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Review of the 2023 Toyota Tacoma: Exceptional Design Combined With a Sturdy Build

Image Source: quiggyt4 / Shutterstock

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma may not be the most comfortable choice compared to newer competitors, but it excels off-road. This mid-size pickup truck competes with models like the Ford Ranger and Nissan Frontier, attracting buyers with its strong reputation for durability and impressive resale value. In what could be its final year before a redesign, the 2023 Tacoma introduces some new trim packages for the SR5 grade.

The Tacoma’s bold and rugged appearance is one of its main strengths. While its robust lines are familiar, the 2023 version retains a tough aesthetic and impressive capability. The front end features a large Toyota badge, with the TRD Pro trim option boasting even larger “TOYOTA” lettering. Each trim level offers unique wheel designs, ranging from basic steel wheels on the SR to stylish alloy wheels with chunky tires on the TRD Pro and TRD Off-Road versions.

Highly capable off-road, the 2023 Toyota Tacoma may not offer the most comfortable ride for daily commuting. Most models, except the TRD Pro, come standard with rear-wheel drive, though a part-time four-wheel-drive system is available. The TRD Off-Road models add features like a locking rear differential, crawl control, and various traction control modes for off-road adventures. The TRD Pro versions include Fox shocks and increased ride height for more challenging terrain.

The ride comfort varies across different trims but is generally plush for a truck, thanks to the large sidewalls and long wheelbase. The Tacoma’s steering requires significant effort, especially with the bulky steering wheel.

Most Tacoma trucks are equipped with a 278-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine, which needs to be pushed for optimal performance even during normal city driving. The base inline-4 engine produces 159 hp, which may feel underpowered, especially for a pickup truck.

The 6-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, though it tends to shift up too quickly for efficiency. The manual transmission available on some TRD configurations offers a more engaging driving experience.

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma is not fuel-efficient, with both 4- and 6-cylinder versions offering similar real-world fuel economy. The V-6 model achieves 19 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg combined. Opting for four-wheel drive reduces these figures to 18/22/20 mpg, with the manual transmission returning 18 mpg combined. The base engine delivers around 20-21 mpg combined.

While the 2023 Toyota Tacoma includes advanced safety features like automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, its crash-test ratings are average. The vehicle offers a stylish interior with a mix of black and grey plastics, featuring interesting textures and some soft-touch materials. However, the cabin feels cramped, with limited rear-seat space and an uncomfortable seating position for drivers.

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma comes in a wide range of configurations to suit different preferences. With a standard 3-year/36,000-mile warranty, the Tacoma lineup starts with the work-oriented SR model, priced around $27,750. The SR5 trim offers additional features like a power-adjustable driver’s seat and enhanced interior and exterior styling. Opting for the V-6 engine, four-wheel drive, and crew-cab body can push the price to nearly $38,000.

For those looking for off-road capabilities, the TRD Off-Road model presents a compelling option at just over $39,000. The higher-end TRD Pro trim, priced around $50,000 with options, offers premium features like Fox shocks and a luxurious interior.

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma maintains its reputation for reliability, performance, and competitiveness in the mid-size truck segment. With a variety of sizes, powertrain options, and trim levels, the 2023 Toyota Tacoma provides a wide range of choices for consumers.

Image Source: quiggyt4 / Shutterstock

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