Reviews

2017 Toyota Tacoma Walk Around


A freshened front end for 2016 doesn’t hide the fact that the Tacoma doesn’t look that much different than it did in 2005. The front fascia is more blocky, while the familiar big fender flares are gone. The hex pattern grille appears subdued compared to the bigger Tundra pickup.

The tailgate with Tacoma stamped on it looks industrial like the Tundra. The three-piece bumper made of fiberglass and resin makes it look different. It may not be rugged but it’s lightweight and easy to replace, if you don’t mind throwing away the easily broken one and paying for a new one.

The Pro looks more rugged, with its black alloy wheels and all-terrain tires, and lifted by one inch.

Interior

Cabin amenities and comfort are not the Tacoma’s strongest suits. The low roof and high floor means you’re climbing up and ducking into a tight cabin. The seats are not comfortable. In short, the Tacoma is not nearly as comfortable as the Chevy Colorado or GMC Canyon or Honda Ridgeline.

The seats are short and flat, the driver’s seat doesn’t raise or tilt, nor are there any power adjustments, standard on Canyon and Colorado. The seats across the Tacoma line are springy, foam-core affairs that put too much pressure on the seat bones and not enough support under the thighs. Back support is just as poor. They feel cheap and dated.

Even in the top Limited model, which adds nice leather, the driver’s seat doesn’t raise or tilt. But maybe that lack of ability to raise the seat is because headroom is limited, especially with the available moonroof. The leather itself offers slightly more support than the cloth does.

All that said, the Tacoma is full of excellent details. There’s an acoustic glass windshield and a lot of sound deadening, and the lack of cabin noise makes it feel refined. There are some upscale materials on the horizontal dashboard, and the surfaces are coordinated. The rearview mirror has a GoPro mount. There’s touchscreen audio, and most models can do smartphone navigation.

In the back, the tailgate has a lock and damper to keep it from slamming down when you drop it with one hand. Rails in the bed have movable cleats and tie-down points. Some models have a deck-mounted 120-volt AC power outlet. There’s an available four-panel folding tonneau cover.

The precise length of the short bed is 60.5 inches, and the long bed is 73.7 inches. The width of the bed is 53.4 inches, narrowing to 41.5 inches at the wheelwells, so a sheet of plywood won’t fit flat, and will have to ride on the raised tailgate. The depth of the bed is 19.1 inches.

The folding rear seats in the Access Cab are very small, suitable for kids who think it’s fun to be put in a box and bounced for a while, and groceries that might not mind. The Double Cab’s full back seat allegedly seats three, while being split 60/40 with storage under the bench.

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