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2012 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab

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2012 Toyota Tacoma Double 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 Double 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 Double 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 1384 Ratings for the 2005 - 2014 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

My Toyota disappointment

By on Saturday, August 23, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: major mechanical problems

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

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

"I bought a 2008 Tacoma brand new off the lot. At 28,000 miles the transfer case went and it was fixed under warranty by Toyota. At 68,000 miles (no more warranty) the transfer case went a second time. Was told by certified Toyota mechanics the problem was a "seal" that was left out during the first repair. Neither the dealership or Toyota itself would make good on their mistake and instead gave me a $4000 estimate. After buying 5 Toyotas in a row, I now buy Hyundai."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Awesome truck!

By on Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 102,400

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Rugged, dependable, sharp body style"

Cons: "Parts/accessories can be expensive"

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

"9 yrs & still going strong! Extremely reliable & has served my family of four very well. Just the right size, not a gas guzzler. Have utmost faith in this truck & has got us to/from many vacations, fishing/hunting trips safely. Never any major repairs & definitely going to buy me another one after I pass this one down to my son in a few years. One of the best investments I have ever made."

Excellent vehicle. Does everything you ask of it.

By on Saturday, August 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Comfortable on long trips, 400 + miles."

Cons: "Air conditioning not as good as in our Camry."

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

"Very comfortable for trips, Good sound system. Could be a little better on gas mileage (It's a truck). If you need a truck can't beat this Toyota Tacoma."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

great economy for a truck

By on Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great fuel milage for a truck"

Cons: "4 cylinder lacks passing ability on highway."

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

"toyota tacoma is a great truck. the 4 wheel drive goes well in snow. the 5 speed manual is sporty to drive and adequate for towing a 16 foot boat or small trailer. you do have to use the gears but works well"

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

BEST TRUCK I HAVE EVER OWNED

By on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "build quality"

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

"I have owned three of these thus far. I have also owned a Land Cruser and and FJ. needless to say I am sold on the Toyota lineup. I can see why these trucks hold their value so well. A great footprint as its easy to drive and park in a Trader Joes parking lot and get to "all" the trails, both of which in a full size are not always possible."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Toyota does one thing, and does it well

By on Saturday, August 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

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
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"Toyota is very good at making boring cars & trucks. The 2wd Tacoma Access Cab has a little chrome on grille & bumper, but is not "flashy". It has a well laid-out interior and positive "clicks" on all buttons & switches. It has all the comfort & convenience features you want (pwr locks, windows, A/C). Although I bought the first year of the current body style (2005), there have been no mechanical / electrical / reliability problems. The vehicle has started & moved every time I have asked it to."

3 people out of 6 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

Buying this car?