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Why To Look For The Alternatives Of Toyota Tacoma, Despite It Being a Solid Truck According To One Reddit Discussion

People on Reddit have spoken and while Toyota Tacoma is always a solid choice, here's why you might want to check out different pickup trucks.

Ask most people who have had some experience with Toyotas and 90 percent of the time, they'll give you plenty of reasons why you should buy one. The 2024 Toyota Tacoma among other models of the Japanese brand, is shaping up to be one of the more versatile pickup trucks, currently on offer.  

Given the truck's sheer durability, even older models are still a popular purchase. With all that said, I decided to go on Reddit and found a Reddit thread asking people to tell the creator why not to buy a Toyota Tacoma. Needless to say, people understood the assignment, and here are some of the highlights I gathered. 

To put things into context, we are talking about a budget of $20,000 and Toyota Tacoma model years from 2012 to 2015, corresponding to the late, second generation. 

The main complaints from the 2012-2015 Toyota Tacoma concern the following aspects: 

1. Seats 

2. Engine performance 

3. Fuel economy 

4. Expensive price on the used market 

5. Existence of better alternatives, even from the same brand 

6. Terrible ride quality 

7. Outdated interior 

Here's what people on Reddit are saying about the shortcomings of the second-generation Toyota Tacoma. 

Jwc76 says: “The seats are terrible. Make sure you are good with how the seats are angled. There is a whole side industry out there that sells brackets that fix the angle. The engine is underpowered. Not much room in the back seat compared to the competition”. 

rebelopie adds: “X2. And make sure you can fit in it. We just got one as a fleet vehicle and only the short guys can get it in. For a taller person, it is difficult to get in and out of. The seating position is really bizarre and uncomfortable and the clearance between the seat and the steering wheel is tight”.  

Entire-Ad-8565 says: “Had an 04 double cab V-6. Number one was the seat. Worst seat I have sat on in a car in decades of driving. I had to sell it because my lower back would absolutely kill me after about 45 min of driving it.

2nd would be the back spins out really easily on slightly wet pavement, like just trying to make a left turn at normal speeds for example. 3rd the max payload was sad I went to Home Depot for some tiles and the back looked like a chalupa. Other than that, the fit and finish seemed good and it was built in Freemont, Ca.” 

From my vast experience with Japanese cars and trucks, I can confirm that while the seating position on most of them is bang-on, the seats are quite shallow and not ideal for larger or taller individuals. 

CloudsTasteGeometric added a more comprehensive argument against the Tacoma: “I'm a very tall guy that was stuck with a Tacoma for a long-term rental while my car was in the shop last winter. It was miserable. Great in the snow! But SO cramped.

The seats were awful, the suspension was somehow both mushy and rock hard, and there were no ergonomics to speak of. Also, it was very slow and underpowered (and my rental was a TRD, no less.

It's bulletproof, amazing off-road, and unstoppable in the snow. I couldn't say another single good thing about that truck though. Consider a well-maintained Colorado instead. Or shoot even a Maverick if you can find one that isn't marked up”. 

Reliability is the only virtue of Toyota Tacoma's engine 

2012-2015 Toyota Tacoma driving off-road rear 3/4 view

The Tacoma's 1UZ-FE, 4.0-liter V-6 also gets a ton of flak. Like the rest of the truck, it is reliable and dependable, but that's about all it offers. 

Innkeeper_77 says: “Pre 2016 the 4.0 engine has quite a bit more low-end torque, and buying one with a standard transmission gives more power / prevents the automatic computer oddities that everyone hates”. 

It's worth noting that in 2012-2015, the 1UZ-FE V-6 still developed 236 horsepower at 5,200 RPM and 266 pound-feet at 4,000 RPM. Unlike other Toyota SUVs and trucks, the Tacoma never got the 270-horsepower variant of the 4.0-liter V-6.  

Abeefwittedfox says: “V6 makes inline 4 power at V-8 mpg”.  

Cocasaurus says: “Inline 4 makes under inline 4 power at V8 mpg. 20 MPG is all you're ever gonna’ see with either”. 

