How to Improve Gas Mileage on a Toyota Tacoma

How to Improve Gas Mileage on a Toyota Tacoma


The automotive world is obsessed with gas mileage right now, and rightfully so. Caring responsibly for resources is important, as is saving money at the gas pump. Consumers, especially, are motivated by the savings that can accompany better fuel efficiency, even when they drive supremely fun and functional vehicles like Toyota Tacomas. Some might argue that gas mileage is all the more important when it comes to trucks that are known for extremely average efficiency numbers.

If you’re a Toyota Tacoma enthusiast wondering how to get better gas mileage in your Tacoma, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll discuss what is good gas mileage for a Tacoma, how to improve fuel efficiency, and some tips and tricks that allow you to save gas money while still enjoying everything the Tacoma has to offer.


Toyota Tacoma Gas Mileage and Why It Matters

How to Improve Gas Mileage on a Toyota Tacoma

Gas mileage for Toyota Tacomas can vary significantly depending on the year of the truck and the options it has. For example, a first-generation Tacoma may get a combined gas mileage of between 16 and 21 miles per gallon depending on the engine with which it is equipped. A second-gen Tacoma is rated between 17 and 22 miles per gallon. Finally, a third-gen Tacoma is estimated to get between 18 and 21 miles per gallon depending on how it is outfitted. These fuel economy ratings are surprisingly comparable despite more than 20 years separating the first and third generations.

While some Tacoma owners throughout the years have claimed to get better fuel economy than these standard ratings, they are a solid measure of what is good gas mileage for a Tacoma. Of course, Tacoma owners are notorious for modifying their vehicles. Lift kits, bigger tires, roof racks, heavy bumpers, and more can all reduce fuel economy. Once you start changing your Tacoma, all efficiency estimates from the factory go out the window. For people in this category, recovering some of their gas mileage is often a priority. For others, it’s all about the smiles per gallon!


How Can I Get Better Gas Mileage in My Toyota Tacoma?

How to Improve Gas Mileage on a Toyota Tacoma

Achieving better Tacoma fuel efficiency is an admirable goal whether your truck is completely stock or heavily modified. Not only does improving gas mileage save you money, but it also gives you the convenience of extending your range per tank. This can be a tremendous benefit on long road trips or when venturing into areas that don’t have easy access to gas.

Thankfully, there are a handful of ways to improve your Toyota Tacoma gas mileage. Check them out below!

Check Your Tire Pressure

How to Improve Gas Mileage on a Toyota Tacoma

Some Tacoma owners insist on running aggressive all-terrain or mud-terrain tires, especially in larger sizes. We get it and are right there with you. Big, aggressive tires look amazing and offer performance benefits in rough terrain that street tires simply cannot match. Still, whether you’re running highway tires, mud-terrain tires, or something in between, you can maximize the fuel efficiency of your Tacoma by properly inflating them.

If you’re an experienced Tacoma owner, you know the advantages of airing down your tires when adventuring off-pavement. Conversely, properly inflating your tires for highway and city driving is also beneficial. If tires are underinflated on the street, they create more friction and require a higher RPM to move the same amount as they would when inflated to the correct pressure. This decreases your fuel economy, and you’ll feel the impact at the pump. So, be sure to keep your tires inflated to the right PSI when driving on the pavement!

Modulate Your Speed

If you want to get better gas mileage in your Toyota Tacoma, you’ll want to practice controlling your speed. It’s common knowledge that speed kills gas mileage, but it’s not just breaking speed records that sucks down the fuel. Changing your driving habits can have a significant positive impact on your Tacoma gas mileage.

When accelerating from a stop, do so slowly. Flooring it is very demanding of the engine and consumes a lot of fuel. If you’re driving in the city, this is especially important. Frequent start/stop scenarios can hurt your fuel economy, and accelerating slowly can help minimize the damage. Similarly, try to coast to stops rather than relying solely on braking. Coasting takes the stress off of the engine and consumes little to no fuel. These two tips alone can cause your gas mileage to skyrocket.

Finally, find your Tacoma’s sweet spot and try to stay in it. Going fast may be fun, but fuel efficiency drops dramatically once you push it beyond the comfort level of your truck. Many people have reported the sweet spot in Tacomas to be between 50 and 60 mpg, with substantial losses occurring as they approach 80 mph.

Weight Savings = Fuel Savings

The Toyota Tacoma is a fantastic platform that offers functionality and modularity on a greater scale than most other vehicles. As a result, it is not uncommon to use them to carry gear for work or play, as well as modify them with bumpers, rock sliders, roof racks, and more. While all of these things are well within the wheelhouse of the Tacoma, the weight they add can quickly grow substantial.

Being conscious of the weight you are adding to your Tacoma can help reduce the impact it has on your gas mileage. For example, if you are using your Tacoma to carry gear, consider unloading it during normal driving. There’s no reason to have a constant load affecting your fuel economy if you don’t need access to the gear at all times.

The same goes for modifications. Modifying trucks can be fun and functional. That being said, try to be intentional with your modifications if fuel economy is important to you. If an addition is unnecessary or overwhelmingly anti-aerodynamic, consider passing on it. If you want or need to add bumpers and other armor, weigh the pros and cons of steel accessories versus lighter alternatives like aluminum. Sometimes, the difference in purchase price is worth the weight savings.


Improve Toyota Tacoma Fuel Efficiency with TacomaBeast

Whether gas prices are high or reasonable, improving the gas mileage of your Tacoma has advantages. Thankfully, the top tips for bettering your fuel economy and protecting your wallet are universal between the three generations of Tacomas. If you take the guide above to heart, you should see your fuel economy increase, which means more money for modifications, road trips, and other Tacoma fun!

For more ideas on how to boost your Tacoma gas mileage, feel free to reach out to us. Here at TacomaBeast, our team of experts is passionate about all things Tacoma. From lift kits to headlights, if it applies to the Tacoma, you can find it here. We also work hard to provide other Tacoma enthusiasts with the guidance and inspiration they crave. You can enjoy our Tacoma content on our blog or our YouTube channel.

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