Toyota Tacoma Origins
The Tacoma’s success has in part stemmed from its formidable off-road capabilities, reliable reputation, and choice of several different body styles. However, the emergence of the Tacoma and other comparable models in the compact pickup segment of the market has undoubtedly also been driven in part by rising gas prices. Currently in its second generation, the Tacoma saw its last major redesign in 2005. While first generation versions of the Tacoma are more compact, second generation Tacomas have grown larger than their predecessors.About the Toyota Tacoma
A reliable compact pickup truck, the Toyota Tacoma has been made available with numerous body styles since its introduction in the mid-1990s. While it’s never been the most affordable model in the compact pickup segment, the Tacoma has earned its keep over the years through reliability and genuine ability in off-road situations.Toyota Tacoma Features
For 2012, Toyota has again made the Tacoma available in three body styles: Regular Cab, Access Cab, and Double Cab. Regular and Access cab models come equipped with five-foot beds. Double Cab versions come standard with a five-foot bed and offer the option of a six-foot bed.
Rear drive and four-wheel drive are both available on all body styles. Options for rear drive include the PreRunner model, which boasts a classic off-road look but lacks true off-road capability. Meanwhile, the X-Runner rear drive model boasts a more streetwise edge with exterior features that include a body kit, a hood scoop, a sport-tuned suspension, and 18-inch alloy wheels. It also features a standard V-6 engine along with fog lights and an improved audio system.
The base model Regular Cab makes a good work truck and offers better amenities than many similar models available from the competition. Regular Cab models feature 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, limited slip differential, a bed utility rail system, composite bed liner, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. The standard audio system has four speakers, a CD player, satellite radio, and an auxiliary audio jack. Front bucket seats come on four-wheel drive models that feature an automatic transmission.
Access Cab base model versions feature upgraded cloth upholstery, front bucket seats, rear benches with under-seat storage, power locks, power windows, and a six-speaker audio system. The base model of the Double Cab includes 16-inch steel wheels, power mirrors, a front skid plate, an improved audio system with six speakers and an iPod interface, and Bluetooth phone and audio capability.
The Tacoma has generally been known for its long list of options. In addition to the various trim levels and drivetrains, Toyota offers a number of different packages for the 2012 model. The Convenience package can be added to the Access Cab versions, and it sees the addition of features that include a sliding rear window, privacy glass, keyless entry, steering wheel-mounted controls for the audio system, cruise control, and power mirrors.
Regular Cab and X-Runner Access Cab versions can be outfitted with the SR5 package, which features interior upgrades such as better cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and everything included in the Convenience package, along with variable speed wipers, and a rear-view mirror. SR5 versions also boast exterior enhancements that include the addition of a chrome grille, rear bumpers, and fog lights.
The TRD Off-Road package adds features such as 16-inch alloy wheels, flared fenders, a heavy-duty suspension, hill start assist, hill descent control, locking rear differential, sport seats, and skid plates, along with various items from the SR5 and Convenience packages. The TRD Sport package features 17-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, hood scoops, hill start assist and hill descent control for automatic versions, sports seats, and additional items from both the SR5 and Convenience packages. Toyota even offers a TRD Sport Upgrade package that boasts 18-inch, chrome-plated wheels.
T|X and T|X Pro packages are available for Access and Double Cab versions equipped with V-6 engines. The T|X version features black alloy wheels, all-terrain tires, stainless steel exhaust ends, and black tube steps. T|X Pro versions feature all of those items along with a cat-back exhaust and graphics on the side.
Drivers can opt for the Display Audio with navigation package on PreRunners and full-wheel drive Double Cab models. It adds a touchscreen electronics interface, a navigation system, a rear-view camera, voice controls, and HD radio, along with real-time traffic information and digital music streaming.Toyota Tacoma Evolution
The second and current generation of the Toyota Tacoma debuted in 2005. Since then few changes have taken place. Certain features that come standard on most current models remained optional prior to 2009. Therefore models from 2004 through 2009 may or may not come equipped with traction control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, or stability control.
Toyota produced first generation models of the Tacoma from 1995 until 2005. Tacomas from this period measure smaller but remain available in four-wheel drive or rear drive.