THE RIDE:

Four-door, five-passenger 2020 Toyota Tacoma 4×4 Limited double cab, midsize pickup.

DOWN THE ROAD:

You want robust acceleration, remarkable handling and great steering feel? Then the powertrain in this pickup will leave you with a smile on your face. Its all-wheel drive capabilities ensure sure-footedness on the toughest of roads.

TECH & PERFORMANCE:

A 3.5-liter DOHC V-6 engine, which is mated to a revised 6-speed auto transmission, puts out 278 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 265 pounds-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm. Suspension is handled competently via an independent coil spring double wishbone front and a leaf spring rear. The electric power rack-and-pinion steering has a solid and communicative feel, making the pickup easy to place at sharp curves. Tow capacity is a laudable 6,400 pounds.

LOOK & FEEL:

Slim projector beam headlights with LED daytime running lights surround a silver hexagonal grille with chromed surround, hood scoop, power-out mirrors and door handles. You can’t help but notice the lofty and brawny hood. “TACOMA” stamped in all caps in the rear is an instant giveaway that this is indeed Toyota’s midsize truck.

Climb into the cabin and you won’t find a reason to complain about seating space. Traditional gauges for speedometer, tachometer, fuel and engine oil pressure are easy to read. The center stack of audio and climate knobs is within the driver’s convenient reach. A dial on the dash offers the option of 2WD, 4L and 4H.

There also is an adjustable tie-down cleat 6-foot-long bed to easily haul your purchases from the neighborhood home store. For 2020, a 10-way power driver’s seat with height/thigh adjustments is available, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Other customary amenities include a dual a/c; leather tilt/telescopic steering column and shifter; adaptive cruise control; 8-inch (up from previous 7) touchscreen for nav, phone and audio controls; power windows/door locks; push-button start; four-way front-passenger seat; 60/40 rear seat with under-seat bin; wireless phone charger; easy lower-and-lift lockable/removable tailgate; and overhead console.

SAFETY FIRST:

Dual front airbags; side curtain airbag; front knee airbags; four-wheel anti-lock brakes; stability, traction and trailer sway controls; rearview camera; smart-stop technology; daytime running lights; and tire pressure monitoring system come at no cost. The standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 includes a pre-collision system that detects pedestrians, lane departure assist and dynamic cruise control.

OUT THE DOOR:

$41,865, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges; price as tested is $42,430.

BY THE NUMBERS:

Tires, P265/60/R18; wheelbase, 140.6 inches; length, 225.5 inches; weight, 4,425 pounds; fuel capacity, 21.1 gallons; city, 18 mpg; highway, 22 mpg; website, www.toyota.com.

WHY DIG IT:

So, why should you buy the Tacoma? Well, it’s not a full-size pickup, but it serves the purpose of one with commanding cargo and towing capability along with adequate fuel efficiency while delivering a no-frills ride, even off the beaten path!