The Most Reliable Toyota Tacoma Models

Hello and welcome! If you’re a Toyota Tacoma fan, you’ve probably already heard about some of the great things this durable, reliable truck has to offer. The Tacoma has built a reputation for being one of the most dependable midsize trucks on the market, thanks to its outstanding build quality, impressive performance, and rugged, off-road capabilities. But with so many Tacoma models out there, it can be tough to figure out which one to choose.

That’s what this article is all about – helping you find the most reliable Tacoma models. Whether you’re in the market for a brand-new Tacoma or a pre-owned one, we’ll walk you through the different models and generations of the Tacoma, so you can narrow down your options and find a truck that suits your needs. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive in!

The Most Reliable Toyota Tacoma Models


Toyota Tacoma is regarded as one of the most reliable mid-size pickup trucks on the market today. For over two decades, it has delivered a rugged performance and exceptional driving experience to off-road enthusiasts and daily commuters alike. This article explores the most reliable Toyota Tacoma models from its first and second generations.

First Generation (1995-2004)

The first-generation Toyota Tacoma, debuting in 1995, was the first mid-size pickup truck manufactured by the Japanese automaker. It offered two engine options – a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and a 3.4-liter V-6 engine – and came with a manual or automatic transmission.

The 1995-2004 Toyota Tacoma is known for its reliability and durability. The truck’s tough exterior and sturdy frame make it ideal for off-road adventures, while its comfortable and spacious cabin provides a comfortable ride on highways. The 1995-2004 models of Tacoma have an outstanding track record for minimal mechanical problems and are often praised for retaining their value over time.

Second Generation (2005-2015)

The second-generation Toyota Tacoma, launched in 2005, introduced major interior and exterior upgrades to the truck. The 2005-2015 models came with two engine options: a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine with 159 horsepower, and a 4.0-liter V-6 engine with 241 horsepower.

The 2005-2015 Toyota Tacoma models are known for their reliability and durability. The truck’s enhanced safety features, including antilock brakes and stability control, make it an ideal choice for families. The truck’s improved suspension system makes it an excellent off-road vehicle, while its reliable engine and transmission provide a smooth performance on highways.


In conclusion, the Toyota Tacoma is a reliable mid-size pickup truck that has stood the test of time. Its ability to provide comfort on highways and tackle rugged terrains off-road has established it as a top choice for truck enthusiasts. The first and second-generation Toyota Tacoma models have consistently received high marks for reliability, durability, and overall performance. If you’re looking for a dependable truck, the Toyota Tacoma is worth considering.

Third Generation (2016-Present)

New and Improved Features

The third-generation Toyota Tacoma was introduced in 2016 with several new features and improvements. The exterior design was revamped, giving the midsize pickup truck a more aggressive and modern look. The interior upgrades included high-quality materials and improved technology, such as a touchscreen display, wireless charging, and a GoPro mount. Additionally, the third-generation Tacoma had better fuel efficiency, enhanced off-road capability, and upgraded safety features.

One of the most notable improvements in the third-generation Tacoma models was the addition of the new engine options. The base engine was upgraded to a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, Toyota added an optional 3.5-liter V6 engine that could produce up to 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. The V6 engine also came with a six-speed automatic transmission, while the four-cylinder engine came with a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.

Reliability Ratings

The third-generation Toyota Tacoma models have been consistently rated as one of the most reliable midsize pickup trucks on the market. According to J.D. Power, the 2019 Toyota Tacoma received a score of 85 out of 100 in their Vehicle Dependability Study, which measures the number of problems reported by owners of three-year-old vehicles. That same year, the Tacoma also received the Best Resale Value Award for midsize pickup trucks from Kelley Blue Book.

Kelley Blue Book’s 2021 Best Resale Value Awards revealed that the Toyota Tacoma had the highest resale value in the midsize pickup truck category, with a projected resale value of 58% after five years. Additionally, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2021 Toyota Tacoma its highest safety ratings, earning a Top Safety Pick award.

