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2012 Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab

Overview
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2012 Toyota Tacoma Regular 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 Regular 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.
Favorite Features

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 Regular 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 1352 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

Love this truck!

By on Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "RELIABILITY, comfortable TRD/Sport seats"

Cons: "Vent fan squeeks and fan resister overheats"

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

"I bought my 2006 Toyota Tacoma DC TRD 4x4 brand new in August 2006 and now have 140,000 miles and have had no major repairs. These trucks hold their value well. I have considered trading up for a new one but always decide against it because my truck still drives like it did when it was new. My wife and I liked the truck so well that we ended up buying another used tacoma for her and have had the same great experience with it as well."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Very pleased

By on Saturday, March 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 185,000

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
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Said it all allready"

Cons: "Said it all allready"

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

"Starts and runs the same today as the day I drove it off the lot. Mine is a single cab 4x4. Goes enough places being stock with slightly over sized BFG's AT tires. Great small wheel base for Mojave desert canyons and Los Angeles city streets & parking lots, with all points between. Good on gas, slightly underpowered. A little tight on leg room. Great value truck. I am in construction and I carry stuff. I use the truck for more than carrying girly girl "I am a cowboy" and "monster drink stickers" on the back windows shinning up a truck that never seen a dirt driveway. I am happy with the truck."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Good looking truck! 4 dr prerunner TRD

By on Saturday, March 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 156,775

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good looking truck."

Cons: "Gas mileage sucks."

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

"Speedway blue color. Westin bull bar and nerf bars. Good tires. It has some scratches., nothing major."

Good truck. 200,000 miles and very few issues.

By on Sunday, March 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 189,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Good value."

Cons: "Access cab not usable."

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

"This has been a good truck overall. Good value considering the cost of most full size trucks now days. Have had some issues with the electrical though; heat went out, speedometer has gone out, etc. But it was and still is a very reliable vehicle with no major issues to report. The access cab is small and cannot really hold extra passengers."

Best small truck on the market.

By on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Looks, reliability"

Cons: "Ride, ergonomics, stereo, price"

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

"This was a good purchase. Toyota leads the small truck market. Quality of material is good. Drivetrain is adequate. Truck lacks options that many other vehicles have. For this day and age when electronics are cheap and plentiful the tacoma stereo is about 15 years behind. Adjusting the seat and steering wheel for tall people is impossible. Space between the pedals and under the steering wheel is small so big boots and long legs were not intended for this vehicle. Looks good and is dependable."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

I will forever continue buying Tacomas.

By on Monday, March 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very nice truck swicthed to Toyota"

Cons: "no issues yet. Had for over 2 years"

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

"Very happy with my Toyota. I never thought I would leave my Dodge but my friend brought one and I enjoyed driving it so much that now I own one. This is a very nice truck. Very pleased.."

6 people out of 8 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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