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2011 Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab

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2011 Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.5

The 2011 Toyota Tacoma is the best selling compact pickup five years running. While some competitors, such as the Ford Explorer Sport Trac, are bowing out of the compact pickup segment all together, Toyota has expanded is presences by adding five new trims to the Tundra line up. Of course, the term compact doesn't necessarily mean small, as the Toyota dwarfs the Ford Ranger and Chevrolet Colorado in every area that counts. It's now more akin to the midsize Dodge Dakota and Nissan Frontier, and not all together much smaller than some full-size regular cab pickups. And, while the Frontier and Dakota are worthy competitors, neither can match the Tacoma's excellent resale value and overall history of reliability.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a capable pickup larger than a Chevrolet Colorado, but not as massive as a Ford F-150, the 2011 Toyota Tacoma deserves your attention. Beyond its cult-like following, many consumer groups rank the Tacoma at the top of their reliability and repair charts.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Unlike many crossovers and car-based truck variants, the Tacoma still delivers very truck-like ride and handling characteristics. If you need less off-road ability and more on road comfort, the Honda Ridgeline might make a better choice.

What's New for 2011

Five new fuel-efficient models join the Tacoma lineup for 2011, all equipped with the 2.7-liter engine. New trims include the T|X and T|X Pro Package, both based on last year's SEMA concept trucks. New features for 2011 include standard air conditioning on Regular Cab models and satellite radio on all models equipped with the six-disc CD changer.

Driving the Tacoma Regular Cab
Driving Impressions

We tested a 2011 Tacoma Double Cab with a long bed and 4.0-liter V6 engine teamed to a five-speed automatic transmission. Our test vehicle was also equipped with four-wheel drive...

... and the SR5 package that included an automatic limited-slip differential. On the highway, our Tacoma rode rather nicely, but it almost seemed out of its element when asked to negotiate city streets. Put the pedal to the floor, however, and the Tacoma's V6 engine roars to life, conveying a refined sort of ruggedness. 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 suburban-type errands. To be honest, that's exactly the attitude many buyers require for a truck. However, if you don't count yourself an off-road enthusiast or weekend rock warrior, the SUV-like ride provided by the Honda Ridgeline is probably a better fit.

Supercharger Kit
The optional Eaton-Roots type supercharger kit increases the V6's output to 304 horsepower and 334 lb.-ft. of torque, and carries a five-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.

2011 Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab Details
Interior

The 2011 Toyota Tacoma's roomy interior includes a recessed, three-ring instrument cluster that looks handsome and is easily viewable from the driver's seat no matter what the driver's size. Most, if not all of the controls are easy to reach and adjust, and steering wheel-mounted controls for the radio are available. The Tacoma's firm seats include firm bolstering in key areas and numerous adjustable points to support most body types and sizes. Access Cab models feature a small rear seat area suitable only for short trips. Frequent four-passenger journeys are best suited for the Double Cab, which features big back doors that open wide for easy entry and exit.

Exterior

The 2011 Toyota Tacoma combines classic Toyota truck styling with some of the oversized features commonly found on full-size domestic trucks. A new grille and more trims this year expand the Tacoma's wide-ranging personality profile, touting oversized headlamps, chrome or black-out grille treatment and an assortment of wheel and tire packages. As with all Toyota products, the Tacoma's overall fit and finish are impeccable, with tight tolerances between body panels, glossy paint and doors the shut with a solid "thunk". Unique features include a class-first 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. 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 air conditioning, an AM/FM stereo with single 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 2011 Tacoma include a 4.0-liter V6, four-wheel drive, JBL audio with Bluetooth connectivity, and the SR5 Packages which adds color-keyed overfenders and front bumper, chrome grille surround and a chrome rear bumper. Double and Access Cabs can be fit with a rear backup camera while 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. Hill-start Assist (HAC) is available on V6 models with automatic transmissions. There are also a myriad of 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 truck. 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 four-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, 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 1,535 pounds, respectively.}

2.7-liter in-line 4
159 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
180 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/25 (2WD, manual), 19/25 (2WD, automatic),
18/20 (4WD, manual), 18/21 (4WD, automatic)

4.0-liter V6
236 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
266 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/19 (2WD, manual), 17/21 (2WD, automatic), 14/18 (4WD, manual), 16/20 (4WD, automatic)

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2011 Toyota Tacoma Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 1496 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

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

an excellent local hauler

By on Monday, April 25, 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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "a pleasure to drive"

Cons: "A turbo would help"

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

"We have made several short trips across the state and things have gone well. Last year we went from Spokane, WA. to Rapid City, SD, not good, spent too much time in lower gears. our city mpg is about 18 and hwy is 24. This is an excellent truck but not for crossing the continental divide. I do like this truck very much and it is my 2nd Tacoma, I just wish I had gotten a V-6."

7 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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