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2004 Toyota Tacoma

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2004 Toyota Tacoma Review

One of the most reliable midsize pickups.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2004 Toyota Tacoma is an all-around competent pickup truck that offers a wide variety of customizations. There are three cab styles, featuring Regular Cab, Xtracab, and Double Cab, which has more room and four doors instead of the two that the other cabs offer. Most of the models have options for either two-wheel or four-wheel drive. There are also several different engines to choose from including a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 2.7-liter four-cylinder, and a 3.4-liter, V-6 engine. Both the Regular Cab and Xtracab models are available with either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. The Double Cab is only available with the automatic transmission. Reliability and versatility are the two biggest selling points. It has a record of good service and many options to choose from when building the perfect truck for any occasion.

The Range

Body styles: regular cab, XtraCab, double cab
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 2.7-liter four-cylinder, 3.4-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Toyota Tacoma, Toyota Tacoma PreRunner, Toyota Tacoma PreRunner V-6, Toyota Tacoma V-6, Toyota Tacoma S-Runner V-6

What's New

Safety is improved in the 2004 Toyota Tacomas. All models come standard with an Electronic Brakeforce Distribution system. Certain PreRunner models come with a limited-slip rear differential and traction control. The V-6 models can be equipped with Vehicle Stability Control. Four-wheel-drive V-6 models are then able to be equipped with a traction control system named Active TRAC, which increases offroad capabilities.


The 2004 Toyota Tacoma has a number of different body options and trim choices. Most trims leave it with just over six feet of truck bed. The Double Cab affords a bit of extra room for the passengers but sacrifices an extra foot from the truck bed. Overall, the body has not changed much since its inception in 1995. The Limited can pull off a more rugged look with higher ground clearance and the four-wheel drive. In contrast, the S-Runner (the S stands for Sport) sits much lower and has a more refined look to it.


The 2004 Toyota Tacoma is decently comfortable to ride in for each of its models, with the Double Cab bodies fairing a little better. Cloth seats are the base of each model, but it is possible to upgrade to leather. There are not too many standard features in the base models. It does have many upgrades and options available as buyers move up through the PreRunner and Limited trims. Power windows and power doors are optional features, not standard.

Performance & Handling

The 2004 Toyota Tacoma's handling varies greatly depending on the trim chosen and whether any options are present. The Vehicle Stability Control that can be found in the V-6 models makes handling much easier. Traction control increases performance and is available in the four-wheel models. The trucks accelerate a little differently depending on whether they have the four-wheel drive or the two-wheel drive. If drivers want the best experience, then spring for the Toyota Racing Development off-road package. This package is available for the PreRunners with two-wheel drive or the four-wheel drive Xtracab Models. What this package does is add much improved shocks, a larger stabilizer bar, larger tires, and a locking rear differential. All of this makes it much more fun to drive in various conditions. Most of the models seem to drive better when carrying some weight in the bed of the truck.


The 2004 Toyota Tacoma is equipped with standard four-wheel anti-lock brakes. Ventilated front disc brakes and rear drum brakes come standard on all models and are enhanced with the electronic brake force distribution system. Certain models have the option of Vehicle Stability Control. Daytime running lights are an optional addition. Stabilizer bars and side-door impact beams help increase structural stability, and the safety as well.

EPA Fuel Economy

Toyota Tacoma Base: 20/25 mpg city/highway
Toyota Tacoma Base Xtracab: 17/20 mpg city/highway
Toyota Tacoma PreRunner: 20/25 mpg city/highway
Toyota Tacoma PreRunner Xtracab: 17/20 mpg city/highway
Toyota Tacoma PreRunner Xtracab V-6: 15/19 mpg city/highway
Toyota Tacoma V-6 Xtracab: 15/18 mpg city/highway
Toyota Tacoma S-Runner V-6 Xtracab: 17/22 mpg city/highway
Toyota Tacoma PreRunner Double Cab: 17/20 mpg city/highway
Toyota Tacoma PreRunner V-6 Double Cab: 15/19 mpg city/highway
Toyota Tacoma V-6 Double Cab: 14/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • A wide variety of cab and body choices
  • Stability and traction control are available
  • Reputation for dependability

You Won't Like

  • Vehicles without the optional equipment are very bare
  • Xtracab has extra space, but no extra doors

Sum Up

One of the most reliable midsize pickups.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • Ford Ranger
  • GMC Canyon
  • Mazda B-2300
  • Mazda B-4000

See the New 2014 Tacoma.


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