Taco Tuesday: Only 3 Toyota Tacoma Model Years Aren’t Recommended by Consumer Reports

The Toyota Tacoma is famed for its historic durability. This small pickup truck earned a reputation for off-road prowess, yes. But it also made a name for itself as one of the longest-lasting, most reliable pickup trucks. In fact, there are only three Toyota Tacoma model years that aren’t recommended by Consumer Reports.

2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition new bed storage
2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition | Toyota

The Toyota Tacoma’s three generations certainly hold true to the Toyota paradigm of outstanding reliability. It’s a simple, effective small pickup truck marketed to adventurers. It’s also gained a bit of hipster status over the years. But when it comes down to this truck being so popular, reliability is a major element that comes into play. So which Toyota Tacoma model years aren’t recommended by Consumer Reports?

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma isn’t recommended

All the way back to the 2000 model year, Consumer Reports posted ratings and ranked this small pickup truck. If you look at the Taco’s history with Consumer Reports ratings, you’ll see a lot of high reliability scores. You’ll also see a recommendation badge for nearly every model year. It wasn’t until recently we started seeing a missing recommendation.

A white 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro on display at an auto show
A 2020 Toyota Tacoma | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

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When it comes to the most reliable pickup trucks, the Taco is unfailingly on the list. However, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma is not recommended by Consumer Reports. While most model years earn a 4 or 5 out of 5 for predicted reliability, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma model year shows a score of 3 out of 5. This isn’t dismal but, considering the Taco’s reputation, it’s not great.

Two other model years of this small pickup truck don’t get the Consumer Reports recommendation

There are two mode Toyota Tacoma model years that didn’t earn the recommendation badge. These are also recent model years. Unlike the 2021 Toyota Tacoma, the 2020 model got the recommendation badge. However, in 2018 and 2019 the Taco missed the mark.

A white 2018 Toyota Tacoma Pickup truck on display
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro on display | Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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The 2018 Toyota Tacoma earned just 3 out of 5 for reliability. For a lot of other models that’s not so bad. But for the Taco it’s sub par. In fact, the high reliability scores have set a high standard for the Tacoma. Any time it gets less than 4 out of 5 for predicted reliability, Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend it to buyers.

It’s without a doubt one of the most reliable pickup trucks on the road. You can go back one model year to 2020 or 20 model years to 2000. Either way, you’re like to find a solid vehicle with staying power. The 2018 Toyota Tacoma, the 2019 model, and the 2021 model year are all three not recommended by Consumer Reports.

Which small pickup trucks are recommended?

Consumer Reports recommends the 2021 Honda Ridgeline and Jeep Gladiator this year. In 2019, the Honda Ridgeline earned the badge. Consumer Reports did not recommend any small pickup trucks in 2018.

2009 Toyota Tacoma driving
2009 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

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That said, every model year of the Tacoma is recommended except the three we’ve listed here. If you are looking for a truck with a record for good reliability, the Toyota Tacoma is a great choice. Among compact pickup trucks, this one is an off-road beast with reliability to boot. There’s a reason it’s received the recommended badge for so many model years.