2014 Toyota Tacoma Expert Review

3.7 Overall Score
Performance 3.4 Comfort 3.5 Styling 3.4 Value 3.9

Editor's Overview

It’s not by accident the Toyota Tacoma is America’s most-popular-compact pickup. For decades it has built a well-deserved reputation for ruggedness, durability, capability and long-term retained value, and the 2014 model will continue that tradition. Legions of satisfied owners have used their Tacomas for hard work and spirited play and everything in between, and its popularity just keeps on growing.

You'll Like The 2014 Toyota Tacoma If...

If you’re in the market for a compact truck your search should begin, and will likely end, with the 2014 Toyota Tacoma. Essentially, it will do most of what the larger trucks will do, and without the bulk, fuel consumption or cost. It deservedly tops the entire segment.

You May Not Like The 2014 Toyota Tacoma If...

The Tacoma is a compact pickup so, reasonably, it won’t tow or haul as much as a full-size truck. And if you really don’t haul much and want a smoother ride, check out the Honda Ridgeline.

What's New

The 2014 Toyota Tacoma is offered with four levels of Entune audio, which leverages a smartphone to provide fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment and information services. A new SR appearance package is available for the Tacoma PreRunner and 4x4 Access Cab and Double Cab base models. The X-Runner is discontinued.

Interior Features

The 2014 Toyota Tacoma offers an interior that’s clean, functional and well-suited to the needs of truck owners. Instruments and controls are easy to see and use, and there are cup holders and other storage spots throughout. The front seats are supportive and comfortable. The rear seats in the Access Cab model are best for children or adults on short trips, but the rear seats in the Double Cab are much better, with storage both under the seat and in a separate compartment accessed by flipping down the seatback.

Exterior Features

Even though it’s a compact, the 2014 Toyota Tacoma looks every inch a truck, with a rugged and muscular attitude, a big grille (chrome on higher-end trim levels), pronounced fender bulges, large bumpers and a generally workman-like feel from front to rear. The base version has black bumpers and grille, the PreRunner has the off-road look, and the option packages, from SR5 Extra Value to TRD Off-Road to Limited, add their own details. As would be expected of Toyota, the quality, fit and finish are as good as it gets.

Driving Impressions

The 2014 Toyota Tacoma’s compact dimensions make it more easily maneuverable than a full-size pickup. It’s predictable, responsive and easy to drive and park, the ride is acceptable (and is helped with a load in the bed), and it gets down the road in a straight line and around the corners with no surprises. When fitted with the off-road suspension the ride is, understandably, on the firmer side. The base 4-cylinder engine is perfectly agreeable for its purpose, but the 236-horsepower V6 is much stronger and a lot smoother without much of a penalty in fuel consumption. The 4-cylinder can be matched with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic, and the V6 has either a 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic; all transmissions operate smoothly and shift as they should. Some folks feel the seats are somewhat close to the floor, but it’s a minor concern.

Pricing Notes

The 2014 Toyota Tacoma compact pickup is available in numerous configurations of cab, powertrain and trim. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts right around $18,000 for a base 2WD Regular Cab. A 4WD Double Cab with V6 and automatic starts at about $29,000 and can top $36,000 with some option packages. Although the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon cost less, neither offers as much power, space or refinement. The Nissan Frontier comes close on power but doesn’t offer a regular-cab model. A look at the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price will show you the typical transaction price paid for the Tacoma in your area. As for resale, Kelley Blue Book expects the 4-cylinder base models to retain better-than-average residual values, and the V6 Access Cab and Double Cab models to do even better, so the 2014 Tacoma represents a very good long-term investment.

Notable Equipment

Standard equipment for the 2014 Toyota Tacoma includes the 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine of 159 horsepower and a 5-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, an AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD system, anti-lock brakes (ABS), front side-impact and side-curtain airbags, traction and stability control, tachometer, two instrument-panel powerpoints and rear mudguards. Regular Cab 4x4 models with the automatic transmission add standard bucket seats. Access Cab and Double Cab models include bucket seats with a center console, power mirrors, power windows and power door locks. All models include Entune Audio, which leverages a smartphone to provide fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment and information services.

Notable Options

Many of the options for the 2014 Toyota Tacoma are grouped into packages, and not all are available on every version of cab size or powertrain. Packages include the SR5 Extra Value Package, four TRD Off-Road Extra Value Packages, and the Limited Package. Among the major selections are the 4.0-liter V6 engine, the choice of a manual or an automatic transmission, and 4-wheel drive. Beyond that, the options are many and are linked with cab configurations, powertrain choices and trim levels.

