Why Consumer Reports Really Hates the 2017 Toyota Tacoma

Consumer Reports Calls 2017 Toyota Tacoma "Worst Buy"– Here’s What Really Bothers Them

Consumer Reports issues a confusing report panning the top-selling midsize truck in America. Here is a detailed breakdown on why the group dislikes the 2017 Toyota Tacoma.

Consumer Reports announced the ten worst vehicles in ten separate categories this past week and the 2017 Toyota Tacoma made that list. Consumer Reports says that their conclusions about which vehicles were the worst are based on scores across ten categories. The group says the conclusions are a combination of;
- Results From Its Owner Reliability Surveys
- Results From Owner Satisfaction Surveys
- Safety
- Consumer Reports Road Test Scores

That does not add up to ten, but it may not matter in the case of the Tacoma’s inclusion on the list of 10 worst vehicles to buy. Before we go too far, let’s break down the Tacoma’s results in the above categories as reported by the group itself, and in the case of safety, IIHS and NHTSA's findings.

Consumer Reports – Tacoma Owner Reliability Survey Results
In its summary of the Tacoma’s reliability survey results, the group uses color coded Icons that represent a score from “Better” to “Worse.” There are 17 categories. The 2017 model Tacoma is not shown, but the 2016 model, which has been on sale for about 18 months, is the same truck (same generation - no changes) and is rated. In the 17 categories, Tacoma Scored 13 “Better” icons, the highest possible rating. Those included both engine categories, Transmission Major, Electrical, Suspension, Brakes, and Body Hardware. In the remaining 4 categories, Tacoma scored the second highest icon possible for Transmission Minor and Drive System. In the last two remaining categories, the Tacoma scored the middle icon. Not a single red icon, not a single score below the middle icon. Consumer Reports lists an overall score above this list and it shows a double red icon. How this conclusion was reached is not explained. Below the chart there are the TSBs and recalls for this model listed in detail. There are none for the 2017 model or the 2016 model year. The Tacoma's prior two years summaries, 2015 and 2014 trucks, are almost entirely double green arrows and the Tacoma scores the highest icon overall.

There is more evidence that Consumer Reports got this call wrong when it comes to reliability. In the group’s review of the 2016 Tacoma (again, the same vehicle as the 2017), the reviewer says regarding the Tacoma’s Reliability “This beast of burden has a bulletproof reliability track record, a tough-as-nails chassis, and a durable composite-­plastic bed.” In the review summary, there are “Highs” and “Lows” listed. Under Highs, Consumer Reports wrote, “Fuel economy, resale value, reliability, off-road capability.” How can a vehicle with “Bullet-Proof reliability” which includes among its highs “reliability” also have poor reliability?

CR Owner Satisfaction Survey Results – Tacoma
In the video report below you will hear the narrator (who the author considers a friend) say that the Tacoma has “…only average owner satisfaction.” The problem is that this is incorrect according to Consumer Reports on-line summary of the Tacoma. In that summary, the 2017 Tacoma is listed as earning three out of five bars on the scale given, which is shown with the printed word “Good” above the scale. The Tacoma does not have “only average” owner satisfaction, it actually has earned a Consumer Reports score of “Good” regarding owner satisfaction. (More on pages 2 and 3)


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You have made a strong argument that consumer reports has a proven record of bias against the Tacoma. Either they do not understand its place in the market or they are willingly ignoring it. Regardless, they are not being objective and transparent. On the other hand, consumers seem to love the Tacoma and that is what ultimately matters.
If you consider CR a good source of information when shopping for a new truck, you deserve this level of ambiguity and outright bias.
Another anomaly – Consumer Reports, in my view, is always overrating Subarus. Subaru had/has a major engine oil consumption defect, with a resulting class action lawsuit, not mentioned in CR.
It makes me pretty proud to be part of TN for many reasons, but one is that we don't shy away from such topics. Denis' coverage here at TN on that issue has been outstanding. Thanks again for you comment Mark.
I wonder how much Chevy and/or Ford is paying CR to skew their results. It's obvious that their opinion is biased. CR has been bought out and worthless for years.
I drove each of the mid-size trucks last year and I was the most disappointed in the Tacoma. The writer seems biased toward the Tacoma. It is easy to see how they say Tacoma is reliable last year. They only have previous Gen data. The new data is worse. They give total scores based on comparison to other trucks. If everyone has lots of green, the one with a yellow gets the worse score. All trucks are more reliable than any 10 years ago. The gears constantly hunt and it doesn't accelerate well. I loved the Ridgeline but hate the look. GM hits the sweet spot. If you read through the forums, there are several key issues that Toyota isn't fixing or took too long to fix including not having enough fluids in the engine. That said, if they fix some of the issues during the next refresh I will get a Tacoma since I had one once and love the look.
2016 Tacoma has had many problems ranging from transmissions issues to electrical issues. it earned worse than average scores based on that alone. The best truck for 2016 is the Frontier and Titan both had relatively problem free years. especially the 2016 Frontier it came out of 2016 with very impressive reliability data
transmission problem vibrations problem electrical problem these were the main issues against the 2016 Tacoma Frontier 0 problems case closed Frontier for 2016 is the more reliable.