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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 1497 Ratings for the 2005 - 2015 models.

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

This is a great truck

By on Sunday, July 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Dependability, Gas mileage , handling, Quality"

Cons: "Engine could use a little more power"

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

"The truck gets about 19 mpg city and 24 mpg hwy. I had a 2008 Tacoma it was almost identical to this 2013. We took a trip to Mt Rushmore Didn't do well in the Rocky Mtn's, at 80MPH the gas mileage suffers. As a local hauler this rig is outstanding we have badly deteriorated streets, the ride is better than my wifes Volvo. I have not a single complaint about the fit and quality of the interior, it is well laid out with everything within reach and lots of storage. I dearly love the back up camera, I'm 78 and I depend on it to park. If I had it ti do over I would have gotten a 6 cyl but this 4 cyl does great."

Best reliability

By on Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 199,465

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
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliable, low maintenance, loyal"

Cons: "Wish it had rear disc brakes for safety"

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

"This truck has been very loyal to me, I've gotten my money's worth over the years I've owned it. Maintenance is minimal, just tire rotation, balance, oil changes. Brake pad changes. Once transmission, radiator, and brake lines flushed. Never had any issues with starting. It's a truck, so it rides like a truck. If you like a car ride, get a car, right? I commute to work on it, and it's not the best on gas mileage, yet, it's a truck! I can count on it and not sure I will see another car like this one. As someone wrote, the day will come that I will have to part with it, it will be a sad day for me. The Tacoma is not perfect, but has been perfect for me."

Worst vehicle I've ever owned.

By on Friday, July 8, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Looks cool."

Cons: "For a truck, it cannot do truck things."

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

"Not quite sure even where to start with this vehicle, other than it is the most uncomfortable, least capable truck I've ever owned. Quiet frankly, it has turned into an expensive commuting vehicle with horrible fuel economy. I'll start with an explanation of my ratings above: Value: On paper the vehicle and specs look good. It can tow up to 6500 lbs with the Tow Package, and has a payload of 1400 lbs (approx.). It has 5 seat belts and with the TRD Sport Pkg was purchased for approximately $28k. However, the performance of the truck is very different. With 500-700 lbs of payload in the bed, the truck handles so differently, it is scary. It leans and rolls to the point I feel completely unsafe. The tow rating on the truck is decent, but again reality is very different. I tow regularly between 3500-4000 lbs and again this challenges the truck. Using this truck as a truck has also lead to major mechanical issues and thousands of dollars (+$4000) in maintenance costs over the last three years. Toyota has told me I tow and haul wrong, but the facts are; I've only used half the capability of the truck. Very disappointing. Reliability: Horrible! Spark knock - The truck has had spark knock since the first oil change. I've had the dealership run diagnostics almost every time it is in for servicing and have been told this is all normal. Very disappointing. Suspension - I have had to completely replace the rear suspension. Both rear leaf springs were bent so badly the truck had a 3 inch sag. Toyota again contributed it to towing; however, not once has the truck towed close to the towing limit. One of the front struts also blew after 15k miles. Trailer Brake Harness - With the factory tow package, the truck is pre-wired for a trailer brake controller. Toyota (and the blogs and YouTube videos) state the harness for this controller is located behind the driver kick panel. However, after hours of personally looking for this harness, having my mechanic look for it, and again the dealership look for it; the harness is nowhere to be found. Toyota has stated that I need to pay for their tech to spend any more time looking for this harness. All very disappointing. Quality: With the above issues, I rate the quality poor. Also, the seat cushions have compressed making the driver seat very uncomfortable. Driving dynamics: The truck hates to stop. Even after upgrading tires, the truck just slides when braking on dry concrete. Braking distance is unsafe! The anti-roll equipment regularly engages on freeway ramps. This system uses the brakes to "assist" the vehicle from rolling; however, is too sensitive. The last thing a driver needs is the vehicle randomly slamming on the brakes when trying to enter a freeway. I do not drive this truck any different than any other vehicle, but it is challenged. Also, the traction control system on this truck is worthless. Design: The truck looks very cool on the outside. The inside is dull and bland. Comfort and convenience: Comfort is very poor to the point of unbearable. The driving position is too low, the seats do not have adequate cushion, and only children under 5 feet can sit in the back seats. It is basically a two person vehicle. The truck can only be driven for 3 hours at a time before my back and leg pain is so great I have to get out of the truck. Not convenient on road trips, especially when towing and trips take longer. Overall rating: If there was a rating of less then 1, this truck deserves it. It is not capable of towing or hauling. It is uncomfortable. It is not reliable. Fuel economy is not remotely close to EPA rating. This vehicle is an overgrown Camry and is worthless. I have spent thousands of dollars in maintenance, and renting vehicles over the last 3 years of ownership. Very disappointing, DO NOT BUY."

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Toyota Tacoma is worth every penny

By on Thursday, July 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 196,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very reliable, handles well, holds value"

Cons: "poor cup holders,"

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

"I purchased my Toyota Tacoma for yard/house work and to drive to work. It has proven to be the most reliable vehicle I have owned. It is a great drive and has adequate power for my purposes. I have never had it in the shop other than routine maintenance. I have 196K and counting on it and it is just as strong as the day I bought it."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

excellent all around

By on Monday, June 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "price, maintain value, driving comfort,"

Cons: "back access seating not for adults on longer trips"

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

"very good for two adults/two children. back access is not for long distant travel. great for extra storage."

Worst truck i have every owned

By on Saturday, June 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
7/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "None i paid way to much"

Cons: "to many to list toyotas are cheaply built but high"

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

"Uncomfortable to drive. Terrible road noise, I cant talk on the phone with hands free to much noise. Terrible gas mileage, with very little power. Truck is very under powered. I have the access cab what a waste of space."

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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