What Is The Best Year To Buy A Toyota Tacoma?


A brand new Toyota Tacoma would be nice to have. But what if it isn’t in your budget? Tacoma’s are famously long-lasting vehicles so you’ll likely find a ton of used options. So what is the best model year to purchase a used Tacoma?

What Is The Best Year For Toyota Tacoma?

The best year model for a used Tacoma is 2015 due to its high-reliability ratings. It also received outstanding marks for customer satisfaction, making the resale value of the 2015 Tacoma one of the best in its class. 

Here, you will learn about what makes the 2015 Toyota Tacoma the best value in used trucks. You’ll also discover the many great features of that model year. Then, I will let you in on which Tacoma year to stay away from. 

Why Is The 2015 Toyota Tacoma The Best?

The 2015 Toyota Tacoma is considered a midsize pickup truck. It was in direct competition with the Ford Ranger and Nissan Frontier. And in 2015, it was originally offered with two cab variants, the Access Cab and the Double Cab configurations.

Access cab

This is an extended cab with rear doors installed. It featured a six-foot bed. It was the two-wheel-drive (rear-drive) version of the Tacoma. 

Here are some of the other features the access cab originally came with:

  • Four-cylinder engine rated at 159 HP 
  • EPA rating of 22 MPG combined
  • Five-speed manual transmission
  • Available in rear-wheel 2wd or 4wd
  • Bedliner
  • 15-inch wheels
  • Limited-slip rear differential
  • Air conditioning
  • Power locks and windows
  • Tilt steering wheel

The used model you choose could have other features included. For example:

  • 6 cylinder, 236 HP engine
  • 4wd
  • Keyless entry
  • 16-inch wheels
  • Cruise control
  • Tinted side rear windows
  • Steering wheel audio controls

Most of these features were standard on the 2015 Pre-runner, the pre-packaged, 4wd version of the Tacoma. In any case, you will have to pay considerably more for better options packages included with your used truck. 

Double cab

The Double Cab model let you choose between the standard six-foot bed or the shortened five-foot version. It came with everything that the Access Cab model did, plus these added features:

  • Black fenders
  • Power mirrors
  • Adjustable driver lumbar support
  • 60/40-split rear bench seat
  • Rear adjustable head restraints
  • Rear bulkhead storage

The 4wd version of the Double Cab had basically the same amenities as the 4wd Access Cab. In rare instances, you may come across a Double Cab model with an optional JBL sound system installed. 

SR-5 Packages included all available options plus the following equipment:

  • Chrome grill
  • Rear bumper trim
  • Fog lights
  • Variable intermittent wipers
  • Metallic instrument panel trim
  • Rearview camera

These were some of the extended options available for the 2015 SR-5 package that were only available on the PreRunner or 4wd models:

  • Extended color-keyed exterior trim
  • Black, 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Mirror mounted turn signals
  • Smoke headlights
  • Fog lights

V-6 PreRunners and 4wd models were eligible for the exclusive TRD offroad package. If the used Tacoma you are looking at comes equipped with this package, here’s what you’ll find:

  • Heavy-duty suspension upgrade
  • Bilstein shocks
  • Locking rear differential
  • Hill-start and downhill assists
  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • TRD graphics
  • 115-volt power-point in the bed
  • Sport seats

The TRD Sport Package was a further upgrade to the TRD offroad package. It boasted these well sought-after items like:

  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Hood scoop
  • Bed-mounted power outlet

The TRD Pro came with all available options plus:

  • More aggressive look overall
  • Custom paint
  • Cat-back exhaust
  • Front suspension lift
  • Side graphics

Then there was the Limited Package for V-6 Double Cabs only with the SR-5 package installed. This came with:

  • 18-inch chrome wheels
  • Chrome exterior trim
  • Auto rear-view mirror with temperature gauge
  • Heated front seats
  • Upgraded upholstery
  • Satellite radio
  • Navigation system
  • Entune mobile app suite

2015 Tacoma Reliability Ratings

JD Powers and Associates gave the 2015 Tacoma a five out of five stars according to their Vehicle Dependability Study. Here were their findings:

Critics rating: 8.8/10

Safety: 8.4/10

Interior: 7.4/10

Consumer Reports also rated the 2015 Tacoma as one of the best midsize trucks in its class. But the real test is the owners who drive it every day.

Most say they are happy to own it. Sure, there have been a few hiccups along the way– minor front alignment problems, for example. But, the majority of owners of the 2015 Tacoma have a hard time parting with it.

Which brings me to the next point.

Resale Value

One of the problems with choosing a 2015 Tacoma is being able to find one. And even if you do, you may have to pay a lot for it. As stated earlier, previous owners love their 2015 models. 

Still, in the long run, this could be an advantage. If you show a little patience, shop around, and find a decent deal, you could eventually come out ahead. You may even be able to sell yours one day for top dollar.

Great Gas Mileage

The 2015 Tacoma came either with a 2.7 liter, four-cylinder engine or the 4.0 liter V6. As expected, the four-cylinder engine beat the V6 in fuel economy. But what’s so surprising is how it blew away the competition in this area.

The 2015 Tacoma was rated at 25 MPG on the highway and an astounding 22MPG in the city. And even the 4wd variants got over 19MPG. But no other midsized truck could even come close to this. 

 Engine Longevity

For those on a tight budget, this one factor is probably the most important. After all, who wants to pay thousands of dollars a year just to keep their truck running?

This is where the 2015 Tacoma shines. It’s been reported that some owners have already driven over 500,000 miles with theirs. Wow!

What is the Worst Year To Buy A Toyota Tacoma?

The Toyota Tacoma is widely known for its reliability. And that goes for most model years. 

But, unfortunately, not for the 2007 Tacoma. It was plagued with a sticking accelerator that not only rendered the vehicle unsafe but virtually undrivable. And, it happened in both the manual and automatic transmission models. 

Sure, there was a recall issued by Toyota. And the dealers did their best to address the problem. But many drivers reported that the sticking accelerator trouble persisted even after the “fix.” 

So, some 2007 Tacoma owners were left holding the bag. They had to seek out professionals who could take care of the issue once and for all. And some did, at a price tag of over $6500. 

Who knows what it would cost today. So, for that reason alone, I would steer clear of the 2007 Tacoma.

One Last Thought

When shopping for a used Tacoma, there are a lot of things to consider. So, it’s best to take your time and shop around. After all, you want to get the best value for your money.

But, the price really comes down to how much the used truck is packed with optional features. If it seems somewhat stripped down, you may have to convince the current owner to take a bit less for it.

On the other hand, if the used Tacoma you are considering is loaded down with a TRD Pro package, towing accessories, and lift kits, you may have difficulty getting a stellar deal. 

Still, it’s worth a try.

John Nelson

You can find John stringing a hammock from the back of his SUV to a tree camping in the outdoors most weekends during warmer weather. John loves the outdoors and the freedom four-wheel-drive vehicles offer.

Recent Posts