Trucks & SUVs

Taco Tuesday: Is a 2017 Toyota Tacoma a Better Used Pickup Truck Than the 2018 Model Year?

Buying a used pickup truck from a few years back is a great way to save money and still get modern features. In fact, newer doesn’t always mean better. Is the 2017 Toyota Tacoma a better used pickup truck than the 2018 model year?

a white and 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro on display at an auto show
2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

While both Tacoma model years are a pretty good solid truck, the 2018 Toyota Tacoma actually earned a lower score from Consumer Reports in terms of reliability. In addition, The 2017 Toyota Tacoma received the Consumer Reports recommendation badge and TRD Pro updates. But what do you lose by opting for the 2017 Taco instead of the 2018 model year?

Toyota Tacoma features

In 2017, an updated TRD Pro Tacoma joined the lineup. In most ways, the 2017 Toyota Tacoma and the 2018 model year are both good used pickup truck options. The newer model will obviously cost a little more, but generally only by $2,000 or so.

However, there is a long list of freshly standard safety and driver-assist features for the 2018 model. So you may miss out on some of those creature comforts should you decide to save a few and buy the older model. “For 2018, Toyota added active safety equipment like lane departure warning, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control to the standard features list,” according to U.S. News and World Report.

You lose those standard features with the 2017 Toyota Tacoma. So is it actually a better used pickup truck? That’s up to the buyer, ultimately, but let’s take a closer look.

The 2018 Toyota Tacoma

The 2018 Toyota Tacoma scored a 3 out of 5 for reliability from Consumer Reports. It earned a higher score from J.D. Power. The 2018 model year earned a 4.5 out of 5 for reliability after the J.D. Power survey. Depending upon which publication you trust more in terms of reliability ratings, the 2018 Taco is either a worse or better used pickup truck.

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Either way, however, it is important to remember the 2017 Toyota Tacoma doesn’t have as long of a list of standard features. Either truck you end up with is a good choice, really. Especially if you’ve had your sights sets on the Toyota Tacoma and its rugged charm for a while.

Trading fancy features for trusty Taco reliability?

Depending on which publication means more to you in terms of reliability ratings, you could end up trading fancy features for that trusty Taco reliability. The 2017 model is the one that Consumer Reports recommends. On the other hand, U.S. News ranked this good used pickup truck No. 1 in its class in 2018. The 2017 model year took the No. 2 spot.

a gray 2018 model year Toyota Tacoma climbing down a sandy red incline on an off-road trail in the desert.
2018 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota USA

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Is the 2017 Toyota Tacoma a better used pickup truck than the 2018 model year? That’s hard to say. If you want one a few thousand dollars cheaper, and don’t mind opting out of the safety features the 2017 model may appeal more to you.

The 2018 model year costs a bit more, but it’s loaded with those safety features the 2017 Taco misses out on. Chances are you’ll end up in a great used pickup truck regardless of which year you choose. There’s a reason this compact truck is a best-selling pickup model.