What Kind of Gas Does a Tacoma Use? Your Essential Guide

When it comes to driving a Tacoma, one of the first things you ought to know is what kind of gas it requires. You wouldn’t want to pull up to a gas station and realize you have no idea whether to choose regular unleaded, premium, or some other fuel type. So, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty and answer that question once and for all.

To cut to the chase, a Tacoma typically uses unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher. That’s the quick and dirty answer, but why settle for that when we can go into more detail? To begin with, the reason you want to use gasoline with the correct octane rating is to ensure your engine gets the optimal fuel-to-air mixture. When this balance is off, you risk damaging your engine or experiencing poor performance.

But wait, what if you want to take things to the next level? You might be wondering if your Tacoma can handle higher-octane premium gas. The short answer is yes, it can, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. It all comes down to your driving habits and preferences. So whether you’re a Tacoma owner or just curious about the different types of gas out there, you’ll leave this article with a solid understanding of what to put in your tank.

Types of Gas Used by Vehicles

Not all vehicles are created equal, and neither are the types of fuel they use. Gasoline is by far the most common type of fuel used in vehicles, but there are different grades of gasoline and alternative fuels available. Here are the different types of gas used by vehicles:

  • Regular Unleaded Gasoline – This is the most commonly used gasoline, and it’s suitable for most cars and trucks on the road. It has an octane rating of 87 and is the most affordable option.
  • Mid-Grade Gasoline – This type of gasoline has an octane rating between 88 and 90. It’s recommended for vehicles that require a higher octane rating than regular gasoline but don’t require premium gasoline.
  • Premium Gasoline – Premium gasoline has an octane rating of 91 or higher. It’s recommended for high-performance engines that require a higher octane rating to run efficiently.
  • Ethanol – Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from corn or other plant materials. It’s typically blended with gasoline to create E10 (10% ethanol and 90% gasoline) or E15 (15% ethanol and 85% gasoline). It’s a cheaper alternative to gasoline, but it has a lower energy content, which means it may reduce fuel efficiency.
  • Diesel – Diesel fuel is used by diesel engines, which are commonly found in trucks and certain cars. It has a higher energy content than gasoline and is more fuel-efficient, but it may emit more pollutants.
  • Electricity – Electric vehicles (EVs) use electricity to power the motor instead of gasoline or diesel. EVs are becoming more popular as they have no tailpipe emissions and can be charged at home or at public charging stations.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Gasoline

When deciding on the type of gasoline to use for your vehicle, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Manufacturer recommendations – Check your vehicle owner’s manual for the recommended type of gasoline. Using the wrong type of gasoline can reduce your vehicle’s performance.
  • Cost – Premium gasoline is more expensive than regular gasoline. Consider if the higher cost is worth the potential benefits.
  • Driving habits – If you have a high-performance engine or frequently tow heavy loads, premium gasoline may be necessary to prevent engine knock.
  • Environment – Ethanol is a renewable fuel that emits fewer pollutants than gasoline, making it a better choice for the environment.


The type of gas used by a vehicle depends on several factors, including the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations, cost, driving habits, and environmental concerns. Regular unleaded gasoline is the most commonly used type of gasoline, but there are other options, such as mid-grade and premium gasoline, ethanol, diesel, and electricity. By considering these factors, drivers can make an informed decision about which type of fuel to use for their specific needs.

Gasoline vs. Diesel Engines

When it comes to choosing a type of fuel for your Tacoma, your two main options are gasoline and diesel. While both fuels are derived from petroleum, there are some significant differences between them that can affect your decision.

  • Efficiency: Diesel engines are generally more efficient than gasoline engines, meaning they can travel longer distances on the same amount of fuel. This is because diesel fuel has a higher energy density than gasoline.
  • Cost: Diesel fuel tends to be more expensive than gasoline, although this can vary depending on the region and current market conditions.
  • Maintenance: Diesel engines require less frequent maintenance than gasoline engines, but the maintenance that they do require can be more costly.

