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Toyota Tacoma Long Bed vs Short Bed

Toyota Tacoma Long Bed vs Short Bed

Toyota Tacoma is the midsize pickup truck available in various body styles, cab configurations, and bed lengths. 

Toyota Tacoma is available in both short bed and long bed variants. The short bed configuration is 5.1-ft long, and the long bed has a size of 6.1-ft. The long bed comes standard with an access cab and the short bed with a double cab configuration. Furthermore, the 6.1-ft bed has more cargo space, convenient for sleeping, and is suitable for high payload applications. The 5.1-ft bed is easy to handle and is ideal for off-road and low payload purposes with better fuel economy.

After 2004, Toyota has offered two bed-lengths for various configurations of Tacoma pickup trucks. Both types have their pros and cons. 

Comparison Chart for the Long bed vs Short bed Toyota Tacoma


Long bed Tacoma

Short bed Tacoma


6.1-ft (72-73 inches)

5.1-ft (60-61 inches)

Cab configuration

Double cab

Access cab

Double cab


1615-1625 lbs

1500-1510 lbs


$35,180 – $35,200

$34,680 – $34,700

Length of Long bed and short bed

The long bed has a length of 6.1-ft that measures up to 73-74-inches.

The width between both side wheel housing is 41-42 inches, overall width between side walls is higher. On the other hand, the short bed has a 60-61 inches length and 41-42 inches width. Both have significant differences in sizes according to their intended purpose.

However, both options have the same bed height of 19-20 inches. In addition, the wheelbase is the same for both designs because you can mount them on any cab configuration and the chassis design remains the same.

Body styles

After 2015, Toyota Tacoma is available in 2 body styles, including access cab and double cab configurations. Standard cab configuration discontinued after 2015.

Access cab configuration has a long bed as a regular feature, while double cab comes with short bed options. However, you can also get a double cab with a 6.1-ft bed.

The long bed has a slightly better appearance with a comparative length of truck body and bed, while the short bed appears too short.

Payload/towing capacity

The long bed has better towing capacity because of the extended chassis size, and they come standard with the cooled transmission. You should also know the weight of the Tacoma.

Moreover, they have a longer distance between the front and rear wheels, providing stability while towing heavier loads. 

For example, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma with the 6.1-ft bed has a load-carrying capacity of 1615-1625 lbs, while the 5.1-ft bed can carry a maximum weight of 1500-1510 lbs.


The short bed has significant advantages over a long bed in handling. They are easy to maneuver and easily fit in a limited parking space.

Moreover, you can quickly enter the tight spots in crowded urban areas with jam-packed traffic. They have a shorter turn radius and can effortlessly move at tight corners in hilly areas.

Because of the increased length, Toyota Tacoma, with a 6.1-ft bed, is difficult to drive in the city or crowded areas.

Due to the shorter wheelbase, the 5.1-ft Tacoma is more off-road capable than a long bed. However, it requires you to lift the long bed truck to make it easy to drive for off-road use.

Cargo space

Long bed Toyota Tacoma has 1-ft more space than the short bed version. Therefore, it is suitable for moving larger objects like a washer, dryer, long couch, tools, and surfing board.

While for a short bed, you will need to go over multiple trips for carrying the same objects. More length also results in more volumetric space for carrying the cargo.


A long bed means longer chassis length and increased payload capacity. Therefore, it costs more to compensate for truck size, engine power, and other drivetrain parts.

For example, the 2019 Tacoma, SR5 trim level, 3.5-liter V6 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission with the long bed has a price in the range of $35,180-$35,200 while short bed with the matching specifications costs around $34,680-$34,700.

There is a difference of $500 in the price of both versions with the same engine power and other features.


A short bed is more suitable as a family vehicle with less luggage and towing requirements. In addition, due to its easy-to-handle feature, you can quickly drive it around sharp turns.

Moreover, you can take it for family trips or camping tours due to better off-road properties. While a long bed is more suitable for business purposes.

It has more space to carry large objects like wooden logs or transportation of construction materials.


The 6.1-ft truck is convenient for handling high towing applications and carrying large objects. Moreover, it has sufficient space in the bed to easily sleep in it. At the same time, a short bed is convenient for driving, parking, and better off-road capabilities.

Moreover, its compact design with manual and 6-speed automatic transmission options makes it suitable for use as a family vehicle. You can also add a toolbox to your Tacoma.

Parking space

Storage space is a requirement for truck parking and equals its total length. It means a long bed Toyota Tacoma requires 1-ft of more space in the garage than a short bed. However, it is easy to manage it at home.

While using public parking, it will not be possible and can make it difficult for you to find the appropriate place.

While parking and driving your vehicle, you have to be more careful of long bed trucks to avoid collision with any other vehicle or any corner. Therefore, the 5.1-ft storage is easy to handle, whether in parking or garage.


There is no significant difference in fuel economies between both bed variants of Tacoma. Short bed trucks have slightly better mileage due to lesser weight; however, it gets compensated by better load management due to more cargo space.

There is also a difference of 1-2 miles per gallon fuel economy between manual and automatic transmission with the same bed length. On average, Tacoma can go 33 to 35 miles on empty.

Transmission system

The long bed is only available in an automatic transmission, while the short bed truck has an option for both manual and automatic transmissions versions.

Therefore, a 5.1-ft truck has the edge to choose between the two according to your requirements. The automatic transmission has advantages regarding better fuel mileage while manual provides better payload figures and handling in snowy or hilly areas.

However, the final decision depends on your driving preferences regarding transmission type.


Overall, both are great with several features. However, if you use your pickup truck as a family vehicle for routine household use, then a 5.1-ft bed is a better option with compact size, easy to handle, and better off-road capabilities.

At the same time, a 6.1-ft long bed is the right pickup truck for work persons who have more cargo space and payload requirements.

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