best cold air intake for Toyota Tacoma
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Best Cold Air Intake for Toyota Tacoma Review

If you’re a fan of capable, no-BS types of pickups, I bet you have great respect for Tacoma. This mid-size truck has been around for more than two decades and is one of the finest vehicles for conquering the off-road in the rough American and Canadian wilderness. Toyota sure did get everything right with it, especially the powertrain. It is durable, reliable, and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.

There is a way to make it even more impressive, though, and to maximize the power output. And you can do that for a reasonable price with the best cold air intake for Toyota Tacoma. By increasing the airflow, it can boost the engine’s efficiency, give you extra HP, torque, and acceleration, and protect from overheating. Here are my top-3 intake kits for the legendary Toyota truck.

Best Cold Air Intake for Toyota Tacoma (Updated November, 2021)

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Editor’s Choice

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower

1) K&N Toyota Tacoma Cold Air Intake

1995-1999 2.7L

1995-1998 3.4L

1999-2004 3.4L

2005-2011 4.0L

2012-2015 4.0L

2016-2019 3.5L

aFe Power 51-76005 Momentum GT Air Intake System (Dry, 3-Layer Filter, Toyota Tacoma

2) aFe Power Tacoma Cold Air Intake System

  • Best Features:
    • One-piece housing design for maximum efficiency
    • Roto-molded tube for a perfect Tacoma fit
    • Smooth airflow thanks to the large filter
  • Filter Type: Dry
  • Power Increase: 17Hp and 19 lbs x ft Torque
  • Fits Models: 2016-2019 Toyota Tacoma 3.5L

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Volant Closed Box Cold Air Intake Kit With Ram Air Scoop 2016-2018 Toyota Tacoma

3) Volant Cold Air Intake for Toyota Tacoma

  • Best Features:
    • Unmatched performance in real-world tests
    • Three high-end filters to choose from
    • Ultra-web nanofibers for protection
  • Filter Type: Oiled
  • Fits Models: 2016-2018 Toyota Tacoma 3.5L

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Best Toyota Tacoma Cold Air Intake Review

1. K&N Toyota Tacoma Cold Air Intake

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower

It doesn’t really matter how old or new your Tacoma is – K&N has different air intake systems that match specific model years. And no matter which one you end up choosing, it will provide a guaranteed boost in performance. You’ll get more airflow, extra “horses”, and better up-hill performance. Ease of use is a part of the deal as well: the filter can serve you for up to 100K miles or more without any cleaning.

The mounting/installation process won’t be a drag either: just follow the instructions, and you’ll be fine. The couple might be too big to fit; if that’s the case, don’t hesitate to contact customer support for a replacement. Another minor con is the quality of the intake tube: it’s made of cheap plastic. On the bright side, you can get K&N’s cold air intake at a (relatively) low price.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
5
Value for Money
5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Provides a decent airflow and performance increase
Very easy to mount and to maintain the filter
A reasonably-priced purchase
Cheap-quality plastic intake tube

Verdict
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Is affordability your #1 priority when shopping for an aftermarket air intake system? Or maybe you’re looking for easy maintenance and a decent boost in HP/torque? This kit can give you both, along with no-hassle installation and durability. The plastic intake tube isn’t particularly reliable, though.

2. aFe Power Tacoma Cold Air Intake System

aFe Power 51-76005 Momentum GT Air Intake System (Dry, 3-Layer Filter, Toyota Tacoma

As always, aFe focuses on manufacturing top-quality aftermarket parts for trucks and SUVs. The 51-76005 air intake kit is reliable, efficient, and long-lasting. First of all, the (one-piece) housing is crafted from heat-resistant materials that keep the air nice and cool. Secondly, the package includes a CAD-designed, rigorously dyno-tested, and roto-molded tube. Add a really big filter, and you’ll see why I decided to include aFe’s kit into the list.

Sadly, it doesn’t meet the strict CARB laws in California, and can’t be ordered there. Shipment doesn’t take long, though, and the system arrives in a safe, nicely-packaged box. The installation process won’t take you more than an hour with a set of basic tools. I have to mention that the list of supported Tacoma vehicles is rather limited, but that’s not a very big deal.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
4.9
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
4.9
Value for Money
5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Heat-resistant, one-piece housing
CAD-designed, roto-molded tube
Packs a larger-than-life air filter
Can’t be ordered to California

Verdict
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Unless you live in the state of California, aFe’s air kit will be a bargain. Fast delivery/shipment, superb housing and tube, and a large, high-end filter make it one of the best aftermarket replacements for the factory system. Thanks to the improvements in performance, Tacoma will be a lot more fun to drive.

3. Volant Cold Air Intake for Toyota Tacoma

Volant Closed Box Cold Air Intake Kit With Ram Air Scoop 2016-2018 Toyota Tacoma

And here we have the most expensive air intake on the list. Produced by Volant, it boasts market-leading efficiency, premium-quality parts/installation hardware, and incredible protection against debris. During my test, I was pleased by its performance on the roughest off-roading trails. Thanks to high-end engineering, you can rest assured that the engine won’t overheat no matter how big the challenges are.

As for the anti-contaminant protection, Volant uses ultra-web nanofibers to block dust, debris, water, and whatever else the road throws its way. Plus, the company offers three top-notch filters to choose from. The list includes powercore (the best filtration system), oiled (for maximum performance), and dry (easy fitment). The price-tag is a big downside, however, and might scare away many potential customers.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
4.7
Easy to Install
4.9
Value for Money
5
Result
4.9
Pros & Cons
Outstanding efficiency both on and off the road
Three premium filters at your disposal
Market-leading protection against contaminants
Available at a rather expensive price

Volant Cold Air Intake for Toyota Tacoma

Verdict
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If you’re serious about upgrading Tacoma’s stock filtration system and only want the best quality, Volant packs just the right offer. Despite the high cost, it doesn’t have any major cons. As for the pros, you’ll get superb filtration, unparalleled efficiency, and brick-strong protection against debris.

Conclusion

Are you a bit bored with Tacoma’s factory air filtration system’s performance? Do you feel like your truck lacks that extra bit of raw power, especially when climbing up hills and pushing through mud and snow? Well, I know exactly how you feel, and – lucky for us – there’s a (relatively) cheap remedy for that. As we learned today, a premium aftermarket cold air intake kit can be that missing piece that will turn Tacoma into an off-roading beast.

With more horsepower, torque, up-hill performance, and better airflow, it will feel brand-new. If you’re serious about upgrading the filtration system, Volant might be the right brand for that. While its air system isn’t particularly cheap, there’s no denying its efficiency. K&N is all about affordability and easy maintenance, while aFe is like the golden middle.

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