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2024 Toyota Tacoma: Why It's My Favorite Midsize Hauler

Our long-termer has a bedliner and power tailgate — something our other midsize trucks don't

2024 Toyota Tacoma rear 3/4
  • We've been living with new midsize trucks from Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota for the past few months.
  • All of 'em have positives, but the Tacoma has one specific feature that makes it better at truck stuff.
  • The standard bedliner is durable, and the power-folding tailgate is extra clutch.

A few months ago, I took our long-term Chevrolet Colorado to buy a chair. Easy enough; a job well within the Colorado's wheelhouse. But when it came time to load up my new purchase into the truck's bed, I was shocked to learn that our $48,445 Colorado Z71 didn't have a bedliner — like, not even the spray-in kind. It came with the standard, painted, already-scratched-to-hell metal bed.

A month later, I took our long-term Ford Ranger to buy another chair. (I'm redoing my living room, OK?) When I dropped the tailgate on our $50,580 Lariat FX4 test truck, again, no bedliner, just a bunch of blue paint with scuffs and dings from months of hard use at the hands of my coworkers.

"Who the heck buys a pickup truck without a bedliner?" I thought. (We do, apparently.) Or maybe the better question is, why the heck isn't something like this standard equipment? Chevy charges $475 for a spray-in bedliner on the Colorado. Ford demands $495 for the same feature. Neither option is a ton of money, but for a lot of shoppers, every dollar counts. Plus, a bedliner is something you're just going to want if you're getting, you know, a pickup truck.

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2024 Toyota Tacoma bed

Thankfully, our long-term Toyota Tacoma bucks this trend. Every single Taco comes standard with what Toyota calls a "sheet-molded composite" bed, which is a fancy way of saying the spray-in liner other trucks offer comes standard. (Our test truck also has a handy grip mat.) This sort of surface, while still prone to damage in its own right, doesn't show scrapes and scratches as easily as an exposed metal bed, making it more hard-wearing and durable over the long haul. And if you do gouge it to death, you can respray the bed.

Our Tacoma has another trick up its sleeve: the power tailgate. Sure, it's easy enough to manually flip the tailgate up and down, but if your hands are full of boxes — or if that chair's super heavy and you don't want to set it down and pick it back up again — you can nudge one of the buttons integrated into the side of either taillight, and the bed will open and close on its own. No other midsize truck offers this.

It's a small yet hugely practical addition that makes the Tacoma way more usable when it comes to hauling, and it deserves to be highlighted.

Edmunds says

Our long-term Tacoma TRD Off-Road might not boast class-leading hauling specs; its 1,610-pound payload rating trails the Colorado (1,719 pounds) and the Ranger (1,711 pounds). But the more durable bedliner and power tailgate mean it's the one I'll be taking when it's time to upgrade another piece of furniture.

Long-term 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road rear 3/4