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What’s New for 2018
Toyota knows the Tacoma is already a great vehicle, so they haven’t changed much for 2018. A new color choice, Cement, is available for some of the trims. The five-speed manual transmission has been discontinued in favor of a six-speed manual, and all trims get the Toyota Safety Sense-P suite as a standard.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Toyota Tacoma – The Pros
1. Tough, Durable Exterior
One of the biggest concerns of buying a vehicle that could be used for off-roading is its durability. If the exterior isn’t durable, then any small rock or stick could cause irreparable damage - not something you’d like for a brand new vehicle. The 2018 Toyota Tacoma doesn’t suffer that problem. Its exterior is made from extremely rugged and durable metal alloys that will keep your car damage free on most terrains.
2. Great Infotainment System
Surprisingly, the 2018 Toyota Tacoma offers a fully-featured and pleasing to use infotainment system. The 6.1-inch touchscreen comes as the standard option for the system, but an upgrade to a 7.0-inch touchscreen is available. In combination with the 4.2-inch multi-information display, the system offers you every single piece of information you could need and more. The menus are simple to navigate, and integration with both Apple and Android smartphones make navigation a breeze.
3. Powerful Transmissions
The 2018 Toyota Tacoma offers a six-speed automatic as its standard option alongside a 159-hp 2.7-liter inline-4 engine, and the 3.5-liter V6 (which is recommended) is paired with either the six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual. The automatic transmission works quite efficiently, and you can feel the acceleration ramping up in a satisfying fashion. However, the manual transmission with the V6 engine is far more enjoyable and feels better overall when off-roading.
4. Great Ride Quality
No matter your terrain choice, the Tacoma feels great to both drivers and passengers. The type of ride you get depends on the trim level you choose. For example, the Limited trim is more suited for regular road driving, giving a stable, smooth, and quiet ride that is somewhat unlike the other trims. On the other hand, the TRD Pro trim’s softer suspension gives you more control when facing rough terrain and will ease on body roll when rounding curves.
5. Utilitarian Interior
Toyota operates under the assumption that pickups geared toward off-roading shouldn’t need much on the interior, so the 2018 Toyota Tacoma follows that assumption. Its interior only has the necessary features, such as a USB port and a rearview camera, but abstains from fancy features like a moonroof and wireless phone charging unless you extensively upgrade the car.
6. Large Cargo Bed and Upgrades
The cargo bed of this pickup is quite large, and the backseat when folded down can also carry luggage. In just the back of the cabin of the Tacoma, you should be able to comfortably fit eight to nine pieces of luggage. The cargo bed behind the cabin comes in two sizes - a five-foot or a six-foot option. The six-foot option can hold an impressive 38 cubic feet of cargo as long as its properly tied down.
7. Driver Safety Assistance
The Toyota Safety Sense-P safety suite now is standard on all Tacoma models. This suite includes plenty of driver safety assistance tools, such as automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control for the highway. It also includes forward collision and lane departure warning as well as pedestrian detection.
8. Large Towing Capacity
Midsize pickup trucks sometimes are lacking in towing capacity, but the 2018 Toyota Tacoma is certainly not. With the V6 engine upgrade and the five-foot bed, the rear-wheel drive models can tow up to 6800 pounds. With the longer bed, the towing capacity is slightly reduced to 6600 pounds - still easily enough to tow a small boat or even more cargo.
9. Quiet Ride Even On Tough Terrain
The engineering on the Tacoma is seriously impressive. Even when off-roading, the interior of the cabin remains relatively quiet. This is a tough feat to pull off, as stick and rocks can be extremely noisy. Plenty of sound dampening material has been placed in the right spots of the Tacoma’s body to make this happen.
10. Six Trim Choices
Not only are there two different bed choices available for the Tacoma, there are also six different trim levels to choose from. The 2018 Toyota Tacoma comes in two base trims, the SR and the SR5. Further models enhance either off-roading capabilities, like the TRD and the TRD Off-Road, or enhance on-road riding, like the Limited and the TRD Pro.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Toyota Tacoma – The Cons
1. Base Engine Feels Underpowered
Sometimes the base inline-4 engine can feel slightly underpowered. The low 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque are noticeable especially when climbing large hills. We recommend upgrading to the V6 engine whenever possible.
2. Low-Powered Headlights
Going off-roading at night with the 2018 Toyota Tacoma isn’t a great idea, in part due to its poor headlight placement. The mounting of the headlights in the Tacoma is more aimed toward highway driving, as the high beams emit powerful lights that are directed farther away than you would want for off-roading. Low beams are also angled too high for off-roading.
3. Mid-Tier Fuel Economy
Pickup trucks, in general, don’t get great gas mileage and the Tacoma fits right in the middle of the pack in terms of fuel economy. The inline-four engine managed 19 mgg in the city and 23 on the highway, while the V6 offers 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
The midsize pickup category has some amazing vehicles, like the Chevrolet Colorado and the Nissan Frontier, but Toyota truly knows how to make a great pickup. The Tacoma’s powerful transmission and optimization for off-roading make it a top choice.
The 2018 Toyota Tacoma is an amazing midsize pickup truck that will please you both on the highway and on backcountry trails. A smooth ride with plenty of adventure awaits you in this impressive car.
• Why buy a 2017 Toyota Tacoma? w/ pros vs cons