The Toyota Tacoma is a midsize truck that offers buyers reliable off-road performance, impressive ride quality, and exceptional ride safety.
Add to that the model’s renowned reliability, and you can understand why this truck remains popular.
In this article, we discuss the longevity of the Tacoma models.
Here is the short answer to how long Toyota Tacomas last:
Automotive research firm iSeeCars says the Tacoma can last up to 200,000 miles or more. With regular repairs and maintenance, any Toyota Tacoma can reach 300,000 miles with ease. If you drive 20,000 to 30,000 miles in a year, your Tacoma can last 10 to 15 years before needing major repairs.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from A Toyota Tacoma?
The Toyota Tacoma is one famed for its durability and reliability. Many users trust a Toyota Tacoma to get them through rough terrain and still be in tip-top condition.
The Tacoma’s reliability has given it an ability to reach high mileages and still run like new.
As such, you can expect nothing less than 200,000 miles of satisfactory service from this vehicle. Should you be willing to push it, you can get your Tacoma to 300,000 miles.
In the past, getting a Tacoma to last 300,000 miles would have sounded impossible. But thanks to advanced production techniques and better components, Tacomas are more reliable than ever.
Now, you can squeeze out maximum miles from a Tacoma before it requires expensive fixes.
Doing this, however, requires a religious devotion to maintenance. This will prevent minor issues from worsening and keep your vehicle running like new.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust on A Toyota Tacoma?
Rust is a problem many vehicle owners pray never to encounter. This is because rust spreads rapidly and can cause severe damage to components.
From reports of owners, rust can appear on a Toyota Tacoma in the first one to three years of ownership.
It may seem awfully early for a vehicle to rust, but rust has been a perennial problem on the Tacomas. In fact, the Tacoma has gained notoriety for widespread rust-related complaints made by owners.
For example, in 2008, Toyota had to buy back many 1995-2004 Tacomas from owners because of rust issues. Reportedly, the frames on the trucks were prone to excess rusting that could cause them to fail.
Also, around November 2012, Toyota recalled 150,000 Toyota Tacomas for a rusted spare tire rack, which could break and cause the tire to come loose.
A more significant recall happened in 2014, where Toyota recalled around 690,000 2005-2011 Tacomas for rust issues.
The 2005-2011 Tacomas came fitted with leaf springs above the rear axle. According to Toyota, rust could damage the leaf springs, and cause them to pierce the fuel tank or cut the brake lines.
Please also read our article on driving the Toyota Tacoma in snow and winter.
How Long Do Toyota Tacomas Last Compared to Similar Car Models?
The Tacoma is Toyota’s competitor in the midsize pickup segment, which also comprises models from Ford, Nissan, and Honda.
We compared the lifespan of the Tacoma against rival models to determine its longevity:
Toyota Tacoma vs. Honda Ridgeline
The Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline are among the most reliable midsize trucks on the market.
As both models come from automakers noted for reliability, they can stay in excellent condition for long.
Our research shows that you will get the same number of miles from a Toyota Tacoma and a Honda Ridgeline.
The Tacoma has an average lifespan of 300,000 miles, which is roughly the same as the Honda Ridgeline.
However, we must mention that the Toyota Tacoma is cheaper to keep running compared with Honda Ridgeline.
According to RepairPal, you will spend about $478 on average (annually) to service the Tacoma. Maintenance on the Honda Ridgeline comes at a higher cost: an average of $502 every year.
Toyota Tacoma vs. Chevrolet Colorado
The Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado are similar in many ways. They both offer exceptional off-roading experience and a perfect combination of functionality and comfort.
Besides, both vehicles will last about the same time, with proper maintenance.
Reports suggest the Chevrolet Colorado has an average lifespan of 200,000 miles.
However, a search of used car listings shows that this Chevy model can reach 300,000 miles, the same as the Toyota Tacoma.
Repairs and maintenance are crucial to keeping a vehicle in good condition for as long as possible. Based on that, we will recommend the Toyota Tacoma as the better long-term choice.
The Toyota Tacoma’s repair and maintenance expenses (per year) are around $473. This is about $126 lower than the Chevrolet Colorado’s $599 annual maintenance cost.
Toyota Tacoma vs. Nissan Frontier
For years, the Nissan Frontier has remained one of the more reliable models in the midsize pickup category. But it cannot compete with the Toyota Tacoma’s longevity.
While the Tacoma can last up to 300,000 miles, the best you can get from the Nissan Frontier is 200,000 miles.
However, we would pick the Nissan Frontier over the Toyota Tacoma for a long-term truck.
First, the Nissan Frontier is more reliable than the Toyota Tacoma; RepairPal gives it a 4.0 reliability rating against the Tacoma’s 3.5 rating.
It also has a lower incidence of severe problems (12%) compared to the Tacoma (17%).
Therefore, while the Tacoma may last longer, it will probably develop more problems. And since it has relatively higher servicing costs ($473), you will spend more money to keep it in good condition.
The Nissan Frontier costs $470 per year to maintain.
