The Toyota Tacoma is both great as a workhorse and as a commuting vehicle. It comes with some fancy aesthetic options, but the great quality and sturdy construction are the real selling points. Being a midsize truck, the fuel economy is much more forgiving than larger trucks, and overall, the Tacoma adds up to be a very impressive buy at a decent price point.
New For 2013
A new Limited Package, available only on certain trim levels, adds niceties such as heated leatherette seats, eighteen-inch wheels, and a backup camera. All Tacomas now come with a 6.1-inch color touch screen.
The exterior of the 2013 Toyota Tacoma benefits from its midsize distinction, as it is easy to fit into parking places but still large enough to do some serious lifting when necessary. It is available in several body styles, including regular cab, access cab, and double cab. With excellent build quality and muscular looks, there aren't many competitors that stand a serious chance when pitted against the Toyota Tacoma.
The access cab models feature small-hinged doors that open up from the rear, and the double cab models feature a second set of full doors and a larger cab. The regular and access cab models have a six foot bed, and the extended double cab model has a five foot bed to make room for the rear seating. The base model comes on 15-inch steel wheels, features a composite bed liner, and a bed rail utility system. For the base level double cab, there are 16-inch steel wheels and power mirrors. The X-Runner model takes on urban driving with stylistic improvements such as a body kit, 18-inch alloy wheels, and fog lights.
Options for the exterior may vary per regions, but some of the general options include sliding rear window, privacy glass, chrome grille, keyless entry, and power mirrors. The convenience package of options includes foglights and a rearview camera system. A T|X package can be added to the V6 Access and Double Cab models, and it includes black alloy wheels, stainless-steel exhaust tip, and the option for the T|X Pro upgrades of special side graphics. Overall, the exterior is rugged, and Toyota offers enough options to make it more of a city truck with somewhat over-the-top appointments.
Interior & Cargo
The interior of the 2013 Toyota Tacoma isn't especially luxurious, but it is much nicer than most midsized trucks. The interior space depends on the trim, but typically the room in the rear seats for Access and Double Cab models is a bit restrictive. If backseats are a must, opt for the Double Cab model. The interior was redone in 2012, and these same appointments are still available. There are a lot of plastic surfaces, but for a utilitarian vehicle, this makes sense.
The seating is placed a bit too low, which may be bad for some shorter drivers. Rear seats can be folded down or up to improve cargo space within the cabin. For base model, interior components include air conditioning, cloth bench seats, and a four-speaker audio system. The Access Cab base model gets upgraded cloth upholstery, bucket seats in front, and a six-speaker audio system. The Double Cab models add powered mirrors and an upgraded six-speaker audio system with auxiliary jack and MP3 playback capabilities. The PreRunner V-6 models have the option of Display Audio with navigation system, which includes voice controls and a rearview camera.
The Limited package adds heated leatherette seating and the rearview camera. Other options include an AM/FM/CD player for the PreRunner. Other standard features include the touchscreen display now available in all models. Overall, the Tacoma remains utilitarian for base models, but it is also loaded down with the most electronics in the segment.
The safety of the 2013 Toyota Tacoma is decent. During crash testing conducted on the model in 2012, which is essentially the same, the Tacoma received four out to five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NTHSA testing suggests that frontal crashes could use a little bit of improvement. Additional crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Tacoma at ""Good"" for frontal offset crashes, but a very ""Marginal"" score for the roof strength.
Regardless, the 2013 Toyota Tacoma comes with anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control. Additionally, the Tacoma is available with hill-assist technology for four-wheel drive models. The airbags include front side impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for both rows. The passenger seat features a sensor that automatically deactivates the airbag when not needed.
Other safety features include the available rearview cameras, daytime running lights, and fog lights. Overall, the safety of the Toyota Tacoma is at least average, and while it could use some improvements, it isn't a high-risk vehicle.
The 2013 Toyota Tacoma comes with two engine choices, and both of them can be equipped with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. The base engine is a 2.7-liter, four-cylinder that produces 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. This engine is the standard for most trims. A five-speed, manual transmission is standard for regular and access cab models, and a four-speed, automatic transmission is standard on the PreRunner and optional on all other trims. Fuel economy for this engine is rated around 18/21 mpg city/highway.
The second engine is the much larger 4.0-liter, V-6 that produces 236 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. This comes standard on the Double Cab and X-Runner models, and it is an available option for the Access and PreRunner Double cab models. The transmission is a six-speed manual, but a five-speed, automatic transmission is also available. Fuel economy on this engine rates around 16/21 mpg city/highway for the manual transmission.
The small engine may be a decent choice for casual driving, but the larger engine is a must if there is to be any work done with the Tacoma. Considering the fuel economy is not especially better for the four-cylinder, the V-6 is easily the better choice. Off-roading is a breeze with four-wheel models. Overall, the Tacoma can easily be called the best midsize truck on the market.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Toyota Tacoma
- Honda Ridgeline
- Nissan Frontier
- Suzuki Equator