Toyotas smaller pickup truck earns standard antilock brakes for the 2003 model year. On the safety front, lower anchors have been installed for a child-safety seat.
The Toyota Tacoma is built in California and comes in three cab types and 17 configurations. The front end was restyled for the 2001 model year and received a raised hood and multireflector headlights. Toyota also launched its first pickup with four conventional, front-hinged doors that year. The Tacoma Double Cab competes with four-door crew-cab models from Chevrolet, GMC and Nissan. Regular-cab and extended-cab (Xtracab) models of the compact Tacoma also remain available.
A sporty S-Runner Xtracab with two-wheel drive (2WD) is still offered. Its height is reduced by an inch to flaunt a low-rider stance. Two four-cylinder engines and a 190-horsepower V-6 are available under Tacoma hoods.
Regular-cab models are 184.4 inches long overall on a 103.3-inch wheelbase. Riding a 121.9-inch wheelbase, the Tacoma Xtracab measures nearly 203 inches long overall. Both versions have a 74.5-inch cargo bed. The Tacoma Double Cab is the same size as the Xtracab, but because it has a larger interior, the cargo bed shrinks to 61.5 inches long. Double Cab pickups can be fitted with a fiberglass Super Sport Shell that fits over the bed to keep cargo dry and secure.
The S-Runner features a dealer-installed appearance kit with a body-colored grille, bumpers, lower side trim, door handles and mirrors. A sporty StepSide cargo bed is available for SR5 trucks.
PreRunner models have 2WD but are decorated to look like 4x4 off-roaders. Buyers get higher ground clearance, mudguards and all-terrain tires. A TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Off-Road Package is available for four-wheel-drive (4WD) and PreRunner models. This package includes modified rear leaf springs, a larger front stabilizer bar, progressive-rate front coil springs, offroad shocks, overfenders and 16-inch aluminum wheels.
A three-place bench seat is standard in basic Tacomas. A 60/40-split bench seat goes into Xtracab models, while bucket seats are standard in Double Cab models and optional in other Tacomas. Xtracabs add two rear jump seats, but the Double Cab has a split, three-place rear bench that folds down to produce extra cargo room.
Under the Hood
The Tacoma is offered with three engine choices. A 142-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder serves as the base engine. The midrange power plant, which comes standard in PreRunner and 4WD models, is a 150-hp, 2.7-liter four-cylinder. Topping the list is a 190-hp, 3.4-liter V-6, which is standard in the S-Runner. A five-speed-manual transmission is standard, and a four-speed automatic is optional.
Toyota Racing Development can supply a dealer-installed supercharger for the 3.4-liter V-6, which boosts output to 260 hp. Tacomas equipped with the V-6 engine can tow a 5,000-pound trailer. Payloads range from 1,375 to 2,005 pounds.
Pickups equipped with 4WD have Toyotas 4WDemand system, which permits shifting into 4WD High at speeds of up to 50 mph using a floor-mounted transfer-case lever. A Hi-4 dashboard switch to engage the 4WD system is optional.