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2020 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2019 Tacoma: Suggestions to Help You Decide

Truck enthusiasts in the market for a Tacoma have a difficult decision on their hands. Is it better to get one of the first 2020 Toyota Tacoma trucks, or should you get one of the final 2019 models? Here are some tips to help you choose.


The Toyota Tacoma is the most popular and best-selling midsize truck in America, and it has been at the summit of the midsize truck segment for 14 straight years. This is due to Tacoma’s toughness, durability and reliability over the long haul. In short, “you just cannot kill a Tacoma.” One Tacoma driver I know has accumulated 1.2 million miles on his 2008 Tacoma.

However, as we enter that cloudy gray area where one model year is ending and another beginning, truck shoppers are left with a challenging dilemma. Do you go for a 2019 or wait for a 2020 Tacoma?

A refreshed not redesigned 2020 Tacoma

We are right in the middle of this current Tacoma generation’s life cycle. This means the 2020 will be refreshed in just a couple short months as opposed to a complete redesign. Based on customer focus research, quite a few upgrades will make the new Tacoma entry a popular one.

First, most Tacoma grade levels will receive new grilles and wheels. For example, the 2020 TRD Pro features 16” black TRD wheels that are not only sharp looking, but are four pounds lighter than the 2019 Pro.

One of the upgrades I’m most looking forward to is a 10-way power driver’s seat on all grades SR5 and above. This may seem like a minor improvement, but it is a huge improvement. This is by far the most common critique/suggestion offered to me by truck buyers over the past 13 years I have followed the Tacoma. Now drivers both taller and shorter will be comfortable on morning commutes and longer road trips.

Look for huge improvements in the multimedia realm. The 2020 Tacoma will offer, for the first time ever by Toyota, Android Auto across-the-board. Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility will also be staples on every trim level. Plan on at least 7” touch screens as well. The TRD Pro will give drivers an 8” touch screen to see their audio, phone and vehicle information.

2020 Tacoma Panoramic View and Multi-Terrain Monitors

Of all the new improvements on the 2020 Tacoma, the ability to have better visibility when off-roading is something enthusiasts will find incredibly useful. Meet the Panoramic View Monitor and Multi-Terrain Monitor. For the first time ever in a Tacoma, drivers will be able to see in front of their truck, behind their truck, along the sides of their truck, and even underneath it while they drive.

No longer will stumps and brush and rocks and boulders be an issue. We can see you now. And we are not afraid of you.

Watch the 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro ready for action and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily news on Toyota and automotive industry.

With all these changes, why consider a 2019 Tacoma?

There are many people in the market who do not require new safety features and technology (I am not one of these people – I love it all). They just want a solid, reliable truck that gets them from Point A to Point B that will do the jobs they need done. I submit Exhibit A: the 2019 Tacoma.

As most of us know, when a new model year is about to hit dealerships, regardless of brand, it is usually a great time to get a great deal on your new vehicle. The same should be true of the 2019 Toyota Tacoma.

Based on these factors, the 2019 Toyota Tacoma becomes an incredibly solid option to consider. There is still plenty of inventory available, so you should have no issues finding the perfect 2019 trim level, whether it be SR5 or TRD Off-Road or TRD Sport or even the TRD Pro. You should also be able to select the ideal color choice for you and your family too.

If budget is important to you, take advantage of a great deal on one of the remaining 2019 Toyota Tacoma trucks just waiting for a nice family to choose them.

2020 Tacoma Pricing and Release Date

Pricing for the 2020 Toyota Tacoma models has not yet been released but look for it to stay around the same range as its 2019 counterparts. I would expect a slight pricing increase, as is common with newer year models across brands.

The 2020 Tacoma should begin reaching dealerships during the month of September. Look for a steady supply of them late September and into October.

What is your plan for your next truck? Do you think you will be waiting for the 2020 Tacoma, or will you go for a 2019 Tacoma?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next time. Update from Sept. 3, 2020: Pricing Just Released for 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

Jeff Teague is a Toyota news reporter at Torque News. You can reach Jeff on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories. Jeff also shares Toyota news videos on his Youtube Channel at ToyotaJeff1.


Eric Faley (not verified)    July 12, 2019 - 3:18PM

I see nothing in the article about engine power. I’m guessing it’s still underpowered for a bad ass truck.

Richard Tessier (not verified)    July 12, 2019 - 11:50PM

Has Toyota improved the design of the Tacoma steering rack hydraulic actuator? I have replaced 3 thus far in a 2005 Tacoma, 204k miles because of unacceptable fluid leakage. I can see having to replace one, not three. They're very expensive!

Phil Bickel (not verified)    August 13, 2019 - 2:12AM

In reply to by Austin (not verified)

I’m not aware of any Tacoma’s involved in Lemon Law.

The only DT issue I was aware of was a 2016 shifting issue that only affected drivability not reliability or performance.

23 year dealership employee.

Dino T (not verified)    August 23, 2019 - 8:28PM

What about the transmission shifting problems that people have complained about in the past, do you think that the 2020 will correct this?

Rodney A Moore (not verified)    November 9, 2019 - 7:21AM

In reply to by Jeremy (not verified)

I wonder if they will correct the 2019 Tacoma TRD PRO? I took mine in several times and was told if there was an update to the transmission that they would let me know. I traded my 2013 Tacoma SR5 with tow package in for the 2019 PRO and I am very dissatisfied with the engine and transmission. And I get less gas mileage to boot with the new smaller engine.

Lisa Wagner (not verified)    September 19, 2019 - 10:17PM

I hope there is a fix for the lack of power issues. My 2008 was twice the truck my 2019 is. I am constantly having a heart attack, waiting to get hit, while trying to merge onto the highway every day., while the truck searches for a gear. And what’s up with Toyota refusing to change the oil until it hits 10,000 miles.I’e always known that best practice dictates changing the oil between 1-2000 miles for new motor break in. They did offer to change it for $200.00(not). The paint is ridiculously bad. Over 12 chips that go to the bone and orange peel all over the truck. When I asked about it, they said they all have it. I’ve had to bring it in for stalling, bad ignition coil, one recall, paint repair when buying it brand new...all in all, with upgrades and 50K later, I expected a lot better.

Jeremy (not verified)    October 16, 2019 - 9:43PM

In reply to by Lisa Wagner (not verified)

Have you tried the ECT power? I felt the same way about the freeway until I turned that on. I only mention it because basically everyone forgets it's there. As for the oil change stuff, I don't think that's best practice anymore. Even with my BMW, the first oil change was around 10k

Betsy (not verified)    October 8, 2019 - 7:47PM

Wondering about the release date, too. Any news? I'm waiting. And still bopping back and forth between the 4Runner and the Tacoma...

Kennethnuabs (not verified)    January 27, 2022 - 8:28AM

2020 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2019 Tacoma: Suggestions to Help You Decide | Torque News

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