Differences Between Tacoma 3.5 and 4.0

Toyota Tacoma has had four generations of pickup trucks since 1996. Tacoma 3.5 and 4.0 are two variants of the engine of the truck.

Tacoma 4.0 is a 4.0L VVT engine with a 6-speed manual transmission. Tacoma 3.5 is a 3.5L Atkinson cycle engine combined with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Toyota manufactured Tacoma 4.0 from 2004 to 2016 and introduced Tacoma 3.5 in 2017. Both the engines are quite similar but there are also a few differences you should know about.

Tacoma 3.5 has many similarities in specs, torque, reliability etc. with Tacoma 4.0. They have differences in horsepower, mpg, towing, performance, reliability etc. I am going to discuss them now briefly.

1. Tacoma 4.0 vs 3.5 Specs

Tacoma 4.0 is a V6 engine with 3956 cc of displacement. It comes with a 5 or 6 speed manual transmission. A total of 5 seats are available in the truck. It has a 4WD drivetrain for offroading. The fuel tank size is 21.1 gallons.

Tacoma 3.5 is a 3.5L V6 engine with 3456 cc of displacement. It comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission. 4 seats are available for drivers and passengers. It has a RWD drivetrain for basic usage. Its fuel tank capacity is 21.1 gallons.

Tacoma 4.0 and 3.5 have differences in engine, transmission and drivetrain. The Tacoma 4.0 has 4WD which is better than the Tacoma 3.5’s RWD. Fuel tank capacity is the same for both of them.

2. Tacoma 4.0 vs 3.5 Horsepower

Tacoma 4.0’s engine can produce up to 236 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. It can reach up to 5200 RPM.

Tacoma 3.5’s engine can produce up to 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. RPM varies from 4600-6000.

So you can see that the Tacoma 3.5’s engine produces 42 hp more compared to the Tacoma 4.0. Both vehicles have the same torque production.

3. Tacoma 4.0 vs 3.5 MPG

Fuel economy of Tacoma 4.0 is 16 mpg in city and 21 mpg on highways. The fuel economy becomes 18 mpg in combined situations.

Tacoma 3.5 gets 19 mpg in city areas and 24 mpg on highways. The fuel economy becomes 21 mpg combined.

So Tacoma 3.5 gets 2 more mpg in city and 3 more mpg on highways compared to Tacoma 4.0. Combined fuel economy is also 3 mpg more for combined driving situations.

4. Tacoma 4.0 vs 3.5 Towing

Curb weight of Tacoma 4.0 is up to 4220 lbs. It can tow up to 3500 pounds. It is the maximum limit of that vehicle.

On the other hand, Tacoma 3.5’s curb weight is up to 4680 lbs. It has a max towing capacity of 6800 pounds.

So Tacoma 3.5 has better towing capacity. It can tow 3300 pounds more compared to the Tacoma 4.0. Towing capacity depends on the engine’s power and 3.5’s engine is better that way.

5. Tacoma 3.5 vs 4.0 Performance

Tacoma 3.5 gets 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds and 0-100 mph in 22.1 seconds. It can reach up to 89.7 mph within a quarter mile. It can get 60-0 mph within 133 ft.

Tacoma 4.0 gets 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds and 0-100 mph in 23.2 seconds. It can reach up to 88 mph within a quarter mile. It can also get 60-0 mph within 126 ft.

So Tacoma 4.0 has better 0-60 time and it is 0.5 seconds faster than 35. But the Tacoma 3.5 has a better 0-100 time which is 1.1 seconds faster than 4.0. Tacoma 3.5 can reach more speed within a quarter mile. As for declaration, Tacoma 4.0 gets 60-0 quicker than the 3.5.

6. Tacoma 4.0 vs 3.5 Reliability

Tacoma 4.0 can easily last up to 200,000 miles. Many users have got 300,000 miles on their Tacoma 4.0 and it is still running. It doesn’t show any major issues. Changing the oil on time and maintaining it regularly makes the vehicle last longer.

Tacoma 3.5 also lasts 150-200K miles without any major issues. But the building and operating mechanism is different hence it can last less.

So Tacoma 4.0 is more reliable compared to 3.5 Tacoma. But 4.0 Tacomas are not in manufacturing now and 3.5 is newer. So 3.5 will have more spare parts and better maintenance.

Final Thoughts

Both Tacoma 3.5 and 4.0 are good and reliable engines. However, Tacoma 4.0 is older and Tacoma 3.5 has not been too old.

They have many differences and similarities in many aspects. Tacoma 4.0 outruns Tacoma 3.5 in performance and reliability.

But Tacoma 3.5 outran Tacoma 4.0 in mpg, performance, horsepower and towing.

You should keep in mind about those before purchasing a Tacoma with a 3.5 or 4.0 engine.

I hope this article helps you to know about the engines and choose the suitable one.

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