Toyota makes some of the most reliable used cars you can buy. The Toyota Tacoma is Toyota’s flagship pickup truck that debuted in 1995 to replace the previous Toyota pickup that didn’t have a specific model name. The Tacoma started out as a compact truck and eventually became a midsize truck later on. Even though the Tacoma is generally reliable and a great choice among used cars, there are some model years that are better than others. Let’s take a look.
Buy 1995 – 2005 Tacoma Models
The first ten-year run of the Toyota Tacoma was extremely solid, and these trucks are some of the most reliable on the road. There are very few reported complaints for this model year range of Tacomas. For the complaints that do show up, most of them are defects that don’t appear until after at least 100,000 miles, but that’s a point when you’d likely need to do various repairs and maintenance on your truck anyway. The 2005 model did have some reported complaints about paint chipping and peeling after 80,000 miles, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly common. There are some more modern models of the Tacoma that also report high reliability, but overall it appears that the earliest models of the Tacoma were truly fantastic.
Also Buy 2010, 2013-2015, and 2018-2020 Tacoma Models
Moving up to 2010, this is another good Tacoma model to consider if you want something newer than 2005. Early engine or brake problems are the most common problems reported on the 2010 model and the 2015 model. The 2013-2014 and 2018-2019 models have similar high reliability to the earliest Tacoma models, but the occasional defects reported with those early models have the tendency to show up sooner in the newer models. However, the absolute safest bet on the newer used models of the Toyota Tacoma is the 2020 model. The 2020 Toyota Tacoma has zero reported complaints, which is a pretty great statistic to see when you’re looking for used cars.
Avoid 2006-2009, 2011-2012, 2016-2017 Tacoma Models
Now, let’s talk about some Tacoma models to avoid and why you should avoid them. The 2006-2008 models tend to have major issues with paint peeling and even some engine issues. The 2009 model has a pretty long list of problems too, including interior defects, engine issues, paint peeling, light defects, and more. The 2011 model has similar issues to 2009, but there are actually even more complaints about it than 2009. The 2012 model has mainly drivetrain and engine problems. The 2016 and 2017 Tacoma models are probably some of the worst you can buy due to major transmission problems. The 2016 Tacoma also has a number of reported engine defects. According to the volume of complaints and repair costs, the absolute worst Tacomas to buy are the 2007, 2016, and 2017 models.
In conclusion, the Toyota Tacoma is overall a very reliable truck. There are more good model years than bad, but it’s a good idea to know which ones are bad because some of the problems are quite serious.
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