The Toyota Tacoma consistently ranks among the top five best compact pickup trucks. Regardless of being rated as one of the best-selling trucks in America, it was unable to impress the road testers at Consumer Reports. Let’s take a look at why they gave the 2020 Toyota Tacoma such a low score.
Consumer Reports’ road test
Consumer Reports assigned an overall score of 47 out of a possible 100 points to the 2020 Toyota Tacoma. In the road test, it gave the award-winning truck a dismal 42 points. The truck accelerated well, going from 0 to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds.
The performance of the transmission also ranked high. Where the Tacoma fell short was in both the routine and emergency handling as well as braking scores. All three areas received a two out of five score.
The 2020 Toyota Tacoma’s performance
Consumer Reports refers to the 2020 Toyota Tacoma as a “beast of burden” that outshines its competitors in off-roading capabilities. But, that’s where the compliments end and the complaints begin. In the road test, drivers found that the “Tacoma never felt quick from a standing start or when passing – despite the robust acceleration figures.”
They continued by saying, “Out on the road, the Tacoma’s handling is ponderous, and its slow and numb steering never connects the driver to the front wheels. Clearly clumsy around the corners, it never felt unsafe.”
Consumer Reports didn’t enjoy the feel of the ride, saying, “The chassis’ propensity to jiggle and shudder delivers a Metallica snare drumbeat to your spine.” Ouch, those are harsh words for a truck that is so well regarded in its class.
The complaints kept coming with comments such as, “it still has a too-high step-in, a too-low driver’s seat, and a ceiling that scrapes scalps of those entering the cabin.”
They did enjoy the 19 mpg fuel economy, saying it ranked well amongst its competitors. But, complaints abound with problems with rear seating that included cramped legroom, short cushions, and poor visibility looking out of the small windows.
How Consumer Reports compared the Toyota Tacoma to its competitors
Consumer Reports was clearly not a fan of the 2020 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. They felt that the Chevy Colorado truck, which was voted the Best Midsize Truck of 2020, had a more modern feel to it and provided a better ride. Road testers also preferred the Honda Ridgeline to the Tacoma, saying that it handled more like a car and offered some “clever features.”
In the end, the drivers at Consumer Reports couldn’t bring themselves to recommend purchasing the 2020 Toyota Tacoma. Encountering so many issues on the road test, they stated, “Sure, you can try to dress up a Tacoma by outfitting it with leather trim, a premium stereo, and a moonroof. But for that price, you can get a full-sized pickup with increased hauling capabilities, a roomier cabin, and a more comfortable ride.”
What other reviews had to say about the 2020 Toyota Tacoma
While other industry experts weren’t quite so hard on the 2020 Toyota Tacoma, the scores are still not impressive. Car and Driver gave the pickup truck a 6 out of 10, while U.S. News gave the Tacoma a middle of the road 7.4 out of 10 overall score. Edmunds was the most generous with a 7.7 out of 10 ranking, reporting 4.8 out of 5 stars for consumer reviews.
Overall, they felt that “the Tacoma is great for those who want the look and feel of an off-roader even if they’ll never get it dirty because it’s also an easy-driving and dependable pickup truck.”