Wait, Why Is the Toyota Tacoma in Last Place?

Wait for a second. Something feels off. The Toyota Tacoma isn’t a last-place truck, right? Well, it may depend on who you ask. Some critics are ranking the 2021 Toyota Tacoma behind every other mid-size pickup truck option. 

Does the 2021 Toyota Tacoma really deserve last place? 

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma in the dirt
2022 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

Maybe, according to Car and Driver, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma does. On their ranked list of every 2021 mid-size pickup truck option, the Tacoma is in seventh place. That’s last! Also, that means they put the Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, and more ahead of the Tacoma. 

The Honda Ridgeline is in first place, but that’s not surprising. Most critics gush over how well the Ridgeline handles like an SUV. However, the Tacoma typically receives a good amount of praise and higher rankings too. 

For the record, they aren’t calling the Tacoma bad. They’re just calling every other truck better. The mid-size trucks are ranked based on overall utility. Each truck is judged based on its power, fuel economy, cargo space, and price. 

What’s wrong with the Tacoma? 

We wouldn’t say anything is exactly wrong with the 2021 Toyota Tacoma, but opinions about vehicles vary. Car and Driver found a few reasons to rank the Tacoma behind the rest of the pack. 

One issue involves the rubbery cabin. The utilitarian layout and materials are a little dated. Higher trim levels rely on hard plastics and minimalistic materials. But some people want a simple and durable layout. 

Car and Driver also wishes the Tacoma had more space. The tight quarters make it difficult to find a comfortable driving position. The rear seat is pretty confining. Passengers in the rear may want more legroom. Plus, the storage capacity is restricted. 

Plus, the Tacoma has a just OK fuel economy. It gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and up to 23 mpg on the highway. This is a whole five MPG behind the Honda Ridgeline. 

You might be able to forget about the subpar fuel economy if the Tacoma had a better ride quality. The ride is bumpy over pavement, and there’s a bit of wind and road noise in the cabin. Plus, the gearbox fails to provide smooth transmission shifts. 

What’s good about the Tacoma? 

A lime green 2022 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro parked on gravel overlooking mountains
2022 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

There are still plenty of excellent features for the 2021 Toyota Tacoma to brag about. For example, it’s available with a six-speed manual transmission. The Jeep Gladiator is the only other mid-size truck with a manual option. 

Plus, the Tacoma is rugged and versatile for off-roading. The TRD Pro model features TRD-tuned Internal Bypass FOX shocks, TRD Pro wheels, machine-forged upper control arms, skid plates, and more to dominate the wild. 

The Toyota Tacoma has the most standard driver-assistance features in the segment. It comes with forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. 

Last, but not least, investing in a Tacoma is rarely a gamble. It’s known for being pretty durable and reliable. If you buy Tacoma and don’t like it, don’t worry. It has an incredibly high resale value. 

The Tacoma seems to be ranked in last place because of its age. The Tacoma is older than the current generation Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier, Chevy Colorado, and more. However, it’s still one of the best options to buy.

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