Toyota Tacoma SR vs. SR5: What to Know Before You Buy


If you want a new truck, the biggest decision you must make is what model and trim. Once you’ve decided on the Tacoma, you have plenty of other choices to make. The biggest may come down to the Toyota Tacoma SR5 vs. SR trim levels. How are you supposed to choose?

I help you see the differences, making the selection even more manageable. In this guide, I show you the features, capability, performance, technology, and prices, so you can choose the one that best suits you. 

Overall Summary

Before we dive deep into all the features and configurations, here is a summary of the main differences between the Toyota Tacoma SR and SR5.

Lighting:

  • SR: Projector-beam headlights with turn Daytime Running Lights
  • SR5: Projector-beam headlights with turn Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and integrated fog lights

Exterior appearance:

  • SR: Dark gray grille with black surround
  • SR5: Charcoal grille with chrome surround

Steering wheel:

  • SR: Urethane tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio controls
  • SR5: Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel

Multimedia screen:

  • SR: 7-inch touchscreen display
  • SR5: 8-inch touchscreen display

Tire pressure monitoring:

  • SR: Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS)
  • SR5: Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) with individual tire location alert

Configurations:

  • SR: Double cab with 6-foot bed is not available
  • SR5: Double cab with 6-foot bed is available

Design and Features

Toyota tacoma sr vs sr5 comparison infographic

There are minimal differences between the two trucks from a design standpoint. They share the same overall appeal and have many of the same features. 

Exterior

Starting with the exterior design, both trucks come with these features: 

  • Fiber-reinforced Sheet-Molded Composite (SMC) inner bed with steel outer panels
  • 16” styled steel wheels with P245/75R16 tires
  • Deck rail system with four adjustable tie-down cleats and four fixed cargo bed tie-down points
  • Sliding rear glass with privacy glass
  • Variable intermittent windshield wipers with mist cycle
  • Skid plate on engine/front suspension
  • Integrated color-keyed tailgate spoiler

Both trucks also offer these two possible configurations:

  • 6’ bed Access Cab
  • 5’ bed Double Cab

However, the SR5 can also be equipped as a 6’ bed Double Cab model. 

Among the differences, you have to consider these differences in lighting and appearance:

  • Projector-beam headlights with turn Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and integrated fog lights (SR5) vs. Projector-beam headlights with turn Daytime Running Lights (SR)
  • Charcoal grille with chrome surround (SR5) vs. Dark gray grille with black surround (SR)

You can choose either truck with these four exterior paint colors:

  • Black
  • Magnetic Gray Metallic
  • Barcelona Red Metallic
  • Celestial Silver Metallic

However, the SR is also available with Ice Cap, while the SR5 offers the optional Blue Crush Metallic.

Interior

As you peek into the cabin of the Tacoma SR5 and SR, it’s easy to see the similarities.

Both trucks offer these comfort and styling features:

  • 4-way adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support
  • 4-way adjustable front passenger seat
  • Air conditioning
  • Power windows and door locks
  • Manual day/night rearview mirror

In fact, the only major difference comes down to the steering wheel.

Here are the steering wheel differences between each trim:

  • Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel (SR5) vs. Urethane tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio controls (SR)

Looking at the interior colors, both trims are available with the Cement Gray Fabric. However, you can choose the Black with Red Accent Stitching Fabric on an SR5 model. 

Technology

You won’t lack any tech features with either Tacoma truck.

Inside both models, these tech features are included:

  • 4.2” color Multi-Information Display (MID)
  • Three USB ports
  • Android Auto™ 
  • Apple CarPlay®
  • Bluetooth®
  • SiriusXM® with a 3-month Platinum Plan trial subscription

The biggest difference is that the SR comes with a 7” touchscreen display, while the SR5 has a standard 8” touchscreen display.

Safety

Safety isn’t a concern with the Toyota Tacoma trucks. Both the SR5 and SR feature everything you need to remain protected.

