Pickup trucks are quite common on roads these days, but not all of them are equal in terms of durability and performance. In both these aspects, the venerable Toyota Tacoma is a name to reckon with. Its utilitarian build, ruggedness and versatility have won a huge number of fans and users over the years. Despite steep competition from Honda, Ford and GM, its fan base has not dwindled much. For 2019, Toyota has given the Tacoma a moderate revamp. The styling changes are not huge but technological modifications deserve applauds. Customization choices are also decent and reasonable pricing will help the Tacoma trounce the segment rivals.
What’s new in 2019 Tacoma?
The mid-sized truck from Toyota gets a moderate design makeover. The ruggedness is still there and off-road centric models score well on that aspect. More notable addition is an inclusion of Toyota’s new set of safety technologies across the lineup. This makes the new Tacoma better equipped to take on Nissan Frontier and a new Honda Ridgeline.
2019 Toyota Tacoma – Design
There’s a macho look about the 2019 Toyota Tacoma that is attention-grabbing. It is sold in three cab variants and two bed sizes. The exterior colors vary based on which trim you choose and same is true about grille design. A few new colors may be added for 2019. Existing colors include blazing blue pearl, silver sky metallic, Barcelona red metallic, cavalry blue, magnetic gray metallic.
The cabin is utilitarian in base trims and as you step up, amenities pour in. It remains quiet thanks to the deployment of advanced noise cancellation technology. The sad thing is the cabin lacks enough places to store small items. The top trims also have hard plastics and space crunch is an issue.
2019 Toyota Tacoma – Engine Options
The 2019 Tacoma is equipped with solid powertrains. You get a 2.7-liter I-4 unit with the output of 159 HP. There is also a 3.5-liter V6 with the output of 278 horsepower. The transmission is a 6-speed automatic. The V6 engine offers good acceleration in general though it cannot be called the beefiest contender in this segment. The maximum towing capacity is 6,800 pounds. Fuel consumption is moderate for this class. Ride quality varies based on a chosen trim. The Limited trim is excellent for urban and highway driving. The TRD Off-road is aimed at handling rocks and sand. Do not expect a car-like ride quality. The refreshment under the hood could be a new turbodiesel engine. If this turns out to be true, 2019 Toyota Tacoma could receive a 2.8-liter 4-cylinder diesel with the common-rail system. This powertrain will significantly improve fuel economy and towing capabilities.
The 2019 Toyota Tacoma comes laden with several amenities and safety wise you can hardly grudge. Along with default features, there are also plenty of options. All trims get safety features like forward collision warning, lane departure alert, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams. Of course, several airbags are there.
The base SR trim gets basic features. It gets 16-inch steel wheels, dark grille, sliding rear window, a backup camera, Bluetooth. The SR5 is a good value for money offering for most buyers. It gets chrome rear bumper, charcoal-colored grille, alloy wheels, Remote keyless entry, leather coated steering wheel, enhanced Entune audio system with navigation.
The TRD Sport trim is aimed at adventure loving buyers. It gets 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, deck rail system, hood scoop, Entune premium audio system with a 7-inch touchscreen. In TRD Off-Road package you get chrome rear bumper, 16-inch alloy wheels, all-terrain tires, extra skid plates, off-road traction control with crawl control. It is better equipped to handle rocky and rough terrains.
The TRD Off-Road and TRD Sport crew-cab models are eligible for options like a sunroof, blind-spot monitoring, heated seats, automatic climate control, a JBL speaker and enhanced leather upholstery. The limited trim gets body-colored flares, 18-inch wheels and many amenities as standard. The TRD Pro comes with black throwback grille, Fox internal bypass shocks, rear parking assist, active traction control.
The safety features, part of the much-touted Fox internal bypass shock, work very well though some of these can be a tad oversensitive. These are aided mostly by sensors and radar.
The Entune infotainment setup has been polished to an extent and it is now faster and easier to use. However, it is still not capable of matching rival offerings like GM Intellilink of even FCA’s UConnect setups. It is not as sleek.
Price and Availability
The exact pricing of 2019 Tacoma Tacoma range is not known. However, an expected base trim price should be close to $26,000. Top trim pricing may be around $50,000 or so. It may reach showrooms for sale in late 2018 though exact time is not known.
Which trim to buy?
Given the fact, the new Tacoma is available in 6 trim levels and numerous customization choices are available, you may find it hard to pick the perfect one. The SR, SR5 are ideal as daily workhorses. The luxury-focused buyers can go for the Limited trim which has plenty of amenities. Adventure seeking users should go for the TRD Pro badged trims. However, the TRD Sport is not very suitable if you head to rocky and hilly terrains frequently. For such users, the TRD Off-Road is, without any doubt, the best trim. Safety-wise, all trims get good features and TRD trims get almost anything you need.
Summing it up
The 2019 Toyota Tacoma comes across as a compelling mid-sized pickup truck. It receives moderate revamp and the changes are worth appreciating. The exterior styling changes are not huge but the cabin is well designed. The engines are adequate but not the most powerful in this class. Where the new Tacoma matches the rivals very well is safety features. The safety and driver assistance features are top notch and amenities are also very good. The TRD Pro models are very good for adventures because they handling rough roads and inclement weather conditions with ease. The base models can be customized a lot as well. While the 2019 Tacoma packs in enough punches it faces stiff competition from the new Chevy Colorado. The Honda Ridgeline also sports better amenities. So, the company should price the 2019 lineup of Tacoma with care for wooing target buyers.