While Toyota takes a while to release all-new utility vehicles, it's a bit of the opposite when it comes to giving them a mild makeover. First it was the CH-R, which is barely two years old. Now, it's the Tacoma, which is just about to enter its third year in its current iteration.
So for 2019, the Tacoma's tough looks has been amplified a bit for the new year. There's even a new TRD Pro package to make it more off-road capable. Not only that, there's new tech inside, as well as safety equipment.
All 2019 Tacomas get new wheels and a new grill, which vary in style depending on the variant chosen. Speaking of which, there are six variants available, namely base SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, the luxury-oriented Limited, and the off-road ready TRD Pro. Models from the SR to the TRD Off-Road are available in two body styles, extended cab (Access Cab) or Double Cab. The Limited and TRD Pro are only available in four-door Double Cab.
Most changes are found in the TRD Pro. It gets LED headlights and daytime running lights, along with a new grill which ditches the old look of 'Toyota' sprawled across. The 2019 model reverts back to the Toyota logo instead. As for the rear, it gets smoked tail light clusters to complement the changes made to the front. Last but not least are newly 16-inch allow wheels, which is actually smaller than the ones in the Limited. The rest of the pickup carries over unchanged although it gets a new 'Army Green' color option.
Inside, the Tacoma gets an updated infotainment system. The new eight-inch display now packs Apple CarPlay, Andriod Auto, Amazon Alexa, and of course, navigation. Opt for the TRD Pro and Limited and it gains power seats for the driver's side. On to safety and all variants get Toyota Safety Sense. It includes pre-collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high-beams, and adaptive cruise control.
Engines are unchanged over last year's models. There are two options available, one four-cylinder and one six-cylinder. Both are gas-powered and there are no diesels. The four-cylinder specs should sound familiar as the 2.7-liter mill with 163 PS and 245 Nm of torque as it's the same engine found in the Fortuner 2.7 G here. As for the V6, it is shared among a wide variety of Toyota and Lexus products.
The 3.5-liter engine makes 280 PS and 359 Nm of torque. The base engine only comes with a six-speed automatic. Defining convention, it's the V6 that comes with a six-speed manual transmission aside from the slushbox. Given that manuals aren't exactly big sellers in America, it's a bold move from Toyota. Props to Toyota for pairing a manual transmission to its most powerful engine option.
So if you're looking for a V6 pickup truck with a manual transmission, the Tacoma it seems is the only way to go...if you live in U.S Territories that is.