Off-road enthusiasts have a love affair with the Toyota Tacoma. On sale in the U.S. since 1995, the Tacoma is tried and true from years of tackling challenging terrain. The midsize truck can be found on beginner trails and expert off-road courses every weekend.
It’s the top-selling midsize pickup truck in the U.S.
And the Tacoma aftermarket is the largest of any midsize pickup truck available.
Owners of midsize trucks like the Tacoma are more likely to modify their vehicles than owners of other vehicles, according to the Specialty Equipment Market Association. Its 2016 study found that midsize truck owners buy more exterior, lighting and safety parts than the average pickup buyer.
Toyota offers a wide range of accessories for the Tacoma. They include helpful parts like running boards, mud flaps, all-weather floor mats and bed extenders. But many owners look to go a step above those light mods.
LEADER OF THE PACK
Toyota is the longtime sales leader in the segment. The automaker sold more than 48,000 Tacomas in the first quarter of 2019, for 43 percent of the midsize pickup market. General Motors sold 34,000 Chevrolet Colorados in the same time period for second place. Nissan sold 20,000 Frontiers to take third place.
The Tacoma built a dedicated following by staying in the market as GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles left during the recession. The third-generation Tacoma went on sale in 2015 and is available in six trims. The refreshed 2020 Tacoma arrives later this year with LED lighting and a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat.
Here is a list of off-road accessories preferred by Tacoma owners.
TRD 16-inch Faux-Beadlock Wheels: Wheels and tires are often the first accessories that catch the attention of off-roaders. Toyota offers a simple and stylish wheel that is especially popular. These 16-inch wheels offer the aggressive look of rugged beadlock wheels. But true beadlocks are only necessary at extremely low tire pressures. The faux-beadlocks have more easily replaceable parts than real beadlocks and offer good value at $1,036 for a set.
CBI Aluminum Front Bumper: The Tacoma has naturally good approach angles that allow the truck to climb up steep obstacles. But an aftermarket front bumper can help even more. The biggest names include ARB and CBI. The aggressive CBI bumper can be made from aluminum. It costs more than steel at $1,549, but the lighter weight makes it easy to add equipment like lights or a winch.
SOS Rock Sliders: More protection is always better when headed off-road. Rock sliders are a simple accessory that adds safety and peace of mind to any rig. One problem is sliders can be expensive. But SOS has a good reputation among Toyota owners. Its rock sliders for Tacoma start at $585 and provide full-length coverage along the vulnerable side door panels.
Wilco Offroad Hitchgate Offset: Any product that allows truck owners to carry more stuff without giving up bed space is a big hit. The Hitchgate Offset by Wilco Offroad is a great example. This hitch-mounted carrier holds a full-size spare tire plus other equipment like fuel tanks or hi-lift jacks. The Hitchgate Offset swings out to the side, allowing access to the bed. It also has a hitch of its own for easy and capable towing.
Old Man Emu Suspension: The Tacoma’s stock suspension is highly regarded for comfort and ride height. Upgrades like Icon Vehicle Development’s adjustable 2.5-2.75-inch lift can be prohibitively expensive. But there is good middle ground. Old Man Emu, the Australian 4×4 suspension company, offers a 2-inch lift in three different configurations to fit any Tacoma. And it includes front and rear springs, rear shock absorbers and bushes for $1,326. Upper control arms are an additional $423.
Leitner Active Cargo Storage: Bed-storage systems are in high demand. And Leitner Designs’ Active Cargo Storage rack is quickly becoming a favorite in the Tacoma community. Not only is the military-grade aluminum rack capable of holding 1,000 pounds static and 250 pounds off-road – perfect for rooftop tents – but it also is frequently paired with Decked lockable storage shelves by owners. And the rack is designed to carry a motorcycle even with the shelves reducing bed space. The Tacoma is the only truck with a bolt-in Leitner rack. Because of the bed’s composite material, no drilling is required.
UpTop Overland Roof Racks: There is no shortage of roof racks that fit the Tacoma. Colorado-based UpTop Overland makes one of the highest-rated racks among Tacoma owners. Its Alpha line offers durable, lightweight all-aluminum storage for boxes, fuel, rooftop tents and any other outdoor gear. The standard Alpha is priced from $949 and can be matched to factory paint.