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You probably already know that the Toyota Tacoma is incredibly popular. But did you know that this midsize truck has been the best-selling option for decades? The Toyota Tacoma could have a richer history than you think. 

Why is the Toyota Tacoma the most popular truck? 

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma on the road
2024 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

A few things that set the Toyota Tacoma ahead are its reputation for being very reliable, unmatched durability, stout off-roading capabilities, and having a solid resale value beyond five years of ownership. 

It may prove that people are resistant to change. The Tacoma hasn’t been updated since 2016 and had the same body style for years. But that steel frame really holds up, so owners can enjoy their trucks for years. 

In 2022, the Tacoma sold 216,000 models. Rivals didn’t come close. The 2022 Ford Ranger moved 57,000 trucks, the Chevy Colorado sold 89,000 units, and the 2022 Nissan Frontier managed to get 76,000 sales. 

Despite being in a time of supply chain constraints, a recession, rising inflation, and a pandemic, the Tacoma managed to lap the competition. But this isn’t the Tacoma’s first rodeo. It’s been the best-selling mid-sized truck for the past 19 years. 

A brief history of the Toyota Tacoma 

The first Toyota Tacoma was introduced in 1995 as a replacement for the Toyota Hilux. Making a new truck for America was easier than modifying the Hilux to meet rising emission standards. 

This generation lasted until 2004. The truck was available with 2WD and a four-cylinder engine. But you could also opt for a V6 engine or the PreRunner, which is a 2WD model with an off-road suspension. 

The second Toyota Tacoma generation lasted from 2005 until 2011. This generation had plenty of engine options, including a stout V6. This is when the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro was introduced with 4WD and off-roading suspension upgrades. 

Then the third generation of the Toyota Tacoma lasted from 2016 until 2023. It has a standard four-cylinder engine and a more potent V6 option. The TRD Pro and other speciliazed models have off-roading oriented suspensions. 

The fourth generation Toyota Tacoma just came out the gate with twin-turbo power and an available hybrid engine. It should be more capable and refined to keep the best-selling tradition alive. Plus, the first-ever Trailhyunter model for overlanding is available.