This one is just the right size. I can see why the romantics among us love it.
By Kim-Marie Evans, Luxury Travel Mom
Blue Tacoma, California
Rays of gold are shining on ya
If heaven is anywhere, it’s right through the door … California
What’s more iconic than a road trip down the California coastline? Windows down, a breezy saltiness in the air and everything you need in the back of your pickup truck….
Turn on Highway FM and you’re likely to hear the hit song “Blue Tacoma.” It’s about falling in love on the Pacific Coast Highway, all inside a Toyota Tacoma truck. Singer Russell Dickerson had an idea about creating an anthem that celebrates the great American road trip. To bring it to life, he took his wife on a romantic road trip, and the truck he chose? A Toyota Tacoma.
I know why he chose the Tacoma, we recently moved cross country to Southern California. The first thing we did was to rent a Toyota Tacoma at the airport to start our new life. My memories of our first days in the land of palm trees, surfers and sunshine will always be intertwined with the Toyota Tacoma.
Why People Love the Toyota Tacoma
It’s a big truck, but not too big. It has a full back seat that can comfortably seat three large kids or adults. It’s rugged but maneuverable. Between back up cameras and blind spot detection, anyone can easily drive and parallel park it. It has a full-size truck bed but also gets great gas mileage. And, it’s a Toyota. The brand is synonymous with durability and quality.
Why Toyota Tacoma is a Great Truck for Moms
This video shows my very favorite feature of the Toyota Tacoma, the easily hosed down bed. I have driven SUVs for the last 20 years. I’ve hauled smelly boys, smelly dogs, and smelly gear. Imagine just being able to hose it all down? The gear, not the boys. But maybe the boys too.
Toyota Tacoma Facts We Love:
Impressive Gas Mileage
This truck gets great gas mileage, much better than my Subaru Outback wagon which I found VERY surprising. The sticker says 18-21 MPG, I averaged at the low end, but barely took it on the highway.
Standard Safety Features
The 2018 model has the most standard safety assists in its class. The package is the Toyota Safety-Sense P. The standard safety features that I loved the most are the automatic front braking to avoid rear-ending someone and the lane departure notification. Yes I should see the car in front of me when it slams on its brakes and I should know if I’m leaving my lane, but with a truck full of loud boys playing music and asking me endless questions about Star Wars and NFL teams, I am sometimes (often) distracted.
The optional safety feature that is my other favorite, and should be on everyone’s car is the blind spot detection. It’s called a blind spot for a reason, it’s hard to see if there’s a car just out of your vision as you change lanes. The Toyota Tacoma I drove had blind spot detection warnings on the mirrors. The side mirrors have lights in them that blink if you are about to change lanes and cause an accident, so brilliant.
The 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport that I drove starts at about $32,000 MSRP. Compared to the cost of my Cadillac SUV (which did seat more children) this is about half the price. The interior is comfortable and the electronics are good, I wouldn’t consider it a luxury vehicle. For my purposes (dirty boys, sand, surfing, etc) I prefer a less fancy interior.
It’s not a V8, but the V6 has plenty of pull. Readers commented that they have used their Tacoma to haul boats, and had more than enough power. There is a 4 cylinder version, I prefer the V8.
Easy to Drive
With the backup camera, blind spot detector and the height you sit at, I found the Toyota Tacoma easy to drive. Even without the safety features, the truck would not be challenging, also, I find I get a lot of respect on the road when I’m behind the wheel of a truck.
It’s a Toyota
I’ve been partial to Toyota’s since my very first Corolla. I put 237,000 miles on that car in college. At one point it made a horrible sound in 4th gear, then it healed itself. “Yoda” would still be on the road if he hadn’t been rear-ended. The brand has always been high quality and high value, which is why I agreed to work on the marketing campaign, I’m a true brand believer.
Who is the Toyota Tacoma Good For?
If you are a mom of busy kids or an active adventurer, this is a great truck. It’s not huge, and with the rear camera option, it’s simple to park. It easily accommodated my two large teens and a mid-size teen. If you have more than three kids, this is not for you. I did not try to put a baby seat in the back, but if my boys fit, a baby seat will. They were not keen on being photographed for my story, I don’t care.
If you’re an athlete and looking for a vehicle to haul your stuff, the Toyota Tacoma holds surfboards, dirt bikes, road bikes, and all manner of gear for whatever adventures you have planned.
Working Moms, Shopping Moms, Moms Who Haul Stuff
It’s AMAZING what you can fit in the bed of a truck. During our recent move, I saved a fortune by hauling my own things and not paying delivery fees. My son and I were able to fit a dresser, desk, chair, and four stools in the back of the truck that we bought for his new bedroom from Brick n Barn in San Diego. Bonus, we had planned on hitting the beach instead of buying a bedroom full of furniture, there was still enough space for the beach chairs and boogie boards we brought. I could literally justify a lease payment based on the “savings” I could rack up by hauling stuff in my own truck. Not everyone agrees with my math, but I stand by the numbers.
Disclosure: The Tacoma was provide for my test drive; all opinions are my own.