2008 Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota Tacoma Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.7 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 159 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Toyota Tacoma

  • Very capable and able to suit just about anyone, the 2008 Toyota Tacoma is an ideal choice for a versatile midsize pickup.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Large variety of available body and trim styles, powerful V6 engine, excellent off-road ability, solid build quality, well-appointed interior, unique bed features.

  • Cons

    Low seating position, V6 can be noisy.

  • What's New for 2008

    The Toyota Tacoma enters 2008 with no changes.

Full 2008 Toyota Tacoma Review

What's New for 2008

The Toyota Tacoma enters 2008 with no changes.

Introduction

Always at the head of the pack with consumers, and indeed one of our editors' segment favorites, the Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup sees no changes for 2008. Evidently, Toyota is a firm believer in the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy.

Completely revamped three years ago and sometimes referred to as a compact pickup, the current-generation Tacoma is actually more of a midsize. Versatility is the Tacoma's calling card, as a wide variety of cab styles, bed lengths and trim levels allow one to configure anything from a base standard cab work truck to a luxurious crew cab family truck with stout hauling and towing capabilities.

So great is the Tacoma's choice of body styles that should you opt for a Double Cab (crew cab) with a long bed, this once-small pickup will boast a wheelbase and overall length greater than a full-size domestic with a short bed.

Also impressive is the Tacoma's roomy cabin and array of practical features, such as a scratch- and dent-resistant composite cargo bed that has built-in storage units, adjustable tie-down anchors and even an optional 400-watt electrical outlet. This Toyota's available 236-horsepower V6 may not have class-leading power, but the spec sheet doesn't indicate the smooth and usable broad spread of power it provides.

All things considered, the Tacoma is a well-rounded pickup that has no significant weaknesses. Its versatile nature, impressive build quality, strong reliability history and pleasant driving dynamics have earned it two successive Editors' Most Wanted awards. Though we also suggest taking a look at another favorite of ours -- the Nissan Frontier -- the 2008 Toyota Tacoma is easy for us to recommend to those shopping for a compact or midsize pickup truck.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Toyota Tacoma is a midsize pickup that's available as a regular cab, an extended cab ("Access Cab") that features small rearward-opening doors, and a crew cab ("Double Cab") with four full-size doors. Both Regular and Access Cabs come with a 6-foot cargo bed. The longer Double Cab has a shortened bed to make it more reasonable to park and garage. But for those who need plenty of passenger room and hauling capacity, Toyota offers a Double Cab with the long 6-foot bed.

All body styles are available in both two- and four-wheel drive. Should one desire the rugged look and suspension of a four-wheel-drive truck without the added weight, maintenance and fuel appetite of actual four-wheel-drive running gear, there is the PreRunner version, which is capable of handling light-duty off-road work. On the other end of the spectrum is the street performance-oriented X-Runner.

Tacoma regular cabs are meant primarily for workhorse duty and as such are sparsely equipped -- standard features include a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, twin auxiliary power outlets and a four-speaker CD stereo. The Tacoma Access Cab comes with air-conditioning, an overhead console and a six-speaker sound system. The Tacoma Double Cab adds keyless entry, full power accessories and upgraded upholstery.

Most options are grouped in available packages. The TRD Off-Road package includes fender flares, 16-inch alloy wheels, more exterior chrome trim, a heavy-duty suspension, a locking rear differential, skid plates and sport seats. The TRD Sport package is a street performance upgrade and includes 17-inch wheels, a hood scoop, sport suspension and sport seats. The popular SR-5 package bundles exterior enhancements (chrome grille shell, color-keyed wheel flares, privacy glass, foglights) with interior upgrades (fancier seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control). Separate options include alloy wheels, a towing package and premium audio with CD changer.

Powertrains and Performance

The regular and Access Cab models can be had with either four- or six-cylinder engines, while the Double Cab models use the V6 exclusively. The standard 2.7-liter, four-cylinder engine makes 159 hp and 180 pound-feet of torque. The 4.0-liter V6 engine pumps out 236 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. With the inline-4, one may choose either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Those who opt for the V6 are offered a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic.

Even saddled with the additional weight of four-wheel drive and a long bed, a Tacoma Double Cab V6 we tested sprinted to 60 mph in just 7.8 seconds, giving it the distinction of being one of the quickest midsize trucks available. Rear-wheel or four-wheel drive is offered for all body styles. Properly equipped, the Tacoma can tow 6,500 pounds.

Safety

Antilock brakes with brake assist are standard, while a stability control system is optional. Double Cab models also offer optional front-seat side airbags as well as full-length head curtain airbags. Hill-start assist control (HAC) and downhill assist control (DAC) are provided for 4WD models equipped with an automatic transmission, stability control and the Off-Road package.

