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The Toyota Tacoma enters its 19th year with the 2014 models. No major changes have been made between 2013 and 2014 other than some cosmetic tweaks. Cab configurations include: the Double Cab, the Access Cab, and the Regular Cab. Two different engines are available depending on which cab style and drivetrain you choose. You can have either a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine with 159 horsepower and 180 lbs./ft. of torque or a 4.0-liter V6 engine with 236 horsepower and 266 lbs./ft. or torque. Standard features include air conditioning, illuminated entry, AM/FM radio, CD player, MP3, Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity, 4 audio speakers, a rear cargo tailgate, a rear step bumper, a tachometer, and a low tire pressure warning.
The Regular Cab is a two-door truck that comes standard with the Star Safety System, side-curtain and seat-mounted airbags, as well as a Tire Pressure Monitoring system. The Access Cab trim adds power windows and door locks, fold-up rear seats with center and under the seat storage, and a large rear-hinge access door. The Double Cab, a four-door truck, comes with front bucket seats, a center console, power windows, door locks and outside mirrors, and a full rear 60/40 split bench seat that allows for extra storage space. This model is also available with a short cargo bed and both the Access and Double cab are available as a PreRunner variant which has a raise ride height and suspension.
Another great feature on the Tacoma is 4WDemand, an option that lets you switch from two-wheel drive to 4WD and back again while driving. Transmission options include: 5-speed manual (standard), 6-speed manual, or 4- or 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. All Tacomas come with a bed with built-in storage compartments and four rail-mounted sliding tie-down cleats.
Seats are made with a material that is supple like leather but half the weight and, unlike other synthetic leathers, is eco-friendly and easier to clean. Steering wheel mounted controls and heated seats are also available interior options. Plus, Toyota's infotainment system has received some upgrades for 2014. It comes standard with a touch-screen audio system with a backup camera, USB port, iPod connection, AUX input jack, and Bluetooth connectivity and now includes upgrades like HD radio, traffic, and weather, iTunes tagging, satellite radio, navigation system, and premium JBL speakers.
If you are looking for an older Tacoma at a lower price, be aware that 2005 was a redesign year, making the truck bigger and more powerful than the previous generation. Stability & traction control as well as front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags were optional items prior to the 2009 model year.
The 2014 Tacoma was awarded ratings of “Good” for moderate overlap front tests, side impact, and rear crash protection by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It also received 5 out of 5 stars for side crash and 4 out of 5 stars for overall and rollover by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
All Toyotas come with the Star Safety System: vehicle stability control, traction control, an anti-lock brake system, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, and smart stop technology. Smart Stop Technology (SST) is a system that automatically reduces your engine power when both the accelerator and brake pedals are pressed at the same time under certain conditions. Standard safety features include dual front, overhead, dual front side, and occupant sensing airbags, traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability, and brake assist.