Toyota and A Girls Guide to Cars asked me to participate in a marketing campaign, Toyota specifically chose me to review trucks in their “adventure” category. This Toyota Tacoma Review is the first in a series of reviews of their trucks. I was provided with a Tacoma to drive for a week, I liked it so much that I rented the same truck from Avis for another week. I miss “my” truck.
Why Toyota Tacoma is a Great Truck for Moms
This video shows my very favorite feature of the Toyota Tacoma. The easily hosed down bed. I have driven SUVs for the last 20 years, to have been able to just hose down the mess would have been life changing. Also, imagine putting all the seriously smelly football and lacrosse gear outside of the car interior. I know, right?
Toyota Tacoma Car Facts
Impressive Gas Mileage
This truck gets great gas mileage, much better than my Subaru Outback wagon which I found VERY surprising. The sticker says 18-21 MPG, I averaged at the low end, but barely took it on the highway.
Standard Safety Features
The 2018 model has the most standard safety assists in its class. The package is the Toyota Safety-Sense P. The standard safety features that I loved the most are the automatic front braking to avoid rear ending someone and the lane departure notification. Yes I should see the car in front of me when it slams on its brakes and I should know if I’m leaving my lane, but with a truck full of loud boys playing music and asking me endless questions about Star Wars and NFL teams, I am sometimes (often) distracted.
The optional safety feature that is my favorite, and should be on everyone’s car is the blind spot detection. It’s called a blind spot for a reason, it’s hard to see if there’s a car just out of your vision as you change lanes. The Toyota Tacoma I drove had blind spot detection warnings on the mirrors. I The side mirrors have lights in them that blink if you are about to change lanes and cause an accident, so brilliant.
The 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport that I drove starts at about $32,000 MSRP. Compared to the cost of my Cadillac SUV (which did seat more children) this is about half the price. The interior is comfortable and the electronics are good, I wouldn’t consider it a luxury vehicle. For my purposes (dirty boys, sand, surfing, etc) I prefer a less fancy interior.
It’s not a V8, but the V6 has plenty of pull. Readers commented that they have used their Tacoma to haul boats, and had more than enough power. There is a 4 cylinder version, I would not recommend that one.
Easy to Drive
With the back up camera, blind spot detector and the height you sit at, I found the Toyota Tacoma easy to drive. Even without the safety features the truck would not be challenging, also, I find I get a lot of respect on the road when I’m behind the wheel of a truck.
It’s a Toyota
I’ve been partial to Toyota’s since my very first Corolla. I put 237,000 miles on that car in college. At one point it made a horrible sound in 4th gear, then it healed itself. Yoda would still be on the road if he hadn’t been rear ended. The brand has always been high quality and high value, which is why I agreed to work on the marketing campaign, I’m a true brand believer.
Who is the Toyota Tacoma Good For?
If you are a mom of busy kids or an active adventurer, this is a great truck. It’s not huge, and with the rear camera option, it’s really easy to park. It easily accommodated my two large teens and a mid size teen. If you have more than three kids, this is not for you. I did not try to put a baby seat in the back, but if my boys fit, a baby seat will. They were not keen on being photographed for my story, I don’t care
If you’re an athlete and looking for a vehicle to haul your stuff, the Toyota Tacoma holds surfboards, dirt bikes, road bikes, and all manner of gear for whatever floats your boat.
Working Moms, Shopping Moms, Moms Who Haul Stuff
It’s AMAZING what you can fit in the bed of a truck. We recently moved to California and I saved a fortune by hauling my own things and not paying delivery fees. My son and I were able to fit a dresser, desk, chair, and four stools in the back of the truck that we bought for his new bedroom from Brick n Barn in San Diego. Bonus, we had planned on hitting the beach instead of buying a bedroom full of furniture, there was still enough space for the beach chairs and boogie boards we brought. I could literally justify a lease payment based on the “savings” I could rack up by hauling stuff in my own truck. Not everyone agrees with my math, but I stand by the numbers.
I also drove a Toyota Tundra and you’ll be able to find that review here next week.