Toyota Tacoma

Research the 2012 Toyota Tacoma models

The Good

The Toyota Tacoma boasts excellent handling and has one of the strongest track records of reliability in its class. It is also highly durable and offers attractive styling, especially if you opt for the X-Runner trim package. A wide range of configurations and options are available if you want to customize your truck.

The Bad

The base inline-4 engine is a little weak, and the V6 upgrade sucks a lot of gas. If you elect to add options or go with a higher-end trim package, your costs will rise and approach the price point of full-size trucks from competing manufacturers.

The Bottom Line

If you need a light-duty pickup truck with proven durability, the 2012 Toyota Tacoma is a solid option and provides excellent value if you stick with a basic trim package.


All in all, there are 14 different 2012 Tacoma trim packages available, ranging from the base 4x2 regular cab through and various Toyota Tacoma 4x4 and X-Runner configurations to the top of the line V6 Toyota Tacoma double cab.

MSRP: $17,125 (base 4x2 model with inline-4 engine) to $28,085 (4x4 double cab with V6 engine)

Average paid: $16,215 to $26,019


Acceleration and power

The base model’s inline-4 engine has taken some knocks for being a little on the weak side, peaking at 159 horsepower and accelerating from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a drawn-out 9.2 seconds. You can significantly improve the vehicle’s power and performance by upgrading to one of the trim packages that offers a V6 engine, which cranks out 236 horsepower and improves the 0 to 60 acceleration time to 6.9 seconds. However, the V6 drastically reduces MPG for the Toyota Tacoma, so you will have to consider the relative merits of the added power against increased operational costs.

Handling and braking

The 2012 Toyota Tacoma comes with a rugged, strong and responsive suspension that is suitable for off-roading, and on the whole, the truck’s handling is impressive for a vehicle in its class. The rear wheel drive X-Runner is, by most accounts, the best handler of the bunch, so if maneuverability and driving performance are a priority for you, the X-Runner is an excellent option.

Braking, however, is less than optimal. On the whole, they feel weak and unsteady. Disc brakes are found only on the front wheels, and the power-assisted braking mechanism is far from the best Toyota has developed.



The base model offers bench seating for three passengers, but if you get a Toyota Tacoma double cab, you will gain two additional seats in the rear of the cab. However, the rear seats aren’t the roomiest or most comfortable, and many Tacoma owners use the added interior space for storage and cargo transport. The bench seat is four-way adjustable and features active headrests for all passengers. Cloth trim is the default seating material.


Toyota offers a relatively limited selection of standard features on the base model 2012 Tacoma. These include air conditioning, a pair of 12-volt auxiliary power outlets, tilt/telescoping steering and full interior carpeting. A 4-speaker AM/FM radio with CD and MP3 playback capability is the factory stereo, and you qualify for a 90-day subscription to Sirius satellite radio with the purchase of a new Tacoma.

Cargo space

The cargo area dimensions are about what you’d expect from a compact pickup truck. Measurements are as follows:

  • Length at floor: 73.5 inches
  • Width at floor: 56.7 inches
  • Width at wheel housings: 41.5 inches
  • Height: 18.0 inches

The cargo bay in the double cab version of the vehicle is the same size, but you will benefit from additional space in the truck’s interior.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2012 Toyota Tacoma a three-star rollover resistance rating. Comprehensive crash test data was not available. Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, active traction and vehicle stability control, electronic brake force distribution, impact absorbent side door beams and a total of six airbags.


Compared to the 2011 Toyota Tacoma, the 2012 model offers a redesigned front end, a refurbished interior and the reintroduction of the popular and sporty X-Runner model. This article focuses on the 2012 Toyota Tacoma base model, with discussion of the various differences among the trim packages in the sections below.

  • Transmission: 5-speed manual with overdrive (automatic available)
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Engine Type: Gasoline inline-4 (V6 upgrade available)
  • Engine Size: 2.7 L
  • Horsepower: 159 @ 5200 rpm
  • Torque: 180 @ 3800 rpm
  • MPG, City: 21 MPG (inline-4 engine)
  • MPG, Highway: 25 MPG (inline-4 engine)
  • Payload: 1,335 pounds
  • Towing Capacity: 3,500 pounds
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