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2020 Toyota Tacoma Performance Review


Performance: 6.7

The 2020 Toyota Tacoma has excellent off-road abilities and composed handling. However, it suffers from unimpressive engine power and a ride that can be uncomfortable.

  • "The engine can growl when going uphill or when trying to pass on the freeway, but on the whole it provides a nice ride." -- Motor Trend
  • "Through it all, the Tacoma's off-road act was exceptional, perfectly complementing the outdoor scenery. On pavement, however, its flaws and foibles are as glaring as ever. It has a jittery ride on even modestly bumpy pavement, and poorly controlled body motions." -- Autoblog
  • "When running errands around town or covering long distances on the highway, the Tacoma will feel a bit more rough and tumble than its Ford, GM and Honda rivals. … So, if you're looking for civility, look elsewhere. But what the Tacoma does offer is fun. It feels like the smaller, more agile truck that it is. Its steering is comparatively responsive and it feels like you can toss it about." -- Autotrader (2019)

Acceleration and Power

The Toyota Tacoma comes standard with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. A 3.5-liter V6 that produces 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque is optional. Neither engine is particularly refined, though the V6 isn't as sluggish as the base engine.

The standard six-speed automatic transmission feels unrefined and can struggle to find the right gear. A six-speed manual transmission is optional in certain trims.

  • "Its automatic transmission has only six gears, versus GM's eight and Ford's 10, and obtrusively hunts for those gears even on mild grades. At least you can get a manual transmission on the various TRD 4x4 models." -- Autoblog
  • "What's new is the behavior of the powertrain, but the difference isn't earth-shattering. The 3.5-liter V6 engine doesn't make any more power and torque than last year, so it still feels sluggish in certain situations. But the shift points of the six-speed transmission have been recalibrated to hold lower gears longer, particularly when cruising the highway. The upshot is less gear hunting on gentle upgrades and when driving into headwinds." -- Edmunds
  • "The V6 engine has plenty of torque to help me slowly manage off-road obstacles, but on the highway, it shows its weak points. … The six-speed automatic transmission isn't doing the truck any favors, either. It constantly hunts for the right gear, and the only way I can get it to settle down is by shifting into Sport mode for a modicum of control." -- CNET

Handling and Braking

The Tacoma has poised handling and responsive steering, but its ride is stiff and sometimes even harsh. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is optional.

  • "The Tacoma steers confidently and feels stable and composed in most circumstances. The ride is reasonably smooth, but it can feel unsettled and skittish on broken pavement. None of this is any different from the Tacomas that came before it." -- Edmunds
  • "The drive was a bit of a downer … we were reminded of the Tacoma’s unsettled ride, especially in TRD Pro trim." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The Tacoma’s ride is firm but not jarring, and the steering is impressively responsive." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
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2020 Toyota Tacoma

MSRP: $26,050 - $46,665

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