Overview

Overview

The 2013 Toyota Tacoma is in its second generation of production. The Tacoma was first introduced in 1995 as a compact pickup to compete with models like the Mazda B2200, the Chevrolet S-10 and the Ford Ranger. Starting in 2005 it was remodeled for the second generation, bringing a new style and substance to its looks and performance and turning the B2200, Ranger and S-10 into distant past memories. The 2013 Toyota Tacoma follows in those competition-crushing footsteps. The most noticeable difference for the 2013 model of the Tacoma is the restyling of the front grille, headlights and bumper, but that's not where it ends.

Expert Reviews

Experts seem to agree that there isn't much to find wrong with the 2013 Tacoma. It is steadily listed as the top choice among all compact and midsize pickups available this model year. "With multiple configurations and ample ability on- and off-road, the 2013 Toyota Tacoma remains one of the top choices among midsize trucks." (Edmunds) "The Tacoma is among the best of a nearly extinct species: the mid-size pickup." (Car and Driver) Reviewers compliment its off-road abilities, rare for a pickup of its size. The most common point of praise, however, is its impressive build quality. Toyota has put a full-size attitude into its midsize pickup.

That doesn't mean it is without its minor issues; it is a machine after all. "Good steering, but soft brake feel and weak performance are disappointing. Jiggly ride and an equally jiggly structure." (Car and Driver) If you're looking for a highly comfortable feel in the cab of your pickup you may want to try something other than the Access Cab model of the Tacoma. "Access Cab has very little room, even with the front seats well forward. The rear jump seats have low cushions and bolt-upright seat backs, so even those who fit will grumble." (Consumer Guide) The bucket seats in the front leave something to be desired in the area of comfort as well. They could leave drivers longing for the return of the Ford Ranger after a few hours behind the wheel.

Owner Reviews

The praise from 2013 Toyota Tacoma owners comes in the way of fuel efficiency and performance. Several owners comment on the Tacoma's off-road ability to handle terrain that is more suited to bigger trucks. Even over steep inclines carrying a load the steering and suspension remain tight with a firm feel. The automatic transmission exhibits smooth shifts and maintains a high standard of torque in the low gears. The manual transmission is fairly standard (no pun intended), with clutch throw at just the right amount.

If there are downfalls for customers they seem to be with both the braking power and the seat comfort, much the same complaints as the experts. Several owners claim the seating to be too low or too stiff for longer journeys or off-road driving. There is currently no recall information available for the 2013 version of the Tacoma, but that can always, and usually does, change over time. The interior is filled with hard plastics, but that's quite common for this class pickup. The plastics are hard but the quality is still sturdy. The front bench seat of the 2012 model had a middle headrest that could be somewhat troublesome at times. If you're a driver that lined up just right, the middle headrest could actually interfere with the full visibility of the rearview mirror. Thankfully, the front bench seat has been changed over to buckets. This seems to be a hit with most owners.

Lineup

The 2013 version of the Tacoma sticks with the 2.7L four-cylinder as its base model engine, kicking it up to the 4.0L V6 option available in the Double Cab and Access Cab versions. Any of those variations can be paired with either the 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmissions. As with most pickups, the varying bed sizes are also an option, with the 5-foot bed being the short version and the 6.1-foot bed being the long-bed option. If you don't mind a kick up in price there is also the choice of four-wheel drive. The MSRP on the 2013 Toyota Tacoma ranges anywhere from $17,525 for the standard base model to $26,585 for the high-end Double Cab model.

Interior

The interior of the 2013 Toyota Tacoma is marked by a fairly simple cab that features well-placed controls and only minor gadgetry. The dashboard features the three-eye Toyota display, with the speedometer directly in the middle, shrouded by an RPM gauge and fuel gauge. Most models come standard with two 12V power outlets just above the center-console gearshift. Radio and heater controls are fairly standard, and an additional cup holder has been added to the center console.

The Access Cab allows for a rear seat but as we said before don't expect much in the way of comfort here. Known as the "X-Runner" rear seats, these have more resemblance to a pilot's jump seat in a 747 than they do a comfortable rear bucket seat in a pickup truck. The in-bed 110-volt outlet is a nice additional feature to have if you're going to use the Tacoma for work or for camping. Kicking up to the Double Cab will get you a nice rear seat storage compartment, but don't expect to hold much more in it than a few small tools and a flashlight.

Performance

If there is a section where the Tacoma shines more than any other it has got to be in performance. In power, torque and off-road prowess it shines brighter than any truck in its class. The standard 2.7L four-cylinder engine rattles off 159 horses and 180 ft.-lbs. of torque. Moving up to the 4.0L V6 will garner you 236 ponies and 266 ft.-lbs. of torque. The V6 version feels strong in most instances, but it does feel like it's more comfortable on the back roads of mountain ranges than on highway streets. At times, it can feel choppy and shaky on perfectly paved roads.

