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What separates trucks such as the 2022 Toyota Tacoma from others on the market? The ability to handle the tribulations associated with tougher tasks such as off-roading; something that not every available truck on the market can provide. Toyota and reliability go hand-in-hand, so the capabilities of the Tacoma are not surprising. Better yet, the Tacoma is competitively priced against other trucks in its class from competing manufacturers, so Toyota’s popular pickup truck is perfectly positioned between value and performance. There are a few types of drivers that should pay considerable attention to the Tacoma. Those who want an entry-level truck for off-roading and light towing, and those seeking a highly upgradeable vehicle that handles the same off-roading tasks, but with the added benefit of an available V6 that boosts performance in every conceivable way.
The 2022 Tacoma has a starting MSRP of $26,500, and this price will net you the SR, the base trim.* Upgrading from this, the SR5 is the following trim level that enhances various aspects of the interior, such as adding a power-adjustable driver’s seat, among other enhancements. The TRD Sport is the next trim level, and along with a new Panoramic View Monitor, this trim level comes with the Smart Key System keyfob for a keyless entry. Additionally, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat comes standard, along with a premium audio system. After this is the TRD Off-Road, the ideal off-roading trim level with its Multi-Terrain Select modes, Bilstein shock absorbers, and locking rear differential. Lastly, the Limited is the most feature-packed trim out of the bunch with its leather seating, advanced safety features, and premium audio system, to name a few upgrades.
The 2022 Tacoma can be fitted with one of two engines to select from. Beginning with the standard powertrain, a 2.7L I-4 engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission is the base configuration. Models that are fitted with this engine, such as the base Tacoma, will have 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque.
The maximum towing capacity of this engine is 3,500 lbs, which is just enough for less extreme towing tasks and is still a stellar entry-level engine. It makes up for its lesser towing capabilities with better fuel economy ratings than the more powerful option, with the 2.7L I-4 earning EPA-estimated ratings of 20 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. If this is your first truck, then this engine will be a decent choice, but those who may find it a tad underwhelming will have an excellent alternative.
Drivers who are seeking nearly double the amount of power will have the option of swapping this I-4 out with a 3.5L V6 engine. Like the I-4, this V6 will be paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. However, with this engine comes the choice between the automatic and a 6-speed manual transmission. The manual transmission is important to mention because there are far more trucks on the market that are relegated to automatic transmissions nowadays, yet there’s still quite a large community of purists who prefer manual.
This 3.5L V6 engine is a stark improvement over the base model, with its 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. To put into perspective just how large of an upgrade that is, the V6 gives Tacoma drivers nearly 75% more horsepower and a 47% increase in torque output. Horsepower and torque aren’t the only two elements that see an upgrade, and the towing capacity of the Tacoma will also be increased from the aforementioned 3,500 lbs to 6,800 lbs, a 94% increase. Interestingly, the V6 offers better highway mileage and slightly lower city mileage with 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.
The Toyota Tacoma can be fitted to be one of the most comfortable interiors that you’ve ever sat inside of. Firstly, there are two different cabs available for the Tacoma, these being the Access Cab and the Double Cab. If you require a larger passenger capacity, then the Double Cab will give you just that with five available seats. The Access Cab, in comparison, will seat four people. While not standard on every trim, various trim levels will include a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, which will make any commute, big or small, a more comfortable one. This seat also includes 2-way power lumbar support, so the lower part of your back can have structure, and this can help avoid back-related injuries.\
Of course, for shoppers who are interested in the TRD Off-Road, we must mention the Multi-Terrain Monitor. Once you’ve activated this feature, the cameras that are wrapped around your Tacoma will each appear on your integrated infotainment center screen. The usage of this feature revolves around off-roading, so the goal of these cameras is to give you multiple viewpoints of the trail for easier traversal. Speaking of the infotainment center, it features a standard 7-inch screen, which can be upgraded to an 8-inch screen. Built-in are features that you’d likely expect by this point, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This truck also includes a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, which is a terrific addition for wireless internet connectivity on the road. To connect to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and utilize its communication and entertainment capabilities, you’ll want to plug your phone into one of the three included USB ports.
Generally speaking, the 2022 Tacoma is a rather spacious midsize truck, and passengers in both the front and rear row shouldn’t have too much trouble making themselves comfortable. In the Double Cab, we see 39.7-inches of headroom, and this is slightly reduced to 38.3-inches in the back. There are 42.9-inches of legroom in the front row and 32.6-inches behind. Cargo space is excellent too, and this is true whether you purchase the five or six-foot-long bed. Toyota vehicles have been known for their quality for decades, and this translates into the interiors they design, not just the power that the trucks provide.
The Tacoma is not only exceptionally built, but it’s indisputably reliable thanks to the standard integration of Toyota Safety Sense P. With this safety suite comes features such as a Pre-Collision System, which comprises of an alert system and an automatic braking system, both of which will activate when a collision is about to occur. The Pre-Collision System also includes Pedestrian Detection, so if somebody unexpectedly walks in front of your vehicle, the 2022 Tacoma will know to apply the brakes.
Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist comes standard with the Tacoma thanks to the Toyota Safety Sense P. Lane Departure Alert performs exactly as the name suggests. It will signal a warning to the driver if the vehicle begins to leave its lane without a turn signal. If the driver doesn’t react to this fast enough, then Steering Assist will help the driver turn the wheel just enough to straighten out on the road.
The last couple of features to come standard are both Automatic High Beams and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. With Automatic High Beams, you don’t have to constantly switch between your low and high beams when driving in stormy weather or at night. Instead, they will automatically switch on and off depending on if any drivers are coming your way. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is an automated form of cruise control that will constantly adjust your speed, both accelerating and braking, to maintain a safe following distance.
Depending on the trim level that you purchase, your Tacoma can offer both a Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. A Blind Spot Monitor is a feature that should be sought after by any driver since it’s nothing but beneficial. The monitor helps to give the driver awareness of how obstructed their blind spots are. Lastly, Rear Cross Traffic Alert is a system that will send the driver a warning when reversing out of a parking space if a vehicle is passing behind them. Especially when placed against the various competition, the Tacoma is one of the more safety feature-packed options than a surprising number of trucks available on the market today.