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2012 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab

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2012 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

America's best-selling compact pickup just keeps getting better, which is bad news for the competition, but great news for lovers of the 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup. With the Ford Ranger no longer offered, the Tacoma's biggest competitor has been removed from the race, leaving a lot of room for potential new customers. Those who do migrate toward the 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup will find a robust near-mid-size pickup truck with a wide range of trims, engines, cabin configurations and packages. Larger than either the GMC Canyon or the Chevy Colorado, the 2012 Tacoma is more in line with the mid-size Ram Dakota and Nissan Frontier when it comes to dimensions, but there is no comparing the resale and reliability ratings of the three, because the 2012 Toyota Tacoma compact pickup truck runs away with the honors.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a proven pickup that is as capable as it is stylish, the 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup deserves your full attention. Nearly as capable as a full-size pickup, but without the extra bulk or poor fuel economy, the Tacoma offers a wide selection ranging from everyday work truck to rugged off-road adventurer.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2012 Toyota Tacoma compact pickup can't tow as much as a full-size V8-powered pickup, and its narrower bed won't hold as much cargo. If you're looking for a smooth, comfortable ride and you don't plan on going off-road, the Honda Ridgeline may be a better choice.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Toyota Tacoma compact pickup truck receives new front-end styling, with a new grille and headlight design, some upgraded interior pieces and new audio systems that include USB ports and Bluetooth. Double Cab V6 models receive the most modern audio system that includes Toyota's Entune infotainment, navigation, HD radio, text/email-to-voice and the JBL GreenEdge energy-efficient sound system.

Driving the Tacoma Access Cab

Driving Impressions We spent some time behind the wheel of a 2012 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab long-bed with the 4.0-liter V6 matched to a 5-speed automatic...

transmission. Our test vehicle was also equipped with 4-wheel drive and the cool SR5 package that brought a limited-slip differential. We noticed the Tacoma drove well on smooth-surfaced freeways, but it felt rather bulky and clumsy in the tighter confines of city driving. Get the Tacoma out in the open, however, and the driving experience greatly improves. It takes only the slightest push on the Tacoma's gas pedal to bring the V6 to life. Still, we couldn't escape the feeling that the Tacoma would be happier hauling or towing something or negotiating rocks in a river rather than running errands in suburbia.

Supercharger Kit
The optional Eaton-Roots-type supercharger kit increases the V6's output to 304 horsepower and 334 pound-feet of torque, and carries a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty (or the remainder of the powertrain warranty at the time of installation) when installed by a Toyota dealer.

Functional Bed
All Tacomas feature a composite inner bed with built-in storage compartments and four rail-mounted sliding tie-down cleats.

2012 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab Details
Interior

The 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup's interior has a modern urban feel, with 2-tone gray or beige plastic panels outfitted with metal-look trim appliqués. The Tacoma's front seats are wide and supportive, but the rear seats in the Access Cab are useful only for short trips. Seating improves greatly in the Double Cab model, which has a full bench seat with adjustable head restraints and under-seat storage. Steering-wheel-mounted controls for the audio and available Bluetooth are a welcome touch, as are the many upgraded audio features available through the Entune infotainment system. Entune is Toyota's answer to Ford's SYNC system and includes a number of popular mobile applications. Just connect your smart phone to the Entune system and either through the vehicle's controls or by voice command, the driver can access real-time traffic and weather, fuel prices, sports, stocks and such popular apps as MovieTickets.com and OpenTable.

Exterior

The 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup lifts traditional pickup truck features more commonly attributed to full-size trucks and grafts them onto a compact frame to create one very cool truck. The new grille and front-end treatment help the 2012 Toyota Tacoma to remain fresh, and the look works across the line. Choose the base truck and you get a basic work truck with black bumpers and simple wheels. The Pre-Runner displays the look of a rugged off-roader in a rear-drive pickup that costs thousands less than a comparable 4x4, while the X-Runner takes the pickup to a whole new place, with a lowered suspension and available bolt-on supercharger kit. As with everything Toyota builds, the 2012 Tacoma compact pickup's build quality and finish are above reproach. Some of the Tacoma's more notable features include a roof-rack system on Double Cab models, and integrated bed deck rails that can be used to secure optional accessories, such as the fork-mounted bike rack and diamond-plate storage boxes. And, to help keep your truck looking new, a protective composite molded bed liner is standard.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2-wheel-drive 2012 Toyota Tacoma's base 4-cylinder engine displaces 2.7 liters. Other standard equipment includes air conditioning, an AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD system, anti-lock brakes (ABS), front side-impact and side-curtain airbags, traction and stability control, tachometer, two instrument panel powerpoints and rear mudguards. Regular Cab 4x4 models with the automatic transmission feature standard bucket seats. Access Cab X-Runner and Double Cab models include bucket seats with center console, power mirrors, power windows and power door locks.

Optional Equipment

Options for the 2012 Toyota Tacoma compact pickup include a 4.0-liter V6, 4-wheel drive, JBL GreenEdge audio with Bluetooth connectivity, Entune infotainment system, and the SR5 Package, that adds color-keyed over-fenders and front bumper, chrome grille surround and a chrome rear bumper. Double and Access Cabs can be fitted with a rearview camera while transmission upgrades from the base 5-speed manual include a 4-speed automatic, 5-speed automatic and 5-speed manual. Optional body configurations include Access Cab and Double Cab models, plus a long bed. Hill-start Assist (HAC) is available on V6 models with automatic transmissions. There are also myriad TRD parts available including the Big Brake Package and a supercharger. In addition, a limited run of T|X and T|X Pro Package features can be added to TRD-equipped trucks. The T|X trim adds 16-inch black bead-lock alloy wheels, black tube side steps and unique exterior graphics. The Pro Package takes it a step further, adding a cat-back custom exhaust.

