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2008 Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab

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2008 Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab Review

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The 2008 Toyota Tacoma may be the Japanese automaker's smallest pickup, but it has long since left the realm of the compact courier. The Tacoma is the best selling pickup in its segment and dwarfs the Ford Ranger and Chevrolet Colorado in every area that counts. Its closest competitors are now the Dodge Dakota and Nissan Frontier and, while worthy opponents, neither can match the Tacoma's long history of reliability and high resale value. Wrapped in muscular, aggressive sheetmetal and touting the most powerful V6 engine ever to grace a small Toyota, the Tacoma has much to offer those who take their pickup trucks seriously.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a capable pickup larger than a Ford Ranger, but not as massive as a Dodge Ram, look into the 2008 Toyota Tacoma. When it comes to reliability in this segment, many organizations rank it at the top of its class.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you've driven the Honda Ridgeline or Nissan Frontier and were impressed by their car-like ride and handling, you might be disappointed that the Tacoma still drives very much like a truck.

What's New for 2008

Toyota Racing Development (TRD) offers a TRD supercharger for Tacomas equipped with the 4.0-liter V6 engine, which can be purchased and installed through the dealership. Also new for 2008 is the TRD Off-Road Rugged Trail Package that includes a locking rear differential, Bilstein shocks, 16-inch Baja wheels, black overfenders and additional skid plates.

Driving the Tacoma Regular Cab
Driving Impressions

The Tacoma we tested was a Double Cab, long-bed model equipped with a V6, four-wheel drive, five-speed automatic transmission and the SR5 package that includes a limited-slip differential. Put the...

... pedal to the floor and you can feel and hear the powerful V6 working, conveying a refined sort of ruggedness. On the highway, our Tacoma rode rather nicely, but it almost seemed out of its element negotiating city streets. In general, the Tacoma always felt like it'd be happier hauling or towing something or negotiating rocks in a river. On one hand, that's exactly the attitude many buyers will require for a truck. On the other hand, the Tacoma's competition includes some other very capable trucks that offer a more "car-like" daily driving experience -- namely the Honda Ridgeline and Nissan Frontier.

Six-Speed Manual
The Tacoma's six-speed manual transmission helps take full advantage of the available 236-horsepower V6.

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

2008 Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab Details
Interior

Getting into and out of the 2008 Toyota Tacoma is easy, and the firm seats are designed with pleasant bolstering and adjustability to fit most body types and sizes. A recessed, three-ring instrument cluster looks handsome and is in clear view. Most, if not all of the controls are easy to reach and adjust, and steering wheel-mounted controls for the radio are available. Overall, the midsize Tacoma feels very roomy. On the Double Cab, the big back doors open up to a back seat as roomy as that in many small sedans.

Exterior

The 2008 Toyota Tacoma succeeds by blending classic Toyota truck styling with design features of some larger domestic models. Oversized headlamps and a wide trapezoidal grille dominate the Tacoma's assertive-looking exterior and, at a glance, the Tacoma might be mistaken for a domestic truck. The overall exterior of the Tacoma is well done, and an impeccable level of fit and finish is a known characteristic of Toyota products. Double Cab models offer a class-first roof-rack system that attaches to the roof rails. Integrated deck rails found in the bed can be used to secure optional accessories, such as the fork-mounted bike rack and diamond-plated storage boxes. The Tacoma's bed features a protective composite bed liner that is both durable and light.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The two-wheel-drive Tacoma's base four-cylinder engine displaces 2.7 liters. Other standard equipment includes an AM/FM CD sound system, anti-lock brakes (ABS), tachometer, two instrument panel powerpoints and rear mudguards. 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 include the 4.0-liter V6, four-wheel drive and SR5 Packages, which add color-keyed overfenders and front bumper, chrome grille surround and a chrome rear bumper. Transmission upgrades from the base five-speed manual include a four-speed automatic, five-speed automatic and six-speed manual. Optional body configurations include Access Cab and Double Cab models, plus a long bed. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is available on all models, while traction control with Hill-start Assist (HAC) is available on V6 models with automatic transmissions. There are also a myriad of TRD parts available including the Off-Road Package and supercharger.

Under the Hood

Both of the Tacoma's engines, the four-cylinder and the V6, 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, two- or four-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 1,495 pounds, respectively.

2.7-liter in-line 4
159 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
180 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/25 (2WD, manual), 19/25 (2WD, automatic),
17/22 (4WD, manual)

4.0-liter V6
236 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
266 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/19 (2WD, manual), 15/18 (4WD, manual),
16/20 (2WD, automatic), 16/20 (4WD, automatic)

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2008 Toyota Tacoma Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 1497 Ratings for the 2005 - 2014 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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