Owner Reviews

Owners of the third-generation Toyota Tacoma have generally praised its reliability and off-road capabilities. Many owners who purchased them to use for work have raved about their performance, with one owner saying, “It’s been amazing to see what this truck can endure with the daily wear and tear I put it through on construction sites.” Other owners have reported experiencing minor issues, such as a software glitch or a squeaky brake, but they were quickly resolved by the dealership.

One common complaint that some owners have reported is the lack of standard safety features. Some have noted that features such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert should come standard on all trim levels. However, these features were added to the 2020 model year as part of the Toyota Safety Sense suite of active safety features.

Overall, the third-generation Toyota Tacoma remains a highly reliable midsize pickup truck with impressive off-road capabilities and high resale value.

Happy Trails in Your Reliable Toyota Tacoma

So let’s sum it up. The Toyota Tacoma is an exceptional pickup choice if you want a truck to last you for the years to come. With several models that remain reliable from 2007 to 2020, you can be sure that you’re driving a truck that won’t let you down. It might surprise you to know that most Tacoma models retain their value over time, providing you with a dependable and valuable investment. With a strong engine, high resale value, and excellent fuel economy, it’s tough to beat the Toyota Tacoma. Plus, some of the models come with enhanced features, such as navigation, infotainment systems, and more advanced safety features which make it much more enticing. Thank you for reading through our article on the most reliable Toyota Tacoma models. We hope that it has shed some light on the excellent pickup truck and helps you make a wise decision about your next vehicle purchase. Drive safely and enjoy the ride!


  1. What makes Toyota Tacoma so reliable?
  2. Toyota Tacoma’s build quality, combined with its rugged design and choice of high-quality materials, contributes to its reliability. Most Toyota Tacomas have engines that are built to last a long time, and they remain strong even in challenging conditions.

  3. Which is the top-rated Toyota Tacoma for reliability?
  4. The 2020 Toyota Tacoma comes with the highest road test score, as per Consumer Reports, with owners happy with their truck’s reliability and performance. Nevertheless, the 2019, 2018 and 2017 Tacoma models have shown excellent reliability as well.

  5. What year did Toyota Tacoma start to gain popularity?
  6. The Tacoma has been popular since it first came out in the late 90s, but it wasn’t until the 2000 model year that Tacoma sales reached 159,615, making it one of Toyota’s top-selling vehicles in this period.

  7. How long can a Toyota Tacoma last?
  8. If you maintain your Toyota Tacoma correctly, it can easily last more than 250,000 miles. However, this lifespan can vary depending on factors such as repairs, maintenance, and the vehicle’s use.

  9. What is the gas mileage on Toyota Tacoma?
  10. The Toyota Tacoma gets between 17 and 24 miles per gallon in the city and between 20 and 24 mpg on the highways, according to the US Department of Energy.

  11. What is the most common problem with Toyota Tacoma trucks?
  12. The most frequent issue reported with the Toyota Tacoma is the steering rack bushing wearing out, leading to a clunking noise when trying to turn the steering wheel.

  13. Does the Toyota Taco hold its resale value?
  14. Yes, the Toyota Tacoma indeed holds its resale value more than almost every other vehicle in its class. It ranks #1 in J.D. Power’s 2020 Vehicle Dependability Study for mid–size pickup trucks.

  15. How much can a Toyota Tacoma pull?
  16. The 2021 Toyota Tacoma can pull up to 6, 800 pounds with a maximum payload of 1,440 pounds.

  17. What kind of safety features are available on a Toyota Tacoma?
  18. Advanced safety features, such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams and more, can be seen in some 2020 Tacoma models, while the 2021 Tacoma models feature more advanced safety features like lane departure warnings, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection systems.

  19. Is the Toyota Tacoma a good buy?
  20. Yes, the Toyota Tacoma is an excellent all-around truck. It offers exceptional off-road capabilities, a great fuel economy, and a high resale value. In addition, the Tacoma provides reliable performance and plenty of comfort and convenience features, making it a fantastic buy.

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About the Author: Eibar Schmidt

Eibar is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. Also He is a casual autocrosser and occasional track day participant who believes everybody should drive cars that make them happy.

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