Tacoma is a workhorse, but a poor choice as an everyday passenger vehicle, although it has a fairly refined and efficient powertrain, competent brakes and reasonable fuel economy. With the off-road-oriented suspension and tires, it's also one of the best off-road vehicles we've experienced. The downside is a poor ride and clumsy handling. A tip-up in a government rollover test is cause for concern.
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"Slow to accelerate but cruises at safe speeds without a glitch."

LEONARDO G., FL (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"Turning Ratio--Difficult parking in tight spots"

Anonymous, MD (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"sometimes it lags a little going up steeper hills but - I deal with it; easyu to drive"

KAREN P., CA (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"it is a rugged truck"

DAVE J., MI (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"Acceleration in mountains is not as good as it use to be. Have to turn off air conditioner when climbing a long distance! Looses its power. Stil wonderful on highway trips and driving in town."

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"Handling is great"

Anonymous, NC (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"should have got a bigger engine"

PETER-LAURA A., CA (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"We love our taco and over here in Hawaii this generation of tacomas are seen everywhere. Considered the truck of Hawaii by locals. If y ever wondered where all the double cabs were sold then look no further! The only negative I have for this rig is that sometimes it feels unsettled on high speed turns, kind of tippy. It's never broken loose but still get that sensation. Not in this category that applies to all toyotas are their horrible shoulder seatbelt retractors. They do not retract on"

PETE F., HI (2002 Toyota Tacoma)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"The seats are still comfortable. The climate control is excellent (air conditioning and heating). I have enjoyed the ride and there is little or no noise."

RONALD B., CA (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"I have driven this 2002 Toyota Tacoma from Scranton, PA to West Lafayette, IN. The 12 hour ride was comfortable the entire trip. Enough room to stretch my arms & legs and the seat never made my back uncomfortable."

R C., PA (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"It rides a bit rough, but had the off-road package."

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"its a great truck reliable buily\t to last expect another 100,000 miles maybe 200,000"

ARTHUR K., TX (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"Should have gotten an extended cab and automatic transmission"

PAUL M., ID (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"This is a small truck that I like, but the comfort is not very good. It is great for around town but you won't want to take a trip of 50 miles or more."

PETER K., FL (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"It's fairly high to get into to; seats are comfortable; easy to drive (5-speed); had it painted yellow, love the way it looks; overall, it's a comfortable pleasant experience to drive it; good gas mileage too."

KAREN P., CA (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"Uncomfortable bench seat combined with stiff ride"

Anonymous, VA (2002 Toyota Tacoma)


Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"Holds resale value."

LEONARDO G., FL (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"The truck is a five speed. It handles well and has great mileage."

ANN S., CA (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"very few repairs, kids wrecked it twice and it still runs fine. Over 290k on it right now."

CHARLES H., FL (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"Got all I needed in this basic truck."

Anonymous, VA (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"It lasts for a really long time"

Anonymous, SC (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"When I purchase this vehicle I went to two different dealers and the second one gave me the price I was looking for and that was with the help of my Consumer Reports buying guide!"

RONALD B., CA (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"lasted 14 years"

DOUGLAS M., NJ (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"Purchased a PreRunner for $12,888 in 2002; current value is relatively high. CoO is low; still running original rear drum breaks. Purchased for utility to move kids to/from college. Run Mobil 1 oil, buy gas and tires at Costco so tires are rotated on schedule to save on the wear. I have a range in gas mileage and keep the refuel receipts so can provide accurate mpg over time if requested."

RON B., CA (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"The frame like many Tacomas and Tundras started rusting out at 12 years even though I took the vehicle in for required frame treatments. The dealer has taken more than a year to get approval for replacement and it will be at least 90 days more to aquire the frame. I will be required to sign a waiver for up to $3,000 for other parts that may need to be replaced during the work."

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"Reliability and value."

OSVALDO G., PR (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"It is ALWAYS dependable. It never breaks, except for a dead battery, twice"

PAT S., FL (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"Extremely dependable utility vehicle for hauling 4 adults and materials in the 5 ft bed."

JOHN H., VA (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"Do NOT agree to what the car salesman tells you is the bottom line on the sale price. Work at getting the price where you want it. And, do your homework before you buy (expected markup, cost of accessories, etc.)"

Anonymous, WA (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"This Toyota is a twin to a 1997 Toyota Tacoma we bought in 1999. We expect the 2002 to last as long and to be indestructible as our older one. the 1997 has 288,000 miles and has only needed maintenance. Only recently we replaced the ball joints. We have replaced the clutch one. This vehicle has been used for off-roading, camping in remote areas, its been broken into by bears, hauled 800 pounds of clothing from ATL to Miami to the Haitian community after the earthquake. It has pulled a 16 f"

DEBRA J., GA (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"I paid below book for this vehicle"

NORMAN F., OR (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"the only thing about the tacoma bench seat (for me) is that for long distance driving (lasting 3 hours or more) the seat can become very uncomfortable, probably because the tacoma does not have cruise control."

MARK G., CA (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"Simply put, Tacomas are indestructable and always reliable. They never break down, they are practical for DIY homeowners. They are fun offroad, low cost (oil, brakes, and tires) no 'repairs'. They are a useful tool, a bit boring to drive, but the value is amazing."

TIMOTHY R., CO (2002 Toyota Tacoma)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"People stop and tell me what a great looking Tacoma I have"

ANTHONY D., CT (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"Attractive, size of the truck"

Anonymous, NC (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"I think the 2nd generation Tacomas (like this one through 2004) are much better looking than the subsequent generations (2005 and after)."

DEVIN B., FL (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"People stop me and ask if they can buy my Tacoma freequently."

Anonymous, AL (2002 Toyota Tacoma)

"The truck is a TRD X-Tra Cab edition and is a bright red/orange color. It's a very nice looking truck and stands out, especially when it's clean (90% of the time)."

DAVE C., MT (2002 Toyota Tacoma)
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