra, and it should boast a beefier design.
The latest Tacoma news has to do with the TRD Pro model. The brand dropped an image on social media showing off the tailgate of its off-road midsize truck. Apparently, for the next-gen Tacoma, we are going to see a Tacoma hybrid. And that means this truck may finally be getting the power that it deserves.
It’s not clear if, after this redesign, Toyota’s midsize truck will continue to offer a manual transmission. Frankly, I’m not holding my breath there.