Under the Hood

Both the 4-cylinder and the V6 Tacoma engines feature Toyota's VVT-i technology (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) that minimizes the compromise between low-end torque and peak horsepower. Combined with a choice of four available transmissions, 2- or 4-wheel drive, three cab styles and more, Toyota makes it easy to get exactly the pickup you want. Maximum towing and payload capacities are 6,500 pounds and 1,535 pounds, respectively.

2.7-liter in-line 4
159 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
180 lb-ft of torque @ 3,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/25 (2WD, manual), 19/24 (2WD, automatic),
18/20 (4WD, manual), 18/21 (4WD, automatic)

4.0-liter V6
236 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
266 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/21 (2WD, manual), 17/21 (2WD, automatic), 15/19 (4WD, manual), 16/21 (4WD, automatic)

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2012 Toyota Tacoma Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 1449 Ratings for the 2005 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Worst Vehicle Ever!

By on Monday, April 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Comfortable"

Cons: "Anything Mechanical"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Very little room to fully define my horror story but... First 2.7L 4X4 Tacoma was replaced due to the lemon law (bent frame during manufacturing). Second truck, bad clutch (3 installed before 100,000 miles -- with one flywheel replacement). Drive-line carrier bearing failed at 15,000 miles, rebuilt transmission at 30,000 miles, front diff bearings replaced twice (64,000 & 90,000 miles), replaced front wheel bearings at 68,000 miles. And no, Toyota never stood behind any of these defects! The truck is grossly underpowered and the rear suspension is inadequate. The only thing I like about this truck is that it's fairly comfortable for a truck."

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Dependable Truck

By on Saturday, April 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Cons: "2.7 liter is too weak"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"My 2014 4wd 2.7 liter truck is all that I wanted when i purchased it. With that said, now a month after purchasing it I find myself wanting more power... It's a great truck but this lack in power is very noticable when getting on a on ramp to the highway. You really have to slam on the accelerator to get it moving. That's the only negative regarding this truck."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great Reliable Truck

By on Monday, April 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 147,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Looks great, Tows with ease, Easy to park"

Cons: "Gas mileage, small backseat, lacks navigation"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have owned this truck since 2010 & has been awesome to drive & own. My model is the TRD Off-Road package Prerunner but even in 2wd you wont be disappointed. Cruises great at highway speeds & decent gas mileage for a truck. This truck looks better than any other mid-size in my opinion and really starts turning heads if you decide to go with a lift and over sized tires 33"-35". Overall I would give this truck a 9/10 rating & to be honest my next vehicle will probably be a Tacoma. You can't go wrong with this truck!"

22 people out of 37 found this review helpful

Best truck I ever had.

By on Monday, April 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, reliable, powerful, stylish"

Cons: "Gas"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Drives rough in cities, but other than that this truck is perfect. of course you are going to have rough gas mileage... It's a truck! but I have taken this thing everywhere from high in the mountains to deep swamps. never stalled. never let me down."

12 people out of 27 found this review helpful

not for everybody

By on Thursday, April 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "style, and storage space"

Cons: "EVERYTHING ELSE!!!!!!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"love the Toyota brand, but this truck is way over priced for what you get. I should have done my research before I bought it(2013/2014 Toyota Tacoma TRD sport). I could have found something of better value for half the price, I'm pretty disappointed."

16 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Always wanted one, until I owned one...

By on Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: economy / space

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Solid, great looks, tough truck"

Cons: "Fuel economy on this truck is a joke."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I had always wanted a Toyota pickup. Then one day, I was able to purchase one, I found a screamin' good deal on an '11 with 600 miles on the odometer, and I bought it. Not to say that it's difficult to find these trucks, but when you live in a major metropolitan area and you insist on a manual transmission - it gets a bit difficult. I got this thing and I was psyched, it had all the bells and whistles I wanted, 4x4, v6, 6-speed, double cab (non-TRD). The aftermarket support for these trucks is very solid and you're immediately able to put yourself in the poorhouse with all the cool stuff you can buy for this truck. The two main minuses for this truck... 1. Fuel economy - Toyota knows how to make an awesome truck, but the economy is ABYSMAL on this truck, on my BEST tank of fuel, I got 19mpg... and that's with a manual transmission - which I understand gets WORSE mileage than the automatic. My friend's V8 tundra got 17 any day of the week! 2. Interior space - if you're over 6' tall (like I am), the back seat in this truck becomes un-usable pure and simple - not a good thing if you've got a family. Other issues - every once-in-a-while, this thing would be hard to start, e.g. the starter motor would not engage at all (dealer swore up and down there was no issue)... this happened about 5-10 times throughout the course of my ownership. Along the same lines as the starting, the 4x4 wasn't the easiest thing to get to engage and dis-engage sometimes. All in all, this truck was great though, and it looked great. I would not buy another one, which I would've never thought until I actually did buy one... so at least that's out of my system!"

14 people out of 19 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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