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The new 2019 Toyota Tundra makes an argument for being the best compact pickup truck on the market. It's tough, reliable, and comes loaded with several great safety technologies. An available manual transmission makes the Tacoma even more fun to drive. While some rivals may have a nicer interior, you'll still find the new Tacoma to be a comfy daily-driver.
Although the Tacoma did not receive any major changes for the 2019 model year, it still feels just as modern as the competition. You'll have six main trims to choose from: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, TRD Pro. Let's see how these trims compare to each other.
Compare the 2019 Toyota Tacoma SR vs SR5 - What is the difference?
The Tacoma SR is the lowest-priced trim. Although the Tacoma SR isn't bad-looking, it's essentially a work truck. A tough composite bed and a useful cleat tie-down system make it ideal for the everyday grind. You can choose between an extended cab and a larger crew cab. Cloth upholstery covers the interior.
Under the hood of the Tacoma SR sits a four-cylinder engine, which develops 159 horsepower. However, you can opt for a far more powerful V6 engine. A 4WD system with low-range gearing is optional.
On the inside, the Tacoma SR proves to be well equipped for an entry-level model. A 6.1-inch touchscreen with Siri Eyes Free, a backup camera, and Bluetooth come standard. Remote keyless entry is available for an extra $230. A standard Toyota Sense Safety package makes the base Tacoma SR an even greater value. This driver-assist package includes forward collision braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic headlights, and lane departure alert.
Upgrading to the Tacoma SR5 gets you a few more niceties. The most noticeable upgrades include a navigation app for your smartphone, satellite radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and fog lights. You can also swap out the standard steel wheels for a set of alloy wheels. Rear parking sensors and a larger 7.0-inch display with navigation come with the optional Parking Sonar & Navigation package.
Compare the 2019 Tacoma SR5 vs TRD Sport Trims. What is the difference?
Unlike the lower SR5 trim, the TRD Sport trim comes standard with a V6 engine. You can opt for a six-speed manual transmission, which is calibrated to be especially sporty. It comes standard with the SR5 trim's optional equipment plus wireless smartphone charging. A 400-watt outlet in the bed helps power your tools.
The Tacoma TRD Sport's biggest advantage is its cooler exterior styling. A more attractive set of 17-inch alloy wheels and body-colored fender flares bolster the pickup's curb appeal. Of course, no one will overlook the Tacoma TRD Sport's popular hood scoop.
There are also some great options available on the TRD Sport trim. The Technology packages adds blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, which is a must for the drivers who do a lot of highway traveling. Heated leather seats, a more powerful JBL sound system, and a sunroof come in the Technology package.
Compare the Tacoma TRD Sport vs TRD Off Road - What is the difference?
While the Tacoma TRD Off-Road may feature a similar number of interior features, it's far more rugged than the TRD Sport trim. If you like to have fun on muddy trails, this trim is bound to catch your attention. Bilstein shock absorbers help you to confidently move along rough ground. Some of the other important enhancements include underbody protection, active traction control, and an electronic locking rear differential.
The Tacoma TRD Off-Road is also visually different from the Tacoma TRD Sport. You will clearly notice its black fender flares and knobby tires. A unique wheel design is also found on the Tacoma Off-Road.
Compare the Tacoma TRD Off Road vs Limited Trims. What is the difference?
Toyota designed the Tacoma Limited to offer the maximum level of luxury. It's the perfect trim for the drivers who desire more comfort when running everyday errands. A crew cab with a short bed come standard. You'll also receive the potent V6 engine.
With the Limited trim being more geared towards the street, it comes equipped with low-profile tires opposed to off-road tires. A chrome grille and a unique set of 18-inch alloy wheels are also found on the Limited trim. On the inside, the Tacoma Limited is loaded with all of the highly desired options. You'll enjoy the JBL sound system, an upgraded infotainment system with navigation, and heated seats.
Compare the 2019 Tacoma Limited vs TRD Pro - What is the difference?
