Toyota Tacoma Years to Avoid [Best & Worst Period]

Tacoma is a multipurpose vehicle developed by Toyota in 1995. As per vehicle months 1995 through 2004, the first-generation Tacoma was classed as a small truck. These vehicles are referred to as mid-sized trucks because they have been in manufacturing since 2015 and have been in existence since 2005 for the second version.

The 2005 Vehicle of the Year was the Toyota Tacoma, according to Motor Trend. After the introduction of the fifth-generation Toyota Truck in late 1988, the developmental process started in 1989 and was completed in 1994.

Kevin Deer’s concept for the outside was selected for manufacturing in the fall of 1991 and locked for development in 1992 at Calty Design Development in Texas. Manufacturing concept patents were obtained in the US States and China in 1993. Toyota Tacoma for sale was easily found for between $30,000.

Automatic and manual gearboxes were offered for two-wheel-driven (2WD) Tacomas with four stud wheel-lug designs. There existed two engine choices for the PreRunner Tacoma: a 2.7-liter and a 3.4-liter, which came with six-stud shoe lug configurations.

For the initial model, the automatic gearbox was the sole option for the PreRunner and all Dual Cab versions, while the standard cab and Extra Cab four-wheel drive were accessible with a manual or automatic gearbox as an option. The 3.4-liter V6 powertrain was also offered in Toyota’s S-Runner customization kit that debuted in October 2000.

It included 18-inch rims, a five-speed manual gearbox, and Tokico gas dampers as standard equipment. From October 2000 through August 2004, a total of 800 units were generated every month. Deliveries of the Toyota Tacoma had increased by 16.5% by 2004 compared to the previous season.

The reputation of Tacoma only grew in the following years. Despite being above the Nissan Frontier, Dodge Badlands, and Ford Ranger in shipments by 2004, it was still 2.2 percent below the Ford Ranger in shipments.

First-generation Toyota Tacoma years to avoid  

  • Years to avoid 2001-2004
  • Best years 1995-2000

According to the Toyota Tacoma years to avoid Reddit there are several reasons to avoid, firstly the body material of the vehicle gets rusted very fast hence weakening the body. Spots like near tires and braking pads.

The rust later turns into cracks and there’s a chance of water getting in the car from that spot. It also results in the air passing through the car and producing unnecessary noise. Owners of the 2.7L and 3.4L engine Tacoma complained about the belt pressure failing even after strict maintenance.

If you are interested in buying a Tacoma then you should approach the year model of 1995-2000, since these were the starting years of the first generation which is why they were producing the best vehicles.

Second-generation Toyota Tacoma years to avoid 

  • Years to avoid 2011-2013
  • Best years 2006-2010

People need to be very careful when looking for a Tacoma second generation since 2011-2013 was the downfall of this vehicle. During these years many people complained about the failed gear shifting.

The transmission failure resulted in people being involved in accidents. Repair of these gearboxes demands a high amount. When driving up a hill, the driver may feel that the gear is not being shifted to the incline mode and the engine is taking too much effort.

The best years to get yourself a Tacoma is 2006-2010, the initial release year of the second generation and they proved to be the best-made trucks. From the built quality to the driving smoothness everything was on point.

Third-generation Toyota Tacoma years to avoid 

  • Years to avoid 2016
  • Best years 2014-2015

3rd gen Tacoma years to avoid include the year 2016 and Tacoma fans should not approach it, the main problem with the third generation was the peeling off of the paint. After some months many people witnessed that the paint from the rear front was peeling off and even rain was affecting it to get worse. And the facelift of this car was not up to the grade which is why people preferred the non-facelift.

You should go for the years 2014 and 2015 to have the best of the third generation produced, though there were minor issues that were common with many vehicles. Apart from the complaints, Toyota Tacoma reliability by year did increase

Check Out Toyota Highlander Years to Avoid

Toyota Tacoma faults by year

Years  Faults 
2001 45
2002 22
2003 69
2004 34
2001 22
2013 55
2016 42

Toyota Tacoma years to avoid 

  • Tacoma 2001
  • Tacoma 2003
  • Tacoma 2004
  • Tacoma 2013
  • Tacoma 2016

What is the problem with the 2021 Toyota Tacoma?


There are various scenarios when vehicles vibrating would perhaps be a major problem. Drivetrain vibration is an issue for many versions of the Tacoma, especially with the 2021 Toyota Tacoma, which may make it difficult to manage the car in certain instances. When it comes to traveling long miles or for extended lengths of time, the biggest issue with severe vibration is that it may cause driver tiredness.

Why is it important for an inspection before purchasing a first-gen Tacoma?

Buying a first-generation Toyota Tacoma will need a lot of research on your part. Especially for the rusty ones, pricing might be exorbitant, so it’s essential to shop around. Have a pre-purchase examination performed by an independent technician if you locate one that you want but aren’t convinced whether it’s worth the money.

Although it may cost you between $100 and $200, the long-term savings may be substantial. The first-generation Toyota Tacoma is rapidly turning legendary and is still the ideal size vehicle for many purchasers. A decent vehicle will serve anyone for numerous seasons and kilometers and keep its worthwhile accomplishing.

What are the best used Tacoma models to buy?

Model numbers 1994-2005 of the first-generation Toyota Tacoma are all good choices for folks that don’t hate performing minor home upkeep. These vehicles are nevertheless a viable choice for customers nowadays since they are very sturdy and hard-working. Both the 2010 and 2008 Tacoma vehicles from the second generation are good choices.

More problems have been reported with the second-generation Tacoma, although overall both have better efficiency evaluations and fewer complaints than comparable versions from the same period. Toyota Tacoma’s 2018 and 2019 versions operate well as secondhand cars and provide a wide range of useful amenities, making them excellent options for those seeking the most up-to-date designs.

Buying a Used Tacoma or Tundra | Avoid these Years!

Jake Mayock