The Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck 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. The Tacoma can seat up to five people in certain configurations. Competitors include the Chevrolet Colorado and Nissan Frontier.
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 lower-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, low-profile 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 2012
The Tacoma gets new front styling for 2012. There's a new grille, bumper, hood and headlamps. Changes inside the cab include a revised gauge cluster and a center control panel with new climate and stereo controls. Double Cab models gain a CD stereo with satellite radio, Bluetooth and a USB port. An optional system for the Double Cab includes Toyota's Entune multimedia and concierge services, a navigation system, satellite radio and HD Radio with iTunes tagging.
The Tacoma really bulked up when it was redesigned for the 2005 model year. The wheel flares became more muscular, character lines more pronounced and the grille 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
- Available skid plate for engine
- Regular cab Tacomas include standard 15-inch wheels
- 18-inch alloy wheels available
The backup camera system features a small camera in the tailgate handle and a new larger 3.3-inch screen mounted in the rearview mirror. Toyota doesn't offer leather seating in the Tacoma, but waterproof fabric is available.
Interior features include:
- Standard air conditioning
- Standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel
- Optional power windows and locks
- Optional leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Optional cruise control
Under the Hood
Mechanical features include:
- 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
The Tacoma combines sophisticated accident-avoidance technologies and standard side-impact and side curtain airbags. Besides stability control, the standard Star Safety System includes antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, and traction control.
Other safety features include:
- Three-point seat belts in all seating positions
- Available driver and front-passenger active head restraints
- Available daytime running lights