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2013 Toyota Tacoma Review

The 2013 Toyota Tacoma does well in our rankings for its credible on- and off-road capabilities, spacious front row, almost-perfect reliability, and good ownership costs. However, before you decide to purchase a used 2013 Toyota Tacoma, you should know it suffers somewhat from a low safety score.

Pros & Cons

  • Good fuel economy for the class
  • Better cabin quality than rivals
  • Tacoma Double Cab’s spacious rear seats
  • Mushy brake pedal feel




Critics' Rating: 9.3
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 8.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Toyota Tacoma Overview

Is the 2013 Toyota Tacoma a Good Used Truck?

The 2013 Toyota Tacoma is a good used truck. It tows more than rival compact pickups can, and its seats are comfortable. The Tacoma has a reasonably smooth ride, and models equipped with available four-wheel drive have good off-road capabilities. When it was new, we named the Toyota Tacoma our 2013 Best Compact Truck for the Money.

Used 2013 Toyota Tacoma Performance and Interior

The base 2013 Tacoma has a 159-horsepower four-cylinder engine with a standard five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic transmission can be found in some models. A 236-horsepower V6 with either a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic is available. Models with a dealer-installed TRD supercharger crank out almost 296 horsepower. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is available in some models. When properly equipped, the V6 Tacoma can tow up to 6,500 pounds, which beats rivals. The four-cylinder engine can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

The available TRD off-road package adds features like Bilstein shocks, 16-inch alloy wheels mounted on wider tires for better grip, hill descent control, and hill start assist. These features make the Tacoma a serious off-roading vehicle. On pavement, the Tacoma delivers a decent ride; models with the off-road package ride harsher over pavement. The Tacoma’s brakes work well but can feel spongy.

The Tacoma earns EPA fuel economy ratings of 16-21 mpg in the city and 18-25 mpg on the highway, depending on the model.

Read more about Tacoma performance »

Regular Cab Tacomas seat up to three, Access Cab models seat four, and Double Cab models seat five. All models have comfortable front seats, but the rear seats are tight in all but the Double Cab Tacoma. A standard tilting-and-telescoping steering wheel makes finding a comfortable driving position relatively easy.

The base Tacoma Regular Cab comes standard with air conditioning, a 6.1-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, and a USB port. Navigation is only available in the top Toyota Tacoma PreRunner Double Cab.

The Tacoma Regular Cab, Access Cab, and Double Cab models have a 73.5-inch bed. The Double Cab is available with a shorter 60.3-inch bed.

Read more about Tacoma interior »

Used 2013 Toyota Tacoma Prices

The price of a used 2013 Toyota Tacoma ranges from about $11,600 (for a Regular Cab with rear-wheel drive, a manual transmission, and a four-cylinder engine) to around $23,900 (for a Double Cab with four-wheel drive and a V6 engine). Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 88 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 88 Toyota Tacomareviews and included information on safety, reliability, fuel economy, and more to give you a comprehensive overview of the 2013 Tacoma.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles for a decade, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To ensure our impartiality, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers or dealers, and an outside team handles our site’s advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Toyota Tacoma?

The 2013 Toyota Tacoma pickup has a reliability score of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is excellent for the auto industry as a whole.

See Tacoma reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Tacoma?

The 2013 Tacoma earns four out of five stars in overall safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. All models received four stars for the rollover crash test. Frontal and side crash scores vary by cab configuration. Double and Regular Cabs earned four stars in the frontal crash test, while the Access Cab earned three stars. The Double and Access Cabs received five stars in the side crash tests, while the Regular Cab earned four.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the Tacoma Double Cab earned a Good rating – the highest – in the moderate overlap front and rear crash tests. The Access Cab scored Good in the following crash tests: moderate overlap front, side, and rear. It earned a Marginal rating – the second lowest – in the roof strength crash test.

There are no standard active safety features across all Tacomas, but some models come with a built-in rearview camera.

See Tacoma safety scores »

Is the 2013 Tacoma the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Toyota Tacoma is part of a generation that launched for 2005 and ended with the 2015 model year. This Toyota was refreshed for 2012, and the 2013 model saw few major changes. Therefore, you may save money by buying a 2012 model, without sacrificing many features.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Tacoma » 

Which Used Toyota Tacoma Is Right for Me?

The Tacoma has three cab styles to choose from: Regular, Access, or Double. Each is available with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. The two-door Regular Cab has a four-speaker audio system with a 6.1-inch touch screen and two 12-volt power outlets. Features like a center storage console, front and rear mudguards, and 16-inch steel wheels are available. The Access Cab includes dual rear-hinged access doors, a 60/40-split rear seat with adjustable headrests and under-seat storage, power windows and door locks, and an overhead storage console. The four-door Double Cab has rear bulkhead storage.

Access and Double Cab models also come in either X-Runner or PreRunner versions. The X-Runner is a performance model that features a specially tuned chassis and a lower ride for better handling, as well as various exterior cosmetic touches. It also comes with cruise control, keyless entry, and four-way adjustable front seats. PreRunner models are the most off-road capable, with higher ground clearance and better departure and approach angles.

The Regular Cab is a good utilitarian work truck; the Double Cab combines power and toughness with space for families.

Even with the Tacoma’s almost-perfect reliability score, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned model for added peace of mind. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all of its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Toyota certified pre-owned program » 

2013 Toyota Tacoma and Other Trucks to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Toyota Tacoma or 2013 Honda Ridgeline?

Both the 2013 Honda Ridgeline and the Toyota Tacoma are good used compact pickups. The Tacoma Double Cab is the better work truck. With four-wheel drive and a V6 engine, the Tacoma can tow up to 6,500 pounds (1,500 more than the Honda) when properly equipped, and it is available with two different bed lengths (the Honda offers just one). However, the Ridgeline is a better daily driver. It has a carlike ride, more second-row legroom, a lockable in-bed trunk for secure storage, and a much higher safety score.

Which Is Better: 2013 Toyota Tacoma or 2013 Nissan Frontier?

The 2013 Nissan Frontier has sharp handling, standard seating for four, and a comfortable ride. However, its interior is filled with cheap-looking hard plastics, and the King Cab’s rear jump seats are cramped.

Compare the Tacoma, Ridgeline, and Frontier »

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