Is a Toyota Tacoma Good for Towing?


The Toyota Tacoma is a market leader in the mid-size pick-up sector. Indeed, it is one of the best-selling mid-size pickup trucks, and it is popular due to its off-roading capabilities coupled with its long-term reliability.

Is a Toyota Tacoma Good for Towing?

It depends on the model, but yes, the Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 pounds, which is a very strong tow rating. It has towing capabilities that range between 3,500 pounds and 6,800 pounds, which is enough to carry an mid-size boat or RV.

You need to understand precisely what Toyota does with the Tacoma to make it a reliable truck. Toyota offers two transmission options with the Tacoma. The first variant is the six-speed automatic and the other variant is the six-speed manual.

You also have the option to choose from two engine variants, namely a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.5-liter V-6 engine.

There are two cabin configurations as well. These are the double cab or the Access cab. The cab configuration also includes an option for either a 5-foot bed or a 6-foot bed, which is longer. Usually, the configurations for the All Access cab feature the 6-foot bed. The double cab option can use either the short or long bed, and this depends on the trim of the vehicle. 

Toyota Tacoma’s Minimum and Maximum Towing Capacity

 The minimum towing capacity for the Tacoma is 3,500 pounds. There are about three configurations in the SR5 and SR trim levels that result in the lowest towing capacity. These configurations are:

  • The two-wheel-drive Access Cab that has 4-cylinder automatic transmission. 
  • The four-wheel-drive Access Cab with the 4-cylinder automatic transmission. 
  • The two-wheel-drive double cab with the 4-cylinder automatic transmission and the 5-foot-short bed. 

Meanwhile, when it comes to the maximum towing capacity, the Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 pounds. In case you are making the decision between a Tacoma and another mid-size truck in its class, it is important to note that Tacoma’s maximum towing capacity is the second-lowest in its class.

It only ranks ahead of Nissan Frontier. There is only one configuration that is required to achieve this maximum towing capacity, and it is the two-wheel-drive Access cab with the V-6 engine and automatic transmission. The configuration can be found in the SR5, TRD Sport, and SR trims. 

Towing Capacity by Engine

 It is also important to note that the towing capacity of the Tacoma can be determined by the engine size. There are two main engine variants here. 

2.7-Liter 4-cylinder 

 This engine generates 159 horsepower and 180 pounds-feet of torque. This engine variant is only available with the option of six-speed auto transmission. The maximum towing capacity of this model is the Tacoma’s minimum towing capacity, which is 3,500 pounds. It is available in up to three different configurations, namely:

  • The two-wheel-drive access cab with the 4-cylinder automatic transmission
  • The four-wheel-drive access cab with 4-cylinder auto transmission.
  • The two-wheel-drive double cabin with the 4-cylinder automatic transmission and the 5-foot bed. 

3.5-Liter V-6 Engine

 This engine configuration almost doubles the maximum towing capacity of the four-cylinder engine by towing a maximum of 6,800 pounds. The maximum rating for this engine variant is the two-wheel-drive access cab that has features automatic transmission. 

This variant is also available in the SR5, TRD Sport, and SR. The second highest tow rating for the V-6 engine is a towing capacity of 6,700 pounds, which is available in the two-wheel-drive double cabin automatic transmission that has a 5-foot bed for the SR5, TRD Sport and TRD off-road, and SR.

The third highest rating here is 6,600 pounds, which is a feature of the double cabin configuration. This particular configuration includes three trim levels. These are:

  • The two-wheel-drive limited auto, which has a 5-foot bed. 
  • The two-wheel-drive TRD sport trim. 
  • The SR5 auto with a 6-foot bed. 

Towing Capacity by Cab

 In addition to the aspect of towing capacity by the engine, Tacoma’s towing capacity can also be measured on the basis of the cab model. Here, there are three variants namely the Access cab, the Double cab, and TRD Pro. 

Access Cab

 The Tacoma Access cab has three maximum tow capacities, namely 6,800, 6,500, and 3,500 pounds. All Access cabs have a 6-foot bed configuration. The 6,800-pound rating is a feature of the two-wheel-drive V-6 automatic transmission model that is available in the SR5, TRD Sport, and SR trims.

The second highest tow rating is 6,500 pounds, which is found in the four-wheel-drive V-6 variants, which include the SR5, TRD Sport, TRD off-road, and SR models that have automatic transmission. For the Tacomas that have a manual transmission, the TRD Sport is the only model that has the 6,500 pounds tow capacity.

The lowest rating here is the 3,500 pounds tow capacity for the Access Cabs that come with the two-wheel drive and the four-wheel-drive 4-cylinders founds in the SR5 and SR trims. 

Double Cab

The Access cab has three maximum tow capacities namely, 6,700 pounds, 6,600 pounds, and 6,400 pounds. The two-wheel-drive V-6 engine with automatic transmission and a 5-foot bed has a maximum towing capacity of 6,700 pounds in the TRD off-road, SR5 Sport, and SR5.

The other rating here is the 6,600 pounds tow capacity, which is achieved by the two-wheel-drive V-6 engine with an automatic transmission with the 5-foot bed and the two-wheel-drive V-6 automatic transmission engine with the 6-foot bed in the SR5 or the TRD Sport variants.

The third highest tow capacity is 6,400 pounds, and it is achieved by all four-wheel-drive models, including those with manual and automatic transmission and the 5-foot and 6-foot beds. 

All the available trim levels for the Tacoma come with a 6,400 pounds tow capacity in the four-wheel-drive double-cabin V-6 engine that includes automatic transmission and a 5-foot bed.

The manual transmission for this configuration is available in the TRD Pro, TRD off-road, and TRD Sport trims. Only the automatic transmission in the TRD Sport, TRD off-road, and SR5 includes the long bed configuration. 

TRD Pro

 The TRD Pro is available in one configuration, which is the four-wheel-drive double cabin with the V-6 engine and the 5-foot bed. It comes in either automatic or manual transmission. This particular model has a maximum tow capacity of 6,400 pounds for both manual and automatic transmissions. 

 It is clear that the Toyota Tacoma has a good towing capacity. When talking about the Toyota Tacoma, it has created the impression of a truck that can last forever literally. There is a so running joke in the auto world that it is impossible to destroy a Tacoma.

To answer the question of whether the Tacoma has a good towing capacity, the answer is yes. The Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 pounds, which is a very strong tow rating. It is also important to consider the tongue weight when considering the towing capacity.

Tongue load is defined as the static force that a truck tongue exerts on the hitch ball. The ideal tongue weight is about 10 to 15% of the total weight of the loaded trailer. The Toyota Tacoma has a tongue rating of about 350 pounds on the 4-cylinder models and 640 pounds for the V-6 models.

This tongue weight is approximately 10% of the minimum and maximum towing capacities of the Tacoma respectively. Toyota Tacoma is the ideal truck that can tow most of the weight you can throw at it. In case you need a truck that can tow up to 10,000 pounds you can consider the full-size Toyota Tundra.

The Tundra picks right where Tacoma leaves off, and it includes a wide range of towing capabilities. However, for a mid-size truck, Tacoma can do a pretty decent job of towing up to 6,800 pounds.

Kern Campbell

I've had a passion for four-wheel-drive vehicles since I was a kid riding in the back seat of my Grandfather's Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I have owned a lot of vehicles over the years. They each have their pros and cons and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so you can find the vehicle that's just right for your needs.

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