Skip to main content

Yahoo Autos calls 2015 Toyota Tacoma a 10-lowest rated car

A publication we respect makes an error in judgment. Here’s why.


Yahoo Autos employs some of the most talented writers in on-line automotive content. The opinions they express are just as valid as any we might, but a recent story caught our attention. Called “10-Lowest Rated Cars of 2015”, the “click-through” story invites readers to explore 10 cars that Yahoo Autos and The Car Connection feel are the lowest rated in the industry right now – and to do so you have to click on about 12 separate pages. One of the cars that Yahoo and Car Connection single out is the Toyota’s mid-size pickup truck. Let’s see what Yahoo says and then compare the Tacoma’s ratings in some key categories scored by notable industry experts.

Tacoma as a 10-Lowest Rated Car
Setting aside that the Tacoma is not a car, Yahoo makes some valid points. Here’s what Yahoo says about its rating system: “A low score doesn't always mean a vehicle should be avoided at all costs. Some simply aren't up to the class standard; some are designed with good intentions but lack in execution. Often, a low score means a vehicle just doesn't meet the stringent new crash-test standards set in just the past few years.”

Yahoo says the Tacoma “Scores Low Across The Board.” Specific comments Yahoo directed at the Tacoma include “…packaged poorly…fuel economy is nothing special…on-road handling is low.” These are fair criticisms, particularly when compared to the new Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon. The Toyota Tacoma’s 4-cylinder AWD fuel economy is lower than the 6-cylinder AWD Colorado’s, as we recently highlighted. In terms of on-road handling, we would say that is somewhat subjective given that the Tacoma comes so many ways and that fully 40% of Tacomas leave the dealership with TRD components, almost all of which are suspension and tire/wheel upgrades. So which Tacoma is poor on road by comparison to the segment is a mystery.

Experts’ Opinions On Tacoma
Now in fairness to the Tacoma, let’s look at some unbiased ratings by other organizations. Both KBB and NADA rate the Tacoma highest in resale value. That means highest period. Not just the highest rated pickup. No vehicle has a better value retention that the Tacoma.

Next we have off-road capability. The 2015 Tacoma was rated higher than the other mid-sized pickups, including Colorado and Canyon by FourWheeler Network. Petersen's 4-Wheel and Off-road network agreed, naming the Tacoma the best off-roader of any pickup truck.

When it comes to value, the expert is Vincentric. What vehicle did Vincentric choose in the mid-size pickup category as having the highest value? The 2015 Toyota Tacoma of course. Commenting on its win, Vincentric said “The Toyota Tacoma wins a Vincentric Best Value in America award for the 11th year in a row supported by the lowest total cost of ownership, lowest maintenance costs, and the highest resale value in its class.”

Tacoma Safety
Concerning Tacoma’s safety, the 2015 scored Good on all crash tests conducted by IIHS and Marginal in roof strength. In real-life use the various Tacoma models all score at or better than the average for driver death rates according to IIHS research.

Tacoma Sales

Finally, we come to what buyers think. The new Chevy Colorado and Canyon came to market early last winter (2014). Now into their 7th month of sales the Canyon and Colorado combined do not match the Tacoma in U.S. sales. Tacoma year to date is outselling the GM mid-size truck twins 55,000 to 35,000. Not bad for a truck now in its final year of its design cycle compared to a pair of completely new trucks.

We have no grudge with Yahoo or Car Connection. We just like to take opportunities to write about the Tacoma. An underdog story is always popular.


Soakee (not verified)    May 6, 2015 - 1:37PM

So the Tacoma is not up to the class standard. Look at how many are in the class in the U.S.: three. If the class had, say ten or twelve, the Tacoma's low score would be a concern. But being the lowest rated of three I think is still pretty good.

socrateos (not verified)    May 11, 2015 - 1:24PM

I just looked at the Yahoo/Car Connection site for the article. And I noticed that 8 out of 10 "worst" cars are Japanese brands (1 from European and 1 from US brands). Very interesting.

Thomas (not verified)    May 11, 2015 - 11:26PM

I knew these articles would start to surface soon. Its called backpedalling. I agree with what was said but a lot of industry related articles took advantage with a bias viewpoint of the Tacoma. It is the best midsize in the class for many reasons that were completely ignored by many writers who now have to eat crow pie.

Tacoma remains on top as I predicted back in December of 2014 when every article rodeo riding the new GM's. Fact is the GM twins were never the best midsize truck as so wrongfully stated by many top writers and they really have to continue to eat that pie for 7 months now with no hope in sight.

Buyers are the truest form of what depicts a best vehicle in its class based on their reasons for buying the truck best suited for them regardless what a minority thinks which truck has a better option.

Again I speak on fuel mileage. Do you want a soggy gas pedal in a GM or a responsive truck like a Tacoma. Tacoma gets 235Ft-lbs of torque to the ground and the GM only gets 209Ft-Lbs. Even the HP drops from 305 to 227HP at a whopping 6800RPM while the Tacoma keeps 196HP of 236 at a comfortable 5200RPM and maintains a better throttle response that beats the Colorado in a 1/4 mile race. Being that the Tacoma gets more power to the ground with a better response is why it burns a little more fuel. I don't know why you writers grope so hard on fuel mileage and forget to mention the reality behind it. And fact is nobody cares about fuel mileage to that degree, the difference is so marginal it is moronic to talk about and then on top of that ignore the ill affects of how GM saves that fuel mileage. Its like driving and old horse that you have to whip and than it falls asleep again then repeat....soggy gas pedal drives me insane. I will never buy a GM for that reason alone.

