Used 2008 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab Review
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.
performance & mpg
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.
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.
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.
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.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.