The 5 Best Bull Bars for Tacomas – Reviews 2024

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Photo by Chad Horwedel / CC BY

For Tacoma owners, bull bars have become one of the most popular accessories around. Once reserved for police cars and serious off-roaders, they have become more than a way to protect the front of the truck. They have become an integral part of the vehicle, with pre-drilled holes for mounting driving lights and winches.

It can be very tempting to hop online and find the cheapest one you can find, but in doing so, you aren’t likely to get the right bull bar for your Tacoma pickup. There is a massive selection of bull bars on the market; often, so many it can make buying the right one for your truck and needs very difficult. There are a few things to consider as you search for the perfect bull bar for your needs, and we’ve done that for you.

Here are our recommendations for the 5 best bull bars for Tacomas on the market:

TRIL GEAR Bull Bar for Tacoma

Made from 3-inch diameter stainless steel that measures 1.35mm thick, this bull bar also has a spectacular the finish. The black and silver stainless steel makes the bar as pretty as it is functional, even the welds have been ground smooth. It also features pre-drilled holes for your favorite off-road lights. Designed to be a direct bolt-on bull bar, you shouldn’t have to drill any holes, and all the necessary mounting hardware is included.

Tyger Auto TG-GD6T60028 Front Bumper Bull Bar for Tacoma

This bull bar is made from 2.5-inch tubing protected by an E-coated textured black finish. Seamless welding makes for a durable bar that should stand up to just about anything you might happen to run into. The built-in channel offers plenty of space for the optional LED lights and is predrilled for your license plate. Installation is simple using the enclosed mounting hardware. However, you may have to remove the factory skid plate and put it in storage.

TYGER GUARD installation on 2015 Chevy Colorado

Westin 31-6005 Black Bull Bar for Tacoma

Made from 3-inch steel tubing, this bull bar is available in powder-coated black or chrome. The crossbar is fully welded for added strength. It also features a removable skid plate for those who like to drive off the beaten path. This bull bar comes pre-drilled for two auxiliary driving lights up to a full six inches in diameter. It comes with a three-year warranty and a license plate bracket should you need it.

Westin Bull Bar Installation on Tundra

AUTOSAVER88 Bull Bar for Tacoma

Made from sturdy 3-inch steel tubing for maximum strength, this bull bar also has outstanding durability due to it being powder coat finished black to prevent corrosion. The seamless welds add strength and superior appearance. This bull bar comes with a detachable skid plate and all the mounting hardware you should need to bolt it directly onto your Tacoma. It’s also pre-drilled for auxiliary lights. To make things better, if your bumper arrives with any nicks, scratches, or missing hardware, the company will take good care of you.

WESTIN 40-3885 Sportsman Bull Bar for Tacoma

The Westin Black Sportsman grille guard is a triple hoop design. It also features mounting tabs for auxiliary light. The headlight protecting crossbars can be easily removed, making maintenance much simpler. Each grille guard is pre-drilled to fit the specific vehicle it’s intended for and comes with all mounting hardware you should need to get the job done. The 1.5-inch diameter fully welded construction offers plenty of protection from wayward tree limbs.

etrailer | Westin Sportsman Grille Guard Installation - 2019 Toyota 4Runner

Tacoma Bull Bar Materials

The first consideration when looking for the best bull bar for Tacoma trucks is the material it is made from.

Steel is the the oldest and most commonly used bull bar material. It’s more durable, can resist significant impacts, and is strong enough to support a winch. But steel will rust if not taken care of.

Aluminum bull bars are becoming more popular as they offer comparable strength with far less weight. However, saving all that weight does come at a price as aluminum bars tend to be significantly more expensive. But it won’t rust and the relatively light weight will allow you to carry a bigger load and therefore reduce your fuel costs.

Plastic bull bars are most commonly found on urban-use trucks. These bull bars can provide some protection from impact but, at the same time, should the vehicle hit a pedestrian, they will suffer less injury. But outside of urban environments, plastic bull are not designed to withstand significant impact such as you might experience with off-road driving.

Different Styles of Bull Bar for Tacomas

After deciding which material will best suit your needs, the next step is to consider which of the four different styles will make the best bull bar for Tacoma pickups. Each of the different styles is intended for use in a particular environment. Of course, you can always choose the one you think will look the best and still offer enough protection.

The Bumper Bull Bar: This is a very simple single or single “bar” designed to do little more than protect your bumper and fenders.

The Single Hoop: The single hoop is probably the most popular design. This design includes a single tube that wraps around your bumper and goes high enough to protect your radiator. This style tends to be popular as it offers a decent balance between protection and weight.

The Triple Hoop: This type of bull bar has a central hoop that protects the radiator and another hoop on each side of it that protects the rest of your front end. If you live in an area where there is a high risk of running into animal, this is the type of bull bar for you.

The “Nudge” Bar: These are mostly cosmetic as they offer very little in the way of damage protection.

Other Things to Look For in Tacoma Bull Bars

In general, the right bull bar for Tacoma trucks should be made from three-inch tubing for single hoop and 1.5 inches for triple hoop, no matter what material it’s made from. Choosing a smaller diameter tube will not offer the same protection.

Although there are “universal-fit” bull bars, these typically are your best choice. Anything that is “universal-fit” could leave you with a bull bar the only “kind of fits.” The last thing you want is for it to fail at the wrong moment because your bar wasn’t an exact fit designed specifically for your Tacoma (please pay attention to the model years the product are designed for; however, sometimes, they fit perfectly well outside of their purported years).

If you are planning to install accessories such as off-road lights or a winch, look for bull bars that are already pre-drilled or have built-in mounting plates. Be sure you won’t need to modify your bull bar for the accessories you plan to install.

Tacoma Bull Bars Finishes

You’ll find that bull bars are available in a wide range of colors. Some are shipped in primer so you can have them painted to match or complement your vehicle’s paint. Others come powder-coated in black, and then there are chrome plated or made from polished stainless steel. The choice is entirely up to you.

Putting the Finishing Touches on Your Tacoma

The best bull bar for Tacoma pickups depends entirely on three things: the intended use, your personal preferences, and, of course, your budget. As you may have noticed, we’ve left budget at the end of the sentence. We did this on purpose as this should be your last consideration. You’ll find if you wait until you can afford the more expensive model, you might be a lot happier. As the saying goes, the poor man pays twice. Hopefully, you’ve found the above information helpful in your search for the right bull bar for your Toyota Tacoma. Good luck!

  • Founder of Mechanical Caveman, Beau is an unrepentant tool enthusiast and, sporting deadlift-callused hands and an incongruous beer belly, all-around macho guy. When he doesn’t know re tools, he consults with his handyman and car-repairman buds to give you well-reasoned and cutting-edge info.

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