The Toyota Tacoma is Toyota's flagship smaller truck and one of the best-selling trucks in the world. It was first introduced in 1995 and is still in production by the Japanese automaker. Models use a front-engine rear-wheel or four-wheel drive layout with a two or four-door body style. There are several different cabs available depending on the model year, most commonly the Tacoma comes as a regular or a crew cab. Today it is classified as a midsize pickup truck. The first models were compact pickup trucks (those in production from 1995 through 2004). The Toyota Tacoma has received a long list of accolades including the Motor Trend Truck of the Year in 2005. The Toyota Tacoma is known for its reliability, its power, and a highly-rated exterior style.
The Toyota Tacoma replaced the generically named Toyota "pickup" in 1995. The new models put more emphasis on handling, comfort, safety, and towing capacity, all areas where its predecessor was rated very low compared to most trucks from major manufacturers. The intended use shifted from commercial agriculture and other lightweight work uses, to fit the U.S. and Canadian compact to midsize truck use which is more often consumer centered.
From 1995 through 2002 the Toyota Tacoma was a compact truck, replacing the previous Toyota pickup model. In 2003 it was redesigned as a midsize pickup. It has consistently been one of the top selling smaller pickups in the U.S. due to its reliability, highly-rated exterior appearance and affordable pricing. As far as power and features it falls short of some competitors within its class.
The Toyota Tacoma is known for its convenient dimensions, moderately powerful powertrain for a small to midsize truck, reliability, and for its affordable price. Since 2000 sales for the Toyota Tacoma in the U.S. have exceeded 100,000 every year and it is one of the best-selling trucks in the world in any category.
The Toyota Tacoma comes in four trim levels for 2013 including the base model, PreRunner, Base V-6 model and the X-Runner and the upper end. Models come as 4x2 or 4x4 and there are several cab styles including regular, double, and access. Bed lengths vary as well. It gets a 159-hp 2.7-liter four-cylinder on the smaller and the base models and a larger 236-hp four-liter V-6 on the larger models. Drivers can choose in between a four or five-speed automatic or a five or six-speed manual version. It gets 16/19 to 21/25 mpg city/highway. Some of the exterior features include a 115-volt power outlet in the cargo bed of the TRD package, dent-resistant composite inner liner for the bed, skid plates are available, standard 15-inch wheels on regular cab models and size moves up to 18-inch alloy wheels on upper trim levels. Some interior features include a backup camera that feeds to a 3.3-inch screen on the rearview mirror for convenience, standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel, air, and options like navigation on some models, however on the base models some features that are usually standard are only optional, like power windows and locks and cruise control. Safety features include front and side-impact airbags, accident avoidance technologies available, stability control, antilock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, and traction control. The 2013 Toyota Tacoma is priced between $17,625 and $28,185.
The first generation Toyota Tacoma included those built from 1995 through 2004. The compact truck used either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 2.7-liter four-cylinder, or a 3.4-liter V-6 engine paired with a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual. These had a typical truck profile with a short bed except in the extended models, and a front-heavy cabin area. The frame typically sits higher off the wheels than in many similarly equipped trucks from other makers giving it an athletic and capable look, and the Tacoma models are often rated high in the area of style by consumers. The first generation models offered a regular, extended, and an Xtra cab. Inside base models did not boast a long list of standard features when compared to the competition, but models fell in the lower end as far as price within its class. Later models become more expensive as Toyota added more and more standard features and the Tacoma's powertrain become more competitive but today it is still one of the more affordable trucks within its class, their standard models often five thousand less than the base model truck from other makers.
The second generation Toyota Tacoma includes those in production from 2004 (for the 2005 model year) to the present. These use the same front-engine rear or four-wheel drive layout with two and four-door models available. The Tacoma was redesigned and reclassified as a midsize truck. Some of the changes to the exterior include a new front and grill area, redesigned bumpers, and more pronounced wheel wells. Available engines include a 2.7-liter four-cylinder and a four-liter V-6 paired with a four or five-speed automatic or a five or six-speed manual. Inside the Tacoma received a number of feature upgrades from higher quality sound system to more trim and upholstery options.