CNET Reviews 2012 Toyota Tacoma Baja Series

Not always known as a place for truck reviews, CNET recently took a 2012 Tacoma TRD T|X Baja Series out for a test drive.  Like other reviews, they found lots to like.

CNET Review Toyota Tacoma Baja Series

CNET reviewed the 2012 Toyota Tacoma TRD T|X Baja Series and like other reviews found lots to like.

Brian Cooley, editor at large for CNET, did a video review of the truck. He took the truck out for test drive finding ample time to discuss the electronics and sharing his (self-admitted) limited off-road knowledge. He found that it handled well around town and did really well during his short off-road section. Interestingly, he talked about the cat-back TRD exhaust twice, once to describe it and once to say he didn’t like it. He was impressed by the bead-lock wheels and Bilstein shocks.

Much like other reviewers, he didn’t find the MPGs particularly impressive nor the engine. This isn’t new or Toyota specific since other truck manufactures have been taking heat on the MPGs ratings of all pickups. With the car market seeing vehicles climbing higher and higher in MPGs, the truck market has largely been stagnant even with more hybrid technology coming out.

CNET found the eTune system to be somewhat improved with Toyota’s promise to make all apps voice operated, yet they still think it is too small. It is easy to think that Toyota could simply put a larger display in the truck, yet this decision will probably be meet with lots of controversy with several Government agencies working on developing regulations mandating automakers remove the “distracting” devices.

Overall CNET found:

The good: The Toyota Tacoma is available with both of Toyota’s feature-rich Entune cabin tech packages. The JBL audio system is great for those who like it loud. The optional TRD T|X Baja Series and TRD Off Road packages add an impressive array of off-roading equipment.

The bad: The 4.0-liter V-6 power train is a bit archaic, lacking many modern engine technologies. Fuel economy isn’t that great when equipped with the full array of off-road equipment.

The bottom line: The Toyota Tacoma is available with a reasonable level of dashboard technology, which is surprising for such a simple, brutal truck.

The CNET review was much in line with other reviews that find the Toyota Tacoma TRD T|X Baja to be a solid pickup albeit with a large purchase price and leaving room-to-be-desired MPGs.

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  • will

    The Baja Series is an add-on package on top of Tacoma’s TRD package that replaces the factory TRD shocks with Bilstein dual-reservoir shocks in the back and longer coils and Bilstein shocks up front. The extra height in front gives the truck a nice even look, with a good chunk of traction help from 265/70R16 BFGoodrich tires and unique beadlock-style rims.

  • Mike T

    From outside, the Baja Tacoma looks almost stealthy, unless you really look closely at the inside of the fenderwells. But the beauty of the ride, as you might expect, is at higher speeds on rough dirt roads. Thankfully, the ranch where the TAWA Truck Rodeo is held had plenty of ranch two-tracks.