These trucks both have the Star Safety System™, which includes the following:

  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
  • Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
  • Traction Control (TRAC)
  • Brake Assist (BA)
  • Smart Stop Technology® (SST) 

You also get the Toyota Safety Sense™ P(TSS-P) on both trims, which features these systems:

  • Pre-Collision System w/Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD)
  • Lane Departure Alert
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
  • Automatic High Beams (AHB)

These trucks include these basic features as well:

  • Driver and front passenger active headrests
  • Driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System
  • LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children)
  • Driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, and front and rear Roll-sensing Side Curtain Airbags (RSCA)
  • Engine immobilizer

The biggest safety difference is that the SR5 comes with the Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) with individual tire location alerts, while the SR doesn’t have the individual tire location alert feature

(Toyota)

Performance and Capability

toyota tacoma sr vs sr5 performance and capability comparison infographic

Because the Tacoma is available in several configurations, evaluating the varying performance specifications is important. Let’s start with the engine options.

Engine options: The SR5 and SR both come with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine (159 hp/180 lb-ft) or an available 3.5-liter V6 engine (278 hp/265 lb-ft).

Drivetrain: Additionally, either truck can come with two- or four-wheel drive. With either motor, you also receive a standard 6-speed Electronically Controlled automatic transmission with intelligence (ECT-i). 

Suspension: Even the suspension is the same, with a coil-spring double-wishbone design in the front and a leaf spring rear suspension with staggered outboard-mounted gas shock absorbers and stabilizer bar.

Towing capacity: To determine towing capacity, you must examine the trim level, engine, and drivetrain. For example, the V6 engine can tow up to 6,800 pounds, but the four-cylinder is only rated for a maximum of 3,500 pounds. 

Off-Road Performance

With either truck, you can expect these similarities when it comes to off-road performance:

  • 9.4 inches of ground clearance
  • Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)
  • Approach angle (degrees): 29 
  • Departure angle (degrees): 23.5 
  • Breakover angle (degrees): 24 

Both trucks are also available with the same drivetrain options:

  • Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD): includes Automatic Limited-Slip Differential (Auto LSD)
  • 4WDemand: Is a part-time 4WD with an electronically controlled transfer case and Automatic Limited-Slip Differential (Auto LSD)

In summary, these trucks have the same off-road capabilities.

On-Road Performance

With the same suspension and tires on both Tacoma trucks, there’s virtually no difference in the drive on the road. If you want something with a sportier suspension, you may be interested in the TRD Sport instead. 

(Toyota)

Price and Value

toyota tacoma price and value infographic

Tacoma MSRPs vary depending on your location. As an example between the two, let’s look at a typical MSRP for the 2023 models:

  • SR5: $30,040
  • SR: $28,250

That’s only a difference of $1,790 between the two trims. However, these prices change based on what truck bed size, cab configuration, engine, and drivetrain you choose.

Based on this information alone, the SR5 may be the better value, especially if you want the few extra features that are thrown in. 

(Toyota)

Available Configurations

toyota tacoma sr vs sr5 configurations infographic

With the SR model, there are several possible combinations available to you. Choose from these options.

  • Engine: 2.7L 4-cylinder or 3.5L V6
  • Drivetrain: 2WD or 4WD
  • Cab configuration: Access or Double
  • Truck bed size: 5’ or 6’

However, you can’t get the 6’ bed Double Cab with the SR

In comparison, the SR5 comes with these possible combinations.

  • Engine: 2.7L 4-cylinder or 3.5L V6
  • Drivetrain: 2WD or 4WD
  • Cab configuration: Access or Double
  • Truck bed size: 5’ or 6’

The SR5 allows for better mix-and-matching of these specifications with 9 variations, while the SR only has 5 different variations.

(Toyota)

Should You Buy the Tacoma SR or SR5?

Either Tacoma truck is going to please the value-conscious driver. They are both reasonably priced yet have enough features to be enjoyable. 

To decide, you must figure out what’s important to you. If you want the extra features, the added cost is meaningless in comparison. If you don’t want them, it’s best to save some money and stick with the base model instead. 

You also have other trims to look at. I recommend checking out your local Toyota dealership if these don’t suit you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

It stands for Sport Rally 5-Speed. Every Tacoma acronym means something, such as TRD stands for Toyota Racing Development.

No, it doesn’t come with a push-button start. It is found on other models, such as the top-of-the-line Limited trim. 

Yes, all of the Tacoma models feature back seats. The Access Cab doesn’t have full-size rear doors, while the Double Cab does.

Your Tacoma is Waiting for You

Whether you want a base SR trim level or are willing to spend more on the SR5, your new Tacoma is ready to drive. Check out the selection at your local dealership to see what suits you best.

You can also check out some of my other comparisons if you are looking at other trim levels. With so many options available, it’s easy to get exactly what you want.

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