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1997 Toyota Tacoma Review
A great all-around truck.
Reviewed by Automotive on
First introduced to the market in 1995 as a small pickup truck, the Tacoma has since been modified to a midsize. This particular model has been engineered for better ride quality and comfort over payload capacity and rugged durability. It is an excellent truck if used as a personal vehicle rather than for extensive commercial and off-road use.
Four-wheel drive Tacomas have the option of either a manual or automatic transmission. Drivability and power are markedly better in the manual transmission models, since the automatics tended to power down too much in higher gears. It is still Toyota reliable and rugged and has all the power that smaller trucks usually need, whether hauling loads or commuting.
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 2.7-liter four-cylinder, 3.4-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Toyota Tacoma Extended Cab V-6, Toyota Tacoma Extended Cab SR5, Toyota Tacoma V-6, Toyota Tacoma Extended Cab
The 1997 Toyota Tacoma adds a locking rear-wheel differential on all its four-wheel drive models and bucket seats remain available for Xtracab models. Two-wheel drive models include newly designed headlamps and grilles to conform to the look of the T100.
The Tacoma features 15-inch wheels, manually locking hubs, skid plates, and power brakes. Optional features include chrome step bumpers, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, an anti-theft alarm system, a trailer hitch, a bed liner, automatic locking hubs, wide tires and wheels, a tonal cover, and running boards. Exterior width measures 66.5 inches, the height totals 61.8 inches, length comes in at 180.5 inches, and the curb weight totals 3245 pounds.
The interior offers 38.2 inches of headroom, 54.6 inches of hip room, and 41.7 inches of legroom, providing a fairly comfortable ride in the 1997 Toyota Tacoma. Standard features include cloth seating and a front bench seat. Options include bucket seats, a center console, a CD stereo system and CD changer, a tilt steering wheel, a clock, cruise control, keyless entry, and a tachometer.
Performance & Handling
Acceleration proves excellent along with its overall ride because the 1997 Toyota Tacoma has front coil springs. Width increases to make the ride more stable and the rack-and-pinion steering feels exceptionally smooth for better response and feel. Reverse gear synchronization also lowers gearshift noise and the truck handles quite well as a result.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration gives the 1997 Toyota Tacoma three- and two-star safety passenger and driver ratings based on its crash tests. This car includes driver front airbags as a standard feature.
EPA Fuel Economy
Toyota Tacoma, manual: 20/26 mpg city/highway
Toyota Tacoma Extended Cab SR5: 15/18 mpg city/highway
Toyota Tacoma, four-wheel drive with manual: 16/20 mpg city/highway
Toyota Tacoma Extended Cab, four-wheel drive with manual: 16/20 mpg city/highway
Toyota Tacoma V-6: 15/18 mpg city/highway
Toyota Tacoma Extended Cab, manual: 20/26 mpg city/highway
Toyota Tacoma Extended Cab V-6, four-wheel drive with manual: 15/18 mpg city/highway
- Great acceleration and handling for a truck
- Rugged towing and hauling power
- A great personal car that doubles as a workhorse
You Won't Like
- Gas mileage
- Sticker price
- Handling on the road while empty
A great all-around truck.
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