The 2000-2020 Toyota Tacoma's are great trucks and well known for their off-road abilities but I noticed that they do actually have somewhat of a decent towing capacity and I didn't really see anybody mentioning too much about it so I wanted to make a post to see how much they can actually tow.
After doing a little bit of research, crunching the numbers and putting all the data together I found out that the 2000-2020 Toyota Tacomas actually have very surprising towing capacities and even better numbers if they are equipped with optional accessories, which I get into in this article. Let's take a look at some of the data to see what they are capable of!
Overview of the Data For the Toyota Tacoma's:
Engine Choices: There were six different engines offered for the Toyota Tacomas made from 2000-2020 and these were the: 2TR-FE, the 2GR-FKS, the 1GR-FE, the 2RZ-FE, the 5VZ-FE and the 3RZ-FE.
Basically, you had a choice of either a 4-cylinder engine or a 6 cylinder engine and the towing capacities were somewhat affected by which engine you had equipped in your Tacoma. If you have the 4 cylinder engine or the 6 cylinder engine (with no towing package installed) then the towing capacity seemed to hover around 3,500 lbs. If you had a 6 cylinder engine with a towing package, then the capacity went up substantially to around 6,500 lbs.
2WD vs 4WD: There were choices of 2WD and 4WD models but there wasn't a substantial difference in weight numbers like I see in some other car manufacturers. I did see an "average" difference of around 200-300 lbs. for the 2WD and 4WD models in some of the charts, the 2WD models having the greater capacity.
Towing Capacity: Even though a lot of the Toyota Tacoma's had slightly different towing charts for 2000-2020 models, I would say that the towing capacity stayed pretty much the same throughout the years.
It really broke down to the 2000-2020 Tacoma's having the ability to tow between 3,500 lbs. and 6,500 lbs. for most models. Now, there were some instances where the low number was 3,300 lbs. and the high number was 6,800 lbs. but it didn't really venture far from that 3,500-6,500 pound rating for the most part.
One important factor to take into consideration for the 2000-2020 Toyota Tacomas is that all of the towing specs are for trailers that have a braking system installed.
If you do not have a braking system installed on your trailer then all towing capacities in the chart are not applicable, instead the maximum allowed weight is 1,000 lbs.
The 2018-2020 Toyota Tacomas had a towing capacity range from 3,500 pounds and went all the way up to 6,800 pounds, depending on the model code and engine you had equipped in your particular truck.
Two different engines were available and these impacted the towing capacities more than anything, the 2TR-FE engine had the lower capacities (around 3,500 lbs.) and the 2GR-FKS engine that had the larger 6,000 lb. to 6,800 lb. capacities.
For the 2018-2020 Tacomas, there really was not a significant difference in capacity numbers when it came to 2WD or 4WD models but I did notice some slight differences of around 200-300 lbs.
For the 2017 Toyota tacomas, a lot of the towing specs were similar to the 2018-2020 models, having a towing capacity range of 3,500 pounds and going all the way up to 6,800 pounds but some of the gross combined weight ratings were a little bit different.
You still had 2 different engines to choose from in 2017 (the 2TR-FE engine and the 2GR-FKS engine), with similar towing specs for each engine and the showing charts were divided into 2 different charts: 1 with access cab models and the other having double cab models listed.
For 2016, we still saw that the Toyota Tacoma's had 2 different towing charts available and one was for access cab models and the other (still) for double cab models the chart for the double cab models was broken up into tow different charts in the owner's manual.
The 2016 Tacoma's still had that 3,500 lb.-6,800 lb. maximum towing capacity range, but again the GCWR's were little bit different than the previous model years and the later model years.
The 2015 model year Tacomas's had similar towing specs compared to some of the later years and very similar towing charts as well, having a towing capacity of between 3,300 lbs. and 6,500 lbs. but some of the gross combined weight rating metrics were different again.
The 2015 Toyota Tacoma's also had two different engine choices but these were a 2.7 L engine and a 4.0 L engine, a little bit different choices than later model years. In general, the 2.7 L engine provided around 3,500 lb maximum towing weight capabilities for the most part. The larger 4.0 liter engine provided the same towing numbers if you did not have a towing package installed and significantly higher tow ratings if you had a towing package installed (6,500 lbs.).
The 2014 Toyota Tacoma's had three different towing charts associated with that particular model year and these were broken up into: regular cab models, access cab models and double cab models.
None of that made a huge impact on the towing numbers as much as the engine equipped did and whether or not the vehicle had a towing package installed.
