2008 Toyota Tacoma Review

Pros & Cons

  • Large variety of available body and trim styles, powerful V6 engine, excellent off-road ability, solid build quality, well-appointed interior, unique bed features.
  • Low seating position, V6 can be noisy.
List Price Range
$8,264 - $11,797

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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

Vehicle overview

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.

2008 Toyota Tacoma models

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.

2008 Highlights

The Toyota Tacoma enters 2008 with no changes.

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.

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Toyota Tacoma.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Never Buying Toyota Again
perfect-storm,08/26/2009
I purchased my 2008 Tacoma 4x4 intending to keep it a long time as they are supposedly known for reliability. Mechanically, the truck was fine and had no issues. I liked the truck and enjoyed driving it. Fuel mileage was OK with an average of 17 to 18 mixed city and highway driving. On the highway, it would get 20mpg if you stay under 70mph. I recently got rid of the truck as the frame was rusting excessively. I have never driven it on a salted road and I did not park it anywhere near the coast. Toyota's rep was extremely condescending and absolutely refused to do anything. No treatment, no coating, NOTHING! Check toyota frame rust issues and realize the problem still exists in '08.
Good truck, disappointed in 6 speed gearbox
gazzbc,04/25/2014
V6 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M)
I bought this truck second-hand to tow a 23' trailer, weighing 5500 pounds loaded. The truck is underpowered for what I'm asking it to do, but gets the job done. Just don't expect to win any drag races. The Sport package handles extremely well for a 4wd live rear axle truck, and is stable towing even with P rated tires. *Update* - upgraded to LT tires. Towing more stable and the effect of the stiffer, heavier tires on handling is barely noticeable. My only real beef is with the 6 speed manual gearbox. It is the slowest, clumsiest tranny I've ever encountered. Forget quickly flicking through the gears - each shift is a two-stage affair with a forced pause at neutral. And it's not just my truck - I drove several examples, and they are all the same. It's a pity, because it is fun to drive otherwise.
Love it!!!!
fatvette,04/07/2012
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.
My 1st Used Toyota Tacoma
Winston,12/01/2015
2dr Regular Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M)
I sold my 2011 Silverado v8 with 31k miles on it and brought this 2008 used Tacoma (4 cylinder 2.7). I drove it off the lot with 42k miles. I love this little basic truck, it's comfortable for my 6'1 350lb frame. I brought it to drive back and forth to work (40 miles round trip) and to fool around on the weekends. I barely use my other truck at home. I'm sure I'll get 300k miles out of this truck. It's fun and basic and easy on your wallet at the gas pump. I get about 23 mpg on the highway which is better then my Silverado. Perfect little truck! As of 11/2017 I no longer own the Tacoma. It still was a great truck up until I traded it in on a 2012 Toyota Prius V. Saving a lot more on gas, can’t beat 40+ mpg.

Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 18 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed manual
Gas
236 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
15 city / 19 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed manual
Gas
236 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
19 city / 25 hwy
Seats 4
4-speed automatic
Gas
159 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
17 city / 22 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
Gas
159 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 2008 Toyota Tacoma features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    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
    Good

More about the 2008 Toyota Tacoma

Used 2008 Toyota Tacoma Overview

The Used 2008 Toyota Tacoma is offered in the following submodels: Tacoma Access Cab, Tacoma Regular Cab, Tacoma Double Cab. Available styles include V6 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), PreRunner 2dr Regular Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M), V6 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), PreRunner V6 4dr Double Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M), X-Runner V6 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M), V6 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), V6 4dr Double Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), PreRunner V6 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), PreRunner V6 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), 2dr Regular Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M), PreRunner 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M), PreRunner V6 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), V6 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), and 2dr Regular Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Toyota Tacoma?

Price comparisons for Used 2008 Toyota Tacoma trim styles:

  • The Used 2008 Toyota Tacoma V6 is priced between $10,600 and$16,690 with odometer readings between 111610 and170309 miles.
  • The Used 2008 Toyota Tacoma Base is priced between $8,264 and$11,797 with odometer readings between 87651 and152864 miles.
  • The Used 2008 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner V6 is priced between $10,499 and$14,499 with odometer readings between 132826 and202325 miles.

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 2008 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) 2008 Toyota Tacoma for sale near. There are currently 7 used and CPO 2008 Tacomas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,264 and mileage as low as 87651 miles. 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 2008 Toyota Tacoma.

Can't find a used 2008 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 $17,851.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 5 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $25,609.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Tacoma for sale - 3 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $19,460.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 8 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $10,399.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 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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