The Most Celebrated “Combat” Vehicle in History? Yep.

Hector Santana
3 min readSep 15, 2022


The Tacoma, The Pinnacle of Reliable Trucks and an Excellent Bug-Out Vehicle.

The Tacoma is hands down, one of the most reliable pick-up trucks in the industry.

A combat Vehicle? No. The most utilized civilian vehicle in conflict zones around the world, Yes. The Toyota Tacoma has appeared as a technical combat truck on more battlefields than any other civilian vehicle in history.

Why does that matter? Because it is considered, by far the most reliable pick-up truck platform in the world. Not just for civilian use but for any use, even war. This has happened over decades of fielding, testing, racing, and yes fighting with Tacoma’s all over the world.

Why are they so good? Toyota’s are extremely well-built vehicles with a long history of highly successful engines, transmissions, and parts that last and last. In review after review, Toyota vehicles enjoy unparalleled reliability in the auto industry. In every “most reliable” list you will find a Toyota, be it the RAV4, 4Runner, Tacoma, or the more common Corolla and Camry- these vehicles run for hundreds of thousands of miles in some of the harshest environments on earth and have performed exceptionally well.

Where is the proof, you say? Just look at where the Tacoma has turned up in the last thirty years. In nearly every conflict around the world, Tacoma trucks have been outfitted as “technical trucks” with heavy weapons mounted to the bed of the vehicle. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, and Africa, the Tacoma, or Helix as it is known outside the US, has had a role in combat operations of various armies and yes even with insurgents and terrorists. Even ISIS preferred to use these vehicles over captured military vehicles. There must have been a damn good reason for that, don’t you think? Sure, there is- it’s their dependability, that’s why. Just ask bad ass Travis Haley about his adventure Tacoma or Sean Penn, Pamela Anderson, Kristen Stuart, Christian Bale and even Paul Walker had one before he left us. There are many more folks by the way.

So, should you buy a Tacoma because ISIS used them? Of course not. The fact that they used them extensively only adds to their allure as a tough, rugged, reliable truck that withstands the most difficult terrain and circumstances. Their use of the vehicle is simply a testament to the durability of the Tacoma and a measure for someone considering buying a reliable pick-up truck.

Do they make good bug-out vehicles? Of course, they do, just look at what they’ve already proven under combat conditions. While the Tacoma is not the best when it comes to fuel consumption. It more than makes up for it in durability and dependability. Yes, they had some problems with rusting frames that Toyota recalled and changed on every single vehicle. What a feat. But even that did not destroy this vehicles appeal. By the way, Toyota addressed the frame problem as a result of the recall.

Anyway, the Tacoma can be outfitted with any number of modifications to make it even more useful, including a lift and snorkel to ford through water, as well as overlanding gear like roof-top tents, cooktops, and gear storage. Simply put, the Tacoma is the beast you need when you have to get in or out of anything. But don’t take my word for it, try one for yourself and you will see that this thing is a monster. Happy Trails out there…

US Special Forces in a Tocoma. photo by toyotaworld



Hector Santana

*Top Writer-Camping and Survival. I love to write about the great outdoors, survival and foreign policy. An avid outdoorsman and survival instructor.