Why Is the Toyota Tacoma the Best-Selling Small Pickup?

Almost any truck fan can tell you that the Ford F-150 is the best-selling truck in America. But what about the best-selling minivan? This is the truck again for 2022. What helped it keep its crown for 18 years?

The Toyota Tacoma is a consistent sales leader

2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

For the 2022 calendar year, Toyota sold 237,323 Tacoma trucks. That’s a lot of tacos. Sales for 2022 mean that according to Toyota, the Tacoma has been America’s best-selling minivan for 18 years.

for 2022. For the calendar year, Ford sold 726,004 F-Series trucks.

Many are expecting Toyota to come out with a new Tacoma for the 2024 model year, and that means many buyers will likely hold out until the new car arrives. This may be one reason Toyota sold 15,000 fewer Tacomas last year than in 2021.

Dashboard and front seats on the 2023 Toyota Tacoma, highlighting the cost of a fully loaded vehicle
2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

The Tacoma seems to check a lot of boxes for truck buyers. It’s known to be a reliable truck, it can tow and haul a lot, and especially in Trail or TRD packages, it’s very capable off-road. Tacos seat five, and you can still order one with a manual gearbox if you want to arrange your own.

And these traits contribute to a virtuous cycle for Tacomas. Since it is popular, people buy it. Since people buy it, its value remains high. Still highly valued, people out.

All that, despite an outdated and underpowered V6, cramped cabin and, in some trims, a rough ride and cheap materials.

What’s so good about the Toyota Tacoma?

Let’s start with the bad. The current Tacoma was all new in 2016 and other pickups have definitely moved on, like the new Chevy Colorado and Ford Ranger. After all, those brands targeted Toyota. But the roaring 278-hp V6 comes from the Jurassic period, and its low-riding position takes a bit of a backseat to get used to. The steering is fuzzy, and even its brakes could use improvement.

Before you send too much hate mail, know this. They are known to be generally reliable trucks that maintain their value and are a shout to drive off the pavement. Mostly though, these trucks are great because they let you do 90 percent of the truck stuff you’d do in a full-size pickup, but they don’t come with the vibe of a full-size pickup. Also, you can park these trucks in the tight spaces at your local Trader Joe’s and not feel like you’re burning up the environment.

Will the 2024 Tacoma be redesigned?

Toyota Tacoma EV concept
Toyota Tacoma EV Concept | Toyota

Signs point to the launch of the all-new, if not all-new Toyota Tacoma, which is a significantly updated version of the existing truck. The Tacoma was all-new in 2016 and saw an update for 2021 that added some great tech like Crawl Control. But many, like, expect to see a new taco with a hybrid engine that, like the Tundra, could add some horsepower, or maybe an electric version.

No matter what Toyota does with the Tacoma, the Ford Ranger and Evern Jeep Gladiator Rubicon have more power and similar off-road finishes. Both aim to dethrone the Tacoma as the best-selling minivan on the market, so the next iteration of the Tacoma should do just fine.

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