By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 9/20/2012
The Toyota Tacoma is America's best-selling compact pickup and for several good reasons. It's a modern, capable, high-value vehicle with few real competitors. The Dodge Dakota and Ford Ranger are gone, and the Chevrolet Colorado (and GMC Canyon) is aging and feels cheap. (A modernized Colorado is a year or more away.) That leaves Nissan's Frontier (getting dated, and better as a rugged worker than a family transporter) and Honda's Ridgeline (just the opposite; a car-based platform that is comfy but limited in its hauling ability). Only the 2013 Toyota Tacoma delivers on all the work and play expectations that make Americans love their pickups, and does it in a more manageable, fuel-efficient form than a full-size pickup while offering a wide range of trims, powertrains and cab configurations.
If you're looking for a proven pickup that is as capable as it is stylish, the 2013 Toyota Tacoma deserves your attention. Nearly as capable as a full-size pickup but without the extra bulk and fuel consumption, the Tacoma fits a lot of needs.
The 2013 Toyota Tacoma pickup can't tow as much as a full-size V8-powered truck, and its narrower bed won't hold as much cargo. If you don't need to haul that much and you're looking for a smooth, comfortable ride, the Honda Ridgeline may be a more friendly choice.What's New for 2013
The Toyota Tacoma rolls into 2013 without significant changes after it got a mild facelift, minor interior upgrades and some new audio systems just last year. As before, some top-line options, including the JBL-equipped audio system and Toyota's Entune infotainment system, are reserved for the V6/automatic Double Cab versions.Driving It Driving Impressions
From behind the wheel, a 2013 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab pickup definitely handles more easily than a full-size truck, but don't expect miracles. Around town it can still seem a little bulky and clumsy. Controls feel refined and responsive, and ride quality is generally good though some payload in the bed helps, especially if you've specified one of the TRD (Toyota Racing Development) off-road suspension packages. Smoother and stronger than the standard 159-horsepower 4-cylinder – and without much penalty in fuel economy – the 236-horsepower V6 engine answers eagerly to the throttle. Both the standard 6-speed manual transmission and the optional 5-speed automatic work smoothly. Some people may feel the front seats place them oddly low to the floor but you get used to it.Favorite Features
A factory-provided supercharger! The accessory kit increases the V6's output to 304 horsepower and 334 lb-ft of torque (from 236 and 266). It has to be purchased after new-vehicle delivery, and be installed by a Toyota dealer to be warrantied (5-years/60,000-miles or whatever existing powertrain warranty remains).
All Tacomas feature a composite inner bed with built-in storage compartments and four rail-mounted sliding tie-down cleats. Very handy and functional.