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There’s no denying that the Toyota Tacoma is a popular truck. According to Toyota, it’s been America’s best-selling midsize truck for the last 15 years. Hit the road, and you’re bound to see at least one of these trucks.

The Toyota Tacoma has earned itself a long list of awards too. That said, does it get too much respect? While it certainly makes for a great pick, there are a few reasons to hit the pause button before buying a new or used Toyota Tacoma. 

A white Toyota Tacoma displayed at an auto show.
2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro on display at the 111th Annual Chicago Auto Show | Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The Toyota Tacoma is an award-winning truck

According to The Fast Lane Truck, Toyota sold an impressive 248,801 Tacoma models last year. That number is nothing to scoff at.

Contributing to the Tacoma’s popularity, of course, are the many accolades it has earned itself. Not only has the Tacoma been recognized as the best-selling midsize pickup for 15 years running, but it has also received a ‘2020 5-Year Cost to Own Award’ from Kelley Blue Book, according to Toyota’s website

The 2019 Toyota Tacoma received a ‘Best Retained Value Award’ from Edmunds too. Edmunds lauded the truck for its “rugged off-pavement capability,” adding that it is “one of the most well-rounded pickups on sale today.”

Problems with the Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma has faced its share of issues, though. According to The Wall Street Journal, Toyota agreed to pay roughly $3.4 billion to settle claims that certain model years lacked proper rust protection. The settlement included Toyota Tacoma trucks from model years 2005 to 2010. Also included in the settlement were the Toyota Tundra and the Toyota Sequoia.

According to Consumer Reports, not all Toyota Tacoma models are reliable either. Consumer Reports gave the 2016 model a 3 out of 5 score for overall reliability. Among the trouble spots were the truck’s body integrity, its brakes, and its in-car electronics. 

Much like other trucks, the Tacoma has been recalled before too. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists three recalls for the 2019 Tacoma. Those recalls include the Tacoma’s fuel pump, non-permanent text on the load capacity label, and a brake master cylinder seal that may be damaged.

And when it comes to owner complaints? The NHTSA has received 14 complaints about the 2020 Tacoma. The most common complaints have been about the 2020 Tacoma’s fuel propulsion system and its brakes.


How Reliable Is the Toyota Tacoma?

How it stands up against the competition

If you’re second-guessing the Toyota Tacoma’s worthiness, there are other options for you to consider. The Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Honda Ridgeline are all worth taking a gander at if you’re not sold on the Toyota Tacoma just yet. 

Though the Chevrolet Colorado has now entered the 2021 model year, last year’s model was a Kelley Blue Book ‘Best Buy’ award winner. There are also plenty of reasons to consider the GMC Canyon, which boasts more towing capacity than the 2020 Tacoma.

As for the Honda Ridgeline? While it might not offer the same brawn as the Tacoma, this year’s Ridgeline did earn a better NHTSA safety rating than the Tacoma did. 

In the end, does the Toyota Tacoma get too much respect? It probably does. Does the perfect truck actually exist, though? Probably not. And while the Tacoma has had its fair share of issues, its retained value and low cost of ownership do make for great selling points.