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File:Tacoma xrunner.jpg

Many reviewers rate the Toyota Tacoma the best mid-sized pickup truck on the market. The Tacoma was significantly redesigned in 2005, as were most of its closest competitors. The Tacoma is well regarded for its comfortable cab, refined ride, responsive handling, proven off-road capability, and Toyota’s reputation for quality.

See also the main fact sheets for the Toyota Tacoma.

High PointsEdit

  • Great new design
  • Larger size
  • Ride is more comfortable
  • Handling is good
  • New composite inner bed that is non-rusting and non-denting

Low PointsEdit

  • Manual transmission is clunky
  • X-Runner version lacks handling
  • Rear seats are not fit for adults

Performance and HandlingEdit

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The Toyota Tacoma drives well and cruises nicely, it offers plenty of power from the V6, good handling and feels relatively refined. Off-road models offer better capability over rugged terrain than previous-generation models as well as improved ride comfort.

The 4.0-liter V6 engine uses dual overhead camshafts and variable valve technology (called VVT-i) to optimize power and torque over a broad range of rpm. In action, it feels refined and delivers responsive performance. The Society of Automotive Engineers, or SAE, has changed the way power is rated, so on paper it looks like the Tacoma's power has been reduced, but in fact the engine hasn't changed from 2005. The new tests rate the 4.0-liter V6 at 236 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. The Toyota V6 is more powerful than the five-cylinder engine in the Chevrolet Colorado or the base V6 in the Dodge Dakota, but less powerful than the Nissan Frontier.

The 4.0-liter V6 works well with the five-speed automatic transmission. The automatic is super smooth and very responsive, quickly downshifting when you mash the throttle, and it offers five ratios to better keep the engine at its most efficient rpm. For it's part, the six-speed manual transmission is easy to shift, but first gear is a very low ratio, leaving a broad stretch to second. And the manual does not offer fuel economy advantages: The EPA estimates 18/22 mpg City/Highway for 2WD automatics, 17/21 for 4WD automatics; with the manual transmission the V6 managed only 16/21 with 2WD or 4WD. Toyota recommends 91 octane gas for the V6.

The 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine does offer better fuel economy than the V6 and can run on less-expensive Regular gas. EPA estimates are 21/27 mpg for 2WD with five-speed manual, 20/27 for 2WD with four-speed automatic. Four-wheel drive bogs it down, however, to just 19/23. Toyota recommends 87 octane for the four-cylinder. As with the V6, the four-cylinder benefits from VVT-i and dohc, which means it's a modern, sophisticated engine.

Handling is quite good on curvy roads. The Tacoma feels steady in sweeping turns and suffers from surprisingly little body roll, or lean, in hard corners. The Tacoma feels big on the road when compared with older compact pickups and, in fact, it is relatively large. It's wider and longer than previous-generation models. Size can be a detriment when parking, and a long-bed Double Cab can be a challenge in tight parking situations due to the amount of space it requires to turn. The Tacoma Double Cab long bed requires 44 feet to complete a circle, while a Double Cab short bed needs closer to 40 feet. A base Tacoma Regular Cab boasts a turning circle of less than 37 feet.

On pavement, the 4WD and TRD models seemed smooth and refined. A 4WD TRD model is smooth and highly capable off road. The TRD suspension is excellent on rough, rugged terrain. It handles well on rough dirt trails. The Tacoma doesn't just get there, it does it in relative comfort. It doesn't seem to generate as much head toss as earlier 4WD compact pickups, an important consideration when driving long distances over rugged terrain because one doesn’t want to arrive in the backcountry fatigued from driving.

Switching into 4WD and 4WD Lo is as easy as twisting a rotary knob. It works very well, for the most part, but it can be confused by switching the knob around underway causing the low-range lights to stay on until the car is turned off.

The Tacoma's brakes are smooth and easy to modulate and can bring it to quick halt without drama. The rear brakes are drums, however, less desirable than the rear disc brakes that come on some of the other pickups in this class.

The X-Runner is a lot of fun to drive and handles like a sports car. It corners flat and generates lots of grip in corners. It tracks well and is very stable in tight corners even when spinning the inside rear tire under full throttle. The ride is firm, but seems to ride better than the SVT Lightning. However the steering is vague on center and there was that aforementioned inside rear-wheel spin. Wind noise seems higher in the X-Runner than in the other models. But much of this is nitpicking. This is a tight, sporty truck, and probably the best of the genre. There's no cowl shake. The exhaust sounds cool. If you want a truck that can hang with a sports car, the X-Runner is the ticket.

