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2012 Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab

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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)

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2012 Toyota Tacoma Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 1491 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

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."

5 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Best Truck I've Ever Owned!

By on Saturday, April 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 231,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything!"

Cons: "Small Gas Tank"

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

"It's going to be really hard to say good bye to this truck. She has 231,000 miles and going, but it's time to let someone else enjoy her amazing performance and reliability. She's been my side kick since January of 2007. Sometimes I think I'm the truck's sidekick. She's been amazing and incredible, and even then, that's an understatement. Unfortunately I can't afford the same truck brand new. The new models start at $5,000 more than what I paid for mine in 2007. I definitely plan to buy a Tacoma sometime in the future when I can afford a truck again. In the meantime, I have to settle for a car :( This truck has been outstanding. Only broke down once in Toyon,CA due to the battery. Other than that, never had any other issues. Till this day, she can tow like a beast, and she has the tenacity to accelerate up to speed when merging onto the freeway. Hardly any vibration at higher speeds even with her miles. I strongly recommend! If you want a truck that drives like a car, tows like a beast, whose reliability is as sure as death and taxes, the Tacoma is your truck!"

15 people out of 25 found this review helpful

Reliable, tough looking....a 10 in my book

By on Thursday, March 31, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "tough looking reliable comfortable"

Cons: "mpg could be better"

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

late afternoon getting ready for a weekend dirt bike trip

"There are only a few things that make this different than a trd off road version. In my eyes, they are significant. First, Toyota matched up the perfect suspension and lift kit that makes the trd pro just look that much tougher than a regular trd off road package and the price is not that much more. I am extremely happy with this truck and believe it or not get many compliments on the looks."

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

late afternoon getting ready for a weekend dirt bike trip

great truck....

By on Friday, March 04, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 236,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "everything ."

Cons: "nothing"

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

"this one has 236,000 and is still going stronge and looks great. this is my second one and I love it . the first one I had 213,000 and I still see it on the road. looking to get 2016 soon . love these trucks.."

12 people out of 19 found this review helpful

I love this truck but, I just do not care to drive

By on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very nice vehicle, drives very well, turns heads!"

Cons: "I have no cons. I just do not drive much."

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

"I have really kept very good care of this truck. As of now, no tears or cracks. This is really a very safe and reliable truck. (My husband has a 2014 4dr Tundra and we have a little s10). Awesome truck that someone else might really enjoy. *I owe $12k on it and it just sits here on my carport looking beautiful and bright white. (I'd like to Sale for $25,000)"

12 people out of 31 found this review helpful

WAAAY OVERPRICED for what you get

By on Monday, February 22, 2016

I owned and sold this car

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "style, towing capability"

Cons: "almost everything else"

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

"got this truck when it first came out in my honest opinion I think I paid way too much for it,definitely not the best value for a "truck" I learned. sold it after 3 years. main reasons are space (I am 6'1 tho), stereo!, navigation, MPG for a smaller pickup, power, and last but not least cost of repairs.""

18 people out of 36 found this review helpful

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