Best Midsized Truck?! 2012 Toyota Tacoma!
Pickuptrucks.com put seven trucks through their paces in a Midsize Shootout. In total, they tested seven trucks: 2012 Chevy Colorado, 2011 Ford Ranger, 2012 GMC Canyon, 2012 Honda Ridgeline, 2012 Nissan Frontier, 2012 Suzuki Equator and 2012 Toyota Tacoma. Guess which midsized truck won? If you guessed the 2012 Toyota Tacoma, you are right! Here’s what the judges had to say about it. Read the full report here.
What we liked: Only 25 points separated first and second place in our Midsize Shootout, and that seems appropriate — these two trucks were the most steady and rock solid through the entire event. However, whereas the Frontier won only one of 11 events and finished strong in several others, the Toyota won five and finished in second or third place in four others. Let’s just call this what it was — total domination.
Our judges were pretty clear from the beginning of the fuel economy run — the level of refinement in the ride and the overall interior were on a different playing field from the segment competitors. Probably the biggest standout performance was in brake testing, where the Tacoma stopped 10 to 15 feet shorter than the others. Likewise, in acceleration at maximum GVWR, the Tacoma’s 4.0-liter seems almost to want to carry even more weight. It was not lost on the judges that the Toyota V-6’s torque curve looked similar to the Chevy’s much bigger V-8.
What we didn’t: With all that said, this is not a perfect midsize pickup. The Tacoma was by a good margin the most expensive and most loaded pickup of the Shootout. Some of our judges found the center console quite busy, making it difficult to find any control in the bottom half of the dash. Lastly, the real-world payload number didn’t seem very large, especially when you consider how strong it felt in other areas.
The verdict: Sometimes during our Shootout comparisons, it’s difficult to find a clear winner. This was not one of those times. The segment has seen quite a bit of fluctuation as significant players have left, others have been left to languish, and still others are waiting on the sidelines. And through it all, the Tacoma has gotten better and better. There’s a lot of truck here for the money, and there’s a lot of money to be made in this segment. And for the time being, it looks like Toyota will continue to take most of that money — at least until someone wants to bring a strong competitor to market and give the Tacoma a serious push.