Why Are People Paying So Much For Used Toyota Tacomas?
When shopping for a used car, there are a number of factors that can contribute to the price you’ll pay: type and brand of vehicle, model year, wear-and-tear, and mileage. Typically the more years and more miles a car had meant you’d pay a lower price. But that’s evidently not the case for one truck: The Toyota Tacoma.
Jalopnik writer Tom McParland discovered the remarkably cutthroat and expensive market for used Tacomas recently when searching for two such used trucks for individuals on the East and West Coast.
In his search for the used Tacomas, McParland writes that he discovered that in some cases the prices for the older vechiles were more closely aligned to the cost of fresh Tacoma trucks than to other used vehicles of similar makes and models.
For example, one of the used Tacoma trucks McParland found was actually more expensive than a brand fresh Tacoma, despite being several years old and pre-loved with ems of thousands of miles.
The two thousand thirteen Tacoma with 38,000 miles cost $30,000, while a fresh two thousand seventeen model — with an suggest of $Two,725 off MSRP — was listed for $28,775.
But why? Are Tacoma trucks the best on the market? Do people just love them too much to sell them for a lower price?
We set out to look find out why used Tacoma trucks rival the newer versions in price.
Reputation For Reliability
We turned to our trusted colleagues at Consumer Reports in our quest to better understand the competitive market for used Toyota Tacoma trucks.
“The Tacoma has a tremendous reputation for reliability,” Nick Kurczewski, senior multimedia content editor for CR, tells Consumerist. “In the car world, the joke is that after the zombie apocalypse the only things to sustain will be cockroaches and Tacomas.”
Indeed, a look at Consumer Reports’ ratings for the Tacoma demonstrate that the puny, compact pickup truck demonstrate it has a long history of strong reliability among testers and customers.
The two thousand thirteen Tacoma scored a 5-out-of-5 in reliability, a rating that scores how models have performed in the past. Subsequent models from two thousand fourteen and two thousand fifteen also scored 5-out-of-5 in reliability.
Scoring high on vehicle reliability was, well reliable, until just recently. In 2016, the Toyota redesigned the truck for the very first time in ten years, and the scores for the vehicle plummeted, according to CR ratings.
In fact, the two thousand sixteen Tacoma scored just 1-out-of-5 in reliability.
Problem areas with the fresh model, as reported by owners, included issues with wind noise, peep or rattles in the door panels, slipping transmissions, and other nuisances.
CR notes that troubles in the very first year of a freshly redesigned model aren’t unheard of, as carmakers must work out bugs in the design.
However, it is indeed unusual for the Tacoma that has few problems for most of its production years.
As a result, a fall in ratings could contribute to the increase value of older model Tacomas, which are viewed as being more reliable.
Another reason the Tacoma used market could be flourishing has to do with few options when it comes to smaller, compact trucks on the market.
While there seems to be a plethora of crossover and mid-sized SUVs, the same isn’t necessarily true of trucks.
The Tacoma, which retails for inbetween $24,000 to $42,000 for a fresh model, is described by CR as a compact truck that remains a utilitarian workhorse.
“With its diverse lineup, the Tacoma can be anything from a stripped-down work truck to something that feigns luxury,” CR notes in its overview of the two thousand seventeen model.
Similar models to the used Tacoma would include Nissan Frontier and Honda Ridgeline. Albeit a comparison of the three models shows that the Ridgeline scored higher in overall satisfaction, that vehicle was more expensive and had fewer options in assets styles.
Today, the Tacoma is comparable to the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Honda Ridgeline. Each of this models have an overall higher ranking than the fresh Tacoma.
Recalls & Upkeep
Albeit Jalopnik’s McParland found a two thousand six Tacoma with 130,000 miles listed for $12,000, significantly more than a fresh Nissan Frontier with just 85,000 miles, going too far back in time for a used Tacoma might also pose problems.
Kurczewski points out that reliability can only get vehicles so far. Last year, Toyota agreed to pay $Three.Four billion to substitute the frames on 1.Five million Tacoma, Sequoia, and Tundra trucks to lodge a framework rust lawsuit brought by owners of the vehicles.
Under the settlement, Toyota will inspect and substitute the frames for model year two thousand five to two thousand ten Tacoma, model years two thousand seven to two thousand eight Tundra, and model years two thousand five to two thousand eight Sequoia vehicles. The settlement estimates that each replacement will cost about $15,000.
“We want our customers to have a excellent ownership practice, so we are pleased to resolve this litigation in a way that benefits them and demonstrates that we stand behind the quality and reliability of our vehicles,” a rep for Toyota said at the time.
Since then, the carmaker has also issued at least two recalls for the Tacoma related to loss of control and unexpected stalling.
Additionally, McParland followed up his quest for the used Tacomas by exploring the cost of keeping the cars in model condition. After purchasing a two thousand three Tacoma Four×Four with a V6 engine for $Trio,000, McParland reported that he spend another almost $Two,000 in repairs and upkeep.
“Second-hand buyers may believe they are getting a truck that is invincible, but this stereotype shouldn’t be taken for granted,” McParland wrote. “The Toyota Tacoma is still a machine that can get worn and will need some attention every once in a while.”
Was this helpful? We’re a non-profit! You can get more stories like this in our twice weekly ad-free newsletter! Click here to sign up.