Is the Toyota Tacoma Still the Best Mid-Size Pickup?

Currently, the Toyota Tacoma is in its third generation. And, generally speaking, it has long been a popular mid-size truck. Recently, there’s been a new pickup in town in form of the 2022 Nissan Frontier. While the Tacoma is still outselling the Frontier by significant margins, it is not doing as well as it has in the past. So, is the Toyota Tacoma still a truck that is worth buying, or is the Frontier coming for the crown?

Is the 2022 Toyota Tacoma a good truck?

If sales are any indication, the Tacoma is still a good truck. Through March of 2022, Toyota moved 53,182 units, which is far more than the 2022 Frontier which sold less than 25,000 models. At the same time, according to The Drive, that means there has been about a 20% decline year-over-year, while the new Frontier had an increase in sales. 

2022 Toyota Tacoma safety rating only marginal on IIHS test
The 2022 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck | Toyota

The increase in Frontier sales is likely due in part to the fact that it has entered its third generation. And that marks the first major update to this mid-size truck in nearly 20 years. Meanwhile, the current Tacoma has been out since 2016. To some buyers, that may make the 2022 Tacoma feel slightly dated. 

When will the Tacoma get its fourth generation?

The fourth-generation Toyota Tacoma is expected to arrive for the 2024 model year. This will likely be a welcome update, as it will mean the Tacoma will be a better competitor with some of its newer rivals, like the 2022 Nissan Frontier. That is not to say that the current generation Tacoma is bad. It has consistently been one of the top-selling mid-size trucks. 

Side view of 2023 Toyota Tacoma, highlighting new small Toyota truck that could be better than Ford Maverick
2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

But in such a crowded segment, it is important to continuously update lineups. It is unclear when exactly the fourth-gen Tacoma will go on sale at dealerships. If it arrived in 2023, that would not be too surprising and it would help to make the Tacoma truly competitive again. 

What platform will the 2024 Toyota Tacoma use?

It can be assumed that Toyota will use its TNGA-F platform to build the new Tacoma. This platform is already utilized with the J300 Land Cruise as well as the 2022 Tundra. Other body-on-frame Toyota vehicles will likely use this platform as well. 

The TNGA-F platform has proved itself as fairly rugged and reliable. It will be exciting to see how the fourth-gen Tacoma will be impacted by it. 

Is the 2022 Nissan Frontier coming for the crown?

In terms of mid-size trucks, the Frontier is now the second-best-selling vehicle on the market. But, it still trails significantly behind the 2022 Tacoma. As a Toyota, the Tacoma has more perceived prestige and likely reliability associated with it. But, it looks like some shoppers are starting to shy away from it. 

A 2022 Toyota Tacoma SR5 sits in a driveway.
Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

That said, when it comes to interior quality, it still feels like the Tacoma is ahead of the Frontier, and it also has a more comfortable ride. Plus, the Tacoma offers something that the Frontier does not, and that is a manual transmission. Giving owners the power of hand-made shifts.

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