2022 Toyota Tacoma Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.
For a few decades now, the Toyota Tacoma has been a powerhouse in the mid-size truck and off-roader segments. Combined, the Tacoma is a tough contender known for its constant slew of added off-roading upgrades. And, for 2022, the recently added Trail Edition gets a few important updates.
Added for the 2021 model year, the Trail Edition was a special edition that was centered around the SR5's price tag but that added off-roading features like the locking bed boxes. There is a Trail Edition available again this year, this time with a minor suspension lift (to be more precise, it is lifted 1.1 inches in the front and 0.5 inch in the rear). It also has a standard limited-slip rear differential. This gives the Trail Edition better off-roading capabilities and more ground clearance. The Trail Edition also comes with the same chic bronze-hued wheels as last year.
As for the TRD Pro, it now has a different wheel design plus a suspension that is raised slightly higher in the front than the Trail Edition (1.5 inches raised in the front with the rear remaining at 0.5 inch). Other than that, though, expect to see everything carry over from the 2021 Tacoma line-up. And, quite honestly, there is nothing wrong with that, as the 2021 has proven to be a solid model year. 2022 should follow suit.
The pros to owning the Tacoma are clear: excellent off-road ruggedness, a strong V6 that can be paired up with a manual transmission, and a utility-driven composite truck bed. But there are also a few glaringly obvious drawbacks, the primary one being a really high step up due to the raised suspension - especially on the TRD Pro. Also, when you're trying to steer the truck while on a paved road, the steering seems slow to respond, which isn't something you'll want to deal with when driving a big, bulky truck.
Overall, buyers tend to like the Tacoma. But it has quite a few trim levels and configurations to choose from, which can make the buying process a little complex. You'll have to think about which powertrain configuration works best for you. There is a standard 2.7-L engine on the SR and SR5, but those trims let you opt for the 3.5-L V6 that comes standard on the other trim levels. And, although a 6-speed automatic transmission is standard issue, a few trim levels let you opt for a manual transmission on the 3.5-L V6. You'll also have to choose between the extended cab (Access Cab) and the crew cab (Double Cab). Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is standard issue, but there is an option for a part-time four-wheel drive system that comes with a low-range transfer case.
So, which configuration and trim level is going to work best for you? Does one offer more value than the others? Let's compare the 2022 Toyota Tacoma trim level by trim level so that you can make the most informed buying decision possible. Is this a vehicle you're going to want to test drive? Probably. But which trims should you try out? Let's take a look.
Compare the SR vs SR5 Trims. What is the difference?
Starting things off is the base 2022 Toyota Tacoma SR. Above that is the SR5. On the exterior, they look relatively the same, but there are a few notable differences. The SR has projector-beam headlights that incorporate daytime running lights, but the SR5 upgrades by adding fog lights. The SR has a dark gray front grille with a black surround. It also comes with body-colored side mirrors (that are heated and power operated), door handles, and rear bumper. On the other hand, the SR5 has a charcoal grille and, with the V6 equipped, overfenders done in the body color. Both have a deck rail system, but while the SR has 16-inch steel wheels, the SR5 opts for the same size in dark gray alloy. A mist cycle comes with the variable intermittent windshield wipers, and there are front skid plates. A body-colored tailgate spoiler is included as well. A hard tri-fold tonneau cover and front and rear mud guards are optional.
Inside, you will find that both trims have analog instrumentation with a 4.2-in. color multi-information display. While the SR has front dual zone automatic climate control, the SR5 has standard air conditioning. Both have three USB ports (one media and two charge-only). The SR5 upgrades to an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and the SR's four-way manually adjustable front cloth seats are upgraded to include a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support. The SR5 adds leather trim to the multi-functional steering wheel, remote keyless entry, and - on just the Double Cab V6 - a power-operated sliding rear window made with privacy glass.
Standard infotainment equipment on the SR includes a 7-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth capability and smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can also use Amazon Alexa on it. The SR5 gives you an 8-inch touchscreen instead, and both have a six-speaker sound system. The SR5 opens up an option for a system with a premium sound system and Dynamic Navigation.
As far as safety and security goes, the SR and SR5 are both well equipped. Each one comes with the Star Safety System (which includes traction control, brake assist, and vehicle stability management), Toyota Safety Sense P (which has a pre-collision mitigation system with integrated pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, auto high beams, and an alert for lane departure with steering assist), and an easy-to-use LATCH system for child car safety seats. Child protector door locks, an engine immobilizer, and a Class IV towing hitch receiver are standard equipment. The SR5 gets an enhanced tire pressure monitoring system.
