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Kelly Blue Book is one of the most trusted names in car reviews. However, they have a bit of a unique pick for their favorite midsize pickup truck. The 2022 Toyota Tacoma is not a bad decision at all. In fact, it makes perfect sense, actually. The Tacoma is now and has always been a tough small pickup truck. Despite its shortcomings, KBB stays loyal to its favorite midsize pickup truck. 

2022 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition midsize pickup truck parked in a rocky desert location
2022 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

How did the 2022 Toyota Tacoma do on Kelly Blue Book? 

It stole the show, again. The 2021 Toyota Tacoma won best midsize pickup truck last year, and now the 2022 Toyota Tacoma got first and second place this year with a score of 4.6/5 for the access cab model and the double cab model. 

KBB loves the Tacoma for the reasons everyone else loves it. Tacomas are reliable, tough, and incredible performers off-road. While most publications will trash the Tacoma for being a bit rough around the edges than other more comfortable and refined pickup trucks, KBB looks at its toughness as a major plus. 

Is the Toyota Tacoma a good pickup truck? 

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma sits in front of a house as a mid-size truck.
2022 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular pickup truck models of all time. Toyota has carried its reputation for toughness and reliability for decades. The Toyota Tundra and Tacoma are the models most responsible for this reputation. 

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma often gets grief from reviewers because Toyota has dragged its feet on updating the classic midsize pickup truck. The Tundra has been completely redesigned for this model year, but the Tacoma is still holding down the old way. Over the years, this lack of innovation and efficiency has turned some buyers away from the Tacoma. However, if you are looking for the toughest midsize pickup truck, the Tacoma is the toughest in the game. 

The Tacoma has two engine options, a 2.7-liter inline-four making 159 hp and a 3.5-liter V6 making 278 hp. As much as KBB like the Tacoma, it warns customers away from the four-cylinder version. The lack of power might annoy drivers more than the stiff ride and spartan interior. However, the V6 more than solves the small motor’s power issues. 

Regardless of which engine you pick, the Toyota Tacoma still has a strong history of reliability. 

Does the 2022 Toyota Tacoma have a manual transmission? 

This is, without question, one of the coolest parts of the 2022 Toyota Tacoma. Thankfully, Toyota has been fit to continue using the 6-speed manual transmission in the Tacoma. Of course, the Tacoma can also have a 6-speed automatic transmission as well. 

In America, the manual transmission is all but gone, but sports cars like the Subaru BRZ, Mazda Miata, and now the Toyota Supra are keeping the three-pedal cars alive. For pickup trucks, a manual gearbox is difficult to find. Thank God for the Tacoma. 

What are the Tacoma’s biggest problems? 

Most people complain the most about the lack of luxury features like fancier interiors or a softer ride. The Tacoma has been ripped to shreds for its stiff ride and clumsy handling. However, KBB calls the suspension “…firm but more than bearable.” Admittedly, that isn’t a glowing review, but good enough is still good enough. 

With the Tacoma Access Cab configuration, it still won first place for KBB, but they do mention that the rear seats are pretty cramped. Continuing that line of complaints, there is also little interior storage. 

A Tacoma is always worth it

The autos writer nerds (like myself) have been lining up for years to take their shots at the Tacoma. Despite some decent arguments for these critiques, It’s nice to see KBB stand behind their favorite midsize pickup truck. The Toyota Tacoma is one of the greatest trucks ever made, and KBB sees no reason why we shouldn’t pass that praise onto the 2022 model. 

If you are looking for a more extreme Tacoma, check out this unreal camper rig below.


This Radical 2017 Toyota Tacoma Overland Rig Is Way Cooler Than a New Tacoma