Ultimately, your choice between gasoline and diesel will come down to a number of factors, including your driving habits, budget, and personal preferences.

It’s also worth noting that not all Tacomas are available with diesel engines. Currently, only the Tacoma 4×4 with the TRD Off-Road package is offered with a diesel option. Here’s a breakdown of the available options:

Tacoma Trim Level Engine Options
S 2.7-liter four-cylinder gas engine
SR 2.7-liter four-cylinder gas engine
3.5-liter V6 gas engine
SR5 2.7-liter four-cylinder gas engine
3.5-liter V6 gas engine
TRD Sport 3.5-liter V6 gas engine
TRD Off-Road 2.7-liter four-cylinder gas engine
3.5-liter V6 gas engine
2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine
TRD Pro 3.5-liter V6 gas engine

Before making your decision, it’s important to research and consider all of your options and factors that matter to you.

Pros and Cons of Using Regular Unleaded Gas

When it comes to fueling your Tacoma, regular unleaded gas is the most common choice. While it offers a variety of benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider.

  • Pros:
  • Availability: Regular unleaded gas can be found at almost every gas station across the country, making it incredibly convenient for Tacoma owners.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Regular unleaded gas is typically the cheapest option at the pump, which can help keep your overall operating costs down.
  • Compatibility: Regular unleaded gas is compatible with most engines, including the one found in the Tacoma.
  • Environmental impact: While gasoline is not an environmentally-friendly fuel source, regular unleaded gas produces fewer emissions than some other types of gasoline.

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to using regular unleaded gas:

  • Cons:
  • Less power and performance: Depending on your driving habits and the specific model of Tacoma, using regular unleaded gas could result in slightly reduced power and performance compared to other fuel options.
  • Poor fuel economy: Regular unleaded gas is not as efficient as some other types of gasoline, meaning your Tacoma may not get as many miles per gallon as it would if you were using a higher-grade fuel.

It’s important to weigh these pros and cons against your individual driving needs and budget to determine whether regular unleaded gas is the right choice for your Tacoma. However, it’s worth noting that for most drivers, regular unleaded gas is perfectly suitable and will provide solid performance without breaking the bank.

Type of Gasoline Octane Level Pros Cons
Regular Unleaded 87 -Availability
-Environmental impact
-Less power and performance
-Poor fuel economy
Premium Unleaded 91-94 -Better performance
-Improved fuel economy
-Higher cost
-Less availability
Ethanol-Blended Usually 10% ethanol -Generally cheaper than regular unleaded
-Renewable fuel source
-Lower fuel efficiency
-May not be compatible with all engines

By comparing the different types of gasoline available for your Tacoma and taking into account your specific driving needs, you can make an informed decision about which type of gas to use. In most cases, regular unleaded gas is the most practical and cost-effective choice.

Fuel efficiency in different types of cars

When it comes to choosing a car, one of the top considerations for many people is fuel efficiency. Not only can a fuel-efficient car save you money on gas in the long run, but it can also be better for the environment. However, fuel efficiency can vary greatly depending on the type of car you are driving.

In this article, we will focus on the fuel efficiency of different types of cars, including sedans, SUVs, hybrids, and trucks. We will also take a closer look at the type of gas that a Toyota Tacoma uses.

  • Sedans: Sedans are typically the most fuel-efficient type of car. This is because they are designed to prioritize fuel economy over power or cargo space. Some of the most fuel-efficient sedans on the market include the Toyota Prius, Honda Accord Hybrid, and the Hyundai Ioniq.
  • SUVs: SUVs are known for their power and cargo capacity, but they are not typically known for their fuel efficiency. However, some newer models have made strides in this area. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, for example, boasts an impressive 40 miles per gallon (MPG) on the highway.
  • Hybrids: Hybrids are designed to combine the best of both worlds when it comes to power and fuel efficiency. By using both gas and electric power, hybrids can achieve much higher MPG ratings than traditional gasoline cars. The Toyota Prius is one of the most well-known hybrids on the market, with a combined MPG rating of 56.
  • Trucks: Trucks are not typically known for their fuel efficiency, but again, newer models have made strides in this area. The Toyota Tacoma, for example, gets an estimated 20 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway. It runs on regular unleaded gasoline.

