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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 1455 Ratings for the 2005 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Gonna get my third one!

By on Thursday, June 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 180,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfort, visability, reliability"

Cons: "Needs a few more miles per gallon..."

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

"One set of brakes, regular fluid changes, never left me stranded in 180000 miles. It would be insane not to purchase another one. You never see tacomas being towed home."

9 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Another Reliable Tacoma

By on Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Runs great, reliable, great entertainment system"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

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

"A really good truck, love the looks and the interior layout. Plenty of little places to stash things. A comfortable ride, especially as speed increases. Miss a sun/moon roof, tho. The biggest drawback is the gas mileage. For a 2WD 6-cylinder, it only gets 15-16 around town, and best I've ever gotten (on the highway) was 20.6 mpg and that was once. The sticker says 17-21, but only rarely hit 17 (usually driving mostly highway), and never gotten 21 or better. I absolutely love the truck except for the gas mileage."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Coolest looking truck on road but has shortcomings

By on Monday, June 15, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Comfort and mileage

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Looks, price, resale value"

Cons: "Comfort, gas mileage, road noise, needs updating"

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

"Purchased my Tacoma in Spring of '12 (2012 PreRunner TRD fully loaded). Had wanted one for years and finally decided that I didn't need a full size pickup anymore. Have always loved the looks but it can beat you up on long trips. As a guy in my mid fifties, I didn't realize how much I would miss the comfort of a full size truck. The gas mileage on my Tacoma 2wd was only about a mile or two per gallon better than the '07 F150 I traded for it. The Tacoma had good power, some nice features, a good sales price and is without doubt the coolest looking truck out there, but after 3 1/2 years behind the wheel, I need to go back to a full size. Most full size brands now have cylinder deactivation to help with mileage. As trick looking as the Tacoma was, it just needs a little more updating and smoothness for this old guy..."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Outstanding truck for the money

By on Wednesday, June 03, 2015

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

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

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

1st day!

"After 3 cars and an SUV, I realized how much I missed driving a truck. After comparing the GMC/Chevrolet offering, (I work for a store that has a GMC Franchise)and realizing how the incentives didn't come close to what Toyota was offering, not to mention the reliability, I decided on the Tacoma PreRunner V6 with the TRD Off Road Package. This is my first Toyota product, and I could not have been more pleased with the truck. The ride is smooth, considering it is a truck. The other reviewers who chastise the wind noise and the ride need to realize: IT IS A TRUCK YOU BOUGHT! If you wanted a Lexus, then you should have bought it instead! I also like the layout of everything, not to mention the simplicity of the interior. The Entune system works well and is easy to use. It will even display and read my iPhone texts, which few vehicles will. The seats are comfortable, even on longer trips (I've taken it on 3-4 trips of 2+ hours). Storage abounds in the inside and out, especially behind and below the rear seats. Speaking of the rear seats, I have more passenger room in the backseat than in my previous vehicle, a Mazda 3 hatchback. I opted for the 5' bed, which I don't use it very often, but it is big enough for when I do. The backup camera is a great thing to have, especially when hooking up to a trailer, and the scope of it allows you to see pretty well when backing up around another vehicle. I love the rugged looks of the TRD Off Road package, which is why I opted for it, but having the Limited Slip Differential will come in handy, which is another reason why I opted for the PreRunner. We get some snow here, but not enough to warrant the cost and insurance for the 4WD. I look forward to many good years and memories with this truck."

13 people out of 21 found this review helpful

1st day!

Last Tacoma for me.

By on Monday, June 01, 2015

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

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

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

"Liked my 07 better. This ride is not as smooth. Squeaks once in a while inside. Mileage is no better.(19 average) Tows good for my 1500lb. boat. Average vehicle at best. At trade in time, I will not be back to Toyota."

2 people out of 7 found this review helpful

great vehicle for on/off road

By on Friday, May 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "reliability. short turn radius in woods offroading"

Cons: "tire pressure monitor system failed"

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

"tire pressure monitor system failed right after warranty ended. Has been repaired with inch of electricians tape over warning light. Otherwise this is an incredible vehicle. Goes anywhere. Now looking for a Tacoma with automatic trans as I am buying a boat/trailer and I am getting old. Still, love the feeling of control a stick shifter gives. As long as I have a pickup it will be a Tacoma."

7 people out of 9 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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