The Toyota Tacoma is a pickup truck manufactured in the United States by Japanese carmaker Toyota. Production of this vehicle first started in 1995 with the first generation and was classified as a compact pickup truck. The second generation of these vehicles, however, were classified mid-size pickups. This vehicle won Truck of the Year from Motor Trend Magazine in 2005 for its innovative design. The Tacoma was introduced to the public in February of 1995, replacing the Hilux, which used to be marketed under the “Toyota Pickup” name. When compared to the Hilux, the Tacoma has much better handling, comfort, and a plethora of safety features.
There were three different engines available for the first generation Tacoma, including the 2.4 liter 4-cylinder which was rated at 142 horsepower, the 2.7 liter 4-cylinder rated at 150 horsepower, and the 3.4 liter V6 which was rated at 190 horsepower. The 2.4 liter engine provided the driver with a fuel economy of 29 miles per gallon, the 2.7 liter provided 26 miles per gallon, and the 3.4 liter diesel provided up to 22 miles per gallon. The 2-wheel drive Tacoma models had 5-stud wheel lug patterns and the other two were available in this vehicle, but only with certain options. Both automatic and manual transmissions were made available with these pickups.
The Toyota Tacoma received a major facelift in 2001, and the S-Runner trim package came out that same year. This new trim package included a 3.4 liter V6 engine which came with 16” alloy wheels as well as a 5-speed manual transmission with Tokico gas shocks. There were a total of 200 units produced each month, ranging from 2001-2004. The Tacoma’s popularity steadily increased in a number of different markets, especially after it received the facelift which offered consumers an improved overall design.
The second generation of the Tacoma, which started production in 2005, was first introduced at the Chicago Auto Show in February of 2004. This new Tacoma was larger and much more powerful than any of its predecessors. The new Tacoma could be purchased in 18 different configurations, including three cab configurations, two engines, four transmission, and two bed lengths. The three cab configurations for this vehicle include the regular cab, double cab, and access cab. Each of these models offered a different amount of space for the cab as well as other features, some of which were optional.
There was also the X-Runner trim, which effectively replaced the S-Runner trim which didn’t sell very well at all. The X-Runner uses the 1GR-FE coupled with a 6-speed manual transmission, 18” allow wheels, and an X-Brace suspension package. There was a Toyota Racing Development Off-Road package as well, though it was entirely optional. Every Tacoma that is designed with a composite inner bed also has a deck rail system with four tile down cleats as well as hook pins and storage boxes.
Another minor facelift in 2009 changed the grill of certain models a bit as well as adding new LED taillamps and a TRD Offroad and TRD Sport models for the X-Runner. The Access and Double Cab versions of this truck were given the addition of two new ceiling-mounted speakers as well as an available backup monitor, available in four exterior colors. The Tacoma comes with a number of safety features, including brake assist, anti-lock brakes, and electronic brakeforce distribution. A rollover sensor was also added in 2008 and it was capable of deploying the side curtain airbags in the event of a rollover. This vehicle has won numerous awards for its safety and scored five out of five stars in the NHTSA crash tests for frontal driver, frontal passenger, side driver, and side rear passenger.