In government testing, the 2008 Toyota Tacoma received a top five-star rating for its protection of occupants in frontal and side-impact crashes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Tacoma its top rating of "Good" for offset-frontal impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

Although the Tacoma's interior isn't particularly fancy, it provides plenty of practicality and comfort. The gauges are clear and the controls are easy to operate. Storage space is plentiful, and the Double Cab's rear seat is comfortable for adults. However, some drivers might take issue with the positioning of the driver seat, feeling that it's mounted too low to the floor. For hauling cargo, a non-rusting and dent-resistant composite cargo bed comes standard on all models, while an optional bed-mounted 115-volt/400-watt electrical outlet is ideal for campers and outdoor sports enthusiasts.

Driving Impressions

While the standard four-cylinder engine is certainly adequate, the big V6 is worth upgrading to. The V6 is a strong all-around performer, with plenty of pull down low and a willingness (albeit a somewhat noisy one), to spin into the upper rev ranges. Plus, towing heavy loads poses no problem for this powertrain. In terms of handling, the 2008 Toyota Tacoma feels like a true truck from behind the wheel. It excels in off-road situations and is reasonably comfortable on the street. But depending on how it's equipped and whether it's carrying a load or not, the Tacoma can seem skittish or bouncy at times.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Love it!!!!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 4A)

This has been an awesome truck for what I use it for. I bought it new in 2008 and it currently has 31000 mile on it. Although the miles are relativity low I have not had any failures of any type. The truck has been flawless. The truck is very comfortable considering the bench seat but I did add an aftermarket center console/armrest. Having a place to rest your arm made a big improvement over holding it in your lap or resting on the seat. Engine power in more then adequate. Brakes are a little spongy and road noise on this base model is noticeable.




Love it

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 4A)

Love the truck for the price. Got the base model with automatic. No complaints. Would have been nice if Toyota would have added wiper delay as part of the BASIC package like almost everyone else. That part is annoying. Have bench seats. Would have liked bucket but like I said I got the base model. It was priced lower than any other truck in its size. And hey it's a Toyota. It will run forever. Nuff said




Mileage report

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 4A)

I purchased this truck used with 15K on it. I traded in an 89 4runner w/200K 13 mpg. The primary reason for buying a small truck was the fuel economy. Fuel prices seem to be on the rise once again, who knows what will happen in the years to come. I live in S.W. FL. and commute 20 miles each way a day. Mostly at 45 to 60 mph, mixed city driving mostly. My first tank returned 25.8 MPG! I "babied" the truck trying to keep the RPM under 2K. I did spin it up when needed. You can get great fuel economy out of this truck and still be courteous to others.




Update

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M)

After 14,000 miles, the mileage @ 70 MPH is now up to 24 MPG. That's satisfactory for a 4x4. Pickup is smooth and the bench seat okay on long trips. Don't care for the Dunlap tires; they're smooth, but sure don't have the quality of Michelins. I added a factory cruise control and 2 factory 'D' ring tie-downs to the front of the bed. This little rascal ought to come stock (or at least available) with intermittent wipers & cruise. It rides & handles just fine. For a basic 4x4 under 20 Grand pickup, I don't see how you can beat it. Tight, no rattles, easy to do maintenance, pretty dog-gone good ride. I'm a bear to satisfy...and I'd buy this one again in a second!




Excellent little truck!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M)

I purchased this "mini-taco" 03-22-2008 as a way to downsize and conserve. Couldn't be happier with this truck. It is the 4x4 regular cab, the smallest tacoma. What a great design, big on features. Driving mildly, now averaging 23-24 mpg overall. Thats not great but consider its a 4x4. It handles the road much better than the older generation. The steering radius is another pleasant surprise. The performance is better than expected. The 4cyl engine will really move if you want it to. I did get the SR5 package which gives the reg cab truck bucket seats. Very comfortable and supportive. Many cup holders, using the 2 on the rear of the center console for reserve water bottles.




2000 miles later

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M)

This is my first Tacoma, but I've been in love with this truck for years. It handles fine for me; it's just a truck, not a sports car. Off-road the truck handles well and performs better, but the stock tires need to go if you plan on doing some serious off-roading. Otherwise, I've been averaging over 20 mpg doing mostly highway driving through the Cumberland mountains (a 4spd automatic might have been a better choice since the 4cylinder needs to be in 4th gear to climb hills on the interstate). The base model comes with no frills, but I can handle crank windows and push mirrors--it's a truck plane and simple.



Talk About The 2008 Tacoma

2008 Toyota Tacoma Discussions See all Started By

RustyTaco2005
RustyTaco2005
02-06-2009
We’ve all heard that Toyota has a serious problem with rust on the frames of its 1995- 2000 and 2001-2004 Tacoma trucks that lead to premature perforation of the frame. The 2005’s ha...


meadowfield
meadowfield
03-25-2007
Does any one know if there are any big changes planned for the 2008 Tocoma? We're in the market for a new pick up and willing to wait until the fall. Thanks....


senorcamion
senorcamion
02-12-2011
Tacoma would probably have been a better fit, but the Double Cab Long Bed resale and new value is just too high IMO. I also had a trade in without much leverage. Also read MPGs between the Tundra and...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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