When the first model Toyota Tacoma hit the market in 1995, it targeted buyers who wanted a truck, a heavy-duty off-roader, and a luxury car.
Since 2008, this model has topped the rankings for small and mid-sized cars. Toyota produced several pickup truck models under different names before developing this one.
The Toyota Tacoma is available in access cab and double cab body styles since they have a designated model.
The double cab has four regular doors and a three-seat back bench, whereas the access cab has rear-hinged doors and foldable jump seats. The combined hauling capacity of all of this is 6800 pounds.
I’ll now demonstrate the Toyota Tacoma’s finest and worst years.
VIDEO: Best Toyota Tacoma Model Year To Buy
Toyota Tacoma Best and Worst Years
According to numerous sites, the best years for Toyota Tacoma are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2000, and 1997. 2016 and 2012, as well as 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, and 2002, are Toyota Tacoma’s worst-performing years. Due to several problems, the 2005 model year is regarded as the worst Tacoma model year to purchase used. Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure the vehicle’s longevity and dependability, such as adhering to the suggested maintenance plan. Before buying a used Toyota Tacoma, it’s crucial to research the particular model year and avoid any years that have experienced problems.
What Years To Buy? List Of The Top Toyota Tacoma Years
Using my comparing tool, you can find the Toyota Tacoma models that are the most dependable to prevent purchasing a dud.
A Toyota Tacoma in its best year is, without question, a vehicle worth purchasing because it is incredibly dependable and durable.
Toyota Tacoma year 2018
The 2018 Toyota Tacoma, a member of the most recent version, has received little negative feedback in the four years since its introduction.
You won’t be able to hear the other vehicles on the road because of how well the interior is designed to produce a noise-free cabin. In addition, it provides a high-end audio performance system, resulting in a fantastic journey.
Peak speed and dependability for a contemporary Toyota Tacoma are found in the 2018 model. In addition, the model includes new, always-on standard safety features, and the body is offered in two different cab designs.
With the option of a 4-cylinder or a V6 motor, you can choose between a 4-wheel drive and a rear-drive.
Toyota Tacoma for 2019
The 2019 Toyota Tacoma still made some inventions and made a few styling features, such as the logo on the new skid plate, upgraded suspension, ns, and a standard Star Safety system, all of which are available in three different colors, even though it wasn’t a significant improvement over the previous model.
The model is an overall success for the business and a very reliable model for customers thanks to the Star above system, which offers stability, an anti-lock brake system, traction control, and brake force distribution.
Toyota Tacoma 2020
The 2020 model’s incredible ride quality, powerful V6 engine, and luxury stereo performance all contribute to this car’s inclusion.
The options for this Toyota Tacoma model are the same as those for 2018, including rear- or four-wheel drive, a 4-cylinder, or a V6 motor. It also comes in two different cab styles.
You can choose between an automatic or manual gearbox as well. Additionally, the model has convenient features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and automated emergency braking standards.
Toyota Tacoma 1996
The 1996 Toyota Tacoma is the second model of the first iteration of the vehicle class and the second Toyota Tacoma to hit the market after the vehicle’s debut.
This vehicle has received high praise for its sturdy truck frame and dependability, efficiently completing 300,000 miles with minor to no upkeep.
It can accommodate all your equipment and still haul all the necessary materials because it has a lot of cargo space and cabin room. What more could you expect from a pickup truck?
Toyota Tacoma ’97
The 1997 Toyota Tacoma, which followed the highly regarded 1996 model, is the finest truck you will ever own.
The reliability and comfort of this two-seater truck are very similar to that of its predecessor, and it offers ample cabin and cargo area to meet all of your trucking requirements.
The insanely high mileage of this vehicle will keep you on the road with ease, and customers have reported continuing to use it for more than 16 years, demonstrating trustworthiness and reliability. Even in the winter, the journey is excellent because there is no snow.
Toyota Tacoma ’98
Toyota demonstrated for three years that it could produce reliable, long-lasting vehicles without skimping on quality. But unfortunately, making a mistake is challenging when buying a Tacoma, and the 1998 model is no exception.
