2022 Toyota Tacoma SR5 4x4 Double Cab - Review By David Colman +VIDEO
Great value and a blast to drive
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
The big news for 2022 Toyota truck enthusiasts is the availability of the Trail Edition (TE) package on the mid-range SR5 Tacoma for $3,765 extra. This upgrade to the $36,6555 SR5 V6 starts with a handsome set of 16 x 7J bronze alloy wheels mounting 265/70R16 Goodyear Wrangler rubber. To improve off road clearance angles, the TE loses its front spoiler and adds a skid plate to protect the underside of the engine. For extra ground clearance, Toyota uses taller springs to lift the front suspension 1.1 inches, and adds a spacer to the rear suspension to increase aft ride height by 0.5 inches. These modifications mean you'll ride tall in the saddle. If your legs are short, you will exit the SR5 with a slide and a slight jump to the ground.
The Trail Edition also adds a locking rear differential to the part-time 4x4 propulsion system. Inside the cabin, black fabric seats with tan stitching add some visual pizzazz to an otherwise muted black interior. The driver's seat features electric adjustments for fore-aft travel and seatback inclination, while the passenger's seat requires manual control. The TE's big news lies inside the short bed, where a the pair of lockable storage boxes are affixed to both sides of the bed. These offer enough space to conceal a substantial stash of goods, tools or valuables. They can be removed for more bed storage if needed. And the best part of the deal is the left side box doubles as a cooler. With a 120v outlet in the bed, you're also set for tailgate party duty. These bed boxes are not available on any other Tacoma.
To distinguish the Trail Edition visually, Toyota provides unique bronze trail badging, as well as a heritage grill with bronze lettering. Our test sample was finished in Lunar Rock, an understated gray that perfectly complimented the flashy wheels and model designation. The SR5 provides a portfolio of standard safety measures called Toyota Safety Sense P. These include a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert, and automatic high beam control. Toyota has the best cruise control system in the business, and on a 120 mile foray up Highway 101, we let the cruise control system deal with speed modulation and gaps to traffic without the need for any intercession. The system is bulletproof and operates flawlessly.
Our test truck also included Parking Sonar. This feature, which costs $1,710 extra, also provides navigation displayed on an 8 inch touchscreen. Although the command driving position of the raised TE Tacoma affords excellent visual sightlines, this vehicle is long enough and bulky enough to make sonar parking alerts a virtual necessity. For the same reason, the $600 additional expense for a Technology Package that adds a blind-spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert is a smart investment because you can't see the lower corners of the bed from the driver's seat.
What we most enjoyed about our week in The Tacoma was this truck's utter simplicity. To start it, you insert an actual key into a lock slot and turn the key to activate the 278hp V6. This simple and satisfying procedure has become increasingly rare as manufacturers eliminate keys in favor of tiny fobs emblazoned with confusing buttons, and scatter starter switches all over the map. The joy of driving the Tacoma continues with a suspension system that lets you feel every road ripple, a steering system that is perfectly weighted in feedback, and a manually operated dashboard that is mercifully free of haptic feedback switches.
The stiff gas pedal requires a serious shove to open the throttle wide. When you do so, the SR5 jumps from 0-60mph in 7.7 seconds and reaches the end of the standing start quarter mile in 16 seconds at 89mph. That beefy 2GR-FKS V6 also cranks out a respectable 265lb.-ft. of torque, which is more than enough to yank a 6,400lb trailer. Standard tow regalia on this model includes a receiver hitch, engine oil cooler and trailer sway control.
In case it hasn't been clear from the foregoing, we loved the SR5. It represents a dying breed of transportation that remains immune to the cuteness of today's sophomoric design dictums. The Tacoma, especially in Trail Edition form, is a rare bird today and a long term keeper for tomorrow.
2022 TOYOTA TACOMA SR5 4x4 DOUBLE CAB
ENGINE: 3.5 liter V6, DOHC 24-valve, aluminum block and heads, port and direct fuel injection
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 18MPG City/22MPG Highway
PRICE AS TESTED: $43,164
HYPES: Great Value, Blast to drive
GRIPES: Hood Weighs a Ton
STAR RATING: 10 Stars out of 10