List Price Estimate
$811 - $1,721

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Toyota's sixth-generation compact pickup debuted in April, as a 1995.5 model, with an actual model name: Tacoma. It's supposed to suggest the rugged outdoors, as well as strength and adventure. Any of three potent new engines goes under the hood, and the pickup rides an all-new chassis. Toyota aimed at aggressive styling, inside and out, and Tacomas sport an excellent selection of interior fittings. Regular and extended Xtracab bodies are available, with either two- or four-wheel drive. A deep-sculpted grille/hood/fender structure imparts a sporty personality to the truck, to attract customers who select their 4x4s on non-utilitarian grounds.

Two-wheel-drive Tacomas get a 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine, rated 142 horsepower (26 more than the prior generation). Tacoma 4x4s earn a 150-horsepower, 2.7-liter four. Toyota claims that its four-cylinder engines are comparable to V6s from competitors. But if those won't suffice, consider the latest V6 option: a dual-overhead-cam, 24-valve unit that whips out 190 horses and 220 foot-pounds of torque. With V6 power, borrowed from the bigger T100, this compact pickup can tow up to 5,000 pounds and soundly whip any factory sport truck in the stoplight dragrace. In contrast, the V6 engine available in the prior-generation pickup delivered only 150 horsepower and 180 foot-pounds.

All Tacomas have front coil springs instead of the former torsion bars, but 4x4s feature longer suspension travel than before, to improve ride/handling qualities, whether on- or off-road. Track width has been increased, too, for a more stable ride. Rack-and-pinion steering replaces the old recirculating-ball layout, for better feel and response. Manual-shift trucks feature reverse-gear synchronization, to reduce gear noise when shifting into reverse. Four-wheel antilock braking is an option, but all pickups contain an airbag for the driver. In top-of-the-line SR5 Xtracab pickups, a One-Touch Hi-4 switch is available for easy, pushbutton engagement of four-wheel-drive. By redesigning and lowering the floor by 1.6 inches, Toyota makes 4x4s easier to enter.

Tacomas are produced at the NUMMI joint-venture facility in Fremont, California, having been designed in that state. Options include cruise control, air conditioning, a sliding rear window, tilt steering wheel, and moonroof. We like the Tacoma, but question the value it represents. These new Toyota trucks don't come cheap. Guess that's the price you pay for the peace of mind a Toyota provides.

1996 Highlights

For the 1996 Toyota Tacoma, Regular Cab 4WD models can be equipped with a new Off-Road Package.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Toyota Tacoma.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Not sure these trucks can be killed.
shelbert1,09/04/2013
2dr Regular Cab SB
I have owned 2 vehicles since 1985, my whole driving life. My 1st truck at 15 was a 1980 toyota pickup, I ran it to 550k miles before giving it to my brother in 1998. I purchases this 1996 Tacoma as a replacement. Was hoping for half the life of my 1st. It did not disappointed me yet. Just turned over 350k miles and is still my daily driver. Would not even think twice about heading cross country. I have replaced a starter, clutch master cylinder, and all bushings and ball joints (only one failed but I changed them all). Have yet to even replace the clutch but it is starting to slip I will buy another one if this one does give it up.
I Love My Toyota
joe,06/12/2010
V6 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB
I bought my Toyota at 118,000 , and after replacing little things here and there, it still runs like new and looks good. It has seen mud and water door high and have not got it stuck yet. I will have this truck restored and give it to my son (maybe) I do love my truck..
Amazing!
jim,01/03/2008
2dr Regular Cab SB
My ratings are based on this truck's performance in its best days. 4cyl, 4 spd, basic model. Sadly, at 310,000 miles it's begining to decline. I bought it with 4500 miles and since then all that's been replaced other than the usual things is the starter - NOTHING ELSE! Clutch began to slip at 290,000; AC broke at 295,000 but that's it! I'm having to downshift a lot to get it up hills but it's been a phenomenal vehicle. I just sold an '03 fully equipped 4wd CrewCab Tacoma with almost 100k that looked and performed like new. Sad to see it go but I didn't need a fancy commuter anymore. Hope our '01 Sequoia will perform as well even with all its fancy stuff.
Most Reliable Vehicle I've Ever Owned
BB,05/14/2009
2dr Extended Cab SB
It has been a superb vehicle. Only things replaced: sensor inside catalytic converter; solenoid in starter; & manifold. I'm just now getting to the point that the clutch assembly needs replaced with almost 280,000 miles on the truck. Great lumbar support for my back. I'd like to change a few things inside the cab that were not well designed, but they are small issues compared to the truck's reliability and great gas mileage. I'll keep it until I'm too old to drive a stick shift!

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver2 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    0

More about the 1996 Toyota Tacoma

Used 1996 Toyota Tacoma Overview

The Used 1996 Toyota Tacoma is offered in the following submodels: Tacoma Regular Cab, Tacoma Extended Cab. Available styles include 2dr Regular Cab SB (2.4L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), V6 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (3.4L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), SR5 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (3.4L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (2.7L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), V6 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (3.4L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), V6 2dr Extended Cab SB (3.4L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (2.7L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), and 2dr Extended Cab SB (2.4L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M). Pre-owned Toyota Tacoma models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine or a 3.4 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 190 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1996 Toyota Tacoma comes with rear wheel drive, and four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Toyota Tacoma?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Toyota Tacomas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Toyota Tacoma for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Toyota Tacoma.

Can't find a used 1996 Toyota Tacomas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota Tacoma for sale - 8 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $15,166.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 11 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $14,188.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Tacoma for sale - 12 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $20,843.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 3 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $11,475.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Toyota Tacoma?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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