The 3.4-liter V6 engine in this four-passenger, two-door pickup truck produces 190 horsepower at 4800 RPM and is available with rear- or four-wheel transmissions.
The 1998 Tacoma provides off-road prowess, a powerful engine, sharp looks, dependability, and a broad range of safety features like dual airbags and antilock brakes.
Toyota Tacoma 2000
Toyota introduced another model in the middle of the first generation, a few years after the early models’ success; it was as excellent as the earlier ones.
This would be the highly refined and high-quality Toyota Tacoma variant from 2000. This model is incredibly well-built, dependable, and robust.
With little to no upkeep, this model easily surpasses 300,000 miles in terms of mileage and lifespan. Without question, this Tacoma will prove to be a wise investment over time.
Toyota Tacoma from 2003
Toyota kept up its strong releases as the first generation of the Tacoma came to a close, producing the 2003 Tacoma, which featured an impressive eight trim levels.
One of the earliest models has lower anchors for kid safety seats and anti-lock brakes. It certainly had something to appeal to everyone since it was available in 3 different cab types and over 17 different configurations.
It is a fantastic car for everyday commuting and city travel because it is reliable, practical, and requires little maintenance.
Years To Avoid On The List Of The Worst Years For The Toyota Tacoma
Every coin has two faces, and for every excellent Toyota Tacoma, there is also one that falls short of the expectations set by the brand.
Toyota Tacoma 2016
The Toyota Tacoma entered a new generation in 2016, its most recent version. Sadly, it had a poor start and is regarded as the worst Toyota Tacoma model ever.
This model had many issues, including transmission errors, motor issues, body difficulties, etc. Overall, the vehicle lacked power and would shift erratically, stall out frequently, and make a howling noise.
The transmission would take longer to activate when it was cold. In addition, the steering and floor vibrated due to the engine’s roughness and stalling.
At high velocities, the drivetrain vibrates and leaks from the gasket, creating a high-pitched sound. These are just a few of the numerous issues that this variant encountered.
Toyota Tacoma 2017
No different was the model unveiled following the failure of the 2016 model. Unfortunately, numerous issues also plagued the 2017 Toyota Tacoma, many of which were brought over from the 2016 model.
The AC compressor and condenser would break, there would be transmission issues, there would frequently be engine surging, the engine would make a whining noise, and it would frequently not speed.
The drive train and the jerking, slamming, and surging under pressure were also frequently criticized by the NHSTA. Many of these issues were resolved, but many others persisted.
Toyota Tacoma 2006
The 2006 Toyota Tacoma, a second-generation model, had to fix the terrible generation launch that the model 2005’s predecessor created.
Unfortunately, this Tacoma model was able to make things worse. This model’s paint was prone to flaking off, and the chassis was vulnerable to rust.
The engine frequently accelerated quickly and without purpose, which is dangerous. The engine would occasionally make pecking sounds and not even turn on. Additionally, the variant was prone to noisy bearings and hydraulic brake failure.
Toyota Tacoma 2007
Toyota began to release one poor product after another, going on a run of producing defective goods. So it’s disappointing that many of these issues carried over from the prior model to the new one are unresolved.
The 2007 edition would exhibit the same terrible frame and rusting issues as the 2016 model, in addition to peeling, chipping, and fading paint. In addition, the engine’s tendency to surge in high ratios and experience problems with the throttle control was similar.
The suspensions were insufficient, and issues also plagued the drivetrain.
Toyota Tacoma 2008
The 2008 Toyota Tacoma was a minor improvement over the 2007 model. However, it continued to experience various issues, leading to numerous failures.
Even after two years, the frame and paint issues remained, with corrosion and rust being particularly noticeable. In addition to the unintended acceleration, the motor would hesitate when accelerating and occasionally wouldn’t start.
The entrance had some issues as well because the actuators would break down. In addition, the radio and the cruise control both had other interior difficulties.
