The Best-Selling Midsize Truck Ranked the Lowest in a New J.D. Power Study

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Toyota is known for designing and building some of the most reliable vehicles on the market, and the midsize Tacoma is no exception. Owners who buy a Tacoma are so thrilled with it, they lovingly refer to it as the Taco.
However, not everyone is thrilled with the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. In the J.D. Power 2020 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study, the Tacoma ranked last. The 2021 model didn’t address any issues that Tacoma owners previously brought up. But what are Tacoma owners saying about the truck?
Man propping up hood of a truck
The Tacoma is a best-seller, but not the best performing truck | Twenty20
The Tacoma TRD Pro has all the features that a good truck should have. It’s designed specifically with off-road driving in mind. Motor Biscuit considers it to be one of the best off-road vehicles on the market.
The truck drives well on dirt or gravel, and makes owners feel like they can go anywhere with their Tacoma. The Tacoma TRD Pro’s traction systems like Crawl Control, helps make sure that drivers can navigate through mud, sand, and rocks. But if you do have a Tacoma, you should still be careful and use good judgment when you’re driving off-road.
The visual appeal of the TRD Pro, especially its tough look, is a big part of its popularity. Paired with useful technology for navigating tough trails, and the Toyota reputation for reliability, it makes sense why it’s the best-selling midsize truck. But this doesn’t mean there’s no issues with the truck.
Consumers found a lot to love about the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, but there were a few things auto experts couldn’t look past. The J.D. Power article featured comments on the Tacoma from Christian Wardlaw who has been test-driving vehicles for over 25 years.
Wardlaw said, “the overall lack of refinement, comfort, efficiency, and daily driving satisfaction is a constant reminder of what you’ve sacrificed by choosing a Tacoma. Alternatives in the segment offer more in one or all of these areas.”
The Tacoma TRD Pro doesn’t drive well on pavement. With other competing trucks that perform well on and off road, the slow, heavy feeling of driving a Tacoma on pavement is a big drawback.
Another factor that brought the Tacoma TRD Pro’s score down was poor fuel economy. Wardlaw was only able to get 16 mpg out of it. This makes the TRD Pro an expensive truck to drive daily. It also doesn’t have great towing capabilities.
The Tacoma is one of the most popular trucks in America, but don’t rely on its popularity to decide whether it’s best for you. Wardlaw pointed out that most consumers “rate emotional factors as their favorite things about the truck.” A good-looking truck doesn’t always mean it’ll be the best one to drive.
The truck starts at around $26,000; however, the TRD Pro trim will set you back around $44,000. Of course, this doesn’t include the cost of insurance.
You don’t want to buy a vehicle for this price that’s only good to look at. Be sure to research and learn more about the specific features of the Tacoma to see whether it’s right for you.
Are you looking to buy a Tacoma TRD Pro, but worried about overpaying for insurance? Let Jerry help. In 45 seconds, the free app will help you find the most affordable quotes from top insurance companies. Use Jerry and you’ll know you have the best insurance rate on any vehicle.

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