Make sure to also read our article on where Toyota Tacomas are made.
How Reliable Is a Toyota Tacoma?
Over the years, the Toyota Tacoma has forged a reputation as a reliable pickup. Hardly will you see any list of reliable trucks without seeing the Tacoma’s name on it.
The reliability of the Tacoma models explains why they hold their value well. People expect the vehicle to stay in good health for long and will pay top dollar for them.
Some people believe the reliability of recent Tacoma models to be suspect. For example, Consumer Reports gave Tacomas released between 2016 and 2018 a barely above average 3/5 reliability rating.
However, things have improved, and the 2019 model earned a perfect 5/5 reliability rating from Consumer Reports. J.D. Power ranked the 2020 Tacoma as the third most reliable midsize pickup.
The Best and Worst Years For Toyota Tacoma
According to Car Complaints, the worst years for the Toyota Tacoma are the 2016 and 2017 model years.
We suspect that Toyota’s decision to redesign the model in 2016 may be responsible for the problems encountered by owners of those models.
It is normal for models to have widespread issues following a major redesign.
Some issues plaguing the 2016 and 2017 Toyota Tacomas are:
- Transmission-related problems (67 complaints)
- Malfunctioning engine (38 complaints)
- Steering problems (7 complaints)
- Drivetrain problems (27 complaints)
With the fewest problems reported, the 2019 and 2020 model years remain the best on record for the Toyota Tacoma. Whether you buy a 2019 Tacoma or a 2020 Tacoma you will get your money’s worth.
What About Recalls for These Models?
Since it started producing the Tacoma in 1995, Toyota has issued 49 recalls for the model. To help you, we have arranged the model years according to the number of recalls:
- 2009: 13 recalls
- 2010: 13 recalls
- 2008: 11 recalls
- 2006: 11 recalls
- 2007: 10 recalls
- 2005: 10 recalls
- 2011: 9 recalls
- 2012: 7 recalls
- 1996: 6 recalls
- 2001: 6 recalls
- 2013: 6 recalls
- 1995: 6 recalls
- 2003: 5 recalls
- 2000: 5 recalls
- 1999: 5 recalls
- 1998: 5 recalls
- 2004: 5 recalls
- 2002: 5 recalls
- 2014: 4 recalls
- 2015: 4 recalls
- 2016: 4 recalls
- 2017: 4 recalls
- 1997: 4 recalls
- 2018: 1 recall
- 2019: 1 recall
Toyota Tacoma Model Year List
Here are the model years for the Toyota Tacoma
- 1995 Toyota Tacoma
- 1996 Toyota Tacoma
- 1997 Toyota Tacoma
- 1998 Toyota Tacoma
- 1999 Toyota Tacoma
- 2000 Toyota Tacoma
- 2001 Toyota Tacoma
- 2002 Toyota Tacoma
- 2003 Toyota Tacoma
- 2004 Toyota Tacoma
- 2005 Toyota Tacoma
- 2006 Toyota Tacoma
- 2007 Toyota Tacoma
- 2008 Toyota Tacoma
- 2009 Toyota Tacoma
- 2010 Toyota Tacoma
- 2011 Toyota Tacoma
- 2012 Toyota Tacoma
- 2013 Toyota Tacoma
- 2014 Toyota Tacoma
- 2015 Toyota Tacoma
- 2016 Toyota Tacoma
- 2017 Toyota Tacoma
- 2018 Toyota Tacoma
- 2019 Toyota Tacoma
- 2020 Toyota Tacoma
Also read our article on 11 Toyota Tacoma statistics.
Are Toyota Tacomas Expensive to Maintain?
The Toyota Tacoma is one of the cheapest midsize pickups to maintain.
Per RepairPal estimates, you will spend around $478 on maintenance for a Toyota Tacoma annually. Only the Nissan Frontier has lower service expenses ($470).
Here are some common repairs on the Toyota Tacoma and their costs:
- AC Condenser Replacement: $479 – $672
- Thermostat Replacement: $160 – $200
- Engine Oil Light Diagnosis: $88 – $111
- No Start Diagnosis: $88 – $111
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
Depending on your driving habits, the brakes on your Toyota Tacoma can last anywhere between 30,000 to 70,000 miles.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
If you tend to go off-roading, your tires may wear faster. Asides that, your Tacoma’s tires can last between 40,000 to 60,000 miles.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
The transmission on a Toyota Tacoma can last between 100,000 to 120,000 miles, with regular maintenance.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
Generally, your spark plugs will need replacement between 70,000 to 100,000 miles. This may vary depending on your driving habits.
What About Insurance Cost?
You will spend about $1,704 on insurance costs for the Toyota Tacoma, which amounts to $142 per month.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Toyota Tacoma
Here are ways to prolong the life of your Toyota Tacoma:
- Keep up with oil changes as specified in the service manual.
- Get your car treated with an anti-rust solution. This will prevent corrosion and increase the lifespan of the vehicle.
- Change fluids periodically, particularly the transmission fluid.
- Fix issues as soon as you notice them; don’t wait until they snowball into bigger problems.