The 2022 Toyota Tacoma is showing its age. Viewed and treated like an everyday conveyance, it lags behind much newer competitors in terms of ride quality, occupant comfort and space. Fuel mileage is miserable!
But, put it to work or take it offroad and none of the competition can keep up. That same thirsty drivetrain will last seemingly forever, and the retained and resale values are unmatched.
The third generation Tacoma received a makeover for the 2016 model year. Little of significance has changed since.
The 2022 Tacoma is available in Access or Double Cab configurations – small rear-hinged rear doors or full-size front-hinged rear doors. All models and trim levels but one, come with a five-foot box. A Double Cab with a six-foot box is available.
A 3.5-litre V6 and six-speed transmission – manual or automatic – is standard as is four-wheel-drive. The Tacoma is the only player in this field offering a shift-for-yourself transmission.
The test vehicle was a Double Cab SB (short box) with the automatic transmission and TRD Pro package.
While that package is expensive ($12,360), it is extensive, converting the Tacoma from a middling compact truck to a formidable workhorse or off-road companion. Much of the package is puffery – power sunroof, upgraded audio and infotainment systems, leather seats etc.
TRD Pro Package makes the 2022 Toyota Tacoma a formidable off-road companion
But it goes deeper with machine-forged upper control arms, bigger wheels, wider track, unique multi-terrain select system with crawl control, Fox remote reservoir shock absorbers, a terrain view camera, skid plates, unique front coil and rear leaf springs.
The 2022 TRD Pro sits further off the ground, thanks to a 28 mm lift in front and 13 mm at the rear.
There are several visual cues this is a tougher Tacoma with various decals and stampings. But what made the tester easier to find in a crowd was the wild Electric Lime metallic paint.
Like all other Tacomas, it had a 3.5-litre V6 producing 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. The engine is a willing component and silky-smooth in sound and operation. But it does have to cope with more than two tonnes of truck so don’t expect to win any drag races and plan on a little more time when passing.
This truck will also never win any fuel economy challenges. It’s a thirst devil, another area where it shows its age.
While a manual gearbox is available with the TRD package, it goes without the various electronic aids so critical in severe off-road situations. The standard towing package can handle up to 6,400 lbs.
The result of the taller suspension for 2022 is even greater off-road prowess thanks to better approach, break-over, and departure angles. This truck has been engineered for off-road duty and it shows. The combination of clearance, gearing, and traction available at each corner allow it to shine.
Throttle and brake applications are easy to modulate – no sudden and upsetting moves in low-speed crawling moments. The terrain settings adjust traction and throttle electronically.
While the TRD Pro excels off-road, the open road is not a best friend. The combination of knobby off-road tires, tall and rugged suspension, make for a jiggly, noisy and pretty rigid ride. Handling can best be described as clumsy.
Getting into the cab requires a significant step up, and there is no grab handle to help.
Inside the Toyota Tacoma
Once in, you’ll find it a bit cramped, with low front seats, minimal legroom in back and narrow and shallow windows. Fit and finish are first rate, but the materials are dated and there is little provision for storing small items other than the bin in the console.
The infotainment screen and system is one area where the Tacoma is up to the times. There are several USB outlets and provision for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The TRD Pro is one tough Tacoma. Proven off-road ability and legendary durability and reliability help offset the lack of refinement.
FACTS & FIGURES – 2022 Toyota Tacoma 4X4 double cab
As tested: $61,821 including freight
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility
Pre-collision system, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert
Power windows, locks, and driver’s seat, heated front seats, dual zone automatic climate control, tilt & telescope steering wheel, 400-watt 120-volt outlet in cargo bed
TRD Pro package ($12,360): power sunroof, smart key with push button start, anti-theft alarm system, wireless charging, power heated mirrors, seven-speaker JBL audio system with remote, 20-cm infotainment touchscreen, satellite radio, navigation system with three years of updates, LED headlights, blind spot monitor system, leather seats, auto-dimming rear view mirror, multi-view terrain monitor, power sliding rear window, “Rigid Industries” LED fog lights
3.5 litre V6, 278-horsepower, 265 lb.ft. of torque. six-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel-drive with two-speed transfer case, NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway):13/10.5
Length, 5,393-mm; wheelbase, 3,234-mm, width, 1,910-mm; weight, 1,957-kg