The Toyota Tacoma has been the best-selling midsize pickup truck in the United States for 17 consecutive years, and its lead over the closest contender is big. And, in the official tally of all U.S. vehicles sold last year, Tacoma ranks among the top 15 best sellers.
For 2022, the off-road oriented Trail Edition and TRD Pro models are given suspension lifts from a half inch to 1.5 inches to boost performance in rough terrain. The paint color Lunar Rock, previously exclusive to the TRD Pro, is now available for the Trail Edition. The TRD Pro hasn’t been demoted. It gets a flashy new color called Electric Lime Metallic all to itself.
Tacoma comes in a diverse range of configurations and costs, based on a foundation of access cab and double cab versions.
The access cab has two full-size front doors, two smaller back doors that are rear-hinged, and seating for four passengers. The double cab has four full-size doors and seating for five.
The base engine is a 159-horsepower four-cylinder, a 278-hp V6 is optional, and there’s a choice of rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. The V6 is $2,260 more than the four, and 4×4 configuration is about $3,000 above 4×2.
A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on most models, but select models are also offered with a six-speed manual. Short bed (5 feet) or long bed (6 feet) is yet another option.
Pricing starts at $28,365 (including a $1,215 destination charge) for a Tacoma 4×2 SR access cab with a long bed and automatic transmission. In an escalating lineup that includes 33 different selections, the Tacoma 4×4 TRD Pro double cab with an automatic transmission is on top at $50,505.
I drove a Tacoma SR5 4×4 double cab with the V6 engine, automatic transmission, short bed, Trail Edition package, and Lunar Rock paint.
Beyond the dirt-based capabilities of the SR5 Trail Edition are some other nice features such as 16-inch bronze wheels, a heritage-inspired grille with the word Toyota in big bronze lettering, lockable bins inside the bed (one of them insulated to serve as an ice chest), a 120-volt outlet in the bed, black fabric seats with beige stitching, and rubber floor mats.
Comfort and convenience amenities receiving great appreciation include a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with two-way lumbar support, Wi-Fi, quickly responsive high heat emanating from the climate control vents during an unseasonably cold Pacific Northwest early spring, and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with good six-speaker audio and SiriusXM radio.
Voice recognition, Bluetooth, and capability for Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay were on board as well.
Driver and front-seat passengers are afforded generous room inside the Tacoma double cab, but back-seat passengers have to make do with 32.6 inches of legroom. That’s not an agonizing amount, but it’s not considered super friendly in the industry.
Performance demonstrated by the V6 indicates a four-cylinder Tacoma would be underpowered, especially for duties such as towing or heavy hauling. Fuel economy ratings between the two engines aren’t that much different. With an automatic transmission, the V6 is rated 19/24/21 mpg with 4×2 configuration and 18/22/20 mpg with 4×4. The four-cylinder’s numbers are 20/23/21 (4×2) and 19/22/20 (4×4). The recommended fuel for both engines is 87 octane or higher.
By the way, my tester looked fabulous in its new Lunar Rock paint.
2022 TOYOTA TACOMA SR5 4×4 DOUBLE CAB TRAIL EDITION
Base price, including destination charge: $36,870
Price as driven: $43,164
Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.