Toyota Tacoma 2009
With the most issues in the generation, the 2009 Toyota Tacoma was arguably the worst model to be introduced during the second generation of the class.
The radio was the worst offender, with the radio’s display malfunctioning, going off without notice, and not adjusting in volume. In addition, the interior could have been better designed.
There was a lot of wind commotion inside the cabin. The lighting could have been better, overheating, splitting, or unusable. Additionally, the engine received flak for being challenging to start in cold conditions and for ticking when idle.
Toyota Tacoma 2011
After the 2010 model, it appeared that Toyota had fully grasped the situation and realized what it was doing incorrectly. Then, however, the 2011 Toyota Tacoma, which was later introduced, made the 2010 model seem like a one-off miracle.
Poor headlamps on this model frequently cracked and melted when the lights were turned on during the day.
The AC occasionally operated improperly or not at all, buzzing when it did. Additionally, the suspensions were terrible and prone to fracturing and squeaking.
Toyota Tacoma 2012
Following the production of several subpar models during the second iteration of the Toyota Tacoma, it was only expected that the 2012 model would perform similarly.
This model’s engine received numerous complaints for being especially weak and prone to pump assembly failure. In addition, it moved erratically and produced a loud pinging sound.
Additionally, the drivetrain would tremble when accelerating from a stand and vibrate while driving. The chassis whistled while moving and was prone to rust and mold. Due to their substandard construction, the dampers would also vibrate.
How Safe Is Toyota Tacoma?
The Toyota Tacoma is typically regarded as a secure automobile. The 2020 Toyota Tacoma received the “Top Safety Pick” classification from the IIHS, which is only given to cars with particular headlights. There have been a few model years with safety problems, though.
According to some sources, the worst Toyota Tacoma model years are those from 2016, 2012, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, and 2001. The Toyota Tacoma has experienced several changes over the years, so some reported problems might have been fixed in later model years.
It’s also crucial to perform routine upkeep, such as oil changes and tire rotations, to ensure the durability and dependability of the car.
Reliability of Toyota Tacoma
The Toyota Tacoma is generally regarded as a dependable car, with some model years being more dependable than others. According to some sites, the best Toyota Tacoma model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2000, and 1997 models
. 2016-2012, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, and 2001-2002 are Tacoma’s worst model years. The IIHS also gave the Tacoma excellent safety ratings, awarding the 2020 model a “Top Safety Pick” designation.
Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure the vehicle’s longevity and dependability, such as adhering to the suggested maintenance plan.
How to find the best deals on a Toyota Tacoma?
You can start by looking for discounts and incentives on the official Toyota website to discover the best deals on a Toyota Tacoma. You can also look up the Toyota Tacoma’s most reliable model years: 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2000, and 1997 models.
Avoid model years that have experienced problems, such as the 2016 and 2017 Toyota Tacoma, which have experienced transmission problems and motor stalls.
Next, bargain with the seller to get the Toyota Tacoma for the lowest price feasible. Finally, you can search other car lots and web auction sites for Toyota Tacoma discounts.
Tips for maintaining your Toyota Tacoma
It’s crucial to adhere to the suggested maintenance plan for your Toyota Tacoma, which calls for frequent oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections. The longevity and dependability of the car will be increased with routine maintenance.
You can also look up the Toyota Tacoma’s most reliable model years, which are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2000, and 1997 models. Avoid model years that have experienced problems, such as the 2016 and 2017 Toyota Tacoma, which have experienced transmission problems and motor stalls.
You can check the official Toyota website for discounts and incentives to discover the best deals on a Toyota Tacoma. Finally, you can haggle with the seller to get the Toyota Tacoma for the best price.
How Can You Tell Whether Something Is a Lemon?
Purchase a vehicle history report.
There is no better initial step when purchasing a used car than to obtain a car history report. Two well-known services offer this information for little money: Anyone looking to purchase a used car will find the information provided by CarFax and AutoCheck extremely helpful.
The reports let you know the number of past owners, whether or not it had any accidents, how frequently it required maintenance, and the current title.