Favorite Features

STRONG V6 ENGINE

The Tacoma’s available 4.0-liter V6 engine is powerful, smooth and responsive, and works well with either the 6-speed manual or the 5-speed automatic transmission. And it does all that with only a relatively modest reduction in fuel economy.

FUNCTIONAL BED

All Tacomas feature a composite inner bed with built-in storage compartments and four rail-mounted sliding tie-down cleats. The setup is handy, functional and durable.

Under the Hood

The base 2014 Toyota Tacoma engine is a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder of 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. It gets the job done but we prefer the available 4.0-liter V6 of 236 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, as it’s much stronger and smoother and its fuel-economy penalty is not unreasonable. Both engines feature Toyota’s Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) which helps to reduce the compromise between higher-end horsepower and low-end torque. Depending upon engine and drivetrain, maximum towing capacity is 6,500 pounds and maximum payload is 1,500 pounds. There are four available transmissions, 2- or 4-wheel drive (2WD or 4WD), three cab configurations, two cargo bed lengths and numerous other choices.

2.7-liter inline-4

159 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm

180 lb-ft of torque @ 3,800 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/25 mpg (2WD, manual), 19/24 mpg (2WD, automatic),

18/21 mpg (4WD, manual and automatic)

4.0-liter V6

236 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm

266 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/21 mpg (2WD, manual), 17/21 mpg (2WD, automatic), 16/19 mpg (4WD, manual), 16/21 mpg (4WD, automatic)

Editors' Notes

For decades the Toyota Tacoma, this country’s by-far most-popular-compact pickup, has built a well-deserved reputation for ruggedness, durability, capability and long-term value, and the 2014 model will continue that tradition. Legions of satisfied owners have used their Tacomas for working hard and playing hard, and its popularity just keeps on growing. Its likely competitors have dwindled. The Ford Ranger and Dodge Dakota are gone, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon have aged (although newer versions are on the way), the Nissan Frontier is not offered in as many configurations, the Honda Ridgeline is rather more SUV than truck. For 2014 the Tacoma continues on, still clearly on top of the segment and available in any configuration of cab, powertrain and trim level imaginable.

Road Test Video Reviews

2014 Toyota Tacoma Owner Reviews

4.59
86 Reviews
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Toyotas are reliable and great cars.

2014 Toyota Tacoma

Before starting with a specific model 3 of my current cars are Toyotas. I worked at a vocational school and the auto mechanic teacher was an Toyota mechanic. I valued his mechanical ability greatly. He swore the best vehicle were Toyotas. Other than maintenance I have had only one issue regarding a sensor when the Camry was 9 years old. I enjoy my pick up best. With simple features the Tacoma rides great and gets fair mileage. The '17 Corolla has some great features for an economy vehicle and gets great mileage. I love the variable speed transmission which I believe contributes to its great mileage. The Camry is 13 years old and rides as well as the day I bought. Two of my 3 Toyotas were used and Toyota certified. One was a dealer vehicle and another was a 2 year lease turn in. Both were like brand new. I used to be a Mopar guy but Toyota has won me over.

- Russ T

Excellent vehicle the best I have bought

2014 Toyota Tacoma

The suspension is very comfortable and dynamic, which makes this pick-up a very controllable vehicle and ideal for long trips. The engine of the SUV is 6 cylinders and has a Toyota Direct Ignition system that works in conjunction with the 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential changes and ECT-i. It has space for 5 passengers and a lot of space for rear cargo. It is specially designed to support the weight of the back and distribute it evenly with the strength of the rest of the body.This engineering design makes this SUV have a silent ride with which there will be no problems of uncomfortable sensations or rebounds in the passenger cabin.

- Leroy W

The Tacoma is a perfect pick up for a woman who is short.

2014 Toyota Tacoma Base

My Toyota Tacoma is a dream pick up truck for me. I am a woman and on the short side and this vehicle fits my needs perfectly. I am comfortable driving it I have a clean view of all sides. The performance of this vehicle on curvy hilly roads is excellent. I have never felt a slipping or sliding with his vehicle even once. Are use this vehicle to drive for uber. And at least once a night someone always compliments me and the beauty of this pick up truck. It makes me smile to know that people see my vehicle has not just another pick up on the road full of these kinds of vehicles. It is special and it is great for a woman.

- Linda H

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