Trucks & SUVs

How Reliable Is the Toyota Tacoma?

There is no denying that Toyota Tacoma owners love their Tacomas. According to 2019 stats, the Tacoma is the third most sold light truck in America. U.S. News has rated the Tacoma in the top three among all other compact pickup trucks for over a decade.

In addition to all that, the Tacoma is considered one of the best trucks for the money. U.S. News gave the beloved Taco the number one title in its class in 2013, 2015, 2016, and in 2018. The Toyota Tacoma must be one of the most reliable vehicles out there, right?

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD off-road

Toyota Tacoma: reliability over the years

Staying up top for that long isn’t an easy feat. Of course, Toyota is a brand known for its reliability. Toyotas mark up the miles and hold their value unlike nearly any other car out there. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Toyotas are always reliable.

There were a few years in particular that the Toyota Tacoma, sometimes in spite of high overall rankings, was known for having issues with reliability. The 2016, 2017, and 2009 models for example, were all said to have various problems including transmission complaints.

Despite these years with lackluster reliability, the Tacoma has remained a warrior among compact trucks. It’s an extremely capable truck with new and used models that attract people with a range of interests.

It’s a reliable work truck with potential as a decent family car, and it laughs in the face of danger when it comes to off-roading. If you are looking for a truck that’s reliable on all fronts –– even if you buy used –– the Tacoma is a top contender.

Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports reliability ratings can offer some perspective when comparing the reliability of different makes and models. From 2010 to 2015, Consumer Reports gave The Toyota Tacoma great reliability ratings. But beginning in 2016, the Tacoma began experiencing issues.

Consumers reported the issues and the rankings dropped. In 2016, the Tacoma’s overall reliability rating went from 5/5 to 3/5 and remained low the following year in 2017. In 2018, the poor Taco saw an even worse drop in overall reliability with 1/5 score. 2019 was a better year that almost climbed back to its previous 5/5 reliability score, but the 2020 model isn’t receiving good marks so far.

Reliability: how will the 2021 model stack up?

The 2020 Toyota Tacoma has an overall predicted reliability rating of 3/5, trending back to the 2016 and 2017 ratings. But what else does Consumer Reports say? The 2020 Toyota Tacoma’s overall rating is number three in its class earning some rugged praise.

“This beast of burden has a tough-as-nails chassis and a durable composite­ plastic bed. For off-roading adventures, the capable Tacoma has few peers.”

Consumer Reports

The Tacoma takeaway

Although this functional compact truck has seen some bad years of reliability, it’s proven itself as one of the more reliable trucks out there. The 2020 Toyota Tacoma rates just below the 2020 Honda Ridgeline and the 2020 Ford Ranger. We can only guess as to how the 2021 model will stack up, but hopefully we will continue to see improvement.

In fact, if you are on the hunt for a utility truck you may get more bang for your buck buying a used Tacoma. As far as reliability goes, Tacos have a pretty bullet proof history. As long as you steer clear of a few years that weren’t so great.

Even judging purely on the amount of old school Tacomas on the road today, this Toyota truck is holding it down. A testament to its reliability, older models of the Toyota Tacoma are commonly seen in the wild.

New or used, most agree that Tacomas are pretty reliable.