Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
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Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
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By Mike Magda
October 27, 2008
Vehicle Overview The Tacoma is available in three cab styles: Regular Cab, Access Cab and Double Cab. Regular and Access Cabs come with 6-foot beds, while the Double Cab can be had with either a 5- or 6-foot bed.
Much of the Tacoma's appeal comes from its various special models and packages. The TRD Off-Road package is perhaps the most popular, with a combination of appearance and performance items. Included are progressive-rate front springs, Bilstein shocks, BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires, 16-inch alloy wheels and TRD badging. The TRD Sport package offers a monochromatic appearance, street-tuned suspension and low-profile tires on 17-inch wheels.
The X-Runner is the real street-performance star in the specialty group. It features a 4.0-liter V-6 engine, six-speed transmission, 18-inch wheels, improved steering response, Bridgestone Potenza tires and a lowered, specially tuned suspension. The X-Runner gets its name from a unique X-brace on the rear of the frame.
New for 2009 Toyota is making all its advanced safety features standard on the Tacoma. Familiar to most consumers are front seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags. Not so familiar is the Star Safety System, which is comprised of five electronic brake controls. Also included is Toyota's electronic stability system, which applies the brakes individually and lowers engine power if sensors detect the driver's intended path doesn't match the vehicle's actual path. Brake control is also key to the automatic limited-slip differential feature, which detects unwanted wheelspin and applies the brakes as needed to redirect power to the wheel with greater traction. In other news for 2009, Tacoma has added an input jack for portable music players in all models and redesigned the rear seat in the Access Cab.
Exterior The Tacoma really bulked up when it was redesigned for the 2005 model year. The wheel flares are more muscular, character lines are more pronounced and the grille is a little more menacing. The Double Cab looks particularly good, especially in four-wheel-drive trim. The X-Runner, however, doesn't have a lean, athletic look worthy of its performance; it's just too burly with all its extra bodywork. A minor makeover for 2009 includes an argent-painted grille and redesigned taillamps for all models. Smoked headlamp trim goes on the TRD Off-Road, TRD Sport and X-Runner.
115-volt power outlet in cargo bed on TRD packages
Dent-resistant composite inner liner in cargo bed
Skid plates on PreRunner models
Interior The Tacoma interior gets a higher grade than other compact trucks, with a simple but effective layout, supportive seats and attention-to-detail build quality. The new rearview monitor system features a small camera in the tailgate handle and a 2.5-inch display mounted in the rearview mirror. Ceiling-mounted speakers are included in all of the five sound systems offered throughout the lineup. Premium JBL audio, available only in the Double Cab, offers a six-CD changer, Bluetooth, seven speakers (including a subwoofer) and XM satellite radio. Toyota doesn't offer leather seating in the Tacoma, but there is a sport fabric on the X-Runner that's also available on the Access Cab and Double Cab in four-wheel-drive or PreRunner configurations.
Tilt/telescoping steering wheel standard
All sound systems get auxiliary jack for portable music players
Power windows/locks standard on Access Cab, Double Cab
Leather-wrapped steering wheel standard on X-Runner
Under the Hood
159-horsepower, 2.7-liter inline-four-cylinder engine with iron block/aluminum cylinder head, dual overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder makes 180 pounds-feet of torque
236-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 with aluminum block/cylinder heads, dual overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder makes 266 pounds-feet of torque
Five-speed manual transmission (standard on four-cylinder models)
Four-speed automatic (available on four-cylinder models)
Six-speed manual (standard on most V-6s, available on others)
Six-speed automatic (standard on select V-6s, available on others)
Standard automatic limited-slip differential
Safety Combined with sophisticated accident-avoidance technologies and standard side-impact and side curtain airbags, the Tacoma has more safety features than most compact pickups. Besides stability control, the Star Safety System includes electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and traction control.
Driver, front-passenger active headrests
Three-point seat belts in all seating positions
Of Interest to Truck Owners
Maximum gross vehicle weight rating: 5,450 pounds (Double Cab 4x4)
Maximum payload capacity: 1,570 pounds (PreRunner Regular Cab 4x2)
Maximum towing capacity: 6,500 pounds (Regular Cab with V-6 Towing Prep Package)