As you can see, fuel efficiency can vary greatly depending on the type of car you are driving. If fuel efficiency is a top priority for you, it may be worth considering a sedan or a hybrid. However, if you need the power and cargo space of an SUV or a truck, there are options available that prioritize fuel economy as well.

Car Type MPG (city) MPG (highway) Gas Type
Sedan 25-30 35-45 Regular unleaded
SUV 20-25 25-40 Regular or premium unleaded
Hybrid 50-60 50-60 Regular unleaded
Truck 15-20 20-23 Regular unleaded

Ultimately, when it comes to choosing a car with good fuel efficiency, it’s important to consider your own priorities and needs. Take a close look at MPG ratings, gas types, and other factors to make an informed decision that works for you.

Tacoma’s Fuel Economy Compared to Other Trucks

One of the major selling points of the Toyota Tacoma is its fuel efficiency compared to other trucks in its class. The Tacoma offers a fuel economy of up to 20 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. This is quite impressive, especially compared to other midsize pickup trucks on the market.

When compared to some of its competitors, the Tacoma’s fuel economy numbers are quite impressive. For example, the Chevrolet Colorado gets up to 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, while the Ford Ranger can get up to 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. While these trucks aren’t that far off from the Tacoma’s fuel economy, the Tacoma still manages to hold its own and beat out other trucks in its class.

Fuel Economy Features of the Tacoma

  • The Tacoma’s engine features variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) which helps to maximize efficiency and power output.
  • The Tacoma’s automatic transmission features electronically controlled overdrive and intelligence (ECT-i) which helps to improve fuel economy.
  • The Tacoma also has an aerodynamic design which helps to reduce wind resistance and improve its fuel efficiency.

Factors That Impact Fuel Economy

While the Tacoma does offer impressive fuel economy numbers, it’s important to remember that there are many factors that can impact fuel efficiency. Some factors to consider when it comes to fuel economy include:

  • Driving habits
  • Terrain
  • Weather conditions
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Cargo weight

Ensuring that your Tacoma is properly maintained, reducing excess weight, and driving conservatively can all help to improve your fuel efficiency and save you money at the pump in the long run.

Tacoma Fuel Economy Specs

Here is a breakdown of fuel economy specs for the 2021 Toyota Tacoma:

Model City MPG Highway MPG
Tacoma 2WD 20 23
Tacoma 4WD 19 24

As you can see, the Tacoma offers impressive fuel economy numbers, especially for a pickup truck. So, if fuel efficiency is important to you, the Tacoma may be the perfect vehicle for you.

Impact of Gas Prices on Car Owners

Gas prices can have a significant impact on car owners, affecting their daily lives and long-term financial planning. Here are some of the ways that gas prices can affect car owners:

  • Increased expenses: When gas prices rise, car owners have to pay more to fill up their tanks. For people who rely on their cars to commute to work or run errands, this can add up quickly. They may need to cut back on other expenses, such as eating out or entertainment, in order to afford the higher gas prices.
  • Consumer behavior changes: High gas prices can also change the way that people shop for cars. Consumers may start to prioritize fuel efficiency over other features, or switch to alternative modes of transportation such as biking or public transit. This can have an impact on the auto industry as well as the environment.
  • Regional disparities: Gas prices can vary widely depending on where you live. In some parts of the country, gas is much cheaper than in others. This can have an impact on people who live in rural areas or who need to drive long distances to get to work or school.

One way that car owners can mitigate the impact of gas prices is to look for ways to improve their fuel efficiency. This might mean investing in a more fuel-efficient car, or taking steps to improve the performance of their existing vehicle.