Gas MileageEdit

As seen on Autos.com, in the compact truck MPG rankings, the 2007 Toyota Tacoma is in 2nd place with 20/27 MPG.


2006 EPA estimates.

  • 2WD 4 cyl. automatic: 21/26
  • 2WD 4 cyl. manual: 20/27
  • 2WD 6 cyl. automatic: 18/22
  • 2WD 6 cyl. manual: 16/21
  • 4WD 4 cyl. manual: 19/23
  • 4WD 6 cyl. automatic: 17/21
  • 4WD 6 cyl. manual: 16/20

SafetyEdit

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The Toyota Tacoma comes standard with the following features:

  • Driver and front passenger airbags
  • 4-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
  • Brake Assist
  • Side-impact door beams in all doors
  • Child Restraint System (CRS)


The Tacoma received 5 out of 5 stars for driver and passenger front and side crash tests from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA)

Reliability and MaintenanceEdit

The Tacoma maintains Toyota’s reputation for quality and continues to serve its owners trouble free. Above and beyond regular scheduled maintenance, the Toyota Tacoma needs little more to keep it running trouble free for many years.

Interior and ComfortsEdit

All of the latest-generation of mid-size pickups have decent interiors, but the quality of Toyota's interior materials seems just a little better. The dimpled material on the dash and upper panels and the textured material on the lower dash and door trim look nice; it's hard plastic, but it looks soft. Not everyone loves the perforated silver plastic used for the center stack. But the cloth upholstery is decent and the seats look nice.

Bucket seats on the upper level models are comfortable, with good bolstering, though some think the seat bottom could be longer and have more thigh support. The manually adjustable seats include lumbar adjustment but no adjustment for seat height or the angle of the seat bottom. The power seats available on the Nissan Frontier have these features. Overall though, the Tacoma provides the driver with a good driving position.

Big mirrors afford a good view to the rear. Solid cup holders are provided in the center console area. The front passenger's seatback flips down to form a tray table or to make room for long objects, a handy feature on models so equipped. The switchgear is easy to operate, and everything is where you expect it to be. Big rotary knobs make it easy to adjust cabin temperature even with gloves on; the knobs are electronic, so they're easy to twist. The radio is fully integrated into the upper center stack and it's easy to operate, though the display is nearly impossible to read through polarized sunglasses. CDs sound good through the JBL speakers. We aren't thrilled with the pull-out handbrake that comes on models with manual transmissions, as we prefer a lever or footbrake. Models with automatics come with a foot-operated parking brake.

The rear seats in the Tacoma Double Cab are particularly comfortable for the class, offering good legroom and shoulder room and decent headroom. The seatback is angled back slightly, making it more comfortable. A younger rider should be okay to ride across the state back there and even adults won't complain too much on short trips. The rear windows go all the way down.

The rear-seat area in the Double Cab is good for carrying cargo. The back seat is split 60/40. Flip the seat bottoms forward and fold the two sections down to form a flat platform for gear. It takes two hands to do this and you first have to remove the headrests, which is a hassle, though Toyota has at least provided a place to store them. The seatbacks are hard, and form a sturdy cargo floor. It's not a bad spot for a dog, better than the bumpy floors in the Nissan Frontier and Dodge Dakota, but still a big jump down.

The Access Cab has rear seats, but they're pretty hopeless for humans. The space back there is best used for small cargo that you don't want to put in the bed.

ExteriorEdit

The Toyota Tacoma is an attractive truck, though not as stylish as those from Nissan, Dodge and other manufacturers. Big headlights and a bold grille highlight the front of the Tacoma. Flush rear surface glass and flush surface structures between the bumper sides and body give it a polished look. PreRunner and 4x4 models are distinguished by bold overfenders.

The length of the Tacoma varies by body style: Regular Cabs are the shortest, measuring 190.4 inches overall on a 109.4-inch wheelbase. Access Cab and Double Cab short-bed models have a 127.2-inch wheelbase and 208.1-inch overall length. Double Cab long-bed models are quite long at 221.3 inches overall on a 140.9-inch wheelbase. All models have six-foot beds except the Double Cab short-bed, which has a five-foot bed.

Regular Cab models pack lots of cargo space in a relatively small package, good for maneuverability in the big city. PreRunner and 4WD Regular Cabs have the best break-over angle due to their short length and therefore offer the best capability off road. Access Cabs feature large dual rear auxiliary doors, not good for people but very good for gear. Double Cabs have long, conventionally hinged rear doors that open 80 degrees for ease of entry or loading gear. Double Cabs offer the comfort of a sport-utility; the long-bed Double Cabs can carry more stuff but are unwieldy in tight places.

