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2014 Toyota Tacoma Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?

Buy a 2014 Toyota Tacoma
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The Top 10 Reasons Why You May want to Buy a 2014 Toyota Tacoma

The 2014 Toyota Tacoma is a midsize workhorse truck that is capable of towing a heavy load while still being flexible enough to navigate through tight spaces in urban centers. The Tacoma is available with four wheel drive or rear wheel drive. Rear wheel drive is standard on PreRunner Access Tacomas as well as Double Cabs. The rear wheel drive Tacomas come with a four speed automatic transmission. Tacomas have either a four cylinder, 2.7 liter engine with 159 horses and 180 foot=pounds of torque or a six cylinder, 4 liter engine with 236 horses and 266 foot=pounds of torque. [ For the 2015 model see - Toyota Tacoma Pros and Cons ]

The six cylinder is standard on four wheel drive Double Cab Tacomas while the rest come with the four cylinder engine. Regular and Access Cab Tacomas have a standard five speed manual transmission. The other difference between the cab styles is that a Double Cab can be purchased with a short 5 foot bed or it can be purchased with the same standard 6 foot bed that is found in the Regular Cabs and Access Cabs.

The Tacoma's main competitors are the Ford F-150, the Honda Ridgeline and the Nissan Frontier. The F-150 is just as solid as the Tacoma but its ride is a bit more sluggish. While the Ridgeline doesn't have a traditional style truck body frame, it does have a solid V6 engine with 3.5 liters along with a handy lockable trunk and a tailgate with two hinges. The Frontier is a viable midsize truck and it is very similar to the Tacoma except for its lack of a regular cab. The Frontier handles very precisely and its seats are a bit more comfortable than the Tacoma's.

Ten Reasons to Buy a 2014 Toyota Tacoma - The Pros

1) The Tacoma is very cost efficient for what it provides. The starting MSRP of a bare bones Tacoma is only $18,800. It's difficult to find a midsize truck at such a low price. Higher end, fully loaded Tacomas sell in the high $20,000s but don't break the $30,000 level.

2) Although most auto aficionados consider the Tacoma to be a midsize truck, it borders on being compact. This is perfect for truck owners who want drive through urban areas without any hassles.

3) Simply put, the Tacoma is a fun truck. It handles nicely, has precise steering and excellent acceleration capabilities.

4) The Entune audio system is standard on all Tacoma cab styles. Entune is easy to use and provides a plethora of entertainment options that are easy to navigate.

5) The Tacoma presents no off-road problems. It is a beast when equipped with four wheel drive and the six cylinder engine. The Tacoma tows up to 6,500 pounds and can haul over 1,500 when equipped with the six cylinder engine.

6) The Regular Cab versions come loaded with features like a composite bedliner, tilt/telescope steering wheel, air conditioning, Bluetooth/iPod/USB connectivity, limited slip rear deferential and more.

7) Aside from the wide array of amenities, the Tacoma's interior is also spacious and orderly. It's easy to move around once inside and the front seats are very comfortable.

8) The Tacoma's audio and climate controls are easy to use for drivers of all ages.

9) Aside from the standard options referenced above, drivers can choose to add a plethora of features like a navigation system, keyless entry, 7 speaker audio, a backup camera, HD/Satellite radio and much more.

10) The Tacoma is loaded with safety features like front active head restraints, stability control, anti-lock brakes and front seat, side impact and full length side curtain airbags.

Reasons you may not want to buy a 2014 Toyota Tacoma - the Cons

1) While the Tacoma received the best possible rating of “Good” during the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's side and moderate overlap crash tests, it also received the next to worst rating of “Marginal” for its roof strength.

2) Critics are quick to point out the Tacoma's lack of space in Access Cab rear seats.

3) The Tacoma's engine is fairly loud and the ride isn't always completely smooth. The vehicle doesn't take to bumpy surfaces as well as some drivers would like.

4) A few critics opine that the Tacoma doesn't handle much better than a full size truck. The common expectation is that a midsize truck like the Tacoma will have far superior handling compared to full size trucks.

5) The Tacoma's fuel economy is a bit of a let down. Rear wheel drive Tacomas hit 21/25 mpg and four wheel drive Tacomas achieve only 18/21 mpg. Tacomas with the V6 engine go as low as 16/19 mpg. 

What's New For 2014

The Tacoma now includes the Entune stereo system for all cab types. The SR sport style package is available at an extra cost. The optional rearview camera can now be seen on the touchscreen display instead of a smaller screen that was used in previous years. Aesthetically, the Tacoma's front grille is more prominently featured and its headlights are less rounded. In terms of its exterior looks, the Tacoma resembles most other pickup trucks. This vehicle is about service and function, not beauty. Aside from making Entune standard, the Tacoma's interior now also has better grade plastics.


This year's Tacoma is well worth the low price tag. It is exactly what a truck is supposed to be: rugged, reliable and highly functional. It'll transport large amounts of cargo, take on heavy tows and maneuver through cities with excellent agility. Without a doubt, the Tacoma stands at the head of the midsize truck class.

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