Trucks & SUVs

Consumers and Critics Continue to Disagree About the Toyota Tacoma

What critics think often doesn’t match consumer opinions. Critics may love a vehicle, but drivers aren’t flocking to the dealership to buy it. On the flip side, critics sometimes aren’t in love with a vehicle, while consumers can’t buy it fast enough. That’s the case with the Toyota Tacoma.

Critics don’t exactly hate it, but there are other small trucks that they recommend more. Rather than taking their expert advice, consumers not only continue to buy new Tacomas, but they refuse to sell their old Tacomas. So what makes the Tacoma so incredibly popular with consumers?

Why critics aren’t crazy about the Toyota Tacoma 

It’s not that critics hate the Tacoma; they don’t. It’s just not a luxury truck, which seems to be all the rage at the moment. 

The Toyota Tacoma is more of a working truck. It’s for those who work in construction, need to haul heavy loads, or are ready to tackle the great outdoors. For those who need a family vehicle or want a truck that’s more comfortable traveling down Main Street, the Tacoma simply isn’t a good fit. 

Still, this doesn’t explain why critics aren’t impressed by the Tacoma. Many work trucks get rave reviews, so why is the Tacoma singled out?

According to Consumer Reports, “The Tacoma drives like a primitive, agricultural-era relic.” Even though the Tacoma got a redesign in 2016, it wasn’t enough. There are a lot of technological advances that have been made in the truck industry that Toyota totally ignored and neglected to utilize. Some of the major complaints are that it’s slow, clumsy, incredibly loud, and uncomfortable. Consumer Reports states that drivers would be better off purchasing rival trucks such as the Chevrolet Colorado or the Honda Ridgeline.

Motor Trend is on the fence. They like the 2016 redesign and felt that it did have some redeeming qualities. The interior of the newest generation is a big improvement over previous models, and you can’t beat the reliability of a Tacoma. On the other hand, Motor Trend wasn’t thrilled with the lack of a diesel option.

Consumer opinions

2016 Toyota Tacoma at the 107th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place
The Toyota Tacoma | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Consumer Reports referred to the Toyota Tacoma following as almost cult-like, and that may not be so far-fetched. If you check out the Reddit subreddit for the Tacoma, there are very few complaints. What you do find is a lot of drivers who are in love with their Tacoma.

One driver refers to his Tacoma as his “brother from another mother.”  Another driver mourned the fact that his Tacoma was, “The best truck a man could ask for! It gave its life for mine. Still waiting to hear if the insurance will bring her back to life. There will never be another like her.”

Check the subreddit out, and you’ll see tons of pictures of the Tacoma from owners who are so in love with their Tacoma that they want the whole world to know about it. If that’s not devotion, then what is?

Still, there are a few complaints. We recently reported about some of the most common complaints revolving around the Tacoma. There aren’t a lot of complaints, but even the beloved Tacoma has its flaws. 

The sales don’t lie

It’s one thing to check out a forum started by devoted fans, and it’s another thing to check out the actual sales reports. Good Car Bad Car compares reports from December 2019 to December 2018 and then gives the overall YTD report. Compared to 2018, sales actually increased by 1.28%. 

So rather than falling behind in the ranks, the Tacoma had a record year. Will this be enough to change critic opinions? Probably not, but the Tacoma’s following will continue to stay loyal.