Tacoma comes with a composite inner bed, lighter than steel yet tougher and more durable. The bed features two-tier loading and an integrated deck rail utility system with four adjustable tie-down cleats. The rails are compatible with Genuine Toyota Accessories, including cargo bed cross bars, a fork-mount bike rack, and diamond-plate storage boxes.

Styles and OptionsEdit

The Toyota Tacoma comes in three body styles: Regular Cab, Access Cab (extended cab), Double Cab (crew cab), and PreRunner. The "PreRunner" version is a 2WD model that has the looks and heavy-duty suspension of the 4WD models. Each is available with two-wheel or four-wheel drive.

Toyota's Access Cab "X-Runner" is the sport version of the Tacoma. It comes with sportier looks, a V6 engine, tuned suspension, and a 6-speed manual gearbox.


Toyota also offers 10 packages to choose from: HE, BZ, BY, CP, SE, SL, OC, PY, PM, and the V6 Towing Package.

HEEdit

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The Enhancement Package includes:

  • Defroster-linked air conditioning
  • 15-in. steel wheels
  • P215/70R15 tires

BZEdit

The Standard Package #1 includes:

  • Defroster-linked air conditioning
  • Sliding rear window

BYEdit

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The Standard Package #2 includes:

  • Defroster-linked conditioning
  • Bucket seats
  • Center console
  • Sliding rear window

CPEdit

The Convenience Package includes:

  • Power windows/door locks/outside mirrors
  • Remote keyless entry system
  • Cruise control
  • Sliding rear window with privacy glass (not available on Regular Cab)

SEEdit

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The SR5 Package #1 includes:

  • All of Standard Package #2
  • Chrome grille surround and rear bumper
  • Color-keyed front bumper and overfenders
  • Metallic-tone instrument panel trim
  • Variable intermittent windshield wipers
  • Sun visors with sliding extensions
  • Vanity mirror
  • SR5 badging
  • Upgraded seat fabric

SLEdit

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The SR5 Package #2 includes:

  • All of Convenience Package #1
  • Chrome grille surround and rear bumper
  • Color-keyed front bumper
  • Color-keyed overfenders (PreRunner and 4x4 models only)
  • Metallic-tone instrument panel trim
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever
  • Variable intermittent windshield wipers
  • Sun visors with sliding extensions
  • Vanity mirror
  • SR5 badging
  • Upgraded seat fabric
  • Driver's seat with lumbar support
  • Fog lamps (V6 models only).

OCEdit

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The TRD Off-Road Package includes:

  • All of SR5 Package #2
  • Off-road tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks
  • 16-in. alloy wheels
  • P265/70R16 BFGoodrich Rugged Trail T/A tires
  • Locking rear differential
  • Engine skidplate
  • Fuel tank protector
  • Front tow hook
  • 115V/400-watt deck mounted power outlet
  • Multi-function overhead console with compass and temperature gauge
  • Sport seats with sport fabric
  • Driver's lumbar support
  • TRD Off-Road graphics (V6 models)

PYEdit

The TRD Sport Package #1 includes:

  • Sport suspension with Bilstein shocks
  • 17-in. alloy wheels
  • P265/65R17 tires
  • 115V/400-watt deck-mounted power outlet
  • Fog lamps
  • Power windows/door locks/outside mirrors
  • Remote keyless entry system
  • Cruise control
  • Variable intermittent windshield wipers
  • Multi-function overhead console with compass and outside temperature gauge
  • Color-keyed grille surround/bumpers/mirrors/door handles/overfenders
  • Sliding rear window with privacy glass
  • Sport seats
  • Driver’s lumbar support
  • Sport fabric trim
  • Metallic-tone instrument panel trim
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter
  • Sun visors with sliding extensions
  • Vanity mirror
  • Hood scoop
  • TRD Sport graphics (V6 models)

PMEdit

The TRD Sport Package #2 includes:

  • All of TRD Sport Package #1
  • Auto-dimming electrochromic rearview mirror

V6 Towing PackageEdit

The V6 Towing Package includes:

  • Class-4 towing hitch
  • Transmission oil cooler (automatic transmission models)
  • Supplemental engine oil cooler
  • Heavy-duty battery
  • 130-amp alternator
  • 7-pin connector with converter

Main CompetitorsEdit

External LinksEdit

Autopedia Contributor Favorites

Toyota Manufacturer Sites

Community Sites

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