By Asian Journal Auto Editor

The Toyota Tacoma, is Canada’s best-selling model in the midsize truck segment. And it is not hard to see why, the”Tac” has always offered an excellent combination of good looks, performance reliability, and resale. The pretty, high sitting 2020 Tacoma is still available as an Access Cab, Double Cab or four -door crew cab. There is no more four cylinder option, just V6-power and four-wheel-drive. No more two wheel drive either. For the 2020 model year, there is an upgraded infotainment interface with bigger screen sizes, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Exterior changes include: a new grille design, different wheels, revised taillights, new LED headlights (select models), a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and new exterior camera systems.

Across the range, the Tacoma is powered by a 3.5L V6 that makes 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. All models are four-wheel-drive, with a choice of six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.  Pricing starts at $37,450 for the Access Cab short bed, at five feet, while other models offer longer 6-foot box such as the Double cab crew at $38,450. There are more expensive models such as the Double Cab TRD off Road with automatic transmission, at $43,750. And the addition of the mighty TRD Pro Package option at a googly eyed $12,400 extra! So you can easily pay up to $56,000 for a fully loaded truck- that is entering the bigger full-size Tundra sector.  We tested a Double cab Limited model that very well equipped  with, heated leather front seats, leather seats, 8‐way power adjustable driver seat, 4‐way, duel zone automatic climate control, and tilt & telescopic leather wrapped steering wheel.

On the exterior, there was  a power sunroof, color keyed fender flares and bumpers    You can also order cosmetic, and performance options from the TRD Menu that include  such things s a heritage-style grille,   black fender flares, Rigid Industries LED fog lamps, and TRD badging, bigger wheels and upgraded suspension bit and pieces.  Toyota includes various packages of active safety features such as rear view camera as standard equipment on all its vehicles, and the Tacoma’s adds adaptive cruise control, emergency front braking, lane-departure alert, and lane-departure warning. The TRD Pro package adds blind-spot monitoring that’s missing from the lower trim levels.

Out back, The Tacoma models have a cargo bed depth of 485 mm (19.1 inches) maximum towing capacity of 2,900 kg (6,393 lb) and top payload of 450 kg (992 lb). It can tow 3,470 kg (7,650 lb) and haul 726 kg (1,600 lb). The tailgate is damped, locks and is removable.

Inside, there is a lot of rather hard black plastic in a neat, simple designs, but the cabin does looks very durable and well finished.  Simple, logical controls have glove handed friendly large dials for the climate control (automatic dual-zone on the  TRD package), and an elegant  touch screen with nice bright menus and icons, There are  also a sensible dials for the volume and tuning, and hard buttons for different functions. . The front cabin has decent enough storage space, and the front seats are comfortable enough. At the back there is an adequate cabin with a    rear seat that folds and stows.  Handy hidden stealth compartments are also a nice touch handy in the rear. There’s a dial for switching from rear-wheel to four-wheel drive, while terrain select, a locking rear differential, and crawl control are handled by buttons and dials in the overhead console

On the road the Tacoma is an easy to drive, satisfying truck. Yes there is some truck rumble and the harsher steering feedback than a sedan, but that is too be expected really. In contrast the Tacoma excels on rough trails and   gravel. Four wheel drive is selected by a turn of a dial and the multi-mode function adjusts for different terrain such as loose rocks or mud. Tackle rougher ground and the crawl control feature comes into, allowing for constant lower control without having always juggle with the throttle. The   Tacoma is rated at 13.0 L/100 km in the city and 10.5 on the highway, for a combined official figure of 11.9 L/100 km.  The cabin is quiet, roomy and superbly luxurious Downsides are few, to be expected with truck that is refined, updated and improved with every generation.

There is a slightly strange drivers seating position, that might annoy taller people and surprisingly a heated steering wheel, isn’t available!

Yes, the options packs can make the truck pricy, but even the base trucks come pretty well equipped. It is all there, in this high resale, high value awesome truck. Highly recommended.

2020 Toyota Tacoma: priced from $37,450. Double cab 4×4 Price as tested: $52,696. Including freight and PDI.