The Toyota Tacoma is the king of compact and midsize trucks, with about 40 percent share of the segment in the U.S.
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 manual 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 2011
Toyota is making several significant changes to the Tacoma lineup for 2011 after moving production from its original factory in California to the same factory where the Toyota Tundra full-size pickup is built in Texas.
Toyota has discontinued three low-volume manual transmission models and added five four-cylinder, four-speed automatic models. The new models are the Access Cab 4x2 PreRunner, Double Cab 4x2, Double Cab 4x2 PreRunner, Regular Cab 4x4 and Access Cab 4x4.
The most notable cosmetic update is a revised grille design that collapsed the old two-bar grille to a single bar.
A new Convenience Extra Value Package for double cab models adds cruise control, a sliding rear window with privacy glass, remote keyless entry and steering-wheel audio controls. All exterior colors from last year carry over except for Black Sand Pearl, which has been changed to (just) black.
Off-road enthusiasts gain extra capability off-road and unique appearance options with the introduction of the T|X and T|X Pro packages. Base T|X trim adds beefy TRD 16-inch black alloy bead-lock wheels and 265/70R16 BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires for extra capability off-road over the standard TRD Tacoma. It also features black tube side steps, a stainless-steel exhaust tip and unique exterior graphics.
The T|X Pro Package adds a TRD cat-back performance exhaust system that gives the Tacoma's 4.0-liter V-6 a deeper note and slightly more power.
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.
Exterior features include:
- 115-volt power outlet in cargo bed on TRD packages
- Dent-resistant composite inner liner in cargo bed
- Skid plates on PreRunner two-wheel-drive models and four-wheel-drive TRD models
- Regular cab Tacomas include standard 15-inch wheels
The interior gets a higher grade than other compact trucks, with a simple but effective layout, supportive seats and attention-to-detail build quality. The 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 Sirius 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.
Interior features include:
- All regular cab Tacomas include standard air conditioning
- Tilt/telescoping steering wheel standard
- All sound systems have an auxiliary jack for MP3 players, and models with the available six-disc CD changer also come with integrated Sirius Satellite Radio
- Power windows and locks standard on Access Cab, Double Cab
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel standard on X-Runner
Under the Hood
- 159-horsepower, 2.7-liter 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 or four-speed automatic for four-cylinder trucks
- Six-speed manual or five-speed automatic for V-6 trucks
- Standard automatic limited-slip differential
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 antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, and traction control.
Safety features include:
- Driver, front-passenger active head restraints
- Three-point seat belts in all seating positions
Of Interest to Truck Owners
- Maximum gross vehicle weight rating: 5,450 pounds (Double Cab 4x4 with long bed)
- Maximum payload capacity: 1,510 pounds (PreRunner Access Cab 4x2)
- Maximum towing capacity: 6,500 pounds (Access Cab with V-6 Towing Prep Package)
- Fuel tank capacity: 21 gallons
- Transfer case low range: 2.57:1
- Axle ratio: 3.31:1 (I4 w/5M); 4.10:1 (I4 4x4, PreRunner), 3.58:1 (I4 w/4A); 3.15:1 (4x2 w/6M); 3.73:1 (PreRunner, 4x4 w/V-6)
- Crawl ratio: 39.87:1 (6M w/3.727:1 axle)
- Minimum ground clearance: 8.1 inches (4x2), 9.3 inches (PreRunner, 4x4)
- Approach angle: 35 degrees (PreRunner, 4x4), 19 degrees (X-Runner)
- Departure angle: 26 degrees (PreRunner, 4x4), 19 degrees (X-Runner)
- Ramp breakover: 27 degrees (regular cab 4x4), 15 degrees (X-Runner), 20-21 degrees (all other models)
- Cargo floor length: 60.3 inches (Double Cab), 73.5 inches (regular cab, Access Cab, Double Cab long bed)
- Cargo floor width: 56.7 inches
- Cargo floor width at wheel well: 41.5 inches
- Cargo bed depth: 18 inches