The Toyota Tacoma is an excellent choice if you need the versatility that a pickup offers but don't want the prodigious footprint (or price tag) of a full-size truck. The Tacoma is renowned for its off-road prowess — three of its six trims are geared toward off-pavement exploration — but the Tacoma is also eminently drivable on city streets. The power-adjustable seats are pleasant on long trips, and build quality is top-notch. Cabin materials are less reliant on hard plastics than, say, those in the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger or Nissan Frontier.
We only have a few notable gripes, starting with the brakes, which feel uncomfortably grabby as soon as you hit the pedal. The Tacoma's off-road emphasis translates to a tall step-in height, so shorter passengers might have to hop up into the cabin. And while the Tacoma is pleasant in most respects, the unibody Honda Ridgeline offers a plusher ride, and the Jeep Gladiator feels more upscale inside.
Overall, however, the Tacoma is a great pick and appeals to a wide range of buyers. Whether you're looking for a basic work truck or a rock-crawling off-roader, the Tacoma has the goods to meet your needs. Meaningful updates are unlikely for 2022, so if you're in the market for a well-rounded midsize pickup, consider the 2021 Toyota Tacoma that's on sale now.