The Toyota Tacoma: America’s Favorite Mid-Size Pickup

Written By: Matthew Scott

June 20, 2023

If you’re an overlander in the United States, chances are good that you’ve at least considered owning a Toyota Tacoma. These tough little trucks have long been a favorite of off-road enthusiasts and weekend warriors, and for good reason. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of the Tacoma and see just why it’s become such a beloved vehicle.

First Generation (1995-2004)

When the Toyota Tacoma was first introduced in 1995, it was a game-changer. Prior to this, mid-size pickups were either underpowered and underwhelming, or they were full-size beasts that were a pain to maneuver in the city. The Tacoma, on the other hand, was just right. It had plenty of power (thanks to a variety of engine options ranging from a 2.4L inline-four to a 3.4L V6), and it was nimble enough to tackle tight trails and crowded streets with ease.

But the real reason the Tacoma quickly gained a devoted following was its durability and longevity. These trucks were built to last, and it wasn’t uncommon to see Tacomas with over 200,000 miles on the odometer that were still running strong. In fact, the Tacoma’s reputation for reliability was so strong that it became a go-to choice for both personal and commercial use.

Second Generation (2005-2015)

The second generation of the Toyota Tacoma, which was introduced in 2005, built on the success of the first. It offered even more engine options, including a new 4.0L V6, and it continued to be a popular choice for overlanders. One thing that really set the second-gen Tacoma apart, however, was the sheer number of modifications that were available. From lift kits and larger tires to upgraded suspension and custom bumpers, there was no shortage of ways to make your Tacoma your own.

But the Tacoma’s durability remained its calling card. These trucks could take a beating and keep on going, and it wasn’t uncommon to see them tackling some of the toughest trails in the country.

Third Generation (2016-Present)

The third generation of the Toyota Tacoma, which was introduced in 2016, has continued the tradition of being a top choice for overlanders. It offers a variety of engines and transmissions, including a new 3.5L V6, and it’s available in a range of trims to suit every budget and need. But even with all the new bells and whistles, the Tacoma’s durability and longevity remain unchanged. These trucks are built to last, and they continue to be a favorite of off-road enthusiasts across the United States.


The Toyota Tacoma is more than just a mid-size pickup – it’s a way of life. For overlanders in the United States, it’s the go-to choice for a reliable, durable, and capable vehicle. Whether you’re tackling tough trails or just cruising down the highway, the Tacoma has got you covered. So if you’re in the market for a new truck, be sure to give the Tacoma a good, long look. You won’t be disappointed.


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