If you’re reading this, I assume that you own a 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, or 2021 Toyota Tacoma and are hoping to upgrade your stock grille either right now or in the near future. Although the stock grilles are progressively getting better looking, I think I can speak for most Tacoma owners by saying that the grille should be one of the very first things upgraded to give your Tacoma a new, fresh look!
When creating this post, I wanted to build something to help all Tacoma owners find the right grille that fits their style. Even though we sell several grilles here at Empyre Off-Road, it was important to me to provide several different options and look at the pros and cons of each grille. At the end of the day, there are certain people who will buy from me and those that will not. This is life and business... although, I really do hope you buy from me :)
To start out the post, I'm going to feature the three grilles that we sell here at Empyre Off-Road. For the grilles not sold here, I've made sure to highlight the brand and one of their grille models that I think is pretty cool. Keep in mind that most of these companies sell several different models, so don't get scared off by the high price tags just yet. So if you're looking for a Toyota Tacoma aftermarket grille, let's jump in!
The Empyre Off-Road grille is a minimalist option if you're looking to keep the cost low and quality high. Our customers really love that this grille is made out of aluminum. Two huge benefits to aluminum are that the material is extremely lightweight (the entire unit weighs just under 7 pounds) and that it doesn't rust. Even if the powder coating gets scratched or chipped, with a little touch-up paint, it will look good as new.
Customers also love that this grille includes a removable stainless steel backer that makes the "TACOMA" text pop and stand out on the road. Many customers even paint this plate to color match their truck, which makes it even more personalized than other options on the market.
Model: Tacoma Grille Insert
Non-TSS Price: $235
TSS Price: $250
Pros: Solid construction, will not rust, TSS option, inexpensive. We offer a 60-day money-back guarantee. If you don't love it, you can return it for a full refund.
Cons: One design
Faux TRD Pro Grille
The Faux TRD Pro Grille, which we sell here at Empyre Off-Road is another great option for Tacoma enthusiasts. The manufacturer spent a ton of time perfecting this grille and is a step above any of the Chinese knock-offs you can find on eBay. This grille gives you the look of an expensive TRD Pro Tacoma without having to spend the big bucks. You can customize it with colored letters and different color raptor lights (amber, white, smoked amber, smoked white).
Price: $129 - $200 (depending on options)
Pros: Made out of high-quality ABS plastic and works with the TSS sensor
Tacoma Raptor Style Grille
The Tacoma Raptor Style Grille, which we sell here at Empyre Off-Road, might be one of the coolest looking grilles on the market. This grille takes the mesh raptor grille that you can find on eBay and other websites and gives it a facelift by adding in paint matched lettering.
Pros: Made out of high-quality industrial injection plastic and works with the TSS sensor
Cons: It's a little on the expensive side for a plastic grille.
Tacoma Honeycomb Grille
If you really want to spice up the front end of your third generation Tacoma, but you’re also on a budget, then you can get this honeycomb grille for just $166. Installation is as easy as it gets: take out the boring old one, and add this sleek one. These come with raptor lights ready to go. Choose between amber, smoked amber, white, or smoked white. If you find you don’t want them later, you can remove them easily from the grille.
Make sure you choose the correct model year during checkout as there are some differences such as the integration of the TSS sensor. This kit includes an add-a-fuse for easy installation, and the whole deal from start to finish should take you no longer than 30 minutes.
Price: Starts at $166
Pros: Plug and play, lightweight, easy to install
Cons: It didn’t come with your Tacoma stock ;)
300 Industries covers the gambit of selection and price range. You have forty-nine options to choose from, and prices that range from $400 to $1,050. The level of customization drops as the price goes down, but with that amount to choose from, you’re bound to find something you like, but at a price.
Make: 300 Industries
Pros: Highly Unique, lights up
Cons: Expensive, no customization
Custom Car Grills
The guys at Custom Car Grills also have a few options to choose from, but some of their more popular models would be their mesh grille and their mesh grill with letters. Both are pretty plain but in a stylish way. If you decide to go with the “TACOMA” or “TOYOTA” lettering, you'll get a nice subtle black finish layered on with aggressive lettering.
Make: Custom Car Grills
Pros: Subtle look, inexpensive
Cons: Few options
Grillcraft makes one of the most minimalist grilles on the market, which isn't a bad thing at all. If you are looking for something subtle and different, the MX model could be the one. It is a simple black mesh. No Toyota or Tacoma logo of any kind.
The MX is a nice, clean way to dress up your truck.
Pros: Subtle look, inexpensive, lifetime warranty
Cons: No options, company branded
Bullet Proof Fabricating
BPF is one of few grille manufacturers who provide an aluminum option. This grille is a nice lightweight option, and the design is a great improvement over what comes stock on 3rd gens. I would say it's a marriage of a bezel, mesh, and logo that go well together.
The one thing that I don't love about this grille is that you have to pay extra to remove their company logo in lieu of the Toyota logo.
Make: Bullet Proof Fabricating
Pros: Good triple look design, lightweight, free shipping
Cons: Extra cost for “TOYOTA”, brand name too prevalent
Bay Area Metal Fabrication
Last but not least is a company called Bay Area Metal Fabrication. The folks at BAMF offer two different types of grilles, the Eco Insert ($284) and the hugely popular Recessed grille ($600).
I absolutely love the recessed grille as it gives the Tacoma an extremely aggressive look. Both options also allow you to order a color matched backplate that slides behind the “TOYOTA” or “TACOMA” logo.
Make: Bay Area Metal Fabrication
Pros: Good design, customizable
Cons: High priced
So, there you have it. I hope that this post has been helpful and has given you a few other options to consider when looking to replace your stock grille. Please let us know if you have any questions.