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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.

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)

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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2012 Toyota Tacoma Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 1392 Ratings for the 2005 - 2015 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

Value, reliability.

By on Friday, September 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"Put simply, the best vehicle I have ever owned. Absolutely no issues in the 3+ years I have owned the vehicle. Outstanding in snow with 4wd, smooth in dry conditions in 2wd. I would absolutely recommend this vehicle to anyone in the market for a midsize truck."

12 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Gets the job done

By on Sunday, September 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,750

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Reliable"

Cons: "no lights on window controls"

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

"Good truck for day to day driving. Plenty of power for normal duties. Gas milage could be better coming from a V6. Average around 18 mpg. Lets face it Toyota Tacomas have an excellent reputation for reliability and resale value. I guess the old saying is true, You get what you pay for."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Great Truck

By on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, power,"

Cons: "low MPG"

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

"2011 Tacoma TRD Sport w/5' bed bought used last year and so far it's been good to me. Had a couple of issues with it that the dealer fixed after I bought it. It's got the 4.0 V6 so I've got the power but the MPG isn't the best. I would recommend anybody looking for a midsize truck to take a look."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Great little workhorse.

By on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Dependable little vehicle."

Cons: "Uncomfortable seating."

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

"I purchased the truck in 2008 with 13000 miles on it. It is a daily driver and runs great. I change the oil every 3000 miles with conventional oil and did a transmission flush at 50,000 miles. We use this truck for everything and on the weekends we use it as our beach cruiser hauling surfboards and kids to the beach. I do take good care of it inside and out and it still looks new. Love this little workhorse."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Excellent truck..Solid - quiet - plenty of power -

By on Monday, August 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 800

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"Bought new. A very solid, quiet riding truck. quality radio system, plus bluetooth. Gas mileage around town so far is 15+"

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

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."

4 people out of 11 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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