Fuel economy and performance are even worse with the four-speed automatic, which causes even more drivetrain loss. With the automatic, the 2012-2015 Tacoma gets 18 MPG on highway and 15 MPG city. Most owners report that you will struggle to get more than 20 MPG with the 4.0-liter V-6, even with the six-speed manual. 

The Toyota Tax 

We can't go without mentioning the Toyota tax. Most models from the Japanese carmaker are champions at retaining value and used-car prices show that. Even with over 100,000 miles on the clock, the majority of second-generation Tacoma pickup trucks go for over $15,000 and in some cases, even climb over the $20,000 mark. Interestingly enough, the third-generation is around the same, albeit you will have to settle for a more basic variant (aren't most Tacomas?).  

A comment from a deleted Reddit user states: “The used prices just don’t make sense at the end of the day. You can buy a new stripped-out base model for like $25k vs a 10-year-old standard model for 20k…The engine and transmission are solid, but the rest of the truck is pretty lacking. I say this as a taco owner". 

Ajdrc9 says: “$20k won’t get you a “decent” Tacoma in this market”. 

04limited says: “12-15s are good compared to the newer 2016+ trucks but you need to understand you’re paying near new MSRP for an 8-11-year-old truck that was originally designed in the early 2000s. It’s an old truck all around. Let that sink in. And just because they’re proven reliable doesn’t mean they don’t rot out, and those trucks do rot. You can get into a newer Colorado for $20k or less. Much better ergonomics”. 

Add to that the $31,500 starting MSRP of the 2024 Toyota Tacoma, which is expected to get even wilder with the Tacoma GR Sport and Tacoma X-Runner for 2025, and things make even less sense.

Better alternatives are available and some of them are also from Toyota 

If you want the absolute most for your money, there are better deals on a first-generation Toyota Tundra (200-2006). You get more of everything for less money. High-mileage examples are dirt-cheap and still run strong. Moreover, you can find variants with the 4UZ-FE, 4.7-liter V-8. 

bozski says: “First-gen Tundra is what you really want. More power, bigger bed, more payload, same size as a 3rd gen Tacoma. Plus, better deals on the used market”. 

At the end of the day, the second-generation Toyota Tacoma's biggest advantage is the proverbial Toyota reliability. That said, the opinions on Reddit highlight some of the main issues with the truck. It is old, outdated, not easy on fuel, and unfortunately, old enough to be plagued by severe rust. Clean examples do exist, but due to the “Toyota Tax”, they command a premium, and for that, you are better off buying something else or even spending a bit more on a brand-new Tacoma. 

What is your opinion about the Toyota Tacoma truck? Please click the Add New Comment red link below to add your comment.

About the author

Dimitar Angelov's automotive interests made him an expert in a wide variety of vehicles. Japanese brands like Toyota are closest to his heart, although performance cars in general are his favorite segment, which is why he is constantly on the lookout for the best deals on the market. Dimitar Angelov's car passion and knack for the written word led him to complete a Master of Arts in Media and Communications, and classic car restoration. Dim is happy to get behind the wheel of any car and share his impressions. You can follow Dimitar on XLinked-inInstagram, and Facebook.

Image source: 2012-2015 Toyota Tacoma 


Doug Long (not verified)    April 20, 2024 - 7:07AM

Me thinks they complain too much! My 2013 is a dream truck. Enough power to haul fully loaded cargo trailers. Got me out of snow and soft wet mud when other trucks had to be towed. Won’t win drag races but have more than enough power for what I need. Dependable, and apart from replacing brakes, wipers, tires and the regular oil changes, it doesn’t require any service. Going on 11 years old and apart from scruffs from narrow treed roads, my Tacoma still looks new. I am short at 5 foot eight inches and this might be why I never suffer from aches or pains after driving three continuous days of 8 - 10 hours. I get my truck rust checked with Krown each year and the underneath is like she is in her first year. If you want a race car or a luxury car, or an economical car, buy one. If you want a mid-sized dependable, tough truck which will maintain its value better than most other vehicles in the road, a Tacoma is the one to buy. Complainers, OMG!