To see how your car stacks up in terms of fuel efficiency, check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s fuel economy website, fueleconomy.gov. You can also use online calculators to estimate how much you’ll spend on gas over the life of your vehicle.

Vehicle Type Miles per Gallon (MPG) Annual Fuel Cost
Compact Car 25 $1,350
Midsize Car 20 $1,700
SUV 15 $2,250

Remember, while fuel efficiency is important, it’s not the only factor to consider when choosing a car. You also need to take into account the vehicle’s safety, reliability, and overall cost.

Tips for Saving Money on Gas Expenses

When it comes to owning a vehicle, one of the most significant expenses you’ll have to deal with is gas. This is especially true if you’re driving a truck like a Toyota Tacoma, which requires a particular type of gas to run smoothly. Here are some tips for saving money on gas expenses:

  • Pay attention to your tire pressure. Your tires can drastically affect your gas mileage. Keeping them properly inflated can save you up to 3% on gas expenses.
  • Drive efficiently. Avoid rapid acceleration and hard braking, as these habits can use more gas than necessary. Additionally, maintaining a consistent speed can help you save even more on gas expenses.
  • Use the proper type of gas. A Toyota Tacoma requires regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher. Anything lower can cause damage to your engine and lead to even more expenses down the line.

One of the biggest misconceptions about saving money on gas expenses is that you need to buy a fuel-efficient car. While it’s true that a car with better gas mileage can save you money in the long run, it’s not always feasible to buy a new car. Instead, focus on making small changes to your driving habits.

Another way to save money on gas expenses is by using gas rewards programs or credit cards. Many gas stations offer rewards programs that allow you to earn points for every gallon of gas you purchase. These points can then be redeemed for discounts on future gas purchases. Additionally, some credit cards offer gas rewards, giving you cash back or points for every dollar you spend on gas.

Driving Habit Savings on Gas Expenses
Aggressive driving 5% – 33%
Driving with windows down 10% – 20%
Idling 0%
Rapid acceleration 15% – 30%
Driving at speeds over 50 mph 10% – 20%
Using cruise control 7% – 14%

Lastly, be proactive about maintaining your vehicle. Keeping up with routine maintenance, such as changing your oil and air filters, can help your vehicle run more efficiently and save you money in the long run. When it comes to gas expenses, every little bit counts!

What Kind of Gas Does a Tacoma Use? FAQs

Q: What type of gasoline should I use in my Toyota Tacoma?
A: Toyota recommends using regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher for all Tacoma models.

Q: Can I use premium gasoline in my Tacoma?
A: While premium gasoline might offer some small improvements in performance and fuel economy, it is not necessary or recommended. Stick with regular unleaded gasoline for the best results and to avoid any potential engine damage.

Q: What is the gas mileage for a Tacoma?
A: Gas mileage varies by Tacoma model and year, but most fall within the range of 18-22 mpg in the city and 22-25 mpg on the highway.

Q: Can I use ethanol blends like E85 or E15 in my Tacoma?
A: No, Toyota does not recommend using ethanol blends like E85 or E15 in the Tacoma. Stick with regular unleaded gasoline for the best performance and to avoid any potential engine damage.

Q: Is there a difference between different brands of gasoline that I can use in my Tacoma?
A: While different gasoline brands may include different additives, any brand of regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher should work just fine in the Tacoma.

Q: What happens if I use the wrong type of gasoline in my Tacoma?
A: Using gasoline with too low of an octane rating or other improper fuel can cause engine knocking, decreased performance, and potentially even engine damage. Always follow Toyota’s recommendations for the best results.

Q: How often do I need to fill up my Tacoma’s gas tank?
A: This varies depending on your driving habits and the specific model of your Tacoma, but most models have a fuel tank capacity of around 21-23 gallons and should last around 300-400 miles per tank.

Closing Thoughts

And there you have it – everything you need to know about what kind of gas to use in your Toyota Tacoma! By following these recommendations, you can ensure the best possible performance and avoid any potential damage to your engine. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back for more tips on keeping your vehicle running smoothly.