Are Toyota Tacomas Reliable

Toyota Tacomas are popular midsize pickup trucks famous for their robust appearance and enduring charm. However, a good look isn’t the only thing a truck should offer.

One of the most important factors for any vehicle owner is reliability. A reliable truck is essential for everyday work, riding, and everything in between.

So, how reliable are Toyota Tacomas? Typically, Toyota Tacomas are reliable and long-lasting pickup trucks.

In this article, I have discussed reliability, performance, common problems, and other important points related to the Toyota Tacoma.

What is Reliability in Automotive

Automotive reliability is the ability to perform its intended function consistently and without fail.

It measures how likely a vehicle is to start and run properly and how free it is from defects and problems.

Reliability is important in automotive because it affects safety, performance, and the cost of ownership.

A reliable vehicle is less likely to break down, is safer to drive, and has a lower chance of leaving you stranded on the roadside.

Are Toyota Tacomas Reliable

The Toyota Tacoma is America’s most popular midsize truck, but its recent reliability scores are disappointing. In a recent study by RepairPal, Tacoma ranked dead last in its segment, with a reliability score of 3.5 out of 5.0.

However, except for a few model years, most Toyota Tacomas are reliable and have a long-lasting record.

I have mentioned the most reliable Toyota Tacomas in the next section.

Let’s discuss here what makes the recent Tacoma models less reliable compared to other midsize pickup trucks.

There are a few factors that contribute to Tacoma’s low reliability rating.

First, the frequency of repairs is higher than average.

Tacoma owners visit the mechanic’s shop for unexpected repairs 0.25 times a year, in contrast to 0.2 times in the midsize truck class.

Second, the severity of repairs is also higher than average.

The Tacoma has a 17% chance of requiring a major repair, compared with 13% for midsize pickup trucks overall.

But the best side of Tacomas is that its annual repairs and maintenance costs are lower than those of the average midsize class.

The average annual maintenance and repair costs of Tacomas are $476, compared to $549 for the midsize truck class.

However, I think RepairPal may have ranked it so low because of the severity of the repairs.

It is important to note that Tacoma’s reliability rating is still considered to be “average” by most standards.

Toyota Tacoma’s Reliability Rating from RepairPal:

  • Overall Reliability Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 (seventh among seven midsize pickup trucks).
  • Severity: 17% probability of severe repairs (higher than the midsize truck class average of 13%)
  • Frequency: 0.25 unscheduled repairs in a year (higher than the midsize truck class average of 0.2).
  • Annual Maintenance Costs: $476 per year (lower than the midsize truck class average of $549).

Toyota Tacoma Reliability by Year

As I said above, not all Toyota Tacoma model years are avoidable.

The recent model years have lower reliability ratings, but most Toyota Tamocas are highly reliable.

Here are some of the most reliable Toyota Tacoma model years:

  • 2021 Tacoma
  • 2020 Tacoma
  • 2019 Tacoma
  • 2018 Tacoma
  • 2014 Tacoma
  • 2015 Tacoma
  • 2013 Tacoma
  • 2010 Tacoma
  • 2005 Tacoma
  • 2004 Tacoma
  • 2003 Tacoma
  • 2002 Tacoma
  • 2001 Tacoma
  • 2000 Tacoma
  • 1999 Tacoma

These model years of Toyota Tacoma are reliable and have a good reputation for their performance.

Toyota Tacoma Reliability Rating and Review

Toyota Tacoma Reliability Rating and Review

The Toyota Tacoma is generally a reliable pickup truck. However, its reliability ratings vary depending on the source.

Here are some renewable vehicle rating sites with ratings and reviews:

1. RepairPal

Repairpal gives the Tacoma a reliability rating of 3.5 stars out of 5.0.

Their rating and analysis rank the Tecoma as the 7th out of 7 midsize pickup trucks.

This rating is based on the average annual repair and maintenance, the severity of repairs, costs, and the frequency of unscheduled repairs.

2. Edmunds Consumer

Edmunds Consumer gives Tacoma a reliability rating of 7.7 stars out of 10.

Which is a good rating, according to them.

The Tacoma ranks 3 out of 5 midsize trucks in their survey.

This rating is based on surveys of Edmunds consumers who have owned a Toyota Tacoma for at least 3 years.

3. Kelly Blue Book

According to this site, the Tacoma overall reliability rating is 4.0 out of 5.0.

This is an above-average rating in the midsize pickup truck class.

This rating is based on various factors, including the average annual maintenance and repair costs, timing, and the number of repairs per year.

4. U.S. News

U.S. News gives the Toyota Tacoma a 7.2 out of 10 rating, which is above average.

The rating is based on the Tacoma’s performance, interior, safety, quality, and comfort.

5. J.D. Power

J.D. Power gives the Toyota Tacoma an 83 out of 100 rating.

