Good power from the 3.4-liter, 190-h.p. V-6 engine with 4-speed automatic?


Nice to have 4WD to fall back on when the roads get a tad slippery?

Of course.

Annoyance free?


When the roads got slick and it was time to engage 4WD, the task wasn't simple. The lettering on the rubber transfer case lever cover is the same color as the cover, which makes it difficult to see, a problem compounded by mighty small letters. And the lever doesn't slip into 4WD with ease. Engaging 4WD shouldn't be a contest of skill.

Also, this is a four-door Double Cab or what you might call an extended cab with four swing-out doors.

Those relegated to the back seat will swing out the wide-opening doors only to find that the rear seat sits forward in the cab, making the act of getting in a chore. So why wide-open doors?

Toyota should borrow a page from Dodge, which for 2002 takes 3 inches out of the cargo bed and adds it to the cabin for easy rear-seat entry and spaciousness.

Base price: $21,865. A host of options--such as $590 for ABS; $250 for cruise control; $800 for power windows/locks/outside mirrors; $315 for running boards and mudguards; $740 for upgraded 16-inch alloy wheels and all-season tires (15-inch standard); $1,480 for SR5 package with color-keyed front and rear bumpers/grille/door handles; AM/FM radio with cassette and CD player, air conditioning and digital clock; $299 for bedliner; $340 for locking differential; $72 for carpeted floor mats; $339 for towing receiver hitch; and $480 freight--brought the sticker to almost $28,000.