A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Toyota Tacoma

Available in regular cab, access cab, double cab, and Xtracab versions, the 2012 Toyota Tacoma is Toyota’s answer to all of your compact pickup truck needs. In fact, Toyota has outsold both Ford and GM models, and the Tacoma is now the best-selling compact pickup in the US. With a number of choices of cabin and bed configurations, there’s something for everyone in this model.

Key Features

The Tacoma is a seriously functional compact truck, and it shows in some of the standard features on all configurations. When you buy any 2012 Toyota Tacoma, you’ll get built-in storage compartments in a composite inner bed with four sliding tie-down cleats mounted to the rails.

Other optional features include Bluetooth audio system connectivity, the Toyota Entune infotainment system, chrome grille and rear bumper (on double and access cabs), and a transmission upgrade to a four- or five-speed automatic.

Changes for 2012

The 2012 Toyota Tacoma got a new design for the front end, including new headlights and a new grille, as well as upgrades to the interior and a new sound systems with USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity. If you opt for one of the double cab V6 models, you’ll also get all that the Toyota Entune infotainment system has to offer, including HD radio, email/text-to-voice features, navigation, and more.

What We Like

We like that Toyota continues to improve the Tacoma and that it’s available in a wide range of configurations. We also like that the optional features give it a much more luxurious feel when driving around town without losing any of its rugged appeal.

What Concerns Us

You’re not going to find a 2012 Toyota Tacoma with a V8 engine, which means it’s not going to have the towing capacity of some trucks that aren’t much larger than it is. If you really need to tow heavy loads, you might want to upgrade to a Tundra or another larger model.

Available Models

In addition to choosing between cab and bed sizes for the 2012 Toyota Tacoma, you’ll also have the option to go with either a 4WD automatic 2.7-liter inline four-cylinder engine or a 4.0-liter V6 (available in 2WD, 4WD, automatic, or manual). The V6 has 236 horsepower versus the four-cylinder’s 159 horsepower, and there’s a significant boost in torque, as well without much loss in fuel economy.

Major Recalls

There have been a few recalls on 2012 Toyota Tacoma models, but they have almost all been for relatively minor issues, including inaccurate labels and occupant sensing system issues. There was one recall for a brake actuator assembly that could become disabled.

Common Issues

Some drivers claim to experience vibrations or shuddering when accelerating from a stop.

toyota tacoma 2012 interior


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19 years of experience
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Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
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Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

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He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
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