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Pickup trucks aren’t typically praised for having great fuel efficiency. In fact, trucks can be some of the thirstiest vehicles on the road. Even smaller trucks can chug gasoline at astonishing rates. A Toyota midsize pickup truck only gets 18 miles per gallon combined in its least fuel-efficient configuration.

This Toyota Tacoma configuration can guzzle gas

A red 2023 Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck is parked off-road.
The 2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

The term ‘gas guzzler’ is often reserved for the least fuel-efficient vehicles in the industry. As gas mileage estimates improve across the board and more hybrids are introduced, fewer and fewer vehicles are determined to be gas guzzlers by the general public. The focus on carbon emission reduction makes vehicles with poor fuel economy really stand out.

Several Toyota nameplates have been scrutinized by consumers for having less than ideal mpg combined ratings. The Tundra and Sequoia were notorious gas guzzlers before their redesigns.

The Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck doesn’t have a horrible mpg rating, but some of its configurations aren’t very fuel efficient by today’s standards, and frankly, they aren’t meant to be. The Taco is a midsize off-road pickup truck that shines best on trails. Fuel economy isn’t something that many die-hard Taco fans consider.

Fueleconomy.Gov claims that a Toyota Tacoma with four-wheel drive and the 3.5-liter V6 manual engine option with the six-speed transmission achieves 18 miles per gallon combined. That’s three miles less than the base Taco’s 21 mpg combined. The four-wheel drive manual V6 Tacoma has a driving range that’s 63 miles less (379) than the base model’s 443-mile range. So, if you want a daily driver, then this specific Tacoma configuration is a poor choice. If you’re looking for a trail monster, this may be the Taco for you.

Why is the Toyota Tacoma so popular?

A green 2023 Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck is driving off-road on sand.
The 2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular pickup trucks in America. It’s a standout model in its segment. The Taco also happens to be one of the few vehicles on the market that often appreciates over time rather than losing value. Used Tacomas experienced this phenomenon during the height of the global pandemic.

It’s clear that the Taco has a huge following, but why is it so popular? The Toyota Tacoma is popular because it’s an affordable midsize pickup truck that can easily stand the test of time. Most Tacoma models can last for 200,000 miles or 14 years of ownership for the average driver. Well-maintained Tacos can last above 250,000 miles or over 17 years for the average driver.

A huge part of the Tacoma’s appeal is its off-roading prowess. Japanese automaker Toyota now offers different off-road trims so enthusiasts can take full advantage of the Taco’s ability to tackle tricky terrain.

Should you get a 2023 Toyota Tacoma?

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma starts at $27,250. It comes in seven different trim levels. The Tacoma uses a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine to make 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. It gets 20 miles per gallon in the city and 23 miles per gallon on the highway. Car and Driver praises the Tacoma’s rugged design and many standard safety features.

The Toyota Tacoma is a great midsize pickup, but it isn’t the best in its vehicle segment. That title is claimed by the Honda Ridgeline, a unibody pickup truck that can function as a daily driver while still boasting capability and reliability.