The 2017 Toyota Tacoma has excellent off-road capability for a compact pickup truck. It is however, let down in other areas such as on-road performance and interior features.

The base engine in the Tacoma is a small 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes just 159 horsepower, well below others in the class. Upgrading to the larger 3.5-liter V6 engine is a good choice and puts it more in line with its rivals. The V6 engine makes 278 horsepower.

The Tacoma comes as either rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive and has a new TRD Pro trim for the 2017 model. The 2017 Tacoma is a mixed bag. It has one of the better off-road capabilities of this class but comes with a subpar base engine and small back-seat area.

Performance

The 2017 Tacoma has a couple of different engine choices. The base engine is the 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 159 horsepower. This is an underpowered engine for this class but luckily you can upgrade to the more powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers 278 horsepower. If you still need more horsepower than you may want to look at the Toyota Tundra which comes with a V8 engine that makes up to 381 horsepower.

Both engines have around the same fuel economy. The base engine gets 19/23 mpg for city/highway driving. The V6 engine has slightly better fuel economy on the highway with 24 mpg.

The Tacoma has a quiet ride but being a compact pickup truck it has a stiffer ride. This is common in pickup trucks. The brakes are strong and the steering is precise. The Tacoma really shines when it hits the off-road areas and is considered one of the best off-road trucks in this class when you pick the 4WD option. It can tow up to 6,800 lbs. if you choose the V6 engine with the Tow Prep package.

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Interior

There are a couple of different cabin configurations to choose from and this will change the amount of space for passengers. The Tacoma has seating for either 4 or 5 people. The extended cab model comes with 2 rear seats although space in the back is fairly cramped.

The cabin materials appear to be durable and of high quality. Most of the surfaces are soft to the touch. The Tacoma has a payload capacity of 1,620 lbs which is one of the highest in its class. Avaliable as standard is the rearview camera, mount for a GoPro camera, 6.1-inch touch screen, USB port, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth and Toyota’s Entune infotainment system.

Price

The Tacoma has a starting price of $24,120. There are many trims and upgrades to choose from including upgrading the cabin configuration, engine and drivetrain. The top trim with the 278 horsepower engine and 4WD will increase the price to around $43,000.

Alternatives

The 2017 Toyota Tacoma is up against some stiff competition and is priced higher than many of its competitors. You’ll be able to pick up the 2017 GMC Canyon, the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado or the 2017 Nissan Frontier for around $5,000 less then the starting price of the Tacoma.