The Toyota Tacoma for 2023 is a mid-size pickup truck that competes with other models such as the Ford Ranger and Nissan Frontier. One of its key selling points is its reputation for durability, which is reinforced by its impressive resale value.
Later this year, the fourth-generation Toyota Tacoma will be released as a 2024 model, and for 2023, there are new trim packages available for the SR5 grade. The Tacoma comes in extended- and crew-cab styles with 5- and 6-foot beds, and while base models feature a 2.7-liter inline-4 engine, buyers can opt for a 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 278 hp, but acceleration may not be particularly quick, and the estimated fuel economy is 20 to 22 mpg in most configurations.
Although the Tacoma is a capable vehicle, comfort may not be its strongest attribute as the front seats are positioned low to the ground and the headroom is restricted, particularly if the optional sunroof is selected, while the back seat offers only slightly more space.
Characterized by its distinctively robust exterior design, the 2023 Tacoma is a sturdy pickup truck renowned for its outstanding performance. The version we tested featured fixed running boards securely attached to the rocker panels, as part of the optional “Truck Exterior Package” priced at $1,069.
To provide flexibility, the 2023 Tacoma’s tailgate area features a tubular aluminum retaining barrier that can be moved. With the barrier folded into the bed and the tailgate closed, space for carrying items such as dirt bikes is limited, but dropping the tailgate and flipping the barrier over the extended gate opens up more space. The truck bed also includes a lockable storage compartment that can function as a cooler, with insulation on the driver’s side.
Sporting eye-catching 16-inch alloy wheels with a striking Bronze hue, the Tacoma’s exterior appearance is truly remarkable. Inside the vehicle, the color scheme of the cabin primarily comprises black and gray plastic components. Nevertheless, the use of soft-touch materials and unique graining patterns adds a touch of elegance and sophistication that sets it apart from other vehicles in its class.
Equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine capable of producing 278 horsepower, the Tacoma Trail requires frequent revving during low-demand in-town use. The 6-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, but its tendency to shift up too soon results in suboptimal efficiency, necessitating throttle adjustments. Fortunately, the dashboard’s “ECT Power” button can reduce the transmission’s eagerness to shift up. However, you must remember to press the button every time you start the vehicle.
Thanks to its big sidewalls and long wheelbase, the Tacoma provides a relatively comfortable ride compared to other trucks. However, the steering system demands considerable effort, which is compounded by the thick-rimmed, bulky steering wheel.
Despite its generally robust performance, the braking system is affected by an unusual pedal feel.
With rear-wheel drive, the Tacoma can tow up to 6800 pounds, while the four-wheel-drive variant can pull a maximum of 6500 pounds. However, the maximum payload capacity of 1685 pounds is only attainable in the four-cylinder, two-wheel-drive models. Choosing the V-6 engine and four-wheel drive substantially decreases the vehicle’s capabilities.
The 2023 Toyota Tacoma Trail 4×4 Double Cab comes with an MSRP of $40,970, and if you opt for additional features, the total cost increases to $45,783.
Although the Nissan Frontier might appear dated, it’s the newest model available. However, it does offer a powerful V-6 engine and competitive pricing.
With a powerful turbo-4 engine and a wide variety of trims, the Ford Ranger delivers impressive performance. However, its interior falls behind current standards and may feel outdated.
While lacking modern safety technology, the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon twins offer a superb V-6 engine and a pleasant driving experience with a comfortable ride.
If you’re not in dire need of substantial off-road or towing capabilities, the practical Honda Ridgeline is an excellent choice.