The Tacoma was introduced into Toyota’s lineup as their only pickup truck in 1995 and remains one of the top-selling pickup trucks in America today. Toyota vehicles are known for their reliability and for having the features consumers expect from today’s vehicles, including towing. But what is the towing capacity of a Toyota Tacoma?
The Toyota Tacoma has a towing capacity of 3,500 to 6,800 pounds depending on the model year and configuration.
There’s a bit more to know about Toyota Tacoma towing capabilities which we’ll cover in today’s guide.
Toyota Tacoma Towing Capacity By Year
As we covered earlier, the current Toyota Tacoma can tow a maximum of 6,800 lbs when properly equipped.
The Tacoma has been in production from 1995, and we’ve listed out the maximum tow capacity by year below for reference.
Note that for each model year, there are many variables that affect the total towing capability of each vehicle year, so we recommend checking your specific Ridgeline model year below for an in-depth guide and to get the most accurate information.
Here’s the maximum Toyota Tacoma towing capacity by year:
2023 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,800 pounds
2022 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,800 pounds
2021 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,800 pounds
2020 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,800 pounds
2019 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,800 pounds
2018 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,800 pounds
2017 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,400 pounds
2016 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,400 pounds
2015 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,500 pounds
2014 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,500 pounds
2013 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,500 pounds
2012 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,500 pounds
2011 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,500 pounds
2010 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,500 pounds
2009 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,500 pounds
2008 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,500 pounds
2007 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,500 pounds
2006 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,500 pounds
2005 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,500 pounds
2004 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,000 pounds
2003 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,000 pounds
2002 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,000 pounds
2001 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 6,000 pounds
2000 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 5,000 pounds
1999 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 5,000 pounds
1998 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 5,000 pounds
1997 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 5,000 pounds
1996 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 5,000 pounds
1995 Toyota Tacoma Tow Capacity: 5,000 pounds
You can also read our guide on what makes a vehicle towing capacity to learn all the aspects that go into it.
Here’s a video showing the Toyota Tacoma being put to a real-world off-road and towing test:
Toyota Tacoma Braked Vs. Unbraked Towing Capacity
All vehicles have different towing capacities based on whether or not you’re towing a trailer that has trailer brakes installed.
Trailer brakes allow the trailer to stop faster than if only the vehicle is using its brakes, allowing the vehicle to tow more weight, so braked towing capacity will always be higher than unbraked towing capacity.
Toyota Tacoma Braked Towing Capacity: 3,500 – 6,800 lbs.
Toyota Tacoma Unbraked Towing Capacity: 1,500 lbs.
Toyota Tacoma Towing Capacity Factors
There are a few factors that affect the Toyota Tacoma tow capacity.
There were a total of six different engines over the span of 2000-2020, which were the 2TR-FE, 2GR-FKS, 1GR-FE, 2RZ-FE,5VZ-FE, and the 3RZ-FE.
Most of the 4 cylinder choices of these Tacoma engines had a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds without a tow package installed.
Some of the 6 cylinder Tacoma engines with tow packages installed had closer to a 6,500 pound tow capacity.
2WD vs 4WD
The drivetrain can affect how much weight a Toyota Tacoma can tow.
Typically, Toyota Tacoma 2WD models can tow a few hundred pounds more than the 4WD versions.
Number of Passengers
A big factor in calculating your vehicle’s towing capacity is how many passengers you’re carrying, which directly calculates into the vehicle’s GCWR.
This is true of all vehicles, not just the Toyota Tacoma, so always take into consideration the total load of your passengers and gear in addition to what you’re towing.
Toyota Tacoma Engine Specs
The current generation of the Toyota Tacoma has two engine options.
2.7 Liter 4-Cylinder
The base trim level of the Tacoma has a DOHC 16-valve 2.7 Liter 4-Cylinder engine.
This engine has 159 hp and 180 lb.-ft of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
This engine is available in both RWD and AWD configurations.
3.5 Liter V6
The upper trim levels of the Tacoma have a DOHC 24-valve 3.5 Liter 6-Cylinder direct-injection Atkinson-cycle engine with VVT-iW and VVT-iE.
This engine has 278 hp and 265 lb.-ft of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Toyota Tacoma Tow Packages
Does The Toyota Tacoma Have A Tow Package?
Toyota offers a first-class tow package that comes standard on all 4×4 configurations of all trim levels, and also comes standard on the 4×2 configuration of the TRD Off-Road and TRD Sport trim levels.
The Toyota Tacoma towing package includes the following:
- Class IV tow hitch receiver
- 4 and 7-pin connector with converter
- Trailer sway control (V6 models only)
- ATF cooler (only available on automatic transmissions)
- Engine oil cooler
- Power steering cooler
- 130-amp alternator
Can You Install A Trailer Hitch On a Toyota Tacoma?
