The 2012 Toyota Tacoma earned a strong Total Car Score in the compact pickup segment, as the truck continues to garner high praise among the automotive press.
What’s behind all these kudos? Toyota’s reputation for high build quality is unblemished in the truck market and its powerful V6 and stout chassis give it best-in-class towing capabilities. There's also a long list of options packages that allow buyers to customize their Tacomas into road-hugging sport trucks or dirt-flinging off-roaders.
Complaints are very few and centered on a lack of rear-seat room in Access Cab models, mushy brakes, and a harsh ride in some of the 4x4 specialty models.
The current generation of the Tacoma has been around for seven years; the 2012 edition received freshened front sheetmetal, a new instrument panel and steering wheel, and revised interior trim.
Toyota has also added its Entune infotainment system to the 2012 Tacoma’s options list, bringing mobile apps like Pandora, Bing and real-time traffic info to the midsize truck.
The 2012 Toyota Tacoma is offered in regular cab, Access Cab and Double Cab body styles, in 4x2 and 4x4 powertrains, and with several option packages.
Regular cab 4x2 trucks come standard with air conditioning and an AM/FM/CD sound system, while the Access and Double Cab models add power windows and door locks, bucket seats and a center console.
The most popular of the option packages is the SR5, with body-color and chrome exterior accents, remote keyless entry, a backup camera and upgraded interior trim. On-road driving enthusiasts should check out the X-Runner, with its tuned chassis and sporty body add-ons. Four-wheelers will appreciate the T|X and T|X Pro Packages, with burly shocks, all-terrain tires and a locking rear differential.
The standard engine in most models is a 2.7-liter inline-4 producing 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. It can be paired with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. An available 4.0-liter V6 sends 236 hp and 266 lb-ft to either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic.
Fuel economy in the 2012 Toyota Tacoma ranges from 21 mpg city, 25 highway and 22 combined for the four-cylinder/manual/2WD combination to 15/19/17 for a V6/manual/4x4.
Properly equipped, the 2012 Toyota Tacoma can tow up to 6,500 pounds.
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