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This Toyota Tacoma is still conquering trails after 360,000 miles. The Tacoma is a lean, mean off-roading machine. This overland build proves that the ‘Taco’ is every off-roading trail-lovers dream truck. Here’s why you may want to consider getting a Tacoma of your own.

The Toyota Tacoma overland build that eats trails for breakfast

A white Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.
The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Double Cab | Toyota

According to MotorTrend, Marcos Cardenas’ 2000 Toyota Tacoma is as reliable as ever after 360,000+ miles. Marcos is a self-proclaimed “Toyota guy” and has accomplished amazing feats with his Taco build. Marcos’ first exterior modification was the addition of a winch, front bumper, and off-road lights.

Next, Marcos got a suspension upgrade and 33-inch Toyo Open Country M/T tires. Today the modified Toyota Tacoma overland build features an awning, rooftop tent, pressurized water tank, transmission skidplate, rocksliders, high clearance hitch, and many more cool add-ons.

The 2000 Toyota Tacoma has conquered many a trail and is still working perfectly in Marcos’ opinion. The Tacoma is a great truck for an overland build because it’s affordable, reliable, and extremely fun to modify. The most impressive aspect of Marcos’ overland build is that the Taco seems to have a lot of fight left in it.

Is a Tacoma worth the money?

Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4 is on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show.
Toyota Tacoma TRD 4×4 is on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show | Raymond Boyd via Getty Images

The Toyota Tacoma is not the best pickup truck on the market. Models like the Honda Ridgeline and Chevrolet Colorado often outshine it. The Tacoma does have its redeeming qualities that make up for its simplistic cabin and less comfortable interior. Also, the Tacoma happens to be one of the most affordable pickup trucks on the market.

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma starts at $27,615. Its interior isn’t as pretty as other mid-size trucks. It doesn’t handle as well or ride as smoothly. The Tacoma is popular because it doubles as a great off-roading vehicle.

The Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road has become one of its most popular trims. It starts at $35,780 for the 2021 model year. This model comes with 16-inch wheels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plenty of driver-assist features, and a standard electronic locking rear differential that is perfect for off-roading.

Toyota Tacomas are well worth the money if drivers are looking to tackle trails. The Taco is also a great workhorse. Marcos’ Tacoma build is proof that the Tacoma has been trail-ready for a very long time.

What year is the best Tacoma?

A green Toyota Tacoma.
The Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

Though Toyota Tacomas are great for off-roading, they do have their issues. The automatic transmission has felt strange and jerky on the vehicle for many model years, including the most recent models. The base model four-cylinder engine often isn’t powerful enough for many drivers.

It’s hard to beat the first-generation of Toyota Tacoma trucks. Marcos’ build is proof that the early 2000s may have been the golden years for the Taco. The 2005 model was a standout model. The 2015 and 2019 model years also received great reviews.

The best Toyota Tacoma was most likely built 15 to 20 years ago. The good news is that newer Tacos are still affordable, and there is an entire community for modern enthusiasts. Whatever model year you chose, the Taco is likely to be a little clumsy and low-tech but lovable and fun on the trail.


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