Toyota’s compact pickup truck gained standard antilock brakes in 2003. Nothing has changed for 2004.
Built in California, the Tacoma comes in three cab styles and 17 configurations. The front end was restyled for the 2001 model year and gained 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 Tacoma also remain available.A sporty S-Runner Xtracab with two-wheel drive is still offered. Its height is reduced by an inch for a lowered appearance. Two four-cylinder engines and a 190-horsepower V-6 are available, and Limited and SR5 option groups are offered.
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.
The S-Runner features a dealer-installed appearance kit with a body-colored grille, bumpers, lower side trim, door handles and mirrors. PreRunner models have two-wheel drive but are decorated to look like 4x4 Tacomas. Buyers get higher ground clearance, mudguards and all-terrain tires. A TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Off-Road Package is available for four-wheel-drive and PreRunner models. This package includes modified rear leaf springs, a larger front stabilizer bar, progressive-rate front coil springs, offroad shocks, fender flares 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 seat that folds down to provide extra cargo room.
Under the Hood
The Tacoma is offered with three engine choices. A 142-hp, 2.4-liter inline-four-cylinder serves as the base engine. The midrange power plant, which comes standard in PreRunner and four-wheel-drive models, is a 150-hp, 2.7-liter inline-four-cylinder. Topping the list is a 190-hp, 3.4-liter V-6, which is standard in the S-Runner and Double Cab 4x4. 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 four-wheel drive have Toyota’s 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 four-wheel-drive system is optional.
Four-wheel antilock brakes are standard on all models. Select Tacomas can have Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Toyota’s electronic stability system.