The Tacoma TRD Pro is for the drivers who want the best of both worlds. While you'll find the TRD Pro trim to be just as luxurious as the Limited trim, it's also incredibly skilled at tackling off-road trails. A special set of Fox bypass shocks come standard on the Tacoma TRD Pro, which gives it a bit higher ground clearance. As expected, four-wheel-drive and protective skid plates come standard as well. To give the Tacoma TRD Pro a meaner sound, Toyota equipped it with a high-performance exhaust.
No other trim in the lineup looks tougher than the Tacoma TRD Pro. A retro "TOYOTA" grille gives a special touch. A blacked-out hood scoop also highlights the TRD Pro trim's stunning appearance.
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Which One Should You Choose?
If you are looking for a truck that's made for hard work, strongly consider the base Tacoma SR. Although the SR trim may not be a show pony, it does come equipped with a touch-screen interface and Bluetooth connectivity. Toyota Safety Sense also gives you an extra sense of security. While the SR5 trim is quite similar to the base SR model, it does open the door for you to get options like navigation and parking sensors.
The Tacoma TRD Off-Road is a great pickup truck for tackling tough terrain. It comes loaded with all of Toyota's most important off-roading gear. You'll find the TRD Off-Road model to be nearly $9,000 less than the range-topping TRD Pro model. Nevertheless, there's no overlooking the TRD Pro trim's specialiness.
For the drivers who'll rarely venture off the pavement, Toyota offers the Tacoma Limited. Low-profile tires make it a very appealing pickup for commuting to and from the workplace. However, optional four-wheel drive will enable you to take a camping trip. While the Limited is comfortable, you won't have access to ventilated seats.
2019 Toyota Tacoma Key Features
Toyota's Entune infotainment system has made great strides. Because of the interface's simple design, you'll quickly learn how to operate it on the first day. Physical controls further enhance Entune's user-friendly design. If you have some extra money to spend, go for the larger 7.0-inch touch screen. While Entune doesn't have many big weaknesses, it still lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technologies. To integrate your smartphone, you'll must rely upon via Bluetooth streaming.
All versions of the 2019 Toyota Tacoma can be equipped with a capable 4WD system. Low-range gearing helps you to pull through mud and snow. However, serious adventure seekers will want either the Tacoma TRD Off-Road or the Tacoma TRD Pro. These tough-nosed models are highly regarded among dedicated off-roaders. Toyota's Crawl Control technology automatically controls your speed over rough terrain.
The Tacoma's six-speed automatic transmission is very smooth. If you desire more performance, simply press the ECT Power button. To delight of driving enthusiasts, Toyota continues to offer the V6-powered Tacoma with a traditional manual gearbox. It really transforms the Tacoma into a more exciting truck to drive.
Unfortunately for some folks, the 2019 Toyota Tacoma does not offer a single cab. You must decide between an extended cab and a crew cab. While passengers can fit inside the extended cab, its backseat is not a comfortable place to sit for long periods of time. Legroom is very compromised. If you will be hauling around passengers on a regular basis, expect the crew cab to be a much better choice.
Drivers not looking to spend a lot of money will be happy with the base four-cylinder engine. However, this engine will leave a lot of performance on the table. Furthermore, it's not noticeably more efficient than the powerful V6 engine. Both engines are rated to return a combined 21 mpg on regular gas. Drivers who need a workhorse for hauling and towing should definitely get the V6 engine.
According to owners, there's a big difference between the standard six-speaker stereo system and the JBL premium audio system. When cranking up the volume on the JBL system, you'll experience far less distortion. The system's high-quality speakers and amplifier really help improve the sound. While the JBL system is surely a feature worth getting, it's not offered as a stand-alone option. This means you may have to get the Technology package on certain trims.
You will grow to appreciate the standard Toyota Safety Sense package. Its advanced driving aids will come in handy when you least expect it. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is available on most trims. Unfortunately, Toyota doesn't offer the new Tacoma with any trailering cameras.
• Compare the 2018 Toyota Tacoma Trim Levels