The final section is among the most crucial since it contains the lemon label, which attests that the car followed the correct legal procedures to be designated as a lemon.
However, in some areas, dealers must inform a customer if the vehicle is a manufacturer buyback, which is a reliable way to determine whether a vehicle has a lemon title. However, it is the responsibility of the buyer to conduct a thorough investigation into the vehicle’s history.
Therefore, consumers may need help if they accidentally purchase a secondhand lemon because they must inspect it first.
You can view the owner’s history on the vehicle history report, which should indicate whether the manufacturer has purchased the vehicle back.
While owners can claim a car is a lemon in a legal dispute and ask the automaker to buy back the problematic vehicle, that is a guaranteed technique to determine if the car was labeled a lemon.
You can also determine if the vehicle was sold or traded before it was given a lemon tag if the prior owner may have missed an issue. It also implies that the car’s persistent issue must be apparent.
Look carefully at the vehicle’s repair record and try to identify any recurring issues. Recurring problems in cars with lemon histories are simple to spot. You can determine whether the issues with the car are minor wear and tear concerns, such as those with the clutch or brakes, or a more severe problem.
Check to discover if the repairs were necessary or carried out even when the car was brand new. It can assist in determining whether the car is a lemon or if an incident like a collision or modification caused a misdiagnosed issue.
Are the repairs significant or minor? A severe repair would deal with the drivetrain or suspension, whereas a superficial one would address non-driving-related issues like window or seat controls.
Severe repairs would be more challenging, but handling a car might not be a hassle if a car was considered a lemon for a less severe cause.
The report also shows whether repairs are being made at a dealership or a general shop. Like you would with any used car, examine the vehicle’s general condition and health and determine whether routine maintenance has also been carried out.
This will assist you in deciding whether or not you should consider purchasing this car.
Inspection before purchase
Is the car still a good investment? You should get a pre-purchase inspection if the flaws are not too concerning or if you believe the automobile may have been incorrectly labeled as a lemon.
A mechanic can determine whether the problems are repairable and why the car was considered a lemon.
A technician can assist you in determining whether or not a recurring issue is indicative of more severe problems or worries about the quality of the vehicle.
Their satisfaction with the car might help determine if it is a worthwhile investment or a lost cause.
Toyota Tacoma FAQ’s
What Year Tacoma Has Transmission Problems?
When it comes to the Toyota Tacomas that have transmission problems, the ones that have these issues as well as overall powertrain problems, according to owners of them, are the 2015-2019 models. The most affected of these models include the: Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4 x 4 3.5 L.
Which Toyota Tacoma model year is the most dependable?
If you’re searching for one of the best, a few from the second generation stand out. 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 all have perfect reliability scores. The 2005 Tacoma has the highest Consumer Reports satisfaction ranking of any generation, earning a rating that is almost perfect.
When did Toyota Tacoma gearbox issues start?
When Did Tacoma Transmission Issues Start? Owners of Toyota Tacomas claim that the versions produced between 2015 and 2019 are the ones that suffer from transmission issues as well as general powertrain issues. The Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4 x 4 3.5 L is one of these versions that has been most negatively impacted.
Is Tacoma having a terrible year in 2017?
The Toyota Tacoma was rated as the “Worst Buy” in 2017. This was partially caused by the poor reliability score it received. After the 2015 model, reviews for the 2017 model year only gave it three out of five stars, while reviews for previous model years gave them five stars for both reliability and customer satisfaction.
Is the Tacoma the most dependable vehicle on the market?
The Toyota Tacoma for sale offers some of the highest reliability compared to every other vehicle on the market and is one of Toyota’s most well-known truck models. This dependability is influenced by a variety of variables.
John Valdez - Passionate Car Enthusiast and Accomplished Writer
Meet John Valdez, a dedicated car lover and seasoned writer whose passion for automobiles is as vibrant as his words are eloquent. With a keen eye for detail and a heart that beats to the rhythm of engines, John brings a unique blend of expertise and enthusiasm to the world of automotive journalism.