The Toyota Tacoma is the best-selling mid-size pickup truck in production and its popularity is largely due to its being an all-around top performer. This truck is equally adept at navigating steep mountain trails as it is hauling heavy building materials to a construction site. It is therefore not surprising that the Toyota Tacoma can also more than hold its own when it comes to towing.
There are 34 different configurations that are possible with a Toyota Tacoma that tow between 3,500 and 6,800 lbs. The least powerful variant is still capable of towing 3,500 pounds. In terms of peak towing performance, certain Tacoma models top out at pulling an impressive 6,800 pounds.
Despite its rugged good looks, a Toyota Tacoma is at its best element when putting its nose to the grindstone and performing difficult tasks such as pulling a heavy load. If you plan to use your Tacoma to tow a boat, camper, or trailer, you can rest assured that your truck is up to the task. But if the weight exceeds 3,500 pounds, what model Tacoma you drive does matter. Here’s what you need to know.
How Much Weight Can I Pull With My Toyota Tacoma?
Whether you need to tow a camper trailer for an epic cross-country road trip or pull a bass boat to your secret fishing spot, you can rest assured that your Toyota Tacoma is up to the task.
But as far as determining how much weight your truck can pull, there are quite a few variables at play. A Toyota Tacoma’s maximum towing capacity depends on the model, engine type, drivetrain, cabin style, and even bed length. Do you need to know how much weight you can pull with your truck?
Here’s how it all breaks down:
- If you are seeking the maximum towing capacity available – which is an impressive 6,800 pounds – there are only a few Toyota Tacoma configurations that provide this type of performance and you will need to go with either the SR, SR5, or TRD Sport model, while also opting for the Access Cab, V-6 engine, automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive
- If you have your eye on the Tacoma Double Cab and are willing to sacrifice 100-200 pounds of towing capacity to get the larger cabin, then you can pull 6,700 pounds with a V6-engine, 5-foot cab variant and 6,600 pounds with the Double Cab 6-foot bed version (but only in the SR5 and TRD Sport platforms)
- If a four-wheel drive is a must-have feature for you along with a Double Cab, then you can expect that your 4×4 Tacoma will top out at 6,400 pounds of maximum towing capacity so long as you have the V6 engine
- If your towing requirements will not exceed a few thousand pounds, such as pulling a jet ski or a small, single-axle trailer, then any 4-cylinder Tacoma, with either an Access Cab or a Double Cab, four-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, will have a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds
When it comes to purchasing a Toyota Tacoma, there are a number of factors to consider in determining the right model that will suit all of your needs.
Properly configuring your Tacoma truck will not only dictate how many passengers you can carry or how much cargo you can stow in the bed but also the maximum weight you can safely tow.
Here’s a fun video showing a Toyota Tacoma towing test:
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Can a Tacoma Pull a 4000-lb Trailer?
Any Toyota Tacoma equipped with a V6 engine can pull a 4,000-lb trailer regardless of the cabin type, bed length, or drive configuration (e.g., RWD or 4WD). The only Tacoma variants that cannot safely tow this weight are the 4-cylinder versions, which top out at 3,500 pounds maximum capacity.
While 3,500 pounds is a far cry from the maximum 6,800 pounds of pulling capacity that the 6-cylinder models can handle, a 4-cylinder Tacoma can still tow the following loads:
- Personal watercraft (PWC), including jet skis, canoes, and kayaks, which typically weigh less than 1,000 pounds
- Many bass boats, including most two-seaters, weigh less than 2,500 pounds and are well within the towing capacity of a 4-cylinder Tacoma truck
- Most pontoons (also known as deck boats) weigh less than 3,500 pounds, placing them within the pulling capabilities of any Toyota Tacoma
For many Tacoma owners, topping out at 4,000 pounds, or even 3,500 pounds, is more than enough towing capacity to suit their needs.
Can a Toyota Tacoma Pull a 5000-lb Trailer?
Any 6-cylinder Tacoma can pull a 5,000-pound trailer as they are all rated to safely tow at least 6,400 pounds, depending on the cabin type, bed length, and drive configuration. A 5,000-pound trailer is well beyond the towing capacity of a 4-cylinder Tacoma, however.
At this towing capacity range, a 6-cylinder Tacoma can easily pull loads including these popular types of camper trailers:
- Teardrop trailer (500 – 3,000 pounds)
- Pop-up camper (1,400 – 4,000 pounds)
- Small camper trailer (500 – 4,500 pounds)
- Small travel trailer (1,200 – 3,500 pounds)
Being able to pull a 5,000-pound trailer also means that a properly equipped Toyota Tacoma can also tow certain types of horse trailers, boat trailers, and utility (cargo) trailers.
What Is a Toyota Tacoma Tow Package?
A Tacoma that is rated to tow 5,000 pounds or more should be equipped with Toyota’s tow package (standard equipment on certain 6-cylinder Tacoma models) to ensure that heavy loads can be pulled safely. The tow package includes the following features:
- Class IV trailer hitch
- 4 and 7-pin connector and wiring harness
- Transmission and oil coolers
- Heavy-duty battery
- 130-amp alternator
In addition, a Tacoma outfitted with Toyota’s tow package also includes the trailer sway control (source: toyota.com) feature, which provides assistive technology that applies brake pressure to individual wheels and adjusts the vehicle’s power distribution when adverse driving conditions unexpectedly occur.
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The amount of weight that a Toyota Tacoma can pull depends on the model and configuration. Regardless of cabin type or bed length, a Tacoma equipped with a 4-cylinder engine will top out at 3,500 pounds, while the beefier 6-cylinder engine increases a Toyota Tacoma’s towing capacity to a range of 6,400 to 6,800 pounds, depending on certain options and features.