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2012 Toyota Tacoma

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2012 Toyota Tacoma Review

Strong choice that now looks even better

Reviewed by Automotive on

One of the most popular mid-size pickup trucks among a rapidly vanishing segment, the 2012 Toyota Tacoma is currently in its seventh generation and continues to fare well against the competition.

The Toyota Tacoma is offered in variety of configurations from a basic work truck to a fully loaded Tacoma Double Cab Long Bed with four-wheel drive and V-6 engine. In total, the 2012 Toyota Tacoma has 20 different configurations, with buyers able to choose from Regular Cab, Access Cab (extended cab) and Double Cab (crew cab); two available engines (2.7-liter inline-4, 4.0-liter V-6); four transmissions (five or six-speed manual, four or five-speed automatic); rear-wheel or four-wheel drive as well as unique offerings like the Tacoma X-Runner and PreRunner models. Both an off-road package and a supercharger are available as well. Note that in 2011, Toyota discontinued three of its PreRunner models.

For the 2012 Tacoma, Toyota followed up on the truck’s 2011 refresh with a facelift, which includes a new hood and redesigned fog light frame. The interior gets a similar refresh, and a new infotainment system like Toyota Entune is available later this year.

The Range

Body style: Truck
Engines: 2.7-liter inline-4, 4.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed manual, five-speed manual, five-speed automatic, four-speed automatic
Models: Regular Cab, Access Cab, X-Runner, PreRunner, Double Cab

What's New

Toyota has refreshed the 2012 Tacoma exterior and upgraded the interior especially the infotainment system. The 2012 Toyota Tacoma sports a redesigned hood, bumpers, and new grille and headlights. Moving inside, the Tacoma features a new steering wheel redesigned instrument cluster. Tacoma models with Access Cab can now be had with new AM/FM/Satellite CD system with six-speaker system. DoubleCab V-6 models can now be equipped with navigation system, satellite radio, HD Radio, and Toyota's all-new Entune telematics system.


2012 Toyota Tacoma models is a midsize pickup, a segment that continues to shrink in the U.S. Except for a freshened hood, front grille, and bumpers, the 2012 Tacoma carries over unchanged into the new model year.


Toyota revamps driver instrument cluster and center console of the 2012 Toyota Tacoma giving them a sportier, unified look. Certain models offer different features: seats on the SR5 model, for example, have a new design while the TRD Sport and off-road models are water-resistant. The 2012 Tacoma Access and Double Cab models are equipped with all-weather floor mats while the TRD Sport package can be equipped with 18-inch wheels.

Performance & Handling

The 2012 Toyota Tacoma's V-6 continues to offer plenty of power, and it's easy to forget that the size of this truck. Like most Toyota vehicles, the 2012 Tacoma ride is comfortable especially for high-mileage weekend trips to Las Vegas or the desert (or both). There is, though, an exhaust rumble that drones while driving around town. Fortunately, the sound fades into the background at freeway speeds, important (again) for long trips. Brakes are very responsive.


Toyota's Star Safety system is standard on all 2012 Tacoma pickups, providing anti-lock brakes (ABS), brake assist (BA) and electronic brake distribution (EBD); traction control (TRAC); vehicle stability control (VSC); and Toyota's smart stop brake override system. Inside, every 2012 Toyota Tacoma comes standard with front seat-mounted side airbags, roll-sensing side curtain airbags (including a cutoff switch), and a front advanced dual-stage airbag system. Toyota Tacoma Access Cab and DoubleCab models also come with active headrests for driver and front passenger seating.

EPA Fuel Economy

Regular Cab: 17-20 mpg city/22-26 mpg highway
Access Cab: 14-20 mpg city/18-26 mpg highway
X-Runner: 17 mpg city/21 mpg highway
Double Cab: 14-16 mpg city/18-20 mpg highway

You'll Like

  • Cab/bed options
  • X-Runner handling
  • Rugged durability
  • Capability

You Won't Like

  • X-Runner ride quality
  • Overdone styling
  • Not enough standard

Sum Up

Strong choice that now looks even better

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Ford Ranger
  • Nissan Frontier
  • Chevrolet Colorado

See the New 2015 Tacoma.

Front & Driver Side View

2012 Toyota Tacoma Consumer Rating

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