The rating is based on surveys of owners of 3-year-old vehicles.

Toyota Tacoma Common Problems

Toyota Tacomas are generally reliable trucks, but they are not without problems.

Some common problems with Tacomas are:

  • Transmission Issues: Some Toyota Tacoma owners have reported problems with transmissions, such as shifting issues and transmission slipping. Most of the high-mileage Tacomas have this issue.
  • Peeling paint: Some Tacomas have peeling paint issues, especially on the hood and roof. This is a cosmetic issue, but it can be unsightly and make the truck look older than it actually is. It is an expensive problem to repair.
  • Starter Problems: Many high-mileage Tacomas have starter issues, which can prevent the truck from starting.
  • Lower Ball Joint Problems: The lower ball joints on Tacomas can wear out prematurely, which leads to steering issues and even suspension failure.

Other common problems with Tacomas include frame rust, leaf spring failures, and reduced fuel efficiency.

It is important to note that these problems are not common with all Tacomas and mainly occur on older trucks.

Proper maintenance is necessary to avoid such problems.

Toyota Tacoma Reliability by Parts

Toyota Tacoma Reliability by Parts

Engine

Toyota Tacoma’s engines are one of the most reliable engines on the market.

The most common engine in Tacoma is the 2.7L 4-cylinder engine, popular for better fuel economy and longevity.

The 3.5L V6 is also a popular option, and it offers more power and torque.

Both engines are well-designed and built to last longer.

The new 2024 Tacoma comes with two powerful engine options: an i-Force Max hybrid powertrain and a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine.

Transmission

The Tacoma is available with a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission.

Both transmissions are reliable and serve for a long time without major problems.

The automatic transmission is smooth and shifts well, while the manual transmission is precise and engaging.

Interior

The Tacoma’s interior is built to withstand the demands of daily use.

The materials are durable and easy to clean, and the design is functional and user-friendly.

The interior of the Tacoma is not the most luxurious on the market, but it provides long-lasting performance.

Frame and Exterior

Tacoma’s frame is made from high-strength steel, which makes it very reliable and resistant to bending and twisting.

The frame is also well protected from corrosion, which helps to prevent rust.

However, Tacoma’s peeling paint issue reduces its reliability.

Suspension

The Tacoma’s suspension is designed to balance riding and handling well.

The front suspension is a double-wishbone design, while the rear suspension is a leaf-spring design.

Both suspensions are well-tuned and provide good articulation, which helps the Tacoma handle rough terrain.

Brakes

As a midsize pickup truck, the Tacoma’s brakes are strong and provide good stopping power.

The front brakes are discs, while the rear brakes are drums.

The brakes are also well ventilated, which helps to keep them cool.

Electrical System

The Toyota Tacoma’s electrical system is relatively well-designed, and the number of reported problems with the electrical system is low.

Tacoma also has several other components, including the alternator, starter, and battery.

All these components are generally reliable.

Toyota Tacoma Recalls History

Here is a table of Toyota Tacoma recalls with model years and recall reasons:

Model Years Recalls Number Affected Components
1999 6 Trailer hitches, exterior lighting, and wheels
2000 6 Vehicle speed control, exterior lighting, trailer hitches
2001 6 Fuel system, tires, suspension, and gasoline
2002 6 Tires, fuel system, suspension, gasoline, and exterior lighting
2003 5 Fuel system, suspension, tires
2004 5 Exterior lighting, tires, seat belts, and exterior suspension
2005 10 Airbags, seat belts, parking brakes, suspension, and vehicle speed control
2006 11 Vehicle speed control, seats, airbags, seats, and seat belt
2007 10 Seats, airbags, power train, suspension, seat belts, and seats
2008 11 Seats, seat belts, speed control system, airbags, and suspension
2009 14 The same problems as in the 2008 model years
2010 14 The same problems as in the 2008 model years
2011 11 Airbags, structure equipment, tires, seat belts, and suspension
2012 10 Electric stability control, hydraulic brakes, structure equipment, airbags, tires, and seats
2013 8 Brakes, electronic stability control, tires, engine, structure equipment, and brakes
2014 5 Engine and structure equipment
2015 6 Tires and wheels
2016 5 Engine, airbag, and power train
2017 5 Gasoline, power train, engine, fuel system, and service brakes
2018 3 Service brakes, fuel system, hydraulics, and gasoline
2019 4 Same as 2018
2020 1 Fuel system
2021 2 Equipment and child seat
2022 2 Same as 2021
2023 2 Child seats and steering

Conclusion

The Toyota Tacoma is the most reliable and durable truck on the road.

Although its most recent model’s reliability rating has declined slightly, most Tacomas are reliable.

There have been some recalls for the Tacoma, but these recalls are relatively rare and typically for minor issues.

So, if you are considering buying a used Tacoma, avoid certain model years and choose from the most reliable model years.

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