2012-2014 Toyota Tacoma Review

this is the 2012 Toyota Tacoma Baja Edition now Toyota’s made small offer at pickup trucks for quite some time but this is kind of an interesting entry for the US market it’s an almost fully equipped Toyota off-road package that’s had raised

suspension some serious suspension modifications off-road tires etc right from the factory to make just sort of the buy it from the showroom floor and take it out on the road or you know use it for your small militia in some tiny little country

somewhere I fully expect to see some of these things with machine guns on the back helping to overthrow some sort of communist regime soon under the hood we have Toyota’s 4 litre v6 engine it produces 236 horsepower and 266 pounds of torque

in the Tacoma it’s mated to a 5-speed – automatic transmission and a part time all field drive system so you can see things are fairly easy to work on under the hood yourself there’s a decent amount of room around the engine

we do have the relocated oil filter up here which is a kind of an interesting place for it my only complaint about that is you can see it has this little oil catch pan here but that just drains sort of right on to your hoses and the rest of the suspension components under the hood our air intake over here is directed into the front quarter panel probably wouldn’t be too hard to add a snorkel

but as you can see based on the height of this vehicle that air intake is fairly high in the vehicle so you can forward a decent amount of water without worrying about getting water in your engine in addition to these bright red springs the Baja Edition gets a 2 inch increased ride height over the regular off-road Tacoma we also get these enormous sixty millimeter motorhome shocks

they’re supposedly motor home shocks according to Toyota that we’re then retuned for this particular vehicle they’re enormous they’re heavy-duty and they’re designed to have increased cooling for off-road duty in this vehicle in the rear we have shocks with a remote reservoir which again allow increased cooling and performance for off-road duty and we get these Baja specific TRD wheels and of course some Baja graphics on the side of the pickup truck this generation Tacoma has a fairly nice interior of course the plastics are hard as you would

expect in a pickup truck but they do look fairly durable and fairly easy to clean we have our single zone manual climate control here USB interface of course and up here we have the optional Terra in tune radio this is a $1,900 option and it does allow apps as well as navigation the navigation system is fairly easy to use and works with your smartphone to provide additional navigation data such as traffic conditions as well as fuel prices etc we have a glove box over here which is fairly nicely sized and the Baja Edition gets a leather wrapped

steering wheel which I really like it is a very nice wheel and these seats are supposedly stain and water resistant fabric seats kind of an interesting choice for an off-road vehicle another thing is there’s no carpet in the Baja we get instead this sort of foamy plastic as you can see it’s not really a carpet replacement and it’s not hosel like you would think a jeep would be

but it is easy to mop out so you can get a wet cloth and you can wipe down your car just don’t bring out the garden hose the steering wheel is very similar to other toda models we have our audio controls over here we have our Bluetooth controls over here with the voice recognition button works very well with Toyota Entune as well for destination entry and we get our usual cruise control stock down here again this is a part-time audio drive system so we have our regular two-wheel drive four-wheel drive high which locks the center differential

that means that you can get some binding in narrow maneuvers if you’re not on a soft surface you can push put it in neutral and then push to turn to l4 that engages the low-range gearbox down here we have our Toyota eight-track button which is separate from the rest of the controls and all of the drive systems we have our fog lights rear differential lock this turns on and off

the power adapter in the cargo area we have our stability control our hill assist and this is rollover control so this rollover button here will allow you to turn off the side impact airbags if you’re going to be doing rock climbing and you’re gonna have your vehicle at an angle and you don’t want those airbags to suddenly go off and then down here which is an interesting location for it you can see we get a little control here for the tire pressure sensors so if you’re gonna be going off-road into Sandy areas you can have the car not bug you about low tire pressure the back seat is fairly comfortable for a small pickup truck this front seat is adjusted for me at 6 feet tall and I can fit in the back seat here now my knees are touching the front seat but it’s really not terribly uncomfortable decent amount of headroom as you would expect in any pickup truck and the seat backs here in the rear are quite comfortable something unusual for a pickup truck actually they also fold as you can see here these seat back

folds allowing you access to a storage compartment there and the seat bottom cushion tumbles forward allowing you access to a little cubby here as well as if we lean this seat back down you can see we get a fairly flat storage area here and again access to those interesting little cubbies back here it’s now time for our exclusive trunk comfort score the baja despite having a small bed gets a solid ten out of ten because i can stand up in the trunk it’s not all off-roading in the Baja Edition we get some decent creature comforts we have a nice bed liner

we have a 400 watt maximum power adapter it’s a 120 volt power jumper back here in the trunk we get some decent little storage cubbies here in the back it smells some nice cargo tie-downs now because Toyota would like their baja in one piece when we return it so that other people can review it we aren’t going to take this vehicle rock climbing climbing or seriously off-road and we’re not going to flip it or run it into a bush or anything like that but I can’t say that this vehicle does behave very well off-road as you would expect with the vehicle with locking center differential locking rear differential and enormous tires some of the niceties that todah has included both for on-road and off-road driving

is that in addition to that electronically locking rear differential we also have regular old traction control which will just break one wheel to keep it from spinning but we also have an electronic limited slip differential as well so we have sort of three levels there and those three levels work in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive modes where you can lock the rear differential you can have the auto electric limited slip or you can just go with regular old traction control so it gives you a decent number of options now on the road the first thing you’ll notice about the Baja Edition is that toda has installed a catback exhaust system and the catback exhaust system to my ear makes the Baja fairly annoying so I think I would try and find someone who wanted that and would swap with them but if you like ace your exhaust note

this is probably the vehicle for you I find it a little bit droney on the highway now are on the highway mileage is a little bit less than stellar we’ve been averaging about 18 miles per gallon on the highway we took a decent trip down 101 to Santa Barbara in this vehicle we averaged about 19 or so on that trip about 17 overall in mix driving this vehicle is something that you probably could drive to work every day if you were a pickup truck sort of person and then take off-roading on the weekends with only some minor modifications I think I’d probably add a winch to the front some crazy lights something along those lines just because I could so how much will all this set you back thirty-nine thousand one hundred fifty dollars which seems like a bit much to me and not because it’s a new car but because if I’m going to go off-roading in my vehicle I think I’d probably tear it up pretty badly so I would probably buy a used Toyota Tacoma and then jack it up myself and then beat the snot out of it

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