If you plan on towing anything with your Toyota Tacoma, you’ll need a tow hitch and wiring harness.
Depending on what you’re towing, you’re going to need a ball mount (aka a trailer ball hitch) so you can attach items for towing.
Make sure to get the right trailer ball size that matches your hitch and trailer.
Toyota Tacoma Tow Hitch
Trailer hitches come in different hitch classes, which are rated for different vehicle sizes and weight limits.
The Toyota Tacoma uses a Class 3 or Class 4 hitch.
Here’s a great option for a Toyota Tacoma trailer hitch:
- DEPENDABLE STRENGTH. This trailer hitch is rated for 5,000 lbs. gross trailer weight, 500 lbs. tongue weight, 5,500 lbs. weight distribution capacity and 550 lbs. weight distribution tongue weight (limited to lowest-rated towing component)
- VERSATILE DESIGN. This class 3 hitch equips your vehicle with a standard 2-inch x 2-inch hitch receiver, allowing for a wide variety of towing options. It can accept a ball mount, cargo carrier, bike rack, tow hook and much more
- FULLY TESTED. Every CURT class 3 trailer hitch design is tested in real-world, on-vehicle conditions at our Detroit engineering facility. Aftermarket hitches are tested according to SAE J684 standards for the utmost safety while hauling
- RUST, CHIP, UV-RESISTANT. This tow hitch is protected with a unique dual-coat finish of rust-resistant liquid A-coat and highly durable black powder coat. The two finishes are co-cured together for exceptional resistance to rust, chipping and UV rays
- EASY TO INSTALL. This hitch offers a custom, factory fit on select model years of the Toyota Tacoma
Here’s a great ball mount option so you can hook up different types of trailers for towing with your Tacoma:
- DEPENDABLE STRENGTH. Rated to tow 3,500 pounds gross trailer weight and 350 pounds tongue weight, this ball hitch offers dependability for your towing setup (weight capacity may change if trailer ball is removed).Fit Type: Universal Fit
- VERSATILE USE. This trailer hitch ball mount comes with a 1-1/4-inch shank to fit virtually any industry-standard 1-1/4-inch receiver. The ball mount has a 3-1/4-inch drop, 2-inch diameter ball, 1/2-inch hitch pin hole and 7-1/4-inch overall length
- READY TO TOW. Hitching up your trailer is easy with this ready-to-use trailer hitch ball mount. It comes with a pre-attached tow ball for ready coupling and a trailer hitch pin to securely mount onto your hitch receiver
- CORROSION-RESISTANT. For long-lasting use, this ball hitch is protected with a durable black powder coat finish, and the trailer ball has a polished chrome plating. These finishes resist damage from rain, dirt, road salt and other corrosive threats
- EASY TO INSTALL. To install the trailer hitch ball mount on your vehicle, simply insert the shank into your vehicle's 1-1/4-inch hitch receiver. The rounded shank makes installation easy
Toyota Tacoma Tow Hitch Installation
If you’re considering having a tow hitch added to your Tacoma, expect to pay between $100 and $200 to have a tow package professionally installed (excluding the cost of the tow hitch and wiring harness).
If you’re handy and looking to save money, you can install the trailer hitch and wiring harness yourself.
Always follow the manufacturer’s directions and use proper safety precautions.
Here’s a great video walkthrough on a Toyota Tacoma trailer hitch installation:
Hitch Receiver Vs Rear Step Bumper Towing
Some vehicles allow for bumper towing, which means you can mount a tow hitch ball directly on the bumper instead of installing a tow hitch to the vehicle’s frame.
Can I Bumper Tow With A Toyota Tacoma?
The Toyota Tacoma does allow for bumper towing, but be sure to not exceed the hitch’s weight rating.
In most cases, it’s just easier and safer to use a frame-mounted hitch.
How Do I Know If My Toyota Tacoma Has A Tow Package?
You can start by looking under the rear bumper of your Tacoma to see if you notice a trailer hitch or trailer ball.
That will give you a good indication of if you have a tow hitch already installed on your Tacoma.
Another way to research this is by checking the paperwork that came with your vehicle or taking it to a local dealer to see what’s installed.
Make sure to have your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) handy if you call the dealer so they can look up the exact specs and whether or not your vehicle has any towing packages or features installed on it.
We’ve gathered all data represented here from the official Toyota Tacoma Owner’s Manuals on Toyota’s site and have checked all data thoroughly for accuracy.
Having said that, we still recommend you refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual yourself before towing with a 2023 Toyota Tacoma.