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2015 Toyota Tacoma Review

The 2015 Toyota Tacoma ranks among the best in the compact pickup class. It has a superb reliability rating, lots of standard features, and unrivaled off-road performance. To top it off, the Tacoma has robust payload and towing abilities.

Pros & Cons

  • Punchy engine options
  • Excellent reliability rating
  • Impressive off-road performance
  • Firm ride
  • Few advanced safety features




Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 8.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Toyota Tacoma Overview

Is the 2015 Toyota Tacoma a Good Used Truck?

The 2015 Tacoma is a great option if you’re in the market for a used pickup truck. It offers refined four- and six-cylinder engine options with respectable fuel economy. The Tacoma has enough grunt for everyday driving, and it’s more than capable of light-duty towing and hauling. Better still, the Tacoma has a solid track record of reliability.

It’s not the right compact pickup for all shoppers though. If a smooth ride or active safety features are must-haves, you’ll want to look elsewhere – perhaps to full-size pickups.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 96 Toyota Tacoma reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2015 Toyota Tacoma?

Based on listings for the 2015 Toyota Tacoma on our site, the average list price is $26,600. Prices range from $19,900 to $31,600 and vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2015 Toyota Tacoma Cost to Own?

The Tacoma’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $26,900, or about $5,400 per year. That’s about average for a compact pickup truck.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Tacoma?

The 2019 Tacoma starts at $25,550, and it can exceed $45,000 in its top trim level. This newer third-generation Tacoma offers a retuned suspension and higher-quality cabin materials, which makes it a nicer truck to drive and ride in. Another perk is the Toyota Safety Sense P package (TSS-P), which comes standard with all 2018-and-newer Tacoma models. These advanced safety features include forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning.

These additions make the new Tacoma a more refined truck, but they don’t come cheap. If all you need is a practical and reliable small pickup, you’ll find it for thousands of dollars less in a used 2015 Tacoma.

Read about the new Tacoma »

There are only a few new compact pickup trucks that have starting prices lower than the 2015 Tacoma’s average price. The 2019 Nissan Frontier starts at just $18,990, but it comes with few standard features and is in desperate need of an update. Better alternatives include the 2019 Chevy Colorado and all-new 2019 Ford Ranger. Prices for these models start at $21,300 and $24,000, respectively.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Toyota Tacoma Is Best?

Toyota launched the second-generation of its Tacoma pickup for the 2005 model year. The truck saw few updates until 2012, when Toyota updated its interior and exterior styling, and gave it a new infotainment system. After that, the only other big updates came in 2015 when Toyota cancelled the Regular Cab body style and added the TRD Pro trim (a heavier-duty model for off-roaders). These trucks have a solid reputation for reliability, making them all good options.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Tacoma »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Toyota Tacoma?

The 2015 Tacoma has a perfect reliability rating of five out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Tacoma reliability »

2015 Toyota Tacoma Recalls

The 2015 Tacoma is affected by two recalls. Toyota is recalling certain models equipped with accessory hood scoops and running boards that may not have been installed properly. Make sure these recalls are addressed by a Toyota dealer before buying a used Tacoma.

See more information on Toyota Tacoma safety recalls »

Which Used Toyota Tacoma Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Tacoma is available in two body styles (a four-seat Access Cab and five-seat Double Cab), two bed lengths (5- and 6-feet), and six trim levels. All models come equipped with a 6.1-inch touch screen, a CD player, Bluetooth, a USB port, power windows and door locks, air conditioning, eight bed tie-down cleats, and a limited-slip rear differential. That’s a long list of standard features for a compact pickup truck. When buying a used Tacoma, consider each trim level for its desirable options.

The Tacoma SR trim has cloth seats, fog lights, color-keyed bumpers, and alloy wheels. The SR5 trim adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, remote keyless entry, and a rearview camera. The Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport trim adds Bilstein shocks, a hood scoop, and a 115-volt bed outlet. The TRD Off-Road trim comes with heavier-duty shocks, an engine skid plate, tow hooks, extra traction control modes (hill-start assist and downhill assist), and a locking rear differential.

The TRD Pro trim builds on the TRD Off-Road trim with longer Bilstein shocks for an extra 1.75 inches of suspension lift, a front skid plate, a cat-back exhaust, beadlock wheels, and a restyled Toyota-branded grille. The top-of-the-line Limited trim lacks the off-road gear of the TRD models, but it adds SofTex leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a JBL stereo, and a navigation system.

See 2015 Toyota Tacoma trims and specs »

What Does Toyota's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Toyota offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 85,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the initial sale date or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like a CarFax vehicle history report, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

Toyota’s CPO program is about average for an affordable carmaker, according to our research. Hyundai and Kia both have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Tacoma?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2015 Tacoma the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the roof strength test, but a top score of Good in all other tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Tacoma four out of five stars in the rollover test. Access Cab models received four stars in the frontal and side crash tests. Double Cab models got three stars in the frontal crash test and five stars for side crash test.

