With full-size pickups like the Ford F-150 selling in such massive volumes, it’s easy to forget the brisk business midsize models do as well. Take the Toyota Tacoma, which trailed only the three big Detroit pickups in truck sales through September.
Overall, Tacoma sat at No. 15 among all vehicles on the U.S. market and was Toyota’s fourth-biggest seller of the year. It was on pace to lead the midsize segment again after 12 years at the top, and it’s established a reputation as a model that retains its value with the best of them.
In brief, this truck is an essential part of the automaker’s U.S. business, and Toyota made some updates for 2019. Here’s everything you’ll find in the Tacoma ($25,550) for the new model year.
1. SX package
Between cab types, drivetrain options, and model trims, you can configure the 2019 Tacoma in 32 different ways. A new option this year is the SX package that represents an upgrade over the base (SR) trim and is available in two- or four-wheel drive.
SX is a blackout package, with the over-fenders, door handles, headlights, and mirror caps with black-key accents. A black grille and 16-inch matte-black wheels finish off the package, which is available in six colors.
2. TRD Pro upgrades
Tacoma’s TRD line comes with a standard V6 in every model from the Sport ($32,245) through the TRD Pro ($42,660). In the top (Pro) trim, buyers get the option of a Desert Air Intake package ($725) that cleans the dust and debris from air when taking the truck through inhospitable terrain.
Inside, the TRD Pro features a standard moonroof and Entune JBL Premium Audio system with automatic transmission. Drivers control that system with a 7-inch touchscreen that features HD radio, a CD player (in case you have any left), six speakers, and a subwoofer amp.
3. Power and towing specs
While there are many configuration options, Tacoma buyers only have two engines to choose from. The base models deploy a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine capable of 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. It mates to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Tacoma’s V6 is a 3.5-liter powerplant capable of 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. Buyers can choose between an automatic transmission (a $2,000 option) and the standard six-speed manual for the more powerful engine.
If you add on the V6 Tow Package, this truck can handle up to 6,800 lbs.
4. Interior and standard safety tech
In every Tacoma, you’ll find the Toyota Safety Sense suite coming standard. The package includes pre-collision warning with pedestrian alert, lane-departure alert, auto high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. This advanced safety tech got a superior rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Meanwhile, every Tacoma has adjustable lumbar support for the driver’s seat. For leather, you have to go with either the Limited ($40,565) or TRD Pro trims. Wireless charging, push-button start, blind-spot alert, and other features are available as options. For 2019, two USB ports got added to the center console in every trim.
5. Safety and fuel economy ratings
Though the Tacoma crash-tested well in every area and offers standard high-tech safety equipment, a “marginal” headlight rating kept it from any IIHS safety awards in 2018. Nonetheless, this truck ranks well in the safety department.
In terms of fuel economy, both four- and six-cylinder models with two-wheel drive and automatic transmission get a combined 21 mpg. All-wheel-drive models rate at 20 mpg, while the manual models have the worst economy of the 2019 lineup at 18 mpg combined.