Ever since the first imports made their way over to the states in the late 1950s, Toyota has continuously supplied Americans with vehicles that are safe, reliable, and economical in terms of being fuel-efficient. While models such as the Camry and Corolla are always receiving high marks from consumers and critics, Toyota’s trucks are just as reliable. So, why aren’t they mentioned in the same breath as some of the more popular domestic models? Last year, the Ford F-Series dominated the market in sales, despite Toyota’s long-standing reputation for quality. Perhaps there’s a deeply rooted cultural bias when it comes to the purchase of a pickup truck. After all, the truck is a long-standing symbol of Americana. Therefore, it makes sense to stick with a domestic brand as they seem to have a far better understanding of our sensibilities. This could very well be the year that changes. And the event to bring about this change? The 2022 Toyota Tacoma.
The first generation of the Toyota Tacoma arrived stateside back in 1995, replacing the unimaginatively named Toyota Pickup. From its earliest inception, it was obvious that Toyota opted to focus its creative energy on efficiency and economy rather than the raw, unbridled power of its American counterparts. Equipped with an inline 4-cylinder engine capable of generating 150 hp and less than 200 lb-ft of torque, it nonetheless managed to get up to 26 MPG, an admirable feat for a pickup truck of the time period. The Tacoma has been nothing short of consistent in its quality since then.
What’s New For 2022?
If the Toyota Tacoma was already displaying innovation and standing apart from the competition over 20 years ago, just imagine where it is now. 2022 is a bold new year for the automotive industry, and the Toyota Tacoma is implementing changes that are sure to make a sizable impact. Most notably, two new models with big expectations.
The Tacoma TRD Pro is geared towards those who color outside the lines and don’t mind getting dirty during their downtime. With life returning to normal after the pandemic, it’s the perfect chance to go off-road with no limitations. Equipped with a powerful 3.5-liter V-6 engine, you’ll have 278 hp at your disposal to rip across the vast, untamed lands.
If you’re a hardworking individual who craves adventure during the weekends, then the Tacoma Trail Edition may be the perfect present to ring in the new year. Like the Tacoma TRD Pro, the Trail Edition comes equipped with a powerful V-6 that allows for a towing capacity of 6,400 lbs. An additional lift in both the front and rear of this Tacoma ensures a trip that won’t be impeded when taking the path less traveled.
Under the Hood and Over the Top
Toyota’s 3.5-liter V-6 engine is driving the current generation of Tacoma’s toward the finish line, and as one can expect, Toyota brings their expertise and engineering to the forefront. If you’re looking for an engine that’s going to go the extra mile, then there’s no need to look any further. Toyota’s flagship motor has a trouble-free shelf life of hundreds of thousands of miles, so you’re getting your money’s worth and then some. Toyota proves that big things are delivered from small packages.
Off-Road Excellence and On-Point Precision
The new Tacoma models are made for big adventures in the great outdoors. There’s little in the way of uncharted frontier that can’t be explored or new domains that are unconquerable. But which model is best suited for you? While both of the new versions of the Tacoma are formidable and not for the docile, they each have their advantages for the type of adventure you seek.
Suspension and Lifting Expectations
Offroading can be treacherous, as is any activity that leaves convention behind in favor of adventure. Both new Tacoma trims were built with this in mind, as they both have suspensions that go against the grain. The Trail Edition was built with a higher lift in the front and rear and was outfitted with a locking rear differential to provide extra traction when the road is most formidable. A front suspension lift gives you more clearance than normal, so you can forget about the roadblocks and move full speed ahead. The new suspension is accentuated by the Trail Editions’ four-wheel drive, making it one of the most formidable off-road vehicles on the market for the new year.
The Trail Edition’s brother in arms is just as impressive when it comes to the modification that Toyota has implemented. The TRD Pro is equipped with a slightly higher front-end lift than the Trail Edition and internal bypass FOX shocks. This addition to the suspension will allow for a smoother rebound as well as allow the TRD Pro to adapt to any uneven terrain you choose to call your own.
Style, Aesthetic, and Creature Comforts
Maintaining complete objectivity, we’re a society that’s very image-driven. We want to not only win the race but look our very best while doing so. Both new Tacoma versions are equipped for the wild, but that doesn’t mean they skimp on comfort or looks just for the sake of being a winner. The Trail Edition and TRD Pro both come equipped with a redesigned front end that stares down the competition as well as any obstacles that lay in your path. Because you’ll be spending a lot of time on them, both have accentuated their off-road charm with wheels that stand out. Both come with impressive 16” wheels and Goodyear all-terrain tires.
Because the terrain is the extent of “roughing it” you plan on doing, the interior is just as impressive in terms of providing comfort when the road ahead isn’t. Dual-zone climate control and a refined interior with seats that offer lumbar support will make for a smooth ride, no matter where you’re traveling.
Safety and Warranty
Because offroading can make for a tumultuous experience that has its fair share of ups and downs, Toyota is once again showing its exceptional commitment to keeping you safe. Traction and stability control are both standard, as is Toyota’s tire pressure monitoring system. Both models of the Tacoma also feature a bold innovation in safety—active headrests. In the event of a rear-end collision, the headrests move slightly to fir the contour of you and your passengers—this is specifically designed to reduce the risk of whiplash. It should also be noted that the Tacoma has consistently received high accolades as far as safety is concerned and recently received four stars from the NHTSA.
While Toyota vehicles are exceptional in terms of reliability and maintaining a long life, that doesn’t mean that your purchase won’t be without the backing of a warranty. Toyota provides 24-hour roadside assistance for two years, which is better than many competitors. All components of your new Toyota are covered by a 36-month/36,000-mile warranty. You’ll also receive ToyotaCare, which covers routine maintenance for 2 years or 25,000 miles.
The newest additions to the Toyota family are certain to help the Tacoma maintain its crown as the number one midsize truck in America. Whether you are a fan of the TRD Pro or the Trail Edition, Toyota has certainly stepped up to keep its popular model feeling fresh. Gentlemen, start your engines and keep on trucking!