The 2015 Toyota Tacoma offers versatility in a smaller, more maneuverable size than full-size trucks. Its size and features meets the needs of many buyers who want an off-road vehicle that’s sized right for narrow trails.
The 2015 Toyota Tacoma comes in extended (Access Cab) and crew cab (Double Cab) configurations. The regular cab Tacoma was dropped for the 2015 model year. The Access Cab model comes with a 6-foot 1-inch bed, while the Tacoma Double Cab is offered with a 5-foot bed or a 6-foot 1-inch bed.
Toyota offers the 2015 Toyota Tacoma in a variety of different trim levels, including SR, SR5, Limited and TRD PRO. The base Tacoma comes standard with power locks and windows, air conditioning, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a USB port and an Entune touch-screen au-dio system.
Optional features include a sliding rear window, keyless entry, cruise control, steering-wheel au-dio controls, a rearview camera, a locking rear differential, heated front seats, leatherette uphol-stery, a JBL audio system, satellite radio, navigation and smartphone app integration.
On the outside, the 2015 Toyota Tacoma has a slightly sloped hood flowing into a linear headlight and grille setup. The front bumper is accented by the optional fog light housing.
While the stock Tacoma doesn’t have a lot of character, the TRD PRO model offers quite a facelift. The new Inferno red color and blacked-out wheels create a much more aggressive look.
The Tacoma was last redesigned in 2005, and while an all-new Tacoma is slated for 2016, the current 2015 model is starting to show its age. The dash layout, interior materials and seating position all are cons for the 2015 Toyota Tacoma.
On the plus side, the leg- and headroom are better than what you’ll find in other midsize trucks, and all the controls are easy to reach. Visibility is OK for most drivers and interior room is much like you would expect in a midsize truck.
Powering the 2015 Toyota Tacoma is either a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine or a 4.0-liter V6. Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional.
The standard four-cylinder engine is rated to produce 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission or an available four-speed au-tomatic. The available V6 generates 236 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic.
The four-cylinder Tacoma gets up to an EPA-estimated 21/25 mpg city/highway, while V6 models get up to 17/21 mpg. When properly equipped, the V6-powered Tacoma is rated to tow up to 6,500 pounds.
If the 2015 Toyota Tacoma has a weakness, it is in the technology offerings. The Tacoma, to its credit, does offer standard Bluetooth and a touch-screen audio system, but the screen is small, and the base model doesn’t have many USB ports or stereo speakers.
The 2015 Toyota Tacoma offers a pretty good assortment of standard safety features like anti-lock brakes, stability control, side-impact airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. There is a rearview camera option for most models.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Toyota Tacoma an over-all crash test rating of four out of five stars. The 2015 Tacoma gets the top score of “Good” in most Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests, but receives the second lowest score of “Marginal” in roof strength tests.
In today’s automotive market, there are many full-size trucks with a lower price, and often better fuel economy, than a midsize truck like the 2015 Toyota Tacoma.
However, the Tacoma has many plusses that full-size trucks don’t have. It’s often easier to drive and park for many people, and its lower bed height means that it’s also easier to load. The Ta-coma also offers strong resale values and Toyota’s reputation for reliability.
There is a reason why the 2015 Toyota Tacoma has been unchanged for over a decade. When you build a solid truck, it is hard to find a reason to improve it. While a new 2016 Tacoma is on the way, the current Tacoma has been one of the best midsize trucks on the market for years. After driving one, it is pretty easy to see why.