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The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular trucks on the road. They look powerful, drive like a dream both on and off-road, and have a stellar reputation for reliability. There are some model years that you’d be better off avoiding, however. The 2005, 2016, and 2017 models are plagued with major maintenance issues and may cost you more than they are worth.

A 2005 Toyota Tacoma parked on the side of the road.
2005 Toyota Tacoma | Michael Fein/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

2005 Toyota Tacoma

No vehicle looks good with peeling paint, and the 2005 Toyota Tacoma is no exception. Several owners have taken to Car Complaints to report issues with peeling paint, and the required repairs are far from cheap.

The typical repair cost is $3,300. The average mileage when it begins to become a real issue is 101,600 miles. 

Many of the owners stated that the clear paint began eroding on the roof. The rest of the truck was swift to follow. One person even reported that the metal beneath the paint was beginning to rust.

This is another huge problem for the 2005 model. Some owners have reported to the NHTSA that the chassis is beginning to rust. For those who love their Tacoma, this is a very unsightly and expensive problem to fix.

2016 Toyota Tacoma

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma has the most owners reporting issues on Car Complaints. Currently, it has 159 complaints. The top three issues revolve around the paint job, engine problems, and transmission. 

Those who had problems with the transmission, which is the most reported issue, stated that there is delayed engagement of drive when cold, hesitation or hard shifts, rough shifting, lurching when transmission engages, howling noises, lacks power, slips, and vibrates at highway speed.

Car Complaints has no information listed for the typical repair cost. It seems to be happening about 4,400 miles, however. That’s extremely low mileage to have such major issues with the transmission. The only common solution seems to be updating the ecu programming. Most of the owners who filed complaints reported that they had no solution.

One owner was so fed up that he referred to his truck as the “toilet Tacoma 2016.” That’s a far cry from the beloved nickname Taco that so many Tacoma fans refer to it as.

2017 Toyota Tacoma

Like the 2016 model, owners of the 2017 Tacoma reported that it did not shift properly. In fact, 25 people complained about this one issue. Another complained that it downshifts while coasting.

There is currently no available data as to how much it costs to repair the 2017 Tacoma. Most owners report that the problems began around 7,350 miles and that the severity rating is a 7.8, or “pretty bad.” When asked what solutions were used to fix this, everyone who reported to Car Complaints chose not sure.

One owner stated he had a software update, and he did notice a change for the better. It didn’t last for long, however. 

Most of the owners were highly disgusted with the situation and reported that speaking to Toyota did no good. 

User Jud P tried speaking to a Toyota rep, but it didn’t go well. He stated, “The Toyota rep said I had no recourse with the issue, as it’s Toyota’s position that it is normal. I asked that they send me a letter stating that the truck would shutter at 1000 rpms and around 40 to 50 mph, and it is operating normally. Her response was she would definitely not do that.”

Newer models of the Tacoma don’t seem to be plagued with this issue, but if you’re in the market for a used Tacoma, then you should avoid the 2005, 2016, and 2017 at all costs.


The Most Frustrating 2016 Toyota Tacoma Complaints