The towing capacities for the 2014 Toyota Tacoma's ranged from 3,300 lb and went all the way up to 6,500 lb, pretty typical for nearly all Tacomas made from 2011 to 2018, so no huge difference in towing capacity when compared to other models in these specific years.
The 2.7 L engine provided the smaller tow ratings while the larger 4.0 L engine provided the larger towing capacity numbers, as long as you had the towing package equipped.
The 2011 to 2013 Toyota Tacoma's had a little bit different towing chart setup than newer model years and they were divided into: a regular cab model, an access cab model and a double cab model.
The towing capacity for the 2011-2013 Tacoma's still ranged from 3,300 lbs.-6,500 lbs. like other model years and had two engine choices: the 2.7L and 4.0L engines.
I still saw the same pattern with the two different engines and the towing specs were pretty much the same where the smaller 2.7 liter engine had around a 3,500 lb. towing capacity and the larger 4.0 liter engine had the same capacity if no tow package was equipped but had a substantially larger 6,500 lb. capacity when equipped with a towing package.
The towing chart for the 2005-2010 Tacomas was a little bit more simplified than the other (later model) towing charts we looked at and only had two towing specs: one for models equipped with a towing package and those without.
If you had a towing package installed on a '05-'10, then you would have a maximum trailer towing weight of 6,500 pounds and without the package a substantially less 3,500 pound capacity.
The 2.7L and 4.0L engines were the two options when it came to these model years and looking at the below chart, it seems that the larger 4.0L engine was the only choice you had when it came to a towing package accessory option, allowing for that higher towing number.
The 2002-2004 Tacoma's had nearly all of the same specs as the 2005-2010 models but the engines used had different model numbers (2RZ-FE, 5VZ-FE and 3RZ-FE), which prompted a separate towing chart.
The towing capacity for the 2002-2004 Toyota Tacoma's ranged from 3,500 lbs.-6,000 lbs. so it was slightly lower on the higher end of the spectrum.
The first chart has the towing information in it and the chart below that is the GCWR for the 2002-2004 Tacomas. I was also able to find an image that specified whether or not your truck had a factory installed towing kit added to the vehicle and it shows where to look on the cooling fan for the color coded markings, which I thought was helpful.
2000 & 2001 Models:
The 2000 and 2001 Toyota Tacomas had some of the lowest towing capacities out of all of the models on the list, which ranged from 3,500 lbs. and went all the way up to 5,000 lbs. max.
The same three engines were used for the 2000 and 2001 models that were used for the 2002-2004 models, with a slightly lower higher-end towing weight rating.
Again, we see the two different charts listed below, the first one having the towing specs and the second one having the gross combined weight ratings in the chart. I did not find an image that specified whether or not the vehicle had a factory-installed towing kit like I did for the 2002-2004 models.
Do I Have A Towing Package Installed?
The Toyota Tacoma's made from 2000-2020 did have the option of having a factory-installed towing package equipped on the vehicle but there is no clear indication on whether or not you have one installed. Most of the time, you will have to take it into a dealership to confirm whether or not you have one installed, which is always a good idea especially when it comes to towing.
What I do know is that the 2020 Toyota Tacoma's towing package consisted of:
- an engine oil cooler
- an automatic transmission fluid cooler
- a receiver hitch
- trailer wiring
- a trailer sway control mechanism
- an upgraded 130 amp alternator.
Now this is just for the 2020 model and I'm not sure if it would apply to 2019-2011 models as well but is a good place to start if you want to quickly visually inspect your vehicle. Remember though, having a dealership check out your setup is always your best bet.
Resources For Make/Model:
Here are the owner's manuals I used to gather all of the towing information I compiled on this page for the Tacomas. They are larger files and searching for "towing" is recommended to find the areas in the manual you need to look at.
- 2020 Owner's Manual
- 2019 Owner's Manual
- 2018 Owner's Manual
- 2017 Owner's Manual
- 2016 Owner's Manual
- 2015 Owner's Manual
- 2014 Owner's Manual
- 2013 Owner's Manual
- 2012 Owner's Manual
- 2011 Owner's Manual
- 2010 Owner's Manual
- 2009 Owner's Manual
- 2008 Owner's Manual
- 2007 Owner's Manual
- 2006 Owner's Manual
- 2005 Owner's Manual
- 2004 Owner's Manual
- 2003 Owner's Manual
- 2002 Owner's Manual
- 2001 Owner's Manual
- 2000 Owner's Manual