Ben Helton (not verified)    May 13, 2015 - 11:59PM

The Car Connection is from Top Gear Media. If you look at the coverage from Top Gear Media, it is anti-Toyota, pro-Tesla all the way. They have a serious BEV agenda pushed through by Green Car Reports, and Toyota does not support BEVs. The editor is also very close with Chelsea Sexton (the star and producer of Who Killed The Electric Car). They deem the hydrogen car what killed the BEV car of the 90s (despite Toyota having a BEV back then). Now that Toyota is pushing the Mirai, they think Toyota is the devil, and now they are on a vendetta to hurt their brand. What better place to start than with one of their most successful models?

I suspect Yahoo is in on the Tesla love affair being a Silicon Valley company, or the writer is from the Valley and has been drinking the kool-aid.

None the less, you hit it right on the head. Their article is totally skewed. The Car Connection has an ax to grind.

Rick (not verified)    May 25, 2015 - 4:16AM

Funny thing is that while everyone proposes what is the latest and greatest, FACTS speak louder than opinions. To Wit: Tacoma has remained the Best Value Retention Vehicle 14 years running. Tacoma has out-sold GM's offerings for BOTH mid sized trucks Chevy or GM by over 20,000 units.
FACT #2 GM has been building Dangerous Vehicles that wreck peoples lives and more than a "few" people have been convicted of vehicular manslaughter but later EVIDENCE and Manufacturer Lack of Disclosure until independent tests PROVE the vehicle was at fault and GM is currently facing a potential 1 Billion dollar penalty from the US Government due to NEGLIGENCE and Manufacturer Liability. Lets see how well they produce vehicles after that slap to the face.
Fact #3 The Toyota Brand Trucks are BUILT in Texas, San Antonio to be precise and are made up of 60-70% US based products with the remainder shipped in from Japan.
Fact #4 ALL US Truck manufacturers have shipped off their manufacturing facilities to Mexico to beat down the over burdening of Union Labor and Contractual obligations that hold US companies to impossible sustainable commitments, hence the Auto Industry Bailout program Administered by the G.W. Bush administration just before leaving office that invalidated ALL union contracts, obligations, and future benefits of ALL GM Employees.
Fact #5 While Ford DID NOT accept a Bailout, they have recently over-priced the entire truck line on average 8-15,000 above both Dodge Ram and Toyota Tundra.
Ford Trucks I have driven for over 14 years and was supportive of them right to the point of a New Truck search where I was DUMBFOUNDED to learn they are now priced over 45,000 dollars for a middle option vehicle. The NEW 2015 even came with a "New" front end look of the F250-350. YUCK.
i have remained a Loyal and Faithful supporter of the "Made by Americans, paid for by American" philosphy for over 30 years, BUT, I am quite certain that the current marketplace has placed a dimmed outlook on that philosophy now. I am Very Disappointed by GM and Ford. We the consumer WILL NOT be your cash cow for errors of production that have caused serious financial losses due to your design flaws and negligence. (See Eco-Boost problems associated with the 4-cyl model that have spontaneously combusted while simply driving down the road.) This happened to ME. Lesson here is DO NOT BUY FIRST YEAR DESIGN CHANGES from unproven platforms. Reference: Ford Pinto,Chevy Vega, Ford Escape and I am sure there are others but these 3 stand out as examples within the last 40 years.

Paul (not verified)    April 12, 2016 - 8:56AM

MSN on Consumer reports voted the GM Colorado and Canyon as the least reliable trucks for 2015 out of all trucks combined, tied with the Ram 2500. With Café requirements said to have to meet 54.5 mpg by year 2025 it is no wonder why companies are sacrificing performance for fuel mileage. Claim big HP with soggy gas pedals and low clearance. But GM has a way to bring back throttle response as they are testing a battery motor gas engine mix in California for 2016 which will deliver an extra 44ft-Lbs of instant torque and 17 more hp with no pollution added which will up there performance and hopefully negate the throttle lag. Have to give GM credit for that. Even the new Tacoma has throttle lag trying to meet café requirements now.

Rick (not verified)    April 12, 2016 - 11:40AM

In reply to by Paul (not verified)

Thank You Paul. I was wondering WHY all the downsizing of engines etc was happening. So much so that Ford will no longer even produce a v8 engine after 2017. Geez even the Ford GT (hyper-expensive Lamborghini styled) vehicle will be produced with a V6 Turbo for 2017. I SURE hope the Elephants win the election and dismantle this restrictive, prohibitive effect on Muscle Car production.

Thomas (not verified)    April 12, 2016 - 11:04PM

In reply to by Rick (not verified)

I will really miss the V8 especially if they could have turbo charged it. The battery will be a nice addition though. Look at the Tesla which beats all supercars except two of them and even underground heavy equipment loaders are running on batteries now. The nice thing about the Tesla is you can floor it at a light and not have any guilt that your emissions just smoked out the guy behind you. We just need fuel cell stations where we can swap out batteries and we would have a clear winner. Sadly the V8 acoustics will have to go as they will not keep up with the café requirements. Even Subaru is being forced to drop two of their models, pay the fines or switch to diesel as a quick and dirty solution that wont last either.

Soakee (not verified)    April 13, 2016 - 8:02AM

In reply to by Rick (not verified)

The downsizing of engines is a result of the socialistic 2025 CAFE standards (54.5mpg) enacted during the current administration. They were established so that the current administration could claim credit for an energy policy. I have always been in favor of allowing the market price of fuel dictate what people WANT to buy, and as a result, determine what automakers produce to meet those wants (a market pull arrangement). The 2025 CAFE standards dictate a government push arrangement, and they need to be repealed due to their socialistic nature.