The Final 6 Cylinder Tacoma Bows Out

Toyota’s 3rd generation Tacoma has been in production since 2015. After eight years being America’s (distant) fourth best selling truck overall and America’s first best-selling midsize truck, the Tacoma is getting a brand-new redesign. If you yearn for the days where vehicles could be put in neutral with a dead battery and could accomplish basic tasks without going through a bevy of computer screens, the 2023 Tacoma may be one of your last old school truck bets to fulfill your Luddite heart before the new 2024 hits dealer lots. It can also present the opportunity for deals as remaining 2023 models get blown out of inventory by dealers.

The 3rd generation Tacoma has a choice of two engines, an anemic 159 horsepower four-cylinder, or a 278 horsepower 3.5L V6, which is what powers most Tacomas on the road today. Choice of transmission for the six cylinder is either a six speed automatic or a six speed manual transmission, though the choice can be trim dependent — the Tacoma is one of the last trucks available with a row-your-own shifter. The only other “pickup” available with a manual transmission is the Jeep Gladiator, and one could even debate its pickup-y status. The four banger comes in automatic only. Two and four wheel drive are available. The third gen Tacoma is a traditional body-on-frame design, embarrassing unibody trucks like the mid-size Honda Ridgeline.

Despite the Tacoma’s age, it still have seven trims. SR ($28,600 msrp), SR5 ($31,280 msrp), TRD Sport ($35,510 msrp), TRD Off-Road ($36,790 msrp), Limited ($41,355 msrp), Trail Special Edition ($41,820 msrp), and TRD Pro ($48,035 msrp). Limited and TRD Pro get 10-way power-adjustable leather seats, while the latter gets special TRD Pro stitching; TRD Sport have the leather seats as an option. SR and SR5 get cloth seats with 4 way manual adjustment; power adjustment is available on SR5 and above. All V6 trims come with dual zone automatic climate control as standard.

The base SR is a fairly bare bones truck. Standard features include a composite bed, skid plates, three USB ports, and all power options (windows, locks, etc). Access cab has seats behind the front but only two doors and a longer bed, and Double Cab has four real doors but a shorter bed; SR Double Cab is surprisingly cheaper than the SR Access Cab, though this doesn’t hold for all trims. The SR5 Double Cab steps up the availability of either a short or long bed, and adds four wheel drive for roughly $3,000 more than rear wheel drive. The SR5 also adds fog lights, 16 inch alloy wheels, leather trimmed tile/telescoping steering wheel, and an 8 inch touchscreen radio. TRD Sport adds 17 inch wheels, panoramic camera screen, 10-way power driver’s seat (cloth), leather trimmed shift lever, premium audio, smart key system, and LED daytime running lights. TRD Off-Road substitutes 16 inch wheels, a Multi-Terrain Select / Crawl Control system, a locking rear differential, and Bilstein Shocks.

Stepping up to premium trims, the Tacoma Limited has a JBL audio system with dynamic navigation, 18 inch polished alloy wheels, a power sliding rear window, leather trimmed and heated seats, and a host of other options made standard such as dual zone auto climate control and LED Headlights with LED fog lights. The top-of-the-line TRD Pro sandwiches together many of the options from the TRD Sport and the Limited in one truck, including the multi terrain monitor, 16 inch alloy wheels in black, the 10 way leather seats, JBL Audio, Fox shock system, TRD skid plates, and electronically locking rear diff. It also has a special TRD Pro graphics package and comes only in Double Cab / 5 foot bed.

The all-new 2024 Tacoma is not yet on sale, but it is expected to have a turbo four cylinder for all trims. Top of the line models will have a hybrid 326 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque combo. A six speed manual transmission will still be optional, as well as eight speed automatic. The 4th gen Tacoma will also say goodbye to leaf-springs in the rear, finally getting more sophisticated rear coils.