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Has Toyota worn out its reliable reputation? Are we being swindled into thinking the Toyota Tacoma is a reliable pickup truck? Somewhere along the line, this midsize truck found its way to the bottom of the list. What makes the Toyota Tacoma rank so low for reliability? Let’s find out.

What is the Toyota Tacoma’s reliability rating?

RepairPal gives the Tacoma a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5.0. This is above average for the entire auto market but only average in the midsize truck class. Most midsize pickups range at or above 4.0, which puts this Toyota truck below the average for the class. In fact, the Tacoma ranks so low that it’s dead last.

The midsize trucks, in order from best to worst for reliability, are:

  • Nissan Frontier
  • GMC Canyon
  • Ford Ranger
  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • Dodge Dakota
  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Toyota Tacoma

What causes the Toyota Tacoma to rank last in reliability?

Front angle view of orange 2023 Toyota Tacoma, showing how Toyota has more affordable cars than Honda
2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

Using RepairPal’s three reliability factors of cost, frequency, and severity, we find:


The average total annual maintenance and repair costs for the Toyota truck is $478 compared to the midsize truck average of $548. The only truck that has a lower annual cost is the top-ranked Nisan Frontier which costs $470 per year to maintain and repair.


Toyota Tacoma owners bring vehicles to the repair shop for unscheduled repairs 0.25 times per year. This is slightly higher than the 0.2 times per year average for the midsize truck class.


The probability of a severe repair is 17% for the Toyota Tacoma. The average for the midsize truck class is 13%. This is the most alarming factor contributing to the last-place ranking for Toyota Tacoma reliability.

Do other experts rank this Toyota midsize truck as low?

The 2022 model of the Tacoma squeezed into the Great category with a J.D. Power score of 81 for reliability. Most would expect a Toyota vehicle to rank much higher.

Consumer Reports lists the Toyota Tacoma as the sixth out of eight midsize trucks. The predicted reliability score is pretty high, but this is only a prediction of how the 2023 Tacoma will perform.

What is the best year Toyota Tacoma to get?

A 2023 Toyota Tacoma Toyota truck parked outdoors.
2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Several model years stand out for this midsize Toyota truck. The reputation as a reliable truck is well-earned, with excellent scores for most of the first-generation models, including 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2004.

Looking at the second-generation Toyota Tacoma, we find the model years with the top reliability ratings are 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

The third generation of the Tacoma began in 2016. While most models still hold their value, many Tacoma owners prefer the earlier generation models.

Is the 2023 Toyota Tacoma a good truck?

A 2023 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition midsize pickup truck parked on a field of plowed dirt
2023 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

U.S. News & World Report also has the Toyota Tacoma ranked at the bottom of its list. This is a comprehensive ranking with nine trucks in the midsize/compact truck class. U.S. News tells us this Toyota truck has excellent active safety and infotainment features but a weak base engine and a less-than-desirable optional engine.

Next, check out where the 2018 Toyota Tacoma ranks among used midsize trucks, or learn more about the current lineup of midsize trucks in this video below:

Related 3 Most Common Toyota Tacoma Problems Reported by Hundreds of Real Owners

3 Most Common Toyota Tacoma Problems Reported by Hundreds of Real Owners