The transmission performance is actually quite mentionable, no matter which version you choose. The shifts are smooth and timed perfectly. Again, it does feel more comfortable when it is hauling a load than when simply cruising down the highway. The hauling factor doesn't change much if you stick with the 2.7L four-banger either. It handles up to full towing capacity with a gliding ease. Base models can handle a towing capacity of 3,500 lbs. Properly equipped, however, the Tacoma can handle a tow load of 6,500 lbs. with a hauling capacity of 1,535 lbs. Not too shabby for the little brother of the Toyota pickup fleet.

Safety & Reliability

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Tacoma with a Good rating (the highest available) in front, side and rear impact crash tests. The roof strength test yielded a result of Marginal, which is average for the truck class. Obviously you can up the safety factor of the Tacoma by choosing the four-wheel drive option, but that isn't going to improve any impact weaknesses.

Standard safety equipment on the 2013 Toyota Tacoma includes a driver's side air bag, four-wheel disc brakes with brake assist, passenger air bag, rear-head air bag, electronic stability control, traction control, and four-wheel ABS. The initial J.D. Power reliability rating has the Tacoma at 3 out of 5 stars, giving it an average score, but the Mechanical subcategory is rated at 4 out of 5 stars, so any problems you may come across with the 2013 Tacoma would probably be in the brake/suspension or electrical areas. Overall, the past five years of reliability for Toyota's midsize pickup have been very good and the 2013 model looks to follow in those tracks.

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
Crew Cab - 4WD
4WD Double Cab Short Bed V6 Manual (Natl) V6 4WD 26805
4WD Double Cab Short Bed V6 Automatic (Natl) V6 4WD 27685
4WD Double Cab Long Bed V6 Automatic (Natl) V6 4WD 28185
Crew Cab - RWD
2WD Double Cab Short Bed I4 Automatic (Natl) 4 Cylinder RWD 22525
PreRunner 2WD Double Cab Short Bed I4 Automatic PreRunner (Natl) 4 Cylinder RWD 23175
PreRunner 2WD Double Cab Short Bed V6 Automatic PreRunner (Natl) V6 RWD 24610
PreRunner 2WD Double Cab Long Bed V6 Automatic PreRunner (Natl) V6 RWD 25110
Extended Cab - 4WD
4WD Access Cab Standard Bed I4 Manual (Natl) 4 Cylinder 4WD 24250
4WD Access Cab Standard Bed I4 Automatic (Natl) 4 Cylinder 4WD 25150
4WD Access Cab Standard Bed V6 Manual (Natl) V6 4WD 25805
4WD Access Cab Standard Bed V6 Automatic (Natl) V6 4WD 26685
Extended Cab - RWD
2WD Access Cab Standard Bed I4 Manual (Natl) 4 Cylinder RWD 20415
2WD Access Cab Standard Bed I4 Automatic (Natl) 4 Cylinder RWD 21315
PreRunner 2WD Access Cab Standard Bed I4 Automatic PreRunner (Natl) 4 Cylinder RWD 22075
X-Runner 2WD Access Cab Standard Bed V6 Manual X-Runner (Natl) V6 RWD 26775
PreRunner 2WD Access Cab Standard Bed V6 Automatic PreRunner (Natl) V6 RWD 23510
Regular Cab - 4WD
4WD Regular Cab Standard Bed I4 Manual (Natl) 4 Cylinder 4WD 21475
4WD Regular Cab Standard Bed I4 Automatic (Natl) 4 Cylinder 4WD 22605
Regular Cab - RWD
2WD Regular Cab Standard Bed I4 Manual (Natl) 4 Cylinder RWD 17625
2WD Regular Cab Standard Bed I4 Automatic (Natl) 4 Cylinder RWD 18525

Comparison of 2013 Toyota Tacoma with Similar Cars

2013 Toyota Tacoma MSRP Invoice
2013 Toyota Tacoma $17,625 $16,688
Similar Cars to Consider MSRP Invoice Compare
2013 Ford F-150 $24,070 $22,325 2013 Toyota Tacoma VS 2013 Ford F-150
2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 $23,590 $22,646 2013 Toyota Tacoma VS 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2013 GMC Sierra 1500 $23,590 $22,646 2013 Toyota Tacoma VS 2013 GMC Sierra 1500
2013 Toyota Tundra $25,455 $23,673 2013 Toyota Tacoma VS 2013 Toyota Tundra

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2013 Toyota Tacoma ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2013 Toyota Tacoma rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

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