Toyota offers the Tacoma with a rearview camera. However, no other advanced safety features are available.

See Tacoma safety scores »

2015 Toyota Tacoma Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Toyota Tacoma or 2015 Nissan Frontier?

The 2015 Nissan Frontier and Tacoma are cut from the same cloth. Both trucks offer comparable fuel economy, payload and towing abilities, and off-road performance. Both also have earned a reputation for dependability. The Toyota is a better pick for most shoppers though, despite used models often demanding higher prices. The Tacoma has better tech features and a higher-quality interior.

Which Is Better: 2015 Toyota Tacoma or 2015 Chevrolet Colorado?

The 2015 Chevy Colorado is a better truck in some ways. It has a nicer interior with soft-touch plastics that you won’t find in the Tacoma, and its ride is more compliant over rough pavement. Additionally, the Colorado is available with advanced safety features like forward collision warning. However, it receives the lowest rating from J.D. Power. The Tacoma may not be as luxurious, but it’s a better buy overall.

Compare the Tacoma, Frontier, and Colorado »

2015 Tacoma Performance

How Does the 2015 Toyota Tacoma Drive?

The Tacoma has two engine options: a 2.7-liter four-cylinder with 159 horsepower, and a 4.0-liter V6 with 236 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard. Four- and five-speed automatic transmissions, a six-speed manual, and four-wheel drive are available. The four-cylinder is zippier than its performance rating suggests. It scoots the Tacoma around town with respectable might, and it’s stout enough to haul occasional loads. The V6 is a better option for most buyers, though. It provides the Tacoma with snappier acceleration and packs more than enough grunt for heavy towing.

The Tacoma’s tidy dimensions and quick steering make it an easy truck to maneuver in parking lots and along city streets. Unfortunately, its ride quality can’t match its handling. The Tacoma’s firm suspension tends to jitter and clomp over rough pavement, which can be uncomfortable on longer trips.

Venture off road, however, and this setup begins to shine. The Tacoma feels composed when scurrying over rough terrain, and its low-range gearing can claw through mud, sand, dirt, and loose rock without fuss. Opt for one of the TRD models for even better off-roading ability; these 4WD pickups have heavy-duty shock absorbers, additional traction control modes, and skid plates.

Does the 2015 Toyota Tacoma Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Tacoma gets decent fuel economy by class standards, though it varies widely depending on the transmission. The Tacoma’s four-cylinder engine returns 18-21 mpg in the city and 20-25 mpg on the highway. V6 fuel economy is 15-17 mpg in the city and 19-21 mpg on the highway.

2015 Toyota Tacoma Towing Capacity

The Tacoma is rated to tow up to 6,500 pounds when properly equipped with the V6 engine and tow package. All models can tow a minimum of 3,400 pounds.

Read more about Tacoma performance »

2015 Tacoma Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Tacoma Seat?

The Toyota Tacoma seats up to four people in Access Cab models and up to five in Double Cab models. The Access Cab has a pair of rearward-opening doors for back-seat passengers, while the Double Cab has conventional rear doors.

The Tacoma’s seats don’t offer much support, and the cushioning is a bit slim, which can make longer trips on the highway a chore. The driving position is somewhat awkward because of the low seat bottoms. Adding insult to injury, the Access Cab’s back seat is cramped, and it has an uncomfortable upright seating position. The Double Cab’s rear seat is much better, though, and it’s roomy enough for two adults or three kids.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Toyota Tacoma?

The Tacoma has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats.

2015 Toyota Tacoma Features

The 2015 Tacoma comes standard with a 6.1-inch touch screen, a CD player, a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, air conditioning, and power windows and door locks. Available features include cruise control, remote keyless entry, satellite radio, a rearview camera, and navigation. The touch screen infotainment system is quite basic and easy to use, complemented by simple buttons and knobs for the audio and climate controls.

See 2015 Toyota Tacoma specs »

Read more about Tacoma interior »

2015 Toyota Tacoma Dimensions

Toyota Tacoma Cargo Space

The Tacoma is available with 5-foot and 6-foot bed lengths. Payload ratings range from 1,175 to 1,500 pounds, depending on the model.

2015 Tacoma Length and Weight

The Tacoma’s length and curb weight vary depending on the truck’s cab and bed configurations. The length is between 17.3 and 18.4 feet, and the curb weight ranges from 3,615 to 4,285 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Toyota Tacoma Built?

Toyota built the 2015 Tacoma at factories in Texas and Mexico.

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