The sole optional package for the SR is the SR Convenience Package, which includes the remote keyless entry feature. On the SR5, you can choose from the Technology Package (which includes a blind spot monitor that has rear cross-traffic alert), the SR5 Dynamic Navigation Package (which includes SR5 Parking Sonar, the Premium Audio and Dynamic Navigation infotainment system, and Destination Assist), and the Trail Special Edition Package. The Trail Edition package comes with 16-inch bronze wheels, a locking rear differential, the raised suspension lift, the ORP skid plate, the locking bed storage, a black 4x4 badge and V6 badge (located on the rear), a black SR5 badge positioned on the side, a unique heritage grille with bronze Toyota lettering, tan stitching on the black fabric seats, one 120-volt outlet in the truck's bed, and all-weather floor liners.
Compare the SR5 vs TRD Sport Trims. What is the difference?
Onto the TRD Sport - a trim you probably see on the road a lot these days. The TRD Sport starts its upgrades on the outside with projector-beam headlights instead of the halogens, and its daytime running lights are LEDs. The exterior design is capped off by a gray front grille with a chrome surround and smoked finish. You also get a hood scoop, turn signal indicators on the color-keyed heated power side mirrors, and body-colored door handles, overfenders, and a rear bumper. This trim level adds a 120V/400W deck-mounted AC power outlet and rides atop 17-inch wheels done in machined alloy.
Inside, you will find a few more upgrades, including the Smart Key System located on the driver's and front passenger's doors (which comes along with Push Button Start). Like the SR, this trim level has front dual-zone automatic climate control. It adds Qi-compatible wireless charging for smartphones and other mobile devices. It does revert back to the SR's standard urethane steering wheel, but it does include a leather-trimmed shift knob.
If you want more features, you will need to look into packages. The TRD Sport has the Premium Audio and Navigation Package available as well as the TRD Premium Sport Package on the Double Cab with an automatic transmission. This package includes leather-trimmed seats with heating on the two front seats, a power moonroof, automatic headlights, a Premium JBL sound system, the Dynamic Navigation system, Remote Connect, Destination Assist, and Service Connect. Adding the Advanced Technology Package will get you a Panoramic View Monitor, color-keyed side rearview mirrors with blind spot indicators and turn signals, and rear parking sonar - available on the D-Cab only. Also, you can select the LED headlights and fog lights package for more LED.
Compare the TRD Sport vs TRD Off-Road. What is the difference?
The TRD Off-Road is another Tacoma trim you've probably seen on the road a lot. Its off-roading prowess tends to make it a popular purchase. On the exterior, you can tell it apart from the TRD Sport based on its black overfenders and chrome rear bumper. It also has 16-inch wheels done in machined-contrast alloy.
Inside the cabin, you will find a few upgrades, including an inclinometer with roll/pitch displays shown on the analog cluster. The D-Cab V6 also gets the same power sliding rear window that comes on the SR5. Child-protector rear door locks also make their return.
Packages include the Premium Audio and Navigation Package, Advanced Technology Package, LED lights, and the TRD Premium Off-Road Package.
Compare the TRD Off-Road vs Limited Trims. What is the difference?
The Limited takes a lot of the remaining options from the packages list and makes them standard. LED lighting is standard on this trim level, and you will find a lot of chrome on the exterior. There is a silver grille with an included front camera, a chrome surround, chrome accents around the side mirrors and on the rear bumper, door handles, and overfenders. The power sunroof is standard, as are polished alloy wheels sizing 18 inches in diameter (although there is an option for the same size in dark smoke alloy). Also standard is the Panoramic View Monitor for a top-down view around the Tacoma.
The cabin boasts a few more niceties too. The HomeLink universal transceiver is built into the auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and the seats gain leather trim to match the steering wheel and gear shift knob. As far as infotainment goes, you get treated to the Premium Audio and Dynamic Navigation system as standard issue. Rear parking assist sonar and the blind spot monitor with its rear cross-traffic alert are also tacked on as included features.
The only package you can opt for on the Limited is the Nightshade Special Edition. This includes those 18-inch dark smoke wheels, some black wheel lug nuts and locks, and black on the mirror caps, exhaust tip, door handles, badging, fog light bezels, and a carbon-style black grille. In other words, the body is totally blackened out.
Compare the Limited vs TRD Pro. What is the difference?
The TRD Pro gives you a few more standard features to enjoy. It has the TRD Off-Road's equipment as its foundation, but it adds 16-inch black painted wheels, a black grille, LED headlights, a hood scoop, Fox internal bypass shock absorbers, and more thickness to the front skid plate. There are also features like an upgraded exhaust, an off-road-tuned suspension, special leather upholstery, an off-road camera system, and increased angles for breakover, approach, and departure.
Based on how well it has been performing the past few model years, our top pick has to be the TRD Off-Road trim level. It is still affordable compared to the higher trim levels and equips a lot of necessary off-roading features. Fuel economy unfortunately takes a slight hit since this trim level removes the air dam, the ride quality is a lot more comfortable since the Off-Road has Bilstein shocks and smaller wheels than the TRD Sport.
You'll have a hard time going wrong with any 2022 Toyota Tacoma that you choose, but the powerful TRD Off-Road is bound to be a popular sell this year for some very good reasons. It is at